Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know. The Dangerous 'h' File, Part 2
Jul 26, 2009, 12:00 AM
Last week we analyzed the games where the castled King was attacked along the 'h'file. Today we'll continue this subject and see what happens when a fianchetto is involved. The good news about a fianchetto, it brings an extra defender ( a Bishop). The bad news, it makes it much easier to open the 'h' file and start an attack. Paraphrasing Fischer, all you need to do is 'push the 'h' pawn, check, check and then checkmate!' Of course it wasn't Fischer who introduced this attacking concept. The first game that I know, where this kind of an attack was successfully employed, was played almost 150 years ago!
Today attack against the fianchetto using the 'h' pawn is a standard weapon. Whenever your opponent plays a fianchetto, you may start thinking about a possible attack! And from the other side, whenever you play 'g6' hoping to fianchetto your Bishop, you should be prepared to defend against such an attack.
Let's see how it happens in various openings.
First, the classical game in the Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation that shows the classical Rh5 sac.
The Pirc Defence
In the next sharp game played recently by two strong GMs, White started his attack before even finishing his development!
Even in the traditionally quiet closed openings (where White starts with 1.d4), fireworks can start any time after Black fianchettoes his Bishop.
The Gruenfeld Defense:
In the next game played by two former Candidates for the World Title, White executes a typical combo that deflects the Nf6 which is the only defender of the h7 pawn.
The King's Indian Defense:
When I just started playing chess, my favorite opening was the Dragon Variation.
I kept playing it for many years, introduced some novelties that were published in "The Chess Informant". Until... Until my game vs. Ivanchuk. You don't get any prize for guessing what happened there. So, if you play any opening that involves a fianchetto, I have only one quote for you (borrowed from the movie "The Fly") : be afraid, be very afraid!