Playing Dynamically

DynamicEveryone says they would like to play dynamically in chess, but what does this really mean? The dictionary definition of “dynamic” is “pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic.” So we can relate this to certain chess positions when they are fluid, constantly changing and not always static.

There are three factors of a dynamic position that we are going to focus on in this article: Piece interactiondevelopment, and initiative. Piece interaction means who has the better placed pieces, whose pieces have more or better open lines and how active our pieces are. Development means which side has more pieces involved in the game and who has castled or not castled. And finally, the initiative means who is responding to the opponent’s threats. The side with the initiative is calling the shots! Their opponent is playing passively and constantly on the defensive, having to react to the opponent’s moves. Players with the initiative dictate the course of the game.

I learned a lot about playing dynamically by watching the “How Grandmasters Attack” DVD by GM Daniel Naroditsky and would highly recommend it if you want to learn more about the topic!

Let’s look at a game that has dynamic positions and see how one side outplays the other side and wins the game quickly:

Screen Shot 2015 01 13 at 10.04.47 PMIn the position to the right, we have the makings of a dynamic position. Development is slightly in Black’s favor (due to him being castled already) and he has the initiative as well, because White has to respond to his …Qb4+.

White decided to sacrifice a pawn in order to get all the dynamic factors in his favor with the series of moves 1.Nd2 Nxd2 2.Bxd2 Qxb2. Black is up a pawn now, but his queen will be chased around the board a bit with the move 3.Bc3. He retreated with 3…Qa3 and White charged forward with 4.d5! continuing his use of the initiative.

Black is forced into defense again. 4…exd5 5.cxd5 Nb4 6.Qd2 a5 7.0-0.

Now consider the resulting position. Black is up one pawn, but White has all of the advantages in this position. His two bishops will be used well in the open position, he has more space in the center, he is better developed and Black’s queen and knight are offside, easily attacked. White finished the game off quickly with a nice tactic: 7…d6? 8.Bb2! Qa4 9.Qd4 f6 10.a3! 1-0

So, we see in this example that White took a firm grip on the initiative as soon as Black thought he was winning free material. White pushed back his opponent, used his better development, control of the center and better pieces to defeat Black quickly. This shows the importance of understanding how to play in these dynamic positions!

“GM Crushing Attacks” – GM Maxim Dlugy
“Attacking with Forcing Moves” – GM Damian Lemos
“How Grandmasters Attack” – GM Daniel Naroditsky

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