Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


The Knight

Posted by Paul Anderson on June 14, 2017 at 9:15 PM

Game Of The Week

Name: Knight

Alias: Horse, Jumper, Rider, Horseman

Number: 2

Starting Square: 1st rank, B and G files

Motto: “We are Better Guards!”

Move: One straight, one diagonally

Capture: One straight, one diagonally

Speed: Medium

Special Ability: None

Material Value: 3

Mobility Preference: Outposts

Spiritual Value: Joy

Song: Joy To The World, Three Dog Night

Verse: Joel 2:4-5 (KJV)

The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

My horses leap for joy and I will give thanks to them in song.  The Knights are the happiest of pieces because they are free.  They jump over any obstacle in their way and are not tied to the same color.  They start fenced in by the rook and bishop but are free to jump into battle immediately.  While the other pieces only move across open ground, the knights will always leap for joy.

Since he cannot move onto the same color, he will switch colors with every move.  He combines a rook move with a bishop move.  He can capture any enemy piece that comes too close while remaining safe from him.  He circles the wagons in defense.  However, he makes sure not to go too far too fast.

The Knight will take on any mission.  He will defend the king, he will lay down his life, and he will capture his King's enemies.  But most importantly, he will serve the King by guarding the castle or an outpost.  How will you use the Knight?  You will have to play to find out!

Here is a position from my game with NM Buck Buchanan, where I chose to use the two Knights versus the Bishop Pair and get the win against a master:

Buchanan,Buck (2004) - Anderson,Paul (1952) [A42]

Al Ufer Memorial Colorado Springs (4.2), 03.01.2009

1.d4 c6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 Bg4

Buck has decided to follow the conventional wisdom and bring out his Knights first.  Being the rebel that I am, I have gone the other way and employ the Bishops first.

I have added these principles to the law: get the Knights into action before both Bishops are developed.

(Emanuel Lasker)

6.Be2 Bxf3 7.Bxf3 Qb6 8.d5 Qb4 9.Qb3 Qxb3 10.axb3 Nd7 11.Be3 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 c5 13.0–0 Ngf6 14.g3 0–0 15.Bg2 Rfb8 16.f4 b5 17.Rfb1 bxc4 18.bxc4 Rxb1+ 19.Rxb1 Nb6 20.e5 Ng4

When the Queens are traded, I choose to create a weakness in the Pawn Structure and battle it out with Knights vs Bishops.  Of course, the Bishop Pair is going to be the faster army.  However, I am hopeful that I can keep most of the Pawns on the board and minimize the Bishops’ activity.  A chess position where a lot of Pawns remain on the board and the Mobility of the Rooks and Bishops is inhibited is called a Closed Position.  The Knights are often more beneficial in Closed Positions as they can jump over the Pawn obstacles.

21.Bc1 Nxc4 22.h3 Nge3 23.Bf3 Nf5 24.g4 Ng7 25.Rb7 Kf8 26.Rb1 f5 27.Be2 Nb6 28.Bb5

I am pretty sure that Buck didn’t mind giving up one of his Doubled Pawns since it gave more space to his Light-squared Bishop.  However, in his rush to activate his Minor Pieces, he missed the counter-play the Knight has after trying to set up an Overload tactic.

28…Nxd5 29.Bc6 Nxc3 30.Rb2 Rc8 31.Bd7 Rd8 32.e6 Nd5 33.Bd2 Nb6 34.Ba5 Rb8 35.Kf1 fxg4 36.hxg4 h5 37.Kg1 hxg4 38.Rh2 Nh5 39.f5 Kg7 40.Bc3+ Nf6 41.Bc6 gxf5 42.Rf2 Kg6 43.Ra2 Nbd5 44.Ba1

Black to move

See the diagram and answer here:

Despite having the faster army, Buck can’t find anywhere to do some damage, with the Knights and Pawns holding down the fort.  Now, time is becoming a factor.  The unusual move pattern of the Knights can be a tricky problem to solve for even the most experienced players with the clock ticking down.

In blitz, the Knight is stronger than the Bishop.

(Vlastimil Hort)

44…Rb6 45.Bd7 a6 0–1

We both missed the Knight’s patented move, The Fork (44…Nb4!).  The Knight creates an Overload by attacking both the Rook and Bishop.  White cannot defend both pieces as the Knight also covers Ra6.

The Knight Fork is possibly the first tactic most players learn.  Typically, the Fork occurs when the Knight can move forward towards two pieces and take one path to capture one piece and take a different path to capture the other one.   However, it is possible for the Knight to fork 8 different pieces!

When the Knight forks the King and Queen, it is called a Royal Fork.  When the Knight forks the King, Queen, and a Rook it is called a Family Fork.

The Knight

[Event "Al Ufer Memorial"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2009.01.03"]

[Round "4.2"]

[White "Buchanan, Buck"]

[Black "Anderson, Paul"]

[Result "0-1"]

[ECO "A42"]

[WhiteElo "2004"]

[BlackElo "1952"]

[PlyCount "90"]

[EventDate "2008.01.05"]

[TimeControl "3600"]

1. d4 c6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nc3 Bg4 6.

Be2 Bxf3 7. Bxf3 Qb6 8. d5 Qb4 9. Qb3 Qxb3 10. axb3 Nd7 11. Be3 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3

c5 13. O-O Ngf6 14. g3 O-O 15. Bg2 Rfb8 16. f4 b5 17. Rfb1 bxc4 18. bxc4 Rxb1+

19. Rxb1 Nb6 20. e5 Ng4 21. Bc1 Nxc4 22. h3 Nge3 23. Bf3 Nf5 24. g4 Ng7 25. Rb7

Kf8 26. Rb1 f5 27. Be2 Nb6 28. Bb5 Nxd5 29. Bc6 Nxc3 30. Rb2 Rc8 31. Bd7 Rd8

32. e6 Nd5 33. Bd2 Nb6 34. Ba5 Rb8 35. Kf1 fxg4 36. hxg4 h5 37. Kg1 hxg4 38.

Rh2 Nh5 39. f5 Kg7 40. Bc3+ Nf6 41. Bc6 gxf5 42. Rf2 Kg6 43. Ra2 Nbd5 44. Ba1

Rb6 45. Bd7 a6 0-1

This Week In Chess

On June 6th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club started the June Swiss 90 (5SS, G/90+30).

Standings. JuneSwiss90

# Name Rtng Rd 1 Tot Prize

1 Paul D Anderson 2008 W7 1.0

2 Peter Barlay 1957 W9 1.0

3 Aleksand Bozhenov 1914 W8 1.0

4 Calvin P Dejong 1900 W10 1.0

5 Mark McGough 1859 W11 1.0

6 Brian Jo Rountree 1767 W12 1.0

7 Michael Smith II 1545 L1 0.0

8 Alemayeh Mekonnen 1478 L3 0.0

9 Dean W Brown 1469 L2 0.0

10 Scott Ch Williams 1282 L4 0.0

11 Clinton D Eads 1180 L5 0.0

12 Daniel J Rupp 993 L6 0.0

Categories: 2017

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1 Comment

Reply Andy Rea
8:16 PM on June 19, 2017 
Paul, good job, even with the benefit of four extra pawns! Which of course did
not happen by accident... in any event, if you are to go way back in the archives of
COlorado CHess Informatn, you will find an article I wrote about 2 Kts vs 2 Bs,
highlighted by a game drawn by Mihai Suba against Garry Kasparov where Kasparov was the
one struggling for equality despite the B pair. Of course more famous yet is from Bent
Larsen against Bobby Fischer at Santa Monica, I believe 1966 but could have been the
earlier edition- anyway, Larsen drew with the Kt pair and then commented tersely
afterward that of course he knew how to play such endings! Sincerely, Andy