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My System Part I

Notes on the first part of Nimsowitsch's My System

The seven elements of chess strategy The center, open files, play on the 7th and 8th ranks, the passed pawn, the pin, discovered check, the pawn chain, and exchanging.
Center The four squares in the center: e4, d4, e5, d5
Development Strategic march of the troops toward the border (between 4th and 5th rank).
Developing pawn moves Pawn moves are not developing in themselves, but they can be a move that helps development.
Demobilising Pawn moves can demobilize pieces. Your pawns need to be placed to prevent that.
Wasted pawn moves Any pawn move that does not support your center or attack your opponent.
The ideal in the opening A lead in development.
Developmental exchanges Exchange with a gain of tempo, allowing you to develop with an attack that forces a double piece move by your opponent.
Pawn grabbing There is no time for pawn grabbing in the opening. Develop instead.
Central pawn grabbing Take any central pawn if it can be done without danger.
Open file A file is open if you have a major piece on in and your pawns are not in front of the major piece.
Peacefully opening files This occurs when you have a strong central piece your opponent must take. The pawn recapture opens a file.
Why open files To use that file to penetrate your opponent's position, specifically the 7th and 8th ranks.
Block of granite A pawn both protected by another pawn and blocking an open file.
Protected Only a pawn can protect without complaint over a long period of time.
The evolutionary attack Thin out the ranks of defenders by driving them away, exchanging them, or cutting them off.
The revolutionary attack Exchanging a piece for a pawn to gain access to the 7th or 8th rank.
The order of attack Pile on attackers, try to thin off defenders, and then consider a revolutionary attack, an indirect attack, or an outpost
The indirect attack Limited advance along a file to give it up in favor of another file.
Outpost A piece (usually a knight) protected by a pawn and on an open file in enemy territory.
Effect of an outpost It constitutes a base for new attacks, and provokes a weaking of the defense of the file.
Flank outposts Flank outposts should be occupied by a major piece with good attack radius.
Exchanging outposts Outposts are frequently exchanged, and should be replaced with as good or better a piece (or a passed pawn).
Flank files a, b, g, and h
Central files c, d, e, and f
7th rank case 1: absolute Control of every square on the seventh rank and an advanced passed pawn almost always win.
7th rank case 2: double rooks Two rooks on the seventh rank can force a draw, but watch out for defended squares on the seventh rank that can stop this.
7th rank case 3: rook + knight A knight in opposition to a king (on 8th behind 7th rank rook) can check it back and forth IF there is a corner or blockage that allows a R+N mate.
7th rank case 4: marauding Doubled rook continually checking can fork pieces off the 7th rank if the other rook is defended.
7th rank case 5: 8th rank (start) Get the king out of the corner and into something like Rh7, Rg7, Kf8
7th rank case 5: 8th rank (attack) Gain of material by forking or skewering, mate by breaking king contact with the rooks, or intermezzo captures that threaten mate
Passed pawn A pawn with no enemy pawn in front of it on it's file or either adjacent file.
Pawn majority rule Every sound, uncompromised pawn majority (two files away from an enemy majority) is capable of generating a passed pawn.
Candidate passed pawn The pawn in a pawn majority with no (enemy?) pawns in front of it.
Candidate rule The candidate pawn takes precedence in trying to create a passed pawn. Push it and use the other pawns to support it.
Blockade Physically stopping an opposing passed pawn with a piece.
Pawn roller A compact, advancing mass of pawns in the center.
First reason to blockade To stop the pawn from advancing and either opening up lines or promoting.
Second reason to blockade Blockaders are defending from frontal attacks by the pawn they are blockading.
Weak square A square in front of a pawn that can be occupied, and the occupier cannot be easily removed.
Third reason to blockade The blockaded pawn can block your opponent's pieces.
Main function of the blockader To immobilize the passed pawn.
Secondary function of the blockader To threaten into the opponent's territory.
Elasticity A blockader is elastic if it is justified in leaving it's post.
First justification for elasticity An immediate gain is possible.
Second justification for elasticity It can return in time to blockade on another square after the pawn advances.
Third justification for elasticity If it has a deputy that can take over the blockade.
Effective deputies Effective deputies of blockaders have safe squares of their own.
Defending a blockader Over defending a blockader gives it more elasticity.
Strong blockaders Weaker pieces are more effective blockaders because they can't be pushed away by an attack from an even weaker piece.
Replacing a blockader When attacking a defender you may want to force an easier to attack deputy to take it's place.
Isolated pawns Get the king in front, get his king out from behind (perhaps with zugzwang), then flank the pawn
Strength of attacks Weakest to strongest: frontal, side(?), flanking
Flanking's weakness Only useful against immobile targets
Reserve blockading square The first unprotected square in the pawn's line of advance
Kings in a pawn advance Attacker strives for the lead, defender tries to prevent this with the reserve blockading square.
Privileged passed pawns Passed pawns that are linked, protected, or distant
Ideal linked passed pawns Ideal linked passed pawns are on the same rank, because in that position they cannot be blockaded
Advancing linked passed pawns Do it at a moment when the enemy cannot form a strong blockade. Then advance the trailing pawn after breaking any weak blockade
Plugging the gap With advancing linked pawns, the king is often strongest filling the gap left by the leading pawn.
Protected passed pawn Can be protected by an unpassed pawn. Their strength is that they are immune to attacks from kings
Distant passed pawn Distance is from the center. It can be used to distract the enemy king and take him away from another area of play.
Danger of distant passed pawns They can be played too soon. Make sure you can take advantage of a distraction before sacrificing.
When to advance passed pawns When they cannot be strongly blockaded, when they will protect valuable squares, it clears space for a piece to move behind it, or the advance makes a good sacrifice
Sacrificing passed pawns Must be done to create maximum loss of time for your enemy
First reason to exchange To occupy or open a line without loss of time
Second reason to exchange To get rid of a defender. It may defend a square, not a piece.
Third reason to exchange To retreat without losing time. This is usually in response to a counter attack.
Fourth reason to exchange When we are ahead on material.
Zeroth element of the endgame The passed pawn
First element of the endgame Centralization
Second element of the endgame Aggressive rooks and activity in general
Third element of the endgame Consolidating isolated forces
Fourth element of the endgame General advance
Fifth element of the endgame Materialization of files
What to centralize The king (at the start of the endgame), the pieces, the queen (preferably protected by a pawn)
Why centralize It allows the centralized piece to attack either side
Shelters Squares (often behind pawns) to hide you king from piece attacks
Bridge A pair of shelters allow king movement when under attack
Defending endgame rooks Weak because of lack of mobility, which gives enemy king more mobility.
Attacking endgame rooks Can attack multiple ways, one pinning down the defending rook.
Value of aggressive endgame rook It is worth (intelligently) sacrificing a pawn to go from defensive to active.
Where to put the endgame rook Behind the passed pawn, whether it is yours or theirs
Non-rooks in the endgame Same principle: be aggressive, not defensive
Advancing endgame pawn Fill in behind with a piece/king
General advance A slow, combined advance of your pieces in the endgame
Knight-pawn interaction Knight protected by pawn can attack blocking pawns in chain or move once to defend allied pawns in chain.
King-pawn interaction King can plug holes in pawn chains and hide behind pawns
Queen-pawn interaction Centrally posted queen can defend widely separated pawns.
Endgame files Easier to exploit with less work than midgame files
How to exploit endgame files Maintain them and a way will open
The strategy of pins The effect a pin has on a position can be used as a strategic weakness to attack.
Partial pin A pin where the pinned piece can move along the line of the pin.
Protection of a pinned piece It is an illusion. You can place your pieces on "protected" squares
Attacking a pinned piece Several attacks with pieces, finish it off with a pawn.
Exchanging pins It is often advisable to exchange for the pinned piece to pin a better piece or to make a partial pin complete.
Danger of challenging pins It can open up a position. Do it if it forces the attacker (bishop) to a bad spot. Watch for an open center which can make that a good spot.
When to ignore a pin When the center is open and moving pawns to the center can give us activity.
Double challenge a pin Bring a knight around to cover the escape square that continues the pin. This is slow, so only use it with a closed center.
Tacking a pin Manouvering to keep open the option of challenging, exchanging, or double challenging it.
The corridor The line from the pinning piece through the pinned piece to the piece it is pinned to.
Breaking a pin Placing a protected piece in the corridor of the pin
Connecting a pin Creating contact between the pinned piece and the piece it is pinned to.
Escaping a pin The piece behind the pin moving away.
Techniques for pins in the opening Challenging, exchanging, double challenging, and tacking
Techniques for pins in tactical situations Breaking, connecting, and escaping
Discovered check vs. pin A discovered check is like a pin where the pinned piece is the attacker's.
Little man The "pinned piece" in a discovered check
First action of the little man Take anything not protected by the king.
Second action of the little man Attack anything, even from a defended square.
Third action of the little man Switch to any spot he wants.
Treadmill Repeated discovered checks with captures in between.
Double check Discovered check where moving piece also checks. The king must move.
Pawn chain A diagonal line of black and white pawns defending each other
The base of a pawn chain The pawn at the back of the chain (the least advanced pawn with an enemy pawn blockading it).
Cost of a pawn chain Creating the pawn chain gives up the opportunity to open a file.
Benefit of a pawn chain Opens up two attacks: ahead and in the direction of the chain.
Attacking in the direction of the chain The lead point attacks into enemy territory, and the enemy pawns clog up his position
Attacking forward of the chain Attack the base of the chain with a pawn, then flank the new base with the rook that was supporting the attack.
Purpose of the pawn chain To restrain the enemy. It is a blockading issue.
When to attack the pawn chain As soon as possible
Surprise attack of the pawn chain Attack the base pawn with another pawn, then attack the new base.
After the pawn chain is destroyed Advance the pawns that had been restrained
When to exchange for a pawn in a chain To replace it with a weaker blockader
Siege of the base, step 1 Attack the fixed base with multiple pieces.
Siege of the base, step 2 Post attackers aggressively to impede enemy development
Siege of the base, step 3 Maintain the pressure at least until weakness show in the enemy position.
Siege of the base, step 4 Attack the new weakness as energetically as possible
Siege of the base, step 5 Allow the base pawn to become an endgame weakness
Siege of the base, step 6 Never forget that you too have a base pawn to defend.
Transference and pawn chains If the base is too strong, advance a pawn to create a new, weaker base.
Created by: ichabod801