Monday 15 June 2009

The need for open files

The three rules of the opening are 1.Development 2. Central Control 3. King Safety. And yet even if we follow these rules, we can end up with sterile positions where neither side has any real play. Something therefore is missing.
According to GM Ian Rogers, it was CJS Purdy who stated that one of the aims of the opening was to "create open files". And based on my experience coaching juniors, this is the missing ingredient. A crash course in open files can sometimes turn an average student into quite a tricky player.
Of course some openings do not lend themselves to the rapid exchange of pawns (as in the game given 2 posts back), and players must either resign themselves to dull and drawish play, or else, take more radical steps. In the last round of the 2009 NSW Open Under 1600, Mario Palma was faced with exactly this choice. Although he had a couple of semi-open files to play with, his opponent had blocked them up. So he felt justified in sacrificing a piece to open up play on the queenside, and while it may not have been 'computer' sound, it did work in practice.

Cederic Koh (1530) - Mario Palma (1461) [C02]
NSW u1600 2009 Paramatta RSL (7), 08.06.2009

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 Bd7 7.Qb3 c4 8.Qxb6 axb6 9.Bc2 f5 10.Bf4 Nge7 11.Nbd2 Ng6 12.Bg3 Be7 13.0-0 0-0 14.h3 b5 15.a3 f4 16.Bh2 Nh4 17.Nxh4 Bxh4 18.Nf3 Be7 19.Kh1 Be8 20.g3 Bh5 21.g4 Bg6 22.Bxg6 hxg6 23.g5 Na5 24.Rae1 Nb3 25.Rg1 Rf7 26.Rd1 b6 27.Nh4 Kh7 28.f3(D) Bxa3 29.bxa3 Rxa3 30.Ng2 Na5 31.Rc1 Nb3 32.Rc2 b4 33.Nxf4 bxc3 34.Rxc3 Re7 35.Ne2 b5 36.Nc1 b4 37.Re3 Nxd4 38.Rxa3 bxa3 39.f4 Rb7 40.Na2 Rb2 41.Nc3 Ne2 42.Nxe2 Rxe2 43.Bg3 a2 44.Ra1 Rb2 45.Be1 d4 46.Kg1 d3 47.Bc3 Rc2 48.Bd4 d2 49.Be3 Rc1+ 50.Rxc1 dxc1Q+ 51.Bxc1 a1Q 0-1

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