The word initiative in chess game comes from the Latin word “initium” which means start, beginning. In chess initiative means activity or kind of starting attack by move pieces into attacking positions. This will creates threats and force the opponent to become defensive.
Classification of initiative in chess game
Initiative in chess can be classified as bellow.
- Simple Classification: Initiative in chess may be a little valued piece attacking to a higher valued one.
- Complex Classification: It may be either strengthening of piece interaction and disorganization of opponent’s play.
The struggle for the initiative will begins from the opening. In a chess game, both sides try to develop their pieces as soon as possible. In addition to piece development chess player also try to prevent the development of the opponent’s pieces as well (This was discussed in fast development of pieces).
Importance of Initiative in Chess
It is said that the side owning the initiative stands a little better. This is because attacking is much easier for humans than defending. This small initiative may be lead to material gains.
To achieve initiative, chess players frequently accept positional concessions and sometimes even material sacrifices. For example in the game Forgacs Vs. Tartakower (in 1909) white sacrificed two pawns in order to seize the initiative in chess game.
Factors to consider
When a player tries to evaluate the factor of initiative or tempting to sacrifice any material it is necessary to take in to account two moment.
- The stability and duration of the initiative (opportunity to keep it long as possible)
- The defending resources of other side
If you see that your initiative will only be short lived and opponent has enough resources to defend, then it is not worth to sacrifice anything.
Sometimes one side voluntarily concedes the initiative to the opponent, receiving positional or material advantages in exchange. However in such cases one should see in advance how to neutralize the temporary initiative of the opponent in order to then proceed to the temporary initiative of the opponent (counter play). The best way neutralizing an initiative is counter play.
Initiative in chess game 01:
We hope you find this article useful and any feedback is greatly appreciated. If you feel this article is useful please do share with your chess friends. Thank you for reading.