The Chess Uppercut

The Chess Uppercut

| 24 | Tactics

One of the most intellectual sports, chess, surprisingly has many similarities with one of the most barbaric sports, boxing. In both activities you are basically trying to "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Today we are going to analyze a very important attacking pattern that is a very similar to an uppercut in boxing.

When your black king castles short and gets under attack there, it is very common to play f7-f5 to block White's attack. Look at the position from the iconic game by Fischer that could happen after a hasty move 19.e5?, which threatens a checkmate in one!

Of course Fischer prevents the only defensive idea Black has in his disposal.  Find the powerful move Fischer played in this position:

Doesn't the move Rf1-f6 look like a deadly uppercut to Black's king? 

Of course Fischer wasn't the first player who introduced this idea.  The next famous gem is the first game by young Mikhail Tal that was published in a chess magazine.

And here is one more game by another young chess player who was going to become the world champion.  This time the uppercut has a different idea, but the same deadly consequences!

After you see the next game played by another world champion, you might start wondering if the move Rf1-f6 is played exclusively by the world champions.

Fortunately, the answer is no, you don't have to be the world champion in order to play the chess uppercut.

The next little-known game demonstrates one of the most remarkable examples of this powerful attacking idea! Try to play like the Chinese grandmaster!

Thanks to Zhao Jun's imaginative play, Black never had a chance to move his f7 pawn. White's attack was getting stronger and stronger. Now find the final combination!

I hope that from now on, you'll never miss an opportunity to knock out your opponent with the chess uppercut!

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