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Chess Instruction

Fight for the Center! Part II

by Jerry Honn

In memory of our good friend Warren Loveland, who passed away unexpectedly on June 10th, 2001, I have added this article in hopes that others will help to continue the instructional series he envisaged. These articles are intended for lower-rated players, hopefully to help them improve their play.

Warren's introductory remarks in the first article are excellent and worthy of review.

PGN Viewer courtesy of ChessTempo.

Summary: these amateur games are typical examples of how difficult the king's fianchetto formations are for Black. Does this mean the King's Indian and Benoni Defenses are unsound? Certainly not! After 80 years, perhaps longer, innovations are still discovered for both sides. Some form of the king's fianchetto is in every Grandmaster's repertoire, but GM's know every nuance of piece regrouping, key square control, timing of pawn breaks, diversionary tactics, etc. For class B and below I recommend the ... e6 defenses to 1 d4, avoiding the king's fianchetto lines (King's Indian, Benoni and Grunfeld.) A "bad" queen's bishop is a small problem compared with all the pieces languishing on the back ranks. For those interested in further study, remember that the sequence d5, exd5; cxd5 transposes and both openings (King's Indian and Benoni) must be researched.

I also recommend Hans Kmoch's Pawn Power in Chess. In addition to the fundamentals of pawn play, he devotes a large portion of the book to various Benoni formations and the appropriate strategy for both players. Some reviewers of this classic have criticized the author for using new terminology to describe certain pawn configurations. Deal with it! If Kmoch's calling a "doubled pawn" a "twin" can disrupt your cognitive processes, chess is probably too difficult for you anyway. The book is available as an inexpensive Dover paperback, in descriptive notation.


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