Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cutting The Board

Not long ago I watched a series of interviews by James Plaskett of Garry Kasparov on The videos are quite cheap to rent online and are well worth the price of admission for the cultural and chess value. Just search for Garry Kasparov under the Movies/TV category on for the videos.

In the interviews Kasparov analyzes some of his best games from various periods of his career. One of the main concepts Kasparov talks about in these videos is the idea of local superiority of pieces and cutting the board. These terms are rarely used if at all in most of the instructive books I have on chess. I think I definitely learned a bit about how to approach the analysis of tactical situations from these interviews.

I was really befuddled by the combination in this game. Ivanchuk - Van Wely 2006 When I started to think about this in terms of local superiority and pieces being cut off on the other side of the board it started to make a lot more sense to me. The Black bishop at b7 is just a passive observer. The same for the rook on c2 and to some extent the bishop on e7 and even the queen on c7 cannot really influence the play where it matters. I'm still amazed by how Ivanchuk saw all of that blindfold.

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