Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Anti-Knight Technique (HTRYC 3rd)

The correct technique for battling knights: if you take away all their advanced support points, the knights will be ineffective and the bishops will have an excellent chance of winning out.  Because of this, you must make some decisions before you trade off into a B v. N position.  Ask yourself the following questions whenever you face the possibility of creating this type of imbalance:

  1. Is the position open or closed?  If it's closed I may prefer to own the knights.  If it's open the bishops may be a good bet.
  2. Will there be support points available for his knights.  If there are, then other questions arise:
    • can his knights get to them?
    • if the knights do get to these squares, does it matter?  in other words, if his support point is on the queenside but all the play is taking place on the kingside then you would actually encourage him to stick hi knight on that far away post!
    • can the bishops reach similar or superior squares?
Be sure to answer these questions before the trade.


  1. Is this your first time through Reassess Your Chess? That was actually the first real chess book I read, and even today I have a lot of fond memories of it. Positional chess is explained within!

  2. Yeah - first time through HTRYC. I've had the 3rd edition around for a while ... and then the 4th edition came out and everyone was saying really good things about it - how it was so much better than the 3rd ed. So I decided I needed to quickly go through the 3rd and then really take my time with the 4th.

    I've discovered Silman likes to use lists. I figured it'd be a good idea to write these down so I can quickly come back to them for future reference. That's why I'm posting the lists as I go.