Open Files

Conquering the open file

Doubling Rooks & opening the position

1. ♖g3!

1. gxf6? gxf6 2. ♖g6 ♖xg6 3. fxg6 ♖g8 4. ♖g1 ♔c7 White lost his advantage and must play actively on the queenside so as not to lose his passed g-pawn.

1... ♔c7 2. ♖ag1 by doubling rooks White easily wins the open file and can convert his advantage by penetrating to the 7th rank.

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Interposing & doubling rooks

24. ♗a7 Interposing!

24... ♘e8 25. ♗c2 ♘c7 26. ♖ea1±

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Creating an outpost & doubling rooks

1. ♖xf8!

1. h6 Giving black an inconvenient choice by getting an outpost for the rook on f6 or a target on h7. 1... g6 ( 1... ♖xf2 probably gives little more resistance.) 2. ♖f6! White can double rooks and force black to take on f6. Afterward he can increase the pressure with Ne5 or f7 and Nf6 and it's difficult to see how Black will stop the passed f-pawn or avoid losing material.

1... ♖xf8 2. h6 g6 3. ♘f6 ♖h8 4. c4! Creating a second front and activating his rook, while Black's rook is stuck in the corner.

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Eliminate the defender by chasing

1. ♗a5!

1. ♗d4+ leads to same position.

1... ♖xd1 2. ♗b6+! A very important intermediate move to tie down the black position.

2... ♔b8 3. ♖xd1 c5 4. ♖d7 ♘f5 5. ♔f3! It's still not too late to make a mistake. First White needs to prevent the knight from becoming active, and after that Black's position is lost.

5. ♖xf7? ♘e3+ 6. ♔f3 ♘xc4 with counterplay.

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Conquering open file using an outpost: Practical example

24. b4! Creating tension with two aims: conquering the open file and entering the 7th rank.

24. ♗b5 ♔f8 25. ♗d7 ♖c7 26. ♗e6 ♔e7 Pieces occupying strong squares need the help of other pieces to demonstrate their true power.

24... cxb4 25. axb4 a6 There are four ways to conquer the open file: by doubling rooks, using an outpost, interposing a piece and doubling rooks or chasing / luring away the defender.

26. ♖c5 White must choose correctly how to use the outpost. Black can't take, because it gives White two strong pawns!

26. ♗c4 Interposing is weaker, because of 26... ♔f8 27. d6 ♖d8 and Black can hold on.

26. d6 Trying to eliminate the defender, but Black simply plays 26... ♖d8 and White only has a little compensation.

26... ♔f8 27. ♖ac1 ♖d8 28. ♖c7 A permanent post on the 7th rank.

28... ♖ab8 29. h3 ♗h5 30. b5!

30. g4 ♗e8

30... axb5 31. ♗xb5 ♗f7 32. ♔c3! Using all forces to tie Black down on the back rank!

32... g6 33. g4 gxf5 This is a very bad idea; White gets his second weakness which decide the game quickly.

34. gxf5 ♗xd5 35. exd5 ♖xd5 36. ♗c4 ♖d4 37. ♖g1 An instructive example of how to conquer an open file!

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