Break the Biggest Rule in Chess -- and Win!

Break the Biggest Rule in Chess -- and Win!

| 11 | Strategy

In the first two installments of this article, we discussed the situations where it is beneficial to ignore well established principles of chess. Today we'll talk about another "sacred cow" of chess rules, the most dangerous one to bend! 

How many times you heard the popular rule of not moving pawns in front of your king? Indeed, in the majority of the cases, once you start pushing the pawns that give shelter to your king, your position instantly gets compromised.  

This is a very good rule for beginners to remember, but strong players learned about the exceptions to this rule a long time ago. Here is one of the oldest examples played on the very highest level:

This strong move gains space on the kingside and signals the start of an attack. Let's fast-forward few moves:

The combo led to a completely winning endgame for Lasker.

Lasker via wikipedia

Here is the rest of the game:

The following game is one of the most famous and most beautiful games ever played! Try to find the main idea of the Kasparov's brilliant concept.

So, Karpov was not able to move his Na4 back to the game until it was way too late.  Judge for yourself:

via the guardian

Here is one more masterpiece from the games of the world champions:

And here is the end of this game:

You can notice that in all the cases ,a knight pawn was pushed in front of its own king just to gain more space on this part of the board, and that spacial advantage eventually led to a decisive attack against the opponent's king.

It is funny that in the Spassky's game the very same knight pawn eventually delivered a checkmate to Petrosian's king!

You shouldn't think that pushing a pawn in front of your king is appropriate only when you are about to attack your opponent's kKing.  Sometimes it can have a purely positional explanation. Look at the next iconic game by Capablanca:

We already analyzed this game and the whole positional concept before. But just in case, here is the rest of the game anyway:


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