Sunday, January 23, 2011

game, too

 the computer (white) vs. martineau (black)
"control of the center creates momentum"

summary: in this match, we see how the control of center creates unlimited opportunity.
1. h2-h3                  ...d7-d5
white opens with his rook-pawn, allowing black to take the initiative in controlling the center of the board. 

2. d2-d4                ...Bc8-f5
3. e2-e3                 ...e7-e6
notice how both players have made the same number of moves, yet white's queen-bishop is restricted, while black's developed queen-bishop reinforces control of the center.

4. Ng1-f3               ...c7-c5  
white develops his king-knight, as a prelude to castling.  black plays a delayed version of queen's gambit, and moves his queen-bishop pawn to c-5.  this will allow black to develop his queen-knight, while (if white takes the gambit) allows black to develop his king-bishop as well.

5. Bf1-b5 (check)     ...Nb8-c6
6. Bb5xc6 (check)     ...b7xc6  

white has placed black in check twice in a row, but has nothing to show for it (except an opportunity to castle early).  black has the momentum in the center, and if 7. d4xc5, black will gain more of a stronghold while developing his king-bishop.

7. d4xc5                         ...Bf8xc5
8. 0-0                              ...Ng8-f6
9. g2-g4?                        ...Bf5-g6

white makes a (seemingly) harmless miscue by weakening his king's castle, and black's bishop retreats to safety.  although black can castle on his next move, he might wait -- and take advantage of white's weakened position with a king-side attack.

10. g4-g5?                      ...Nf6-e4

white presses his attack, but black's response creates several problems for white:
  • black's knight at e4 takes a powerful, forward position
  • black's knight also attacks white's advanced king-knight pawn
  • black's queen also attacks white's king-knight pawn, in a "discovered attack"
it is important to note that black's pieces are developed and involved in controlling the centerblack's position allows for freedom of movement, while white has yet to develop his queen-bishop or queen-knightwhite's king-side pawn attack may have been premature.  black's king-rook pawn is one move away from mounting a harmless-looking attack on white's advanced pawn -- but small moves can create huge results.

11. h3-h4 -- in an attempt to protect the pawn.  
                            11. ...h7-h6 black begins the attack. 

12. g5xh6 -white would have been better served with 11. N-c3, which would have helped to reduce black's stranglehold on the center. 

                            12. ...Rh8xh6!  (instead of 12. ...pxp).  now black has provided his king-rook with a powerful attack lane, pointed squarely at white's depleted castle.  white has a serious dilemma.
13. Rf1-e1                       ...Bc5-e7
white is overwhelmed, and tries to create an escape route for his kingblack simply steps-up the attack.

14. Re1-e2                     ...Be7xh4
white braces for the inevitable, and black delivers.    one look at the board tells the story:  

black's pieces are developed, synchronized, and synergisticwhite's pieces are restricted, undeveloped, and out of the game.

15. Nf3xh4 -what else can white do?
                       ...Qd8xh4! black patiently saves the development of his queen for the moment of choice -- when she can unleash her power, fully!

16. f2-f3 -white is completely out of options...
                          ...Qh4-h1 (mate)

black's superior development, patience, and control of the center coincide to create a punishing mate.  in the end, white lost because:
  • white failed (at the outset) to bolster his center.
  • white mounted consecutive advances (which might have given him some instant gratification), but he forgot to lay the groundwork for security and stability.
black's momentum resulted from patience.  while it may appear as if black mounted a stunning victory, we look at it as a game that white lost by getting himself into a bad position.

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