How to use a material advantage in chess

A material advantage often gives you the opportunity to use your forces to attack more targets than what your opponent can defend. This makes sense since two pieces can attack a target two times whilst one piece can only defend it once.

The concept of material force

Material force refers to the fact the the player with a material advantage can gain control by subjecting enemy pieces into defensive positions and then overpower them by means of the extra force.

By comparing the material on the board we can easily determine who has a material advantage. In the example below white has an extra knight. We will use this simple example to illustrate a powerful idea – how to gain complete control by subjecting the enemy pieces into defensive positions. And then overpower them by using the brute force of a material advantage.

material advantage brute force 1
A material advantage means you can apply more force that what your opponent can defend.

White will use both his knight and bishop to attack and win the b7-pawn.

White can attack the b7-pawn with two pieces. Black can only defend it once - ie. Bc8
White can attack the b7-pawn with two pieces. Black can only defend it once – ie. Bc8

White demonstrates the power of his extra material by attacking more targets than what black can possibly defend. Once he captured the b7-pawn, white will go after the h5-pawn and win it too in much the same way – brute force.

This was a simple example that demonstrated why extra material is a big advantage. It should be clear to you why extra material is an important advantage.

Next Lesson – How to use a local majority of force to create a material advantage

Previous Lesson – Objectives in Chess: Material Advantage

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