Improve Your Play in Closed Positions

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Overview

Improve Your Play In Closed PositionsImprove Your Play in Closed Positions

The workshop dedicated to make you a master of closed positions has arrived!

Improve Your Play In Closed Positions

6+ Hours of high-level training provides you with the following benefits:

✅ A better understanding of closed positions

✅ In-depth insights of the typical attacking and tactical ideas in closed positions

✅ Complete understanding of the plans

✅ A better understanding of prophylaxis and schematic Thinking

Long-Term Planning in Closed Endgames – GM Grigor Grigorov

In this lecture, GM Grigor Grigorov explains the different winning strategies in closed endgames. In the introduction to the lecture, he states, “The understanding of the closed endgames is very important for your general chess understanding. One cannot easily analyze this kind of endgames. Even computers often fail to understand the subtleties of these positions. The reason is that the general understanding, as well as the ability to think in schemes, are more important than the calculation of forced lines. There are two main ways to win in a closed endgame – create a connected passed pawn (or just a strong passed pawn) by sacrificing material or invade the camp of your opponent with pieces. We can say that all the long-term plans in closed endgames are based on one of these two ideas. In order to achieve these long-term goals, we should use many short-term tools. In closed endgames, such tools are schematic thinking, prophylactic thinking, manoeuvre, exchange, pawn break, the principle of the weaknesses, and fixing the weaknesses of our opponent.”

Tactical and Positional Sacrifices in Closed Positions – GM Boris Avrukh

The ability to carry out the right sacrifice (positional or tactical) is critical for the improvement of your play in closed positions.

Many young students do not feel comfortable when playing closed positions. The explanation is logical. The precise handling of these positions is based on a deep understanding which comes with the experience. One cannot master closed positions only by working with the computer.
The lecture will deal with the tactical and positional sacrifices in closed positions. Before diving into the examples, we need to answer a relatively simple question: Why we sacrifice material in closed positions?

There are three main types of sacrifices in closed structures:
1) sacrifice a piece, an exchange, or a pawn in order to open files, diagonals, and squares for our pieces
2) sacrifice a piece, an exchange, or a pawn in order to create connected passed pawns
3) sacrifice a piece, an exchange, or a pawn in order to destroy the shelter of our opponent’s king.
In the examples, we are going to witness all these three types of sacrifices.
Additionally, since closed structures might arise out of many openings, my examples feature different opening lines.

Test Position

Improve Your Play In Closed Positions

How should White handle this position?

Attacks on Opposite Wings in Closed Positions – GM Mihail Marin

Very often when the centre is closed, one of the sides has a space advantage on the kingside and the other on the queenside.

According to Mihail Marin, there are 3 important factors to have in mind when we have an attack on opposite wings:

1) Speed – Of course it is crucial who will succeed first with his attack

2) Space – In this case, we refer to the number of available verticals that each side has at its disposal

3) King’s position – The rule here is that it is much easier to attack on the side where your opponent king is. This is also a psychological factor – it is always more difficult to defend than to attack.

Very often when the centre is closed, one of the sides has a space advantage on the kingside and the other on the queenside.

Test Position

Improve Your Play In Closed Positions

How should White defend this position?

Prophylaxis and Schematic Thinking in Closed Positions – GM Petar Arnaudov

In the current lecture, GM Petar Arnaudov refers to probably the most important abilities that one needs when playing a closed position – prophylactic and schematic thinking.

In the PGN version of his lecture, GM Arnaudov makes the following introduction to the topic:

I will try to give you a short explanation of what prophylactic thinking means: This is the ability to recognize and prevent your opponent’s plans, maneuvres, and ideas. Schematic thinking is the ability to visualize where the pieces belong and how they could work optimally together. There are a few important concepts that you will see in those examples:

1. When the centre is closed we should try to gain a space advantage on the wing.

2. We should play on the wing where we have a space advantage

3. When we get a space advantage on one wing, we should try to close the other one to avoid any counterplay of the opponent.

4. We should always look for our opponent’s plan and try to prevent it

5. When our opponent has no counterplay, we should not hurry but simply improve our position to the maximum trying to find the best squares for our pieces (schematic thinking) and open the position.

6. When our opponent has a weakness (a few weaknesses) we should think about how we can regroup our pieces and attack them.


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Running Time

6 hours 15 minutes

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Chapter List

Chapter 1 – Long-Term Planning in Closed Endgames – GM Grigor Grigorov

Chapter 2 – Tactical and Positional Sacrifices in Closed Positions – GM Boris Avrukh

Chapter 3 – Attacks on Opposite Wings in Closed Positions – GM Mihail Marin

Chapter 4 – Prophylaxis and Schematic Thinking in Closed Positions – GM Petar Arnaudov