While some players think that it
is necessary to learn thousands of opening lines in order to
succeed, others don't pay enough attention to the important
aspects of the opening of a game.
In the eyes of the
beginner, openings are seen as a chance to land a quick checkmate.
Intermediate players simply develop their pieces and don't consider
the ensuing middlegame. Strong players find a balance. They will attack
when there is an opportunity and they will develop their pieces
in their most active locations, always paying careful attention
to their opponent's moves as well.
Playing well in
the opening of a chess game is not entirely about memorizing opening
lines. Some intermediate players see thousands upon thousands
of opening lines and think that it's necessary to memorize
all of the theory in order to be a strong player. Nothing could
be further from the truth! If you hone your chess ability,
the opening should be seen only as a segue into the middlegame.
method for approaching the opening is to have a "set up"
or system. This system must involve choosing the placement
of pawns and pieces, as well as the safety of your king and
the control of some central space. Once devised, these placements
will be the original goal of your openings in chess making
sure to pay close attention to move order and double attack tricks, of
course. As you employ your system over and over against various
players, you will learn the strengths and weaknesses of it,
and you will be able to alter it accordingly. Strong players
are able to adapt their opening systems according to their
opponent's plans. They attack and defend with every move of
In today's featured game, one of my favorite
chess players, GM Leonid Yudasin, uses a seemingly awkward
opening (1.e4 2.d3 3.Qe2) and achieves a solid position. While
his opponent did take some central and queenside space in the
beginning of the match, GM Yudasin masterfully traded dark-squared bishops
and used the over-extension of his opponent's pawns to post a
knight on c5. He then used this small positional advantage
to convert the win.
White to mate in two moves.
Link to solution at the bottom.
Yudasin, L. (2571) - Privman,
Manhattan CC- New York, 2000