Right, That's Why You Castle...

Fresh
Jun 21, 2008, 12:00 AM |
10 | Opening Theory

Opening theory is not a preferred focus for most students of the great game of chess.  Instead we are given nuggets of wisdom: "Knights before Bishops," "Develop!," "Castle!," "Don't move your Queen out too early," and so it goes.  However, most players below the 1800-2000 mark don't recognize a lot of the importance of some of these tenants and the proper time to ignore them.  Fischer makes it pretty obvious why castling in games like the Yugoslav Attack of the Dragon is a pretty important idea.  Fischer's "quiet" attack is an instructional example of how to maintain pressure on a weak position and the importance of timing in the attack.

 

 

Notice how Fischer exploits the Black King's position by first opening the center up with a pawn advance and following up with piece control of the squares surrounding the King.  After sacrificing the exchange, he doesn't play sloppily with Rd1+, which would fail to maintain the pressure.  Instead, he moves another piece in for the attack, an important lesson for all ratings of players.  Thus, Fischer saves the check for when he can best exploit it, a few moves later, bringing a forced mate or a loss of Black's Queen.  As it goes, both end up happening.  Don't leave home without Castling, kids!