Understanding before Moving 64: The power of the diagonal

by ChessBase
1/30/2022 – 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 64th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman talks about the "power of the diagonal". | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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In the previous shows we have already talked about the "elements of Steinitz". One of those elements is the diagonal. If a  player put his bishop on an open diagonal and his pieces help to increase the power of this bishop, it can lead to a significant strategic advantage.

Obtaining such an advantage is an art in itself, and exploiting such advantages also requires the insight and experience. Nevertheless, it is useful for club chess players to take note of  these kinds of strategic techniques.

In Episode 44 I showed that having opposite-coloured bishops in the middlegame sometimes lead to an irresistible attack. The principle is fairly simple. If a bishop does not have an "opponent" of the same colour, that bishop can become incredibly strong.

In the diagram position, White made a remarkable decision. Do you see - with the above in mind - what  decision he made and how he proceeded afterwards?


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