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Written by Yury Markushin
Monday, 16 June 2014 00:00

Today we will talk about the evaluation of positions in chess by using two different approaches: a Classical method that has been tested a lot and a totally new one, so-called Chuzhakin System. This system was developed by a Russian chess player Evgeny Chuzhakin. We will try to figure out which approach is superior and why.

First we will analyze the following position by using a Classical approach. One of the most common outlines used for a position analysis consists of 4 criteria:

1. King Safety – the difference of positions of the Kings. If one King is relatively safe in respect to the other one he gets a value from +1 to +2 points. We don’t take into account positions where a forced mate exists.

2. Material on the board - standard numeric values for the pawns and pieces can be used here. So, Pawn = 1 point, Bishop = 3 point, Knight = 3 points, Rook = 5 points, Queen = 9 points, King is assigned to 3.5 points in the endgame

3. Activity of the pieces - defined as the difference of activity between your piece and similar piece in the opponent’s camp (example Knight vs. Knight, Rook vs. Rook and Queen vs. Queen, etc.) Maximum difference in activity will be 1.5 points or 1.5 pawns.

4. Pawn Structure – control of important squares (center) by pawns, weak pawns, strong pawns, isolated pawns past pawns can give maximum advantage of 2 points.  Of course we don’t take into account extreme cases where pawn can checkmate or promote to a Queen.

White to move

## Let’s evaluate the position above using the Classical Method:

1. King safety – Both Kings have castled and it seems like there is no immediate danger

2. Material – Black has an extra pawn (f6) on the King’s side. Therefore, we assign a score of -1 due to that fact.

3. Piece activity – White’s rooks on a1 and f6 are about equal to Black’s rooks on a8 and e8. One pair of the rooks is not participating in the game just yet (a1 and a8), while the rook on e8 controls an open e-file and the rook on f3 controls a semi-open f-file.  Activity of the queens is about equal. The d3 bishop is attacking the h8 square while the c5 bishop controls an important a6-f1 diagonal, so they are about equal as well. The knight on e2 is a little passive compared to its counterpart on f6.

The bishop on f4 is also more passive, than a well centralized knight on e5, which at the same time threatens both the f6 rook and the d3 bishop. However, that fact may be neglected since the bishop can be exchanged by a knight via Bxe5.

4.The pawn structure is about the same, if not taking into account the material disadvantage of white.

You can consult this cheat sheet for a more complete analysis.

However this analysis is totally incorrect and I will show you why. You may be confused, why did I give you an incorrect analysis and an incorrect outline for a positional analysis? Don’t worry, the outline is perfectly correct and so is the positional analysis. However, the keyword is the ‘positional’.

That outline can only be used for evaluation of 'static' positions which do not involve any immediate tactical shots. The position above is not of that nature, it is a dynamic position. The positional analysis is useless here and should not be applied.

## Evaluating the position using the Chuzhakin System:

I will not talk about all the rules of such an analysis. We'll just briefly talk about the most important ideas that are applicable to this position.

We need to identify the ‘Critical Elements’, which show the key points on the board where tactics can occur.

1) b7 – the pawn is not protected or attacked

2) c5 – the bishop is not protected or attacked

3) e5 - the knight is attacked and defended once

4) h7 – if the square next to the king is attacked it always considered a Critical Element, regardless of the number of defenders

5) g8 – king is next to the square under attack

After finding all of the Critical Elements on the board, we need to calculate how many times each piece is attacked and defended. Even if there is a piece in between the attacking and the attacked piece, we still count the attack on that piece.

For example, on the diagram below the bishop d3 is placed between the queen on d1 and the queen on d7. The piece that is pinned to a more valuable piece and a piece that can be captured or driven away with a less valuable piece, do not count as defending pieces. Therefore, both e5 and f6 knights do not count as defending pieces for the d7 queen. Conclusion: the d7 queen is attacked once and not defended, which leads to tactics, winning material for white.

White to move

Here is the complete combination for white:

Note: Fritz 12 gave this position +2.00 for white.

## Conclusion:

The both systems are useful tools for a competitive chess player if applied correctly. The Classical Method should be used for positional analysis of 'static' positions. The Chuzhakin System suits better for analyzing dynamic, reach of tactics positions, like the one we evaluated today.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 19 July 2014 22:44

+1 #10 Chuzhakin Evgeny 2014-07-29 12:01
Chuzhakin's System blog with convenient examples: chess.com/.../...

+3 #9 Thony boy 2014-07-24 02:03
I have been been a chess player for a long time and read many books and studied many games. We are lucky that we have the internet now. Unlike in previous years!

0 #8 Yury 2014-07-23 21:08
Quoting 01101001b:
Great article! I've never heard of The Chuzhakin System before. I'm far away of being a good chess player. However, I'm surprised to see that my personal approach to evaluate a position is so alike that system :-P

Hello my friend, let us know how did the system work out for you

+3 #7 01101001b 2014-07-22 09:56
Great article! I've never heard of The Chuzhakin System before. I'm far away of being a good chess player. However, I'm surprised to see that my personal approach to evaluate a position is so alike that system :-P

+2 #6 Yury 2014-07-19 22:43
Quoting Vasilis:
Just saying..
-I tried Critter 1.6, Houdini 1.5, & 4pro, rubka 4, Kommodo 6, even Vitruvius 082b-
All programs evaluate the position from 1,5+ to 2,2+ for white. The only difference is, that, NONE of the above programs gave -even as- option to black for ..gxf6.. Instead, options were between ..Re7, Rd8, Kh8..
If the line you suggest -gxRf6- was followed, evaluation dramaticaly changed, at about 6-8 plus, for white of course.

Hello Vasilis and thanks for your comment. You're absolutely correct. The +8.00 comes to the picture after gxRf6 move since it loses the queen. The point of the exercise was to show the difference in evaluation between the two systems. The more fair comparison would be Classical: -1.00 vs. Chuzhakin attack vs. Computer's 2.00 :)

PS I have changed the 8.00 to 2.00 below the diagram.

+1 #5 Vasilis 2014-07-19 08:33
Just saying..
-I tried Critter 1.6, Houdini 1.5, & 4pro, rubka 4, Kommodo 6, even Vitruvius 082b-
All programs evaluate the position from 1,5+ to 2,2+ for white. The only difference is, that, NONE of the above programs gave -even as- option to black for ..gxf6.. Instead, options were between ..Re7, Rd8, Kh8..
If the line you suggest -gxRf6- was followed, evaluation dramaticaly changed, at about 6-8 plus, for white of course.

+3 #4 Chuzhakin Evgeny 2014-07-17 05:50
The system helps to find tactics, protects agains blunders, gives new positional princip, etc. This is not "position evaluating system" and there are no issues against "classic methods" - the system adds new ideas and methods to classic ones.
Chuzhakin's System official web page: neoneuro.com/en/chess

+2 #3 Yury 2014-07-07 20:30
Fritz gave -8.00 because first of all if you look at final position white is already 6 points better Queen + Rook vs. 2 Rooks. Also Black's pawn structure is weak on the King's side (doubled pawns) and exposed King.

+6 #2 Chuzhakin Evgeny 2014-06-18 00:34
The methodic is published in PDF book: neoneuro.com/.../...

+3 #1 alfredo castillote 2014-06-17 03:36
can you explain how fritz 12 gave white a 8.0 ? so i can compare the two system