Learning Openings with Rashid Nezhmetdinov

Learning Openings with Rashid Nezhmetdinov

| 23 | Tactics

Today's article will combine elements of two previous articles on similar topics. The first subject is how to learn new openings, which we discussed here. The second subject is how to get a nice attacking position, which we discussed here.

Naturally, today we'll discuss how to learn a new opening and get a nice attacking position, with some help from Rashid Nezhmetdinov.

I bet all of you at some point of your chess career fell a victim of a well-known trap in the so-called Fried Liver Attack:

Even though White has no forced win here (providing that Black plays the best move 7...Ke6!), in reality Black almost always loses, since this position is the result of sheer ignorance in the majority of the cases. Of course if you study this position for hours (especially with a bit of help from chess engines), then the result of the game will be totally unclear.

Yet, playing the opening where your king gets into the center as early as move 7 is not everyone's cup of tea. Besides, you'll have to defend for dozens of moves and as you remember, our objective was to get an attacking position out of the opening. You can easily achieve your goal if instead of 5...Nxd5?! you sacrifice a pawn by 5...Na5!.

If you check opening manuals you'll have to memorize tons of theory. Instead, we'll analyze just two games of Rashid Nezhmetdinov and you will be ready to play this sharp opening in your next game (providing your opponent is not a Super Grandmaster, because in this case you'll probably need some more preparation).

Here is the first game of Nezhmetdinov:

In the actual game White avoided this well-known opening trick, and this is the position where you need to test your attacking skills and compare your moves to the ones played by the great Master of Attack:

In the second game Nezhmetdinov developed all his pieces and now he is ready to start his attack. Charge!

I recommend you to replay these two games of Nezhmetdinov a couple of times to better understand how he envisioned his coming attack already in the opening, and therefore placed all his pieces optimally way to achieve his goal. Even if you'll never play this particular opening, try to apply the same method in your favorite openings: place your pieces in the center, point them towards your opponent's king and strike!

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