Whenever I present a beautiful game in my article, I inevitably see a comment that looks like this: “Wow! Such a beautiful game! I wouldn’t find this fantastic combo in a million years”. From my teaching experience I know that sometimes chess players even become discouraged by brilliant games because they doubt their own abilities to ever play like this. Yes, chess is a very complicated game, but fortunately it is a very simple game as well. What I mean is, it is very difficult to play like Tal or Kasparov, calculating 10 moves deep combinations. But in the majority of the games we don’t need to calculate that far, so if you are good in 3-4 move tactics, you can be a very strong chess player. Unfortunately, for many players it is very difficult to calculate even for 3-4 moves ahead.
I have a good news for them! It is relatively easy to fix this problem. All you need to do is to learn typical tactical patterns and practice a lot. At some point you’ll be so proficient in typical tactical patterns that you’ll see tactical ideas practically in any position!
Today we will learn one such typical tactical pattern that happens only in openings.
In order for this tactical pattern to happen your opponent has to fianchetto his King’s Bishop by moving his pawn to g3 or g6 and he also has to move his King pawn to e4 (or e5 for Black.) As always, I present this pattern as a quiz, because it is my deep belief that if you try to solve a combination on your own ( even if unsuccessfully), you will understand and remember the idea much better.
This is a very useful pattern to know since it can be used in many openings. Just remember you need your opponent to fianchetto his King's Bishop and push his 'e' pawn to e4 (e5). Here is another opening catastrophe:
Now, when you are familiar with this pattern it looks so simple, doesn't it? Yet in some games even GMs were victims of this nasty trap. Look at the next game:
Please remember that practically any rule has its exceptions. I learned in my own game that even though this pattern is extremely powerful, sometimes you want to pass on it.
The final example shows why it is so important to know typical tactical patterns.
The last game is very interesting in the sense that the past of American chess (GM Bisguier) has met the future (future GM Friedel). It would have been very interesting to see the pattern we discussed today used on such a high level. It didn't happen :( Yet, I hope you, my dear readers, will be able to employ this pattern in your games and score many beautiful wins!