Hello chesskids! Today we will be learning how to use a temporary advantage to make strategic gains. Although we all want to own the center and have an advantage in development, sometimes it is not possible to have both -- at first. It is difficult for many chessplayers to see how their temporary advantages can be transformed into something long-term. To better use an advantage in development, focus on
1. Acting quickly,
2. Neutralizing the opponent's strengths, and
3. Activating your pieces.
When you have a short-term advantage like development, it is important to hurry because it will disappear quickly by its nature. The best thing to try to do before the opponent develops is to eliminate any static advantages the opponent has.
This will allow you to fight on at least equal ground in the middle game. If you can do this and maintain the initiative, the next thing to do is to maneuver your already developed pieces to more active positions. Often, the opponent will not be able to organize his/her army in time to prevent your lethal maneuvers. The following game demonstrates these concepts:
This was one of the most exciting games I played in the tournament because the roles kept reversing. Throughout the game, both players had to try to act quickly before the opponent could solidify his static advantage. My moves Nb6 and d3 showed that I was unwilling to trade pieces when I needed extra time, even if was a rook for a bishop. My move f5 destroyed my opponent's center, eliminating his main advantage. Likewise, my opponent's move d5 prevented me from slowly focusing my pieces on his d4 pawn.
However, the critical moment came when my opponent captured on b7 with the bishop. My opponent needed to understand that he had a static advantage in the form of the passed a-pawn and it is important to eliminate the opponent's dynamic counterplay in those situations. My opponent did not, and I was able to rush my d-pawn to the queening square with the trick f4, ensuring my victory. The key idea to take from this game is that you must act quickly when your opponent has a static advantage. One slow move could be your end, as it was for my opponent in this game.
Good Luck Counterattacking!