Attack and Defense, Part Two

  • GM Gserper
  • | Jul 22, 2012

In the first part of this article we discussed how dangerous a Knight can be if it is placed on the 'magic' f5 square (f4 for Black).  As you could see in the games we analyzed there, the main danger coming from such a Knight is the coming sacrifices on the g7 and h6 squares. Naturally, there should be some sort of a defense against such a monster. 

The famous Estonian GM Paul Keres has left a huge chess heritage.  Even his very last tournament game, that he played just a couple of days before his untimely death, shows a very interesting idea.  Look at the following diagram. Black's position looks very dangerous, to say the least. White is about to sacrifice his Knight on h6 to open a direct path to the Black King, followed by a deadly Rook lift to g3. But with a couple of precise prophylactic moves, Black quickly repels White's attack and firmly grabs the initiative.

Of course chess players noticed such an interesting idea: to overprotect the h3 (h6 for Black) square and prepare g2-g3 (g7-g6 for Black) to kick the dangerous Knight away. In the next game Anatloy Karpov - one of the best prophylactic players in chess history, shows how you can successfully fight the monstrous Knight.  It looks like the opening clearly ended in Blacks favor who was about to launch a decisive attack on the Kingside.  And yet, after the same neat King and Knight maneuver, White slowly outplays his opponent and it is even difficult to point out where Black made his mistakes!

If you still do not appreciate the strength of the Kh2 and Ng1 idea (or Kh7 followed by Ng8), look at the following 'twin' of Karpov's game played by two strong GMs:

Now, dear readers, you know two very useful ideas. One for an attack (Nf5!) and one for a defense (Kh2!,Ng1!). I hope you'll be able to use them in your games!


  • 4 years ago


    Thank you very much for these attacking and defense ideas.  I will practise them!

  • 4 years ago


    Great article as always!! the maneuver did by Keres in the first game was exceptional!!! :)

  • 4 years ago


    Good articles!! Thank you for your articles which often give us chess ideas!

  • 4 years ago


    candypants there's Ne6 to cover g7 square

  • 4 years ago


    Very helpful and thoughtful. Thank you!

  • 4 years ago


    very helpful, thank u Smile !!

  • 4 years ago


    Silman, in his book Reassess 4th edition, lashes out at moves like Kh2 played by amatuers when opponent plays Bd7 - Qc8 threatening to sac bishop at h3.   So I didn't even think that such moves are possible. But they are always exeptions in chess.

  • 4 years ago


    since the first article I tried to use Nf5(Nf4 for black) but I did not have the chance and I'll try more

  • 4 years ago



  • 4 years ago


    No. Ng4 brings another piece into the attack with tempo, and wins the queen. If black doesn´t moved his queen, Nh6+ followed by Nxf7+ (discovered check) also wins the queen. Lastly, if black moves his queen away, Ne7# wins the game.

  • 4 years ago


    In the last game. Isnt 30.Qh6 a lot stronger (and more simple) than Ng4?

  • 4 years ago


    Thank you very much Gregory for so useful regular articles.

  • 4 years ago


    nice article Smile

  • 4 years ago


    This is a great defensive tool that players of all levels can use.

  • 4 years ago


    Its hard to use the knight on the outer edges; psychologically, you know they defend/attack a greater number of squares in the center (i.e. Nf5) but to then defend a powerful knight by placing a knight at g1 is counter-intuitive, if not very effective.

  • 4 years ago


    Nice defend term! Gonna try it!

  • 4 years ago


    I read most of your articles and really enjoy your teaching, you make learning chess fun


  • 4 years ago


    nice article!

  • 4 years ago


    Very simple idea for Kh2 and Ng1,i never think that move.Nice gameLaughing

  • 4 years ago


    Wow! Nice defending idea!

    Would you make more article about strong attacking pieces and typical defense ideas against them? 

    Please, please, please Smile !

Back to Top

Post your reply: