Attack and Defense

Attack and Defense‎

GM Gserper
41 | Tactics

In our life we are surrounded by thousands of opposites. Day and Night, Up and Down, Good and Evil. Almost every day we need to make a choice: Left or Right, Paper or Plastic, Ginger or Mary Ann (OK, I am just kidding about the last one. It is Mary Ann of course!). Today we are going to discuss two opposite elements of chess.  One is well known, the other one very obscure: Attack and Defense.  But the good thing is you don't need to make a choice between them, since you should know both and use them depending on the situation on the board.

Let's start with the first element, which is a well-known attacking concept. 

Here is what Kasparov writes about 11...Ne6?!:  " When I saw this move I was surprised since Black allows the White Knight jump to f5 (I always loved to put my Knight on f5)..."  

I have underlined Kasparov's words because they show that even when Kasparov was just 10 years old he already knew how dangerous Nf5 can be. The reason is simple: from its excellent position the Knight controls the vital squares around the Black King. The follow-up can be moving your Queen or Rook on the 'g' file with a direct attack against the 'g7' square, or in many cases the Knight can just be sacrificed to open the road to the King's residence.   Let's look at two classical examples played by famous attacking wizards:

The Nf5 is so important for an attack that in many cases you might want to sacrifice some material to get your Knight to this 'magic' square.
Of course the Black f4-knight is as dangerous as White's f5-knight.
Now you can see why Nf5 (Nf4 for Black) is so powerful and young Kasparov loved it so much.  But even such a dangerous animal can be tamed.  Next time we'll talk about a very little known idea which can help you to deal with the Nf5 and an attack against your King in general.
to be continued...
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