Kings On Steroids

Kings On Steroids

| 49 | Amazing Games

The most sacred of all pieces is the king, a piece we must care for and nurture. Right!?


In this article we are going to take a look at kings on steroids.

The kings below are drugged up to their eyeballs and ready to race around the pitch in a purple haze. After all, rules are there to be broken, right?

The first game that springs to my mind when I think of an amazing king march is the following encounter, perhaps Nigel Short's most famous game.

An amazing concept! Why did this "Forrest Gump" king march work?

1) Black was lacking any active plan.

2) White's pieces dominated the board.

3) White had all the time in the world.

Forrest Gump couldn't have run better. 

The king is an active piece, but of course you should be extremely careful with your king as things can sometimes backfire.

In the next position you need to find the worst move on the board!                                                                                                                                                                                

In one case, Short showed brilliant awareness of how to use his king and in the other case his king committed seppuku! 
I am sure that most of you are aware that the king becomes much more important in the endgame. This is because in the endgame there are fewer pieces on the board, so all the remaining pieces increase in power.
Let's now take a look at an example of this, a more traditional way to use the most fragile yet significant piece.
Tarrasch used the king magically. In chess we can find numerous examples of this kind of active king march.
Yet again, the idea of using the king actively works well here. This is because White dominates the board and Black no active counterplay. 
In my experience of teaching chess, I am often amazed at how many pupils rely on the assessment of what the computer says after the game. A phrase such as "Houdini says this move is +0.34" has become a serious curse on any aspiring chess player. This computer assessment won't help you learn how to improve! One of the best bits of advice I can give is throw that damn chess-playing computer program out of the window!
Try to work out why, what and when.
The Three Ws:

  1. Why is that a good plan? 
  2. What is the idea behind that?
  3. When does this plan work?
A program tells you none of this. I could write a whole new article on this!
At least some prodigies of the new age of chess have studied their classic games:
And now to finish this article I am going to leave you with two of the most amazing king marches that I have ever seen. These games require little commentary: just sit back and enjoy .
A fantastic example of one crazy king! But if you thought that game could not be topped, what about this...
A beautiful game, but I have my doubts whether such a game was actually played or made up. One would like to think it was actually played, but such beauty is so rare.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it inspired you to look at your own king in a different light for future games. Also please be Nigel in the first game, and not Nigel in the second game.
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