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Pawn Storm!

  • GM Gserper
  • | Jun 30, 2012
  • | 15459 views
  • | 37 comments

When I first started playing chess, my favorite strategy was to wait until my opponent castles, and then castle on the opposite side and start a pawn storm!  It was exactly what I liked about chess. This way of playing would promise a very exciting game regardless of the result! I don't remember exactly where I learned this strategy, but maybe the next game gave me some ideas. It was a very important game as White was in a must win situation to qualify for the Candidates Matches:

White's beautiful attack made this line of play extremely popular and even today this particular variation is a major headache for Najdorf Sicilian players!

Or maybe I fell in love with this primitive, but powerful strategy after I found the following triplets in one of the first chess books I read (it was called "In the Fire of an Attack" by Mikhail Tal):

Now you can imagine how thrilled I was after finishing the next game played in the Soviet National Junior Championship:

As years passed, I got stronger and more experienced and so now I know that you cannot apply this strategy in every position.  And yet, when a proper situation arises, the pawn storm is still my favorite chess weapon! The following game was played in the US Championship and got a brilliancy prize:

This article is intended for less experienced chess players and explains the basic strategy of a pawn storm when kings are castled on opposite sides. My advice for amateur club players is to try to follow this simple strategy from my childhood. Just like myself at some point you'll learn that you cannot castle on the opposite side blindly just to start a pawn storm. In certain situations your opponent can just crush you in the center before you even start your attack, or maybe their attack against your King is much faster and more powerful. But the most important thing is that you'll learn a lot about attack, defense, and tactics. And of course you are going to have a lot of fun in the process!

To learn more about Pawn Storms, click here!

Comments


  • 22 months ago

    dino1955

    why not 25.muve ...Ng6- Tal-Koblents

  • 22 months ago

    exquisitus

    @jmtooney it is mate with the Queen: ...Kxh8 Qh2+ and Qh7#. Notice that if black tries ...Qh6, white simply takes the Q, because the g-pawn is pinned.

  • 22 months ago

    leo5

    Nice weapons against the Najdorf!

  • 22 months ago

    Nicky24

    I see you do It the same as I like to do it, but I usualy try to castle queen side because the rook stands in the D line.

    Nice article, keep it up!

  • 22 months ago

    spykerr

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 22 months ago

    cookie3

    This is an excellent article!  For those who want more on opposite side castling attacks; I highly rerccommend the book "The Art of the Middle Game" written by GMs Kotov and Keres.  The second chapter;written by Kotov, is an excellent read on attacking the king.  The chapter is divided into three sections: 1) attacking with oppossite castled kings,  2) attacking with same side castled kings  3) attacking with king in middle.  The whole book is well written and easy to understand!  Thanks GM Serper!  "You da Man!"

  • 22 months ago

    cookie3

    @jmtoomey:  the bishop does not allow black to take the rook.  if you look in the move list, you will see why.

  • 22 months ago

    KlikKlak

    And if someone stay in the center ?

  • 22 months ago

    jmtoomey

    I don't understand how the last example is a check mate.
    Couldn't he just take the rook and move right back?

  • 22 months ago

    jmtoomey

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 22 months ago

    Lawdoginator

    I need to investigate further this notion of a pawn storm. 

  • 22 months ago

    jayzetar

    Well written and constructed article. Nice job and keep it up!

  • 22 months ago

    nyLsel

    Nice article! 1...Kxh8 2.Qh2 Qg6 3.Qxh6+ Kg8 4.Qh7#

  • 22 months ago

    btenorio93

    Thanks.

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