When you have an imbalance of two Bishops against two Knights, the player with the two Bishops should seek to open up the game to create diagonals for his Bishops.
On the other hand, the player with the Knights should seek to keep the game closed and activate his Knights while limiting the range of his opponents Bishops.
In a recent online game my opponent did not make good use of his two knights, so even though my play was not optimal, I was able to win by taking advantage of the minor piece imbalance and seeking to utilize my Bishop pair.
This is perhaps not such an “easy chess tip” because it takes time, effort and imagination to master, rather like chess itself. Nevertheless, memory training, especially for opening variations in a chess repertoire, is worth considering if you want to avoid losing control when your opponent pulls some unexpected move early on.
Opening Repertoire Memory Systems
I have created opening repertoire memory systems for both white, playing 1.d4, and black, playing 1… d6.
In this demo video I attempt to go through the first ten variations of the my white opening reportoire, which is based on John Watson’s book, A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White. Watson’s book has been my guide to the Queen’s pawn opening for the last few years.
In chess, a discovered attack happens when you make a move that opens a path for another of your pieces to take an opponent’s piece. It works best when the piece you moved also attacks another of the opponent’s pieces or checks the King.
In a recent game, I was rather fortunate in being able to turn a less-than-ideal Bishop move into a discovered attack on my opponent’s Knight. My opponent did not notice the threat the lurking Bishop posed until it captured his hanging Knight. 🙂 This is a useful tactic to know and it can be especially effective in casual games, pub chess, or games played in a casual environment. It is not uncommon for casual players to miss unmasked threats on the diagonals!
In the last game I played as Black against my regular opponent, he opened with 1. e4 and I replied with my repertoire move, 1… d6. A few moves later we found ourselves with a situation that seemed familiar!
- e4 d6
- d4 Nf3
- Nc3 e5
We arrive at the Maróczy Defence by transposition. (The pure Maróczy Defence is 1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e5…)
Next, my opponent decided to advance his Queen’s pawn, which the Chess.com engine rates as “good,” which really means just “okay.” Clearly, the chess engine prefers to exchange pawns, which often leads to an early exchange of queens (4. dxe5 dxe5, 5. Qxd8+ Kxd8).
I responded with 4… Be7 and realized that if my opponent were to play 5. Bg5 the “Maróczy Defence Pawn Grab” (as I call it) would be in play…
Back in April I completely missed the opportunity (see my previous blog post and video) when the exact same situation occurred. This time around, my opponent had completely forgotten about that game and conveniently played 5. Bg5? again, just as he did in April!
I wheeled out the good old Modern 1… d6 Defence to 1.e4 in this game against my regular opponent, but I missed a great opportunity in the fifth move to claim an advantage with 5… Nxd5!
Here are the opening moves:
1. e4 d6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 Nxd5!
This sequence is a variation of the Pirc Defence known as the Maróczy Defence, which brings out Black’s central pawns in the first two moves, delaying Nf6.
The “easy chess tip” in this game is easy to learn but not so easy for a casual player to spot if unaware of it.