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The End of Attack and Defense

  • GM BryanSmith
  • | Nov 15, 2012
  • | 8161 views
  • | 42 comments

We have come to the end of our journey through Attack and Defense. I will be starting a new column next week, where I will be discussing chess books. The editors of Chess.com wanted to switch up the columns somewhat, and I realized that many people have asked me for recommendations about chess books – thus the topic.

It has been fun doing this column “Attack and Defense” – at least in a certain way. I intentionally chose a very vague topic, and haven’t even stuck to it much of the time. For example, what does a haunted chess tournament have to do with attack and defense? Okay, okay...the black knight attacked, the white one defended...But still, probably I haven't stuck to the topic much of the time.

What is Attack and Defense? It is yang and yin, the active and the passive, the light and the dark. Our game is somehow based around this duality. But you have to know that “active” is not always in control, and “passive” is not always the loser. Sometimes the attacking side is being forced into action, being forced to lay all their cards on the table, while the defender finds power in passivity, in being able to react.

In every move, and in every position, there are elements of both attack and defense. The key is to get the proportions and the harmony correct. And this, I think, is the key to Attack and Defense.

Now, here are some puzzles. They are very difficult, so by putting them in puzzle format I am just giving you the option to try - if you get stuck you can always click "show solution". But don't get frustrated, because they would also be very difficult for me to solve.

In the following, momentary initiative wins out - White "runs the table" despite being otherwise in a worse position.

The next is a battle between the attack and defense, culminating in an amazing cross-pin:

In the following, Black takes a momentary initiative, but when it runs out, then White takes over. 
Who is really the aggressor in the following study?
The pendulum.

Comments


  • 21 months ago

    bigknoll

    Very interesting puzzles. Thanks.

  • 21 months ago

    Leole

    Very nice!

  • 21 months ago

    hyperniko

    the puzzle #1 is familiar for me. I like the 2nd puzzle, it's crossing tactic. The third one is unbelievable! 4th one wow! 5th momentum draw. Great puzzles!! thanks

  • 21 months ago

    piphilologist

    the first two were easy, the rest were more difficult. #3 is the best imo

  • 21 months ago

    canucks35

    Love it!!!AWESOME PUZZLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 21 months ago

    sryiwannadraw

    gg

  • 21 months ago

    EpinephelusTT

    Veeery interesting positions. IM Smith, thanks a lot.  But I really HATE positions like the pendulum: a forced draw by repetitionsYell

  • 21 months ago

    Sontho

    If I am not mistaken post G ends on a stalemate??

  • 21 months ago

    lourivalsilva

    thanks for lighting
    Caliphigia

  • 21 months ago

    Chess_Lover11

    Awesome puzzles! Am speechless! And the 3rd puzzle mate by the pawn!! Totally epic!!!

  • 21 months ago

    Caliphigia

    @louruvusilva: No, it doesn't. After 6. Qd8+ Kb7, 7. Qe7+ Kb6, 8. Bxe4 Qb3, all white has is Q+B v Q ending, which is a draw. And if 8. Qxe4 Qxe4, 9. Bxe4 loe bishop can't mate.

    @e2-e4 1-0: It is a draw by repetition. Black bishop must stay on a8-c6 diagonal and white king will keep attaking it. And if, for example, 5...h3, 6. Kxa8 h2, 7. Kb8 h1Q black promotes first, but white promotes with check 8. a8Q+ and black looses the queen. Similar 5...Bc6, 6. Kc7 h3, 7. Kxc6 h2, 8. a8Q h1Q, 9. Kd6+

  • 21 months ago

    e2-e4_1-0

    Isn't puzzle 5 also a stalemate?  Or am I missing something.  Seems like the bishop will jut go between a8 and c6 until it swaps for the pawn.

  • 21 months ago

    lourivalsilva

    troitsky's study can acomplished via 6.Qd8+ and 7.Qe7+

  • 21 months ago

    KickAssAndGiggle

    Yes puzzle 4 is stalemate but the side drawing is 8 points of material down so it's a moral win!

  • 21 months ago

    chasm1995

    isn't puzzle 4 stalemate?

  • 21 months ago

    1steven

    nice!!!

  • 21 months ago

    kcsmith169

    Enjoyable puzzles. Hope you are able to maintain your trademark writing style covering booksSmile

  • 21 months ago

    ewuenhob

    really nice puzzles! Enjoyed them alot! THANKS for this series!

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