Clear - Hold - Build

If you were in command of a small army and had the responsibility to take control of a town filled with insurgents how would you go about it?

To try to swarm in and try to fight all of them at one time would be foolhardy and a mistake in strategy and tactics.

You would first be wise to form a plan that would ensure success. Although there are many options as to how to go about choosing the best plan, the simplest ones are usually the ones that would be the ones most likely to succeed and have the greatest chance of success.

The percent of success you may have would most likely be tied in with how much thinking and planning you first put into it.

A simple plan might be to just take a look at the town and see where the least resistance is. In other words look for a weakness or imbalance in their defenses just like we say we should do in opening chess play. If there are none we may see if we can create one.

Our choices are the West side, the middle and the East side of town. After looking over those choices we think the South West corner is the weakest and gives us the best chance to gain a tiny foot hold. We surly could establish a small group there to build on for latter reinforcements.

Steinitz wrote that it is better to attack on that part of the board you are stronger than your opponent. Which means that your opponent is weaker on that side of the board.

Here is our three point plan for success.

Clear an area for our forces.
To clear an area we need to develop and mobilize some troops in that area to effect a change in that position to gain an advantage over our opponent. We can do that because of the weakness in that it was not guarded very well, the imbalance we either created or existed. So now we are successful in establishing an outpost within a weak area that was not guarded well by clearing out a few insurgents.

Hold the area for our forces.
Next we are going to ensure that our outpost is not taken back by the enemy by firmly reinforcing it with a energetic and systematic application of prophylactic measures applied both externally and internally. We will over protect it and thus we will hold it to give us time to bring in reinforcements.

Build on that area and bring in reinforcements.
We are going to use that position to give us an accumulation of small advantages that in time will be of much greater importance to our present position by now bringing in reinforcements and furthering our grip and strengthening our position. Soon if we are allowed to do this we will have an unstoppable force in perusing further advancements into other weakening areas and soon if we continue on in this manner the whole dam town will be ours!

The Examples.
The main attacking objects are pawn weaknesses. Remember that most imbalances are cause by pawn moves that create pawn weaknesses to exploit.

Whenever a pawn-formation is broken in two, a frequent consequence is that there are two minorities on different sides, each confronting an enemy majority.

If a small unit of pawns, usually two of them, is launched against a larger pawn-structure they may weaken it and open up files or diagonals for pieces to use and thus create a imbalance or weakness to exploit.

Note that this plan is very important to understand, and situations for its use constantly arise.

In our example in the page, The Minority Attack; The Minority Attack Plan 1; we see that by the b5 pawn taking the c6 pawn (14.bxc6) a open file has been created. A weak pawn on c6 has been created. A weak square on c5 has been created and we have moved the greater part of our army to the Queen side to put pressure on it.

How did we accomplish all this?

Here you can see a good example of Clear, Hold and Build.

We first CLEARED a path for our rooks by opening the b file with a pawn attack against the c6 pawn. Next we reinforced that area to HOLD it by bringing in our two rooks and Knight. And finally we will BUILD a strong force against the queenside weaknesses and attack the weak pawn on c6 with the aid of our Queen.

That was quite a lot of advantages to accomplish by simply taking a pawn (14.bxc6) was it not?

Although our examples are using the Minority Attack to show how our plan can work, the clear - hold - build plan can work just as well on any position where you either find a weakness or create one because we are using a sound tactical plan of great strategically strength.

Let us now go to our page The Minority Attack and look at the examples.

Go to The Minority Attack

And then go to The Carlsbad Variation, Attack at the Flank.

Note the example Attack on the weak c6-pawn the attack on c6. with two rooks and a Queen. When you triple on an open file with two Rooks and a Queen which takes up the rear, it is called Alekhine's Gun. Two rooks and the Queen in the center all aligned In a row attacking the c6 pawn can be similarly effective.

In the exchange on C6: 1. bxc6 bxc6, this move starts our CLEAR operations with the pawn minority attack.

The goal of the minority attack is to create a weak black pawn on c6 by advancing White's b-pawn, followed by a full-scale attack against that weakness.

When b4-b5 is about to be played, it is important for White to prevent the possible response c6-c5. To that purpose we need good control of the c-file, especially the c5-square. The most frequent method is the doubling of rooks along the c-file and using heavy artillery attacking the c-pawn with rooks and a Queen as in the use of Alekhine's Gun. Using good control at this point to hold the c pawn in place is our HOLD operations to hold the c6 pawn in place.

Next we now can BUILD, Very typical is a knight transfer to that outpost square on c5 using typical routes shown in the examples. And then next we can take seizure of the b-file in order to invade along the 7 th or 6 th rank to attack Black's weaknesses. As it is most difficult for Black to defend two weaknesses at once, usually one of the vulnerable pawns eventually falls.

After removing the c6-Pawn we can put pressure against the d5-Pawn. Soon the whole Queen side is occupied by Whites pieces as we concentrate on our third part of our plan build and next the planed invasion is complete.

Here are a few examples of the MINORITY ATTACK in its pure form using our plan of, CLEAR, HOLD and BUILD.

1. Timman - Andersson
2. Knechtel - Juettner
3. Cruz - Chemes
4. Zielinska - Bednarska