A weakness could be a square from where you or your opponent can land your pieces for various operations, or it could be a weak piece or pawn which is difficult to defend. As a consequence, you can often force your opponent to provoke second weakness.
A weakness is not weakness until you can exploit it. When attacking weakness, the weaker side is normally forced to take some passive position, and the stronger side will have more active pieces and greater mobility and can attack on the other side. As a result your opponent has to create some other weakness.
A passive position is difficult to hold in practice.
Some points to remember when exploiting weaknesses:
- Exchange pieces which protect the weakness
- Provoke weakness in pawn structure (a long term advantage)
- Avoid counter play (Prophylaxis)
It is understandable that if your opponent has a weakness, you can create second one but how to create the first one? The answer is simple:
“Look for small improvement or tiny advantages rather than big ones”.
It has been seen that normally amateurs/beginners tend to look for material advantage or some significant advantage and often fails to grab the tiny advantage which are already offered by the position.
Following game was played between Kotov (White) and Ragozin (Black) where White demonstrated the skill of using a weakness and provoking second weakness on king-side.