Weak Squares in Chess

Weak Squares in Chess


Hello everyone! Today, I’ll show you some
of my recent chess games from some rapid tournament. It was a game from Round-8 of a very strong
Serbia Rapid Tournament memorial of famous Grandmaster Slobodan Martinović. In that
game, I played with White pieces against a FIDE Master (FM) and let’s see what happened.
I hope that this game will be an excellent example on the topic “Weak Squares”. Let’s
see what happened….I started with 1.Nc3, of course, that’s not underestimating my opponent.
I just play that move sometimes in Rapid and Blitz. Ivanchuk and Shirov also play this
move in Rapid and Blitz. Black answered with 1…d5, 2.e4. Of course, that can transform
into Caro-Kann after 2…c6, to French after 2…e6, or to some Russian sub-lines after
2…Nf6. My opponent played 2…d4 and after 3.Nce2, he played 3…c5 – expanding on the
queenside which is very natural in that position. I must move my knight from e2 now, to open
lines for my queen and my bishop and I played Ng3 with an idea of finishing my development
as soon as possible. e5 – Black continues to expand in center but, as we can see after
Nf3, White already developed two pieces while Black only plays with his pawns. What is the
idea of Nf3? Well, White has clear idea in next stage of the game. White bishop will
probably go to c4, continue in that long diagonal. And after castling, d3 and h3 – White will
try to organize attack on the kingside. There are various possibilities. f3-knight can go
to h4, h2 or g5..g3-knight can go to f5 or maybe to h5..c1-bishop can go to g5. Or mostly
White plans include the dangerous move of f4 – opening the file for the rook on f1.
He played Bd6, defending the e5-pawn and I started with Bc4. Now there are so many possibilities
for Black. But he chose, I think, the worst one! What’s the problem? In that moment, some
players play Be6. I’ll later explain the idea of that move. But this is a bad moment for
that move. I can simply take and after Nxe5, I collect a pawn because after Bxe5, Qh5+.
For instance, if g6, Qxe5 making some double attack – h8-rook and the e6-pawn..White will
have decisive advantage. After Bc4, of course, some players play f6 trying to set some stable
center to defend e5-pawn once again, and to stop my Bg5-Ng5 possibilities. but in that
moment, White has 2 perfect possibilities. One is c3 with an idea of Qb3 and attacking
on that long diagonal using some many weak light squares as you can see. Or, there is
also the possibility of d3 with a quick idea of occupying light squares after Nh4 and Nf5
and maybe Qg4 or Qh5 later on. Of course, best continuation for Black after Bc4 is Nc6
and then I can probably continue that way. Now Nf6 is a normal move..even Be6 is a reasonable
option..after castling, White will try to prepare f4. Black will try to finish the development
as soon as possible and the game will be balanced. Nf6, a3, 0-0, 0-0 and maybe now Be6 is good.
What is the idea? The idea is that after Bxe6, fxe6, Black will be ready to take on f4 after
White plays f4 – Black can play exf4 and he will dominate on e5-square after that with
the knight and the bishop. The e5-square will be under Black’s control and that will be
a good outpost for Black’s pieces, later in the game. Of course, the reasonable possibilities
after castling..Black can also play Rb8 with an idea of b5 and c4 later on or maybe a6
with same idea. After Rb8, White can probably answer with Nh4 following his plan on the
kingisde. Now let’s go back to the game to see what happened. Bd6, Bc4, Bg4 – very bad
move! What’s the point? Simply by playing h3 White will play a good move and Black has
to make decisions now. If he goes back to e6, we already saw what happened. Simply Bxe6,
fxe6 and Nxe5 as we saw earlier. Maybe the best move was Bd7 but it is not easy to play
such move after Bg4..many players connect that by taking the f3-knight but that’s a
terrible mistake. That happened in the game – my opponent took that knight and I played
Qxf3, we can see that White fully controls ALL IMPORTANT White squares. b5, d5, f5, later
we’ll see that c6 will be under White’s control. Let’s see what happened. White’s 3 pieces
– c4-bishop, f3-queen and g3-knight have excellent prospects in future. Knight can go to f5 and
h5 and attack Black’s position. Queen can probably go to b3 or maybe to h5 or g4. Probably
Qb3 – attacking b7 and f7 at the same time – 2 critical places in Black’s position and
the bishop has 2 perfect diagonals! Let’s see what happened. Nf6 was better than what
Black played in the game which is Qf6. Nf6, of course, will lead to better position for
White after Nf5. Black chose Qf6 and now I missed 2 better possibilities. I played Nf5
which probably should be enough. But of course, better was Qg4 – attacking c8 and for instance,
if Black answers with Nc6, White plays Nh5 attacking the queen and g7-pawn – collecting
a pawn and easily winning the game afterwards. Of course, even better was Qb3 – immediately
attacking b7. If Black answers with Qe7, Nf5 once again, and Black is not able to defend
g7-pawn. What happens if Black plays b6? Well, of course, Bd5 will collect a rook or knight
and then rook also. Nf5 was played after Qf6. The idea is clear – Nxd6 and Qxf7 later. Black
answers Bf8, you can easily guess what happened.. I played Qb3 setting same threats. Black played
b6 and now I have so many possibilities. Bd5 is one among them..castling other..but there
are 2 better possibilities, think. More aggressive players will rather play f4 and after exf4,
0-0 – now even rook will help White pieces to attack f7. Soon, Black’s position will
collapse on f7-square. Okay, that was a rapid game and I already spent for finding those
good moves and I decided to play Bb5+ which was most natural at that moment. And after
Nc6, Qd5 – pinning Black pieces. Of course, Nge7 is not sufficient because after Nxe7,
White just collects the c6-knight next move. Black must play Rc8 and now, I must, as soon
as possible, find a good way to organize an attack on Black’s position. My 3 pieces are
perfectly placed. Black’s pieces are very badly placed. c6-knight is pinned, king is
unsafe and I need help from my other pieces. The fastest way is d3 as Bg5 is a very dangerous
threat. For instance, Black cannot play g6 because after Bg5, Qe6, Bxc6+, he must take
with queen and after Qxe5 check and attacking the rook on h8 – White will collect material.
Of course, even worse is Rxc6 which leads to Qd8#. Well, g6 is impossible because of
Bg5. Black has to play Qe6 probably. And now, still Bg5 is a very good move. Of course,
White has idea to renew threat – Bxc6 following Qxe5 or Qd8. Black is simply not able to control
all very weak light squares. Just see how all White pieces are placed on the light squares
and how they are dominating. Terrible decision by Black – he set all pawns on dark squares,
exchanged the light squared bishop which was the main defender of weak light squares. His
bishop on f8 is attacking his own pawns and is not able to protect weak light squares.
Nf6 maybe was the only move but after Bxf6, Qxf6 Black just temporarily stopped White’s
attack. Now it’s to find some good continuation. White got some time, he eliminates Black’s
knight on c6 which was a good defender of Black’s king but White’s queen is still in
center. Okay there is no bishop on g5 that set threats on d8-square. But White got some
time and now he has perfect way to continue attacking. What’s the move? There is a perfect
move – f4! The idea is simple. White threats fxe5. Black cannot play Qxe5 because c6-knight
is pinned and Qxe5 will cost him a queen. Black has to take exf4 and White continued
with 0-0. If Black played Qe6, fxe5 and now if g6, Black is completely lost after Nd6+,
Bxd6, Bxc6+ – White’s next move is exd6 and Black is a piece down. After f4, exf4, 0-0
– the idea is, as soon as possible, to activate the rook, helping the queen to organize an
attack on f7. Still, Qe6 is not big deal for White. White can play Rf4 and after g6, there
is a perfect move of Raf1! Knight just stays there. if Black plays gxf5, Rxf5 – there is
a threat of Re5, Rxf7…Black is unable to defend his position after so many threats.
Black can play Qxd5, but then exd5, White gains back material because knight on c6 is
pinned and still, White’s position stays completely winning. After 0-0, g6, Rxf4 (same idea).
There was even a winning move of e5. After Qxf5, Bxc6+, position is completely winning..of
course, Ke7 is not good because of Qd6#. After Rxc6, Qxc6+ Black can resign because he is
an exchange down and sooner, White will organize dangerous attacks. If now Black plays Qe6,
we already saw Raf1, gxf5, Rxf5 with winning position. If Black plays gxf5, Rxf5 and if
Qe6, Re5 – Black’s two pieces are pinned and the queen is lost. Or after Qd6, something
similar will happen after Qxf7+, Kd8 and Rd5. Black position is hopeless, he tried a6..but
he blundered..Ng7+ – perfect move. If Bxg7, Rxf6, Bxf6 and Bxc6+ winning and destroying.
Black tried Qg7 but still Bxc6+ Black must take that bishop because if Ke7, Qd7# After
Rxc6, Qxc6+ and after few moves, Black decided to resign. Now the queen is lost and very
soon, there is a mate..Next Qxf6 is coming with a winning position. Actually it is mate
in 2 moves. In this example, you can see what happened after very careless play by Black.
He decided to set all his pawns on dark squares and exchanged light squared bishop which was
a very bad decision. My light squared bishop stayed on c4 and finally all light squares
in Black’s camp were soon under White’s control. So White easily crushed his opponent using
weak light squares in Black’s camp. I hope you enjoyed this example and see you soon
with new examples. Bye! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Weak Squares in Chess

  1. What do you think about the strategy of exploiting the weak squares of your opponent? How likely can it get a win for you? Let's discuss in the comments below. 🙂 Also, you can get the FREE course "How to analyze your games" here – https://goo.gl/T9u1BH

  2. Nice game, but I`m bit worried about the opening. Isn`t against chess thumb rule that you must not move one piece many times in the opening. That white knight moved 3 times in the opening, while other pieces were still
    undeveloped.

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