Kings Gone Wild!

Kings Gone Wild!

| 25 | Tactics

In previous articles we discussed cases where the Kings helped your attack by just vacating a square for a Rook or moving out of a pin in order to push a pawn. So, mostly their role in the attack was very limited. But what about the famous Steinitz saying: "The King is a fighting piece - use it!"  Today we'll look at games where the Kings were the leading actors in the chess play. 

It is a well known fact that in an endgame you should use your King since it is a very powerful piece there, but what about a middlegame? Isn't it way too dangerous to bring your King into the heat of the battle?  Yes, in most cases it is. But today will witness some crazy Kings that forgot about all the dangers and bravely moved forward with a board full of pieces!

The next game is the oldest and the craziest of all of them! I don't care if chess historians will prove one day that the game was never actually played and was just manufactured after an old analysis of Steinitz.  I also don't care if computers refute White's crazy attack.  When you watch Mission Impossible do you really care that everything there is just a fiction and none of the events shown can happen in real life? To me this game is the "Mission Impossible" of chess!

(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your attacking skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)


In the next game White's pieces are very active, but it is difficult to increase the power of White's attack since his Rook is tied down with the defense of the g2 pawn.  What should White do?
Some people (especially the young 'computer' generation) think that the old games (played 50 and more years ago) are hopelessly obsolete and don't deserve your analysis. GM Short convincingly proves them wrong in the following game.

White's pieces are dominating but how can White decisively break Black's fortress?

Short's King march looks like a mirror image of Teichmann's attack! So knowledge of the classical games does pay!

It is not always the crazy King's job to help with a mating attack.  Sometimes His Majesty has some other chores to do.  Just like in the previous examples White has very active pieces but it is not easy to convert his advantage into a win. Of course by now you already know that it is the King's job to finish off the opponent, but where should the King go?

These games are fun to review, but before you engage your King in some dangerous endeavor, here is one very important thing to remember. In order for your King's journey to be successful, His Majesty should be surrounded by a bunch of very active pieces.  But if your King is the most active piece you have, then it is probably better to keep him in a safe place behind your pawns.
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