Building a ‘stronghold’

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A lot of openings aim to occupy and control the centre of the board straight away, delaying castling for a short while. The purpose of this opening is:  FIRST  make your king safe; THEN  plan your attack. The idea is that once you have built a secure and well-defended stronghold for your king, who will be safely tucked away after castling and well defended with a knight, a bishop and three pawns, you no longer have to worry too much about him, and can then get on with the job of attacking the enemy. This opening is called the ‘Barcza’ opening, named after the Hungarian grandmaster Barcza.

The bishop with a pawn on either side and a pawn in front is called a ‘fianchetto and is commonly used as a line of both defence and attack.

White or black or both can open by building a ‘stronghold’:

CHESS BOARDExample 1:  White and Black
both build a ‘stronghold’

 

White

Black

1.

Nf3

Nf6

2.

Pg3

Pg6

3.

Bg2

Bg7

4.

0 - 0

0 - 0

 

 

 

(Note: even if you don’t open by building a stronghold straight away, you can still build it later on. But the longer you leave it, the greater the risk to your king.)

chess board

Example 2:  White builds a ‘stronghold’;
Black occupies the centre

 

White

Black

1.

Nf3

Pd5

2.

Pg3

Nf6

3.

Bg2

Bf5 or Bg4

4.

0 - 0

 

 


(In this example, Black’s moves are part of what’s called the ‘London Defence’)