Friday 7 January 2022

And White has a freer game

 "And White has a freer game" is one of those chess annotations I have never particularly understood. I've always thought it was just something annotators wrote when they felt like they had to add a comment, in a similar vain to "chances for both sides" or "compensation for the pawn". 

Based on some recent reading I've decided it is a more confusing way of simply saying, "White has more space". And advantage in space usually confers greater mobility, allowing the player more control over where the pieces go. 

As an example (from one of the older books I was looking at), here is a quick win for Tarrasch over Meises in their 1916 match.  After White's move 9, Reinfeld remarks "Whites game is noticeably freer". Tarrasch won the match 9-4 (+7-2=4), although it may have been played with fixed openings, as Mieses always played the Scotch as White, and the French as Black.

Tarrasch,Siegbert - Mieses,Jacques [C10]
Match Tarrasch-Mieses +7-2=4 Berlin (3), 13.09.1916

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