Understanding before Moving 62: Light-square strategy (2)

by ChessBase
1/16/2022 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 62nd instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues to look at examples of light-square strategy. | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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Strategy is best learned from the best chess players in the world. To get better, it is often recommended to study games of Grandmasters to find out how strong players think during a game.

In the former Soviet Union, studying games of World Champions was more or less "obligatory". For example, we know that Mikhail Botvinnik played many games in which strategic concepts were clearly presented and quite a few fragments from his games have found their way into textbooks.

For instance, I came across a game in which the black player exchanged his light-squared bishop for a knight in the opening and later had to fight against the bishop pair later in the game. More importantly, however, the black player lost control of the light squares and when he buried his own bishop more or less alive, he got into serious trouble.

In the position below, can you discover how Botvinnik, who was playing with White, managed to increase the power of his light-squared bishop? Work out a few variants to support your idea.


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