The Squeeze

Every win brings us joy! Some of us are delighted by crushing our opponents with sacrifices and tactical shots, but others, like me, like to squeeze.

A squeeze is a way of exploiting a bind by gradually building up pressure on the opponent’s position. As new threats are created the opponent’s pieces are too overworked and passive to be able to cope with them all.

The key to this process is to deprive the opponent of counter play and then attack different targets which become impossible to defend simultaneously. The skill to do this can’t be achieved by just solving puzzles, instead it’s better to study the games of masters like Jose Raul Capablanca, Tigran Petrosian, Vladimir Kramnik and the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen. When you see how it’s done enough you should be able to mimic their approach.

Here are a couple of examples:

Game 1: Capablanca against Ragozin in 1935

In this game Capablanca played all over the board. First he gets space by playing 10. d5 and then slowly spreads his influence to both wings. Finally he attacks the opponent’s king whilst his own king was quite safer in the middle of the board. Really an interesting gem!

Game 2: Petrosian against Fischer in 1959

In this game Petrosian first breaks Black’s queenside starting with 17. c6. Fischer tries for counter play on the kingside but there was never really much hope. The rest is a matter of Petrosian’s python technique.

Ashvin Chauhan