Understand the Space Advantage
We are happy to present the newest course by IM Boroljub Zlatanovic - Understand the Space Advantage. Space is a subtle concept that many less experienced players tend to underestimate. Therefore, the subtle understanding provided by this course will help you win many games!
The course is divided into two sections: Space Advantage in the Endgame and Space Advantage in the Middlegame. Each section contains 20 carefully curated model examples and 5 practical exercises to solidify your understanding and enhance your strategic intuition. It goes without saying that all the exercises come with annotated solutions.
Preview by the Author
It is clear that space can be gained by advancing pawns. However, this doesn't mean every advance is beneficial. Remember, pawns cannot be moved back - think twice before any advance. In fact, every advance tends to weaken certain squares, to varying degrees.
The ultimate objectives of advances are clear: in the endgame, it is to promote; in the opening and middlegame, it's generally to secure comfortable spots for pieces (usually behind pawns), and to push back and restrict the opponent's pieces. This should induce disarray in the opponent's ranks. Note, gaining space may not hit its intended target if the opponent still has enough room to regroup. Additionally, all advanced pawns risk losing support in the endgame, potentially becoming easy targets for the opponent's pieces and king. Evidently, you must find balance and predict whether an advance might be beneficial or risky. While this might seem challenging, this course will help broaden your horizons and offer new perspectives on advancing. Keep in mind, more space doesn't necessarily guarantee a space advantage.
Now, let's consider having a space advantage. Generally, my advice is this: a space advantage that restricts the opponent can be more easily converted if you continue to constrain them further. More space (making the space advantage even more pronounced) affords opportunities on both flanks due to better "communication lines". It's good practice to strive to play on both wings simultaneously; eventually, the opponent's defence should crumble.
Space Advantage in the Endgame
Space advantage is rarely a factor in the endgame - with fewer pieces on the board, you can regroup easily even with limited space. Thus, we should also focus on positions with "more space on our side". How to deal with it? Insist on further restricting the opponent's pieces and try to play on both wings. Better communication lines will help you to launch various attacks in different directions faster than your opponent can defend. This strategy just tends to work. You will repeatedly uncover new insights about this throughout the course.
Space Advantage in the Middlegame
Contrary to the endgame, attacking on both wings with a space advantage in the middlegame isn't the primary advice, nor is it as easy to implement. However, there are more chances that gaining space will result in a space advantage. Another crucial piece of advice is to avoid exchanges! With limited space, the opponent's pieces may obstruct each other. Try to exploit such disharmony and do not aid them in resolving it. The opponent's pieces will be disadvantaged while yours will be superior; now it's clear why avoiding exchanges is recommended. Base your play here on further restricting the opponent.
This course comes with a Video Version (2h and 40 min Running Time), allowing you to learn in a format that suits you best. Whether you're a beginner looking to improve your strategic play or an advanced player seeking to refine your understanding of positional advantages, this course is a valuable addition to your chess learning journey.
About the Author
International Master Boroljub Zlatanovic is a dedicated chess professional hailing from Serbia. With over 15 years of experience in chess coaching, Zlatanovic has guided his students to exceptional performances in Youth and Junior Championships.
Whether you're aiming to enhance your endgame skills—from basics to complex scenarios—sharpen your middlegame strategies, tactics, and understanding of typical positions, or broaden and deepen your knowledge of opening repertoire, IM Zlatanovic's guidance will prove invaluable.