How To Attack In Modern Chess

How To Attack In Modern Chess

Gserper
GM Gserper
Aug 2, 2015, 12:00 AM |
20 | Tactics

Computers continually change the way we play chess. The reports about new cases of computer cheating are a sad reality these days. We already discussed the many way computers affect chess in this series of articles: (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4). 

If we forget about the dark side and talk about pure chess, then it goes without saying that modern chess has become more dynamic and aggressive. These days, chess players try to seize the initiative and start their attack from move one!

This evolution is easy to see in one of the variations of the Bogo-Indian Defense that had a reputation of a very solid, positional opening.

Here is a game from a Candidates match of yesteryear:

This is almost a model game of the recent past: White outplayed his opponent in the opening to get a better middlegame, then, using a fine endgame technique, converted the advantage into a full point.

Now, look at the position on the diagram above and think if you can come up with a more aggressive approach for White.

 

Any ideas? I can give you a hint. Have you heard about the famous "pipe game"? If not, then check this article!

I am sure by now you can make a connection between Marshall's famous game played 115 years ago and the game by the modern super-GM David Navara played this year.

 

Just like Frank Marshall, GM Navara played 9.h4! and the threat of the typical "Greek gift sacrifice" forced Black to make some concessions.

Some of the readers might ask, "Why do we need to create a threat of the Bxh7+ combo, when we can do a direct attack against the h7-pawn right away by playing 9.Qc2?"  

Good point! In fact, 9.Qc2! is a very popular move these days. Black will have to pick his poison since both 9...h6 and 9...g6 create targets for White's violent attack.

Try to conduct the attack the way White did in the following game!

 
 

The move 9...h6 is safer in the short term, but as the next game shows, eventually White can use Black's weakened kingside for an attack in a middlegame.

 

The lesson is clear: try to attack your opponent from the very first moves even if the opening is considered positional!

 
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