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Modern Ideas in Chess by Richard Rèti

12. Tarrasch - Schlechter

In order to satisfy ourselves that White, thanks to the pawn formation (White Pawn at e4 and Black Pawn at d6) has the freer game I shall now contrast the respective developing possibilities of White and Black’s pieces.

  1. Rooks. The White Rooks can be developed on the Queen and King files: whilst for the Black Rooks only the Bishop’s files are available.
  2. Bishops. Whilst the White Bishops are freely mobile, Black’s Pawn at d6 is a block to the Bishop at e7.
  3. Knights. The Knights are short-stepping pieces: therefore in order that they may be effective they cannot remain behind like Rooks and Bishops but must seek advanced posts, and they can only assert themselves there if they be protected. Therefore the destination of the Knights, which is most worth trying to obtain, is the most advanced squares within the protection of their own pawns. In the position now arrived at in this game, the most advanced squares would be for White d5 and f5 and for Black c5 e e5. We see thus that White has the prospect of posting his Knights permanently on the fifth and Black, on the contrary, only on the fourth. Therefore White’s Knight can take part more energetically than can Black’s in an attack directed against a castled King.

These positional disadvantages could only be overcome by Black if he succeded in getting rid of the pawn at e4 by means of d5 or f5.