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Chess Exam and Training Guide

Find your Targets and "Shoot"

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  • 20 months ago

    Ronliv

    "If you have the advantage, you must attack, or you will end up losing it" -William Steinitz, 1st World Chess Champion

    When you hold a better position, you must attack in order to convert your advantages into a full point. Most commonly, Attack is referred to a direct assault on the King, but it can also be directed at the misplaced or the best-placed piece, at a weak isolated pawn or a strong pawn chain, etc.

    Attack should not be confused with Threat. Attack typically involves regrouping pieces and is more of a long-term operation. That makes Attack different from the Threat, which is a short-term event. Attack is a strategic operation, while Threat is a tactical one. The toughest questions one has to deal with during the game are--When to attack? What to attack? And Where to attack?

    When to attack?

    *If you have better developed pieces--no need to worry about opponent's threats. *More space for maneuver--ability to deploy forces fast. *Poorly protected opponent's KIng. *Opponent's position has weak squares, easy pawn targets, and misplaced pieces.

    What to Attack?

    You probably get the idea during the process of justifying the attack described above. Your potential targets are: the King, Pieces, Pawns, or squares. They are listed in order of importance. If you have more than one target, consider which one is easier to get to. It is not uncommon to start with an attack on one target, yet at some point switch. In fact, common strategic principle states that finding at least two distinct targets significantly increases your chances of success.

    Where to attack?

    You only have three real options, but the decision is never easy-King-side or Queen-side or Center. *Attack the center when the center is open, otherwise *Attack the Queen-side, when your pawn chain is "pointing" towards the Queen-side or *Attack the King-side, when your pawn chain is "pointing" towards the King-side.

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