You have realized so far how important it is to keep your eyes open at all times in order to be able to see through the enemy’s strategy.

That’s true across the board, in warfare, sports, business. It’s like your intelligence gathering about the other army. No military General will build a battle plan without considering the enemy’s strategy first. He should interfere with it and possibly reevaluate and draw up his own plan accordingly. Only then he may head off to fight the opposing forces.

Best chess strategy is to fight theirs

Watch out for all their tricks: you better see it early than late

The bulk of your power lies in the ability to harass and exploit flaws in the other team’s strategy, or lack of it, and pounce on the mistakes.

Again, the key is that your plan implementation should always, always be combined with opposition to your opponent. That should be your craft as a Warrior.

At another, higher level of strategic thinking, you have to be preventing your competitor from disrupting your winning strategy. Prevention of prevention!

How to implement the best strategy

The game Stahlberg – Filip (Stockholm 1952) was examined last time to show the workings of the strategy #1 principle. Black didn’t pay due attention to the opponent’s plan, failing to take timely measures against it. That ultimately led to his defeat.

Just like last time, we are going to follow the commentary by Isaak Lipnitsky from his legendary Questions of modern chess theory book (Kiev, 1956). The two great champions, Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Botvinnik have used phrases like “Lipnitsky recommends,” or “in Lipnitsky’s opinion” in their writings. Fischer mentioned Lipnitsky in his My 60 Memorable games. He made such an impression on the young Bobby who even went to the lengths of learning Russian.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.Rc1 c4 9.Nd2 Be6 10.e3 O-O 11.Be2 Nc6 12.O-O

Stahlberg-Filip, Helsinki 1952 (after 12.O-O)

Here Black went on with his plan and played 12…a6? ignoring White’s intentions and the menacing avalanche of the white pawns on the K-side got moving. It followed (see previous post): 13.f4! Ne7 14.g4 Nh7 15.f5 Bc8 16.e4 Ng5 17.Bxg5 hxg5 18.e5 b5 19.Nf3 Nc6 20.Qd2 f6 21.exf6 gxf6 22.h4 gxh4 23.Kg2 Qd6 24.Nxh4 Ra7 25.Ng6 Rff7 26.Rh1 Rh7 27.Bf3 Rxh1 28.Rxh1 Rh7 29.Bxd5+ Kg7 30.Rxh7+ Kxh7 31.Qe3 1-0 This would not have happened to Black if he had seen the White’s plan with f2-f4 before it was too late.

Instead he should have thought about

12….Be7! 13.f4 Nd7! 14.Bxe7 (if the bishop retreats, Black plays 14…f5!)

14…Nxe7!, when the black knights are deployed very flexibly.

Stahlberg – Filip, Helsinki 1952 (Analysis)

If now 15.g4, then 15…f5! 16.g5 hxg5 17.fxg5 Ng6 with an excellent game for Black, who may later use the h-file for attacking purposes and is also threatening to break with f5-f4 in the right circumstances.

What does your success in chess depend on?

Lipnitsky again: “All depends on your ability to unravel your opponent’s plan in good time, to figure out how dangerous it is and to take the right decision accordingly. If his plan is being carried out more slowly than yours, or if for various reasons is unrealistic, then the best thing is to press straight ahead with your own plan and execute it energetically, which will make your opponent at some point to abandon his plan in order to oppose yours.”

“On the other hand, if the opponent’s plan is dangerous, you should take account of this and (re)formulate your own play accordingly. Both sides are simultaneously trying to anticipate each other’s plans and actively oppose their implementation.”

Main chess strategy always opposes that of your opponent

You don’t want to take chances: kill their intentions of coming after you in good time

In the game of chess, or any other competitive arena, you should always, always try to take the wind out of the sails of competitor’s attacking ideas.

Draw the teeth from all their aggressive attempts! Nip their attacking efforts in the bud!


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