Preview by the Author
The term dynamic chess is easier to understand intuitively than to explain rigorously. I will nevertheless try to highlight some of its typical aspects by drawing a generalized map of the material to follow.
According to classical postulates, a game starts with a long strategic phase in which both players are either trying to accumulate small positional gains, resulting into a definite advantage, or the opposite, trying to restrict the opponent's achievements. The third and less one-sided scenario is when both players succeed in gaining advantages, which may differ in nature (e.g. one player achieves superior piece activity while the other improves his pawn structure) or inboard location (players advancing on opposite wings).
But winning by static means alone is not always possible. If one of the players (or both of them) wants to get the full point, there usually comes a moment when all accumulated elements should be exploited in order to change the peaceful character of the game.
It is the kind of magic described in the introduction to the database on attacking, and both players have to be tactically accurate following the guidelines from the database on calculation.
Meanwhile, the games examined in the current database do not feature a proper combination, nor do they chase the king relentlessly, as was the case in the examples from the previous database.
The dynamic phase tends to have a global character, with piece and pawn tensions all over the board and with the enemy kings only as a possible collateral victim. It does not have the linear and logical course of a combination and it is hard to anticipate its end.
While the accurate calculation is useful, it is usually impossible to exhaust the position analytically, thus intuition and understanding play a very important role.
A moment of crucial importance is when dynamic fireworks come to an end. If played perfectly, the evaluations of the end position and the initial position (before the fireworks) should be the same. In practical games, however, this rarely happens since dynamic play offers the stronger player countless possibilities to outplay his opponent.
It is time to give a more concrete description of what we understand by "dynamic chess". I would distinguish between two basic elements.
1) The mutual structures, defined in previous phases and instrumental in players' planning, become suddenly mobile in a complex way. The active side could, for example, use his pawns to undermine the opponent's strongest points or to provoke chronical weaknesses.
2) The pieces that had previously been manoeuvring peacefully, start suddenly jumping around, imponderably, as if possessed by supernatural powers.
It all may sound like magic, but chess magic exists only in the eyes of the spectator. One needs perfect coordination to carry out such a plan, with all his pieces defending each other indirectly and with his pawns (separately or as a group) acting in perfect harmony with their stronger colleagues.
The natural question arises whether embarking on dynamic complications is a matter of taste or of objective necessity. I would say that while both are possible, the latter notion is closer to the spirit of chess as a science. Intuition is necessary not only during the entire dynamic phase but also in that precise moment when one decides to change the course of the game. The former notion refers to a subjective situation in which we ask ourselves: "Could I outplay my opponent dynamically without risking too much objectively?" While the latter begs the question: "Have I done everything right so far, Has my opponent gone wrong somewhere, Is the position ripe for it?"
The "must do" things during the positional phase are revealed by general understanding and, I will never get tired of using this word, by intuition.
I have chosen a brilliantly simple example to illustrate the critical steps in the preliminary phase before the direct clash.
In the current position, Black has won (possibly temporarily) a pawn, but the dynamic phase is just about to start. How should he best prepare for it?
Dynamic Pawn Play
Dynamic pawn play can take several forms. One that comes to mind is undermining the opponent's pawn fortress when one has the space advantage, another is undermining the opponent's stability and control when one has little space.
This topic is illustrated with 3 model games. Below, you can think for a while over the critical position in the first of the games.
Even if you spot White's next move quickly, please try to figure out a global pawn break plan.
Dynamic Piece Play
The most interesting situation regarding piece dynamism is when the seemingly solid enemy pawn chain is ineffective against the tension accumulated by the perfectly regrouped pieces.
The dynamic piece play is covered in 3 model games as well. Once again, I provide you with one of the critical positions.
Black has just played ...a5. Is there any dynamic danger for him?
Since intuition plays such an important role in the dynamic phase, the latter is prone to far more mistakes than any other phase, where one controls the outcome by rigorous calculation. The reverse of the medal is that dynamic complications allow for bigger risks so long as one trusts his imagination more than the opponent's cold-bloodedness.
Broadly speaking, there are two main categories of mistakes:
1) The player with material advantage misses the right moment to neutralize the opponent's initiative in dynamically chaotic positions;
2) When the player uses his intuition in deciding the right moment to start complications, he does not take into account all practical and abstract aspects of the position.
This topic is dealt with in 3 model games. Here is a test position:
The current position is typical for the first category. Try to find either of the winning moves for White.
Complicated Dynamic Games
We conclude the database with two games with long dynamic phases, characterized by the constant "dialogue" between attack and defence, based on principled moves combined with accurate planning and calculation, and with only a couple of totally understandable slips on the way. Because both players are consistent in sticking to their plan, a common characteristic of the dynamic phase is that the evaluation tends to change with every move, shifting from advantage for White to advantage for Black and vice versa.
In one of the commented games, we have the following position:
White to move. Can you predict the future course of the game?
In this section, you will find 30 interactive test positions which are organized in 5 subsections - Statics versus Dynamics, Dynamic Pawn Play, Dynamic Piece Play, Typical Mistakes, and Complicated Dynamic Games.
Below I provide you with 6 interactive tests concerning the Statics versus Dynamics section.