Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know. The dangerous 'h' file.

Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know. The dangerous 'h' file.‎

GM Gserper
45 | Tactics

Last week we discussed the dangerous diagonal 'a5-e1'.  Today we are going to talk about the most dangerous file. I think no other file can claim even a half of the number of Kings killed on the 'h' file.  This is not a big surprise since the Rh1 (Rh8 for Black) can attack the position of the opponent's castle along the 'h' file without even moving!  All you need to do is get rid of the h2 (h7) pawn that obstructs the 'h' file for its own Rook and you instantly get an attack. There are many ways to accomplish this task.  One of them was discussed in "Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know. Part Three."  Today we'll see some other ways to achieve the same goal.

One of the most common ways to open the 'h' file is to place your Bishop on g5 and when your opponent tries to kick the Bishop, you calmly play h4.  If your opponent accepts the sac, the 'h' file gets opened instantly and a deadly attack follows as the next classic game shows.


Another very common idea is to push your pawn up to h5 (h4). Assuming that you control the diagonal a2-g8 (a7-g1), you play Ng6+ (Ng3+). Since his Kh8 (Kh1) is checked he has no choice but take the Knight, which consequently opens the 'h' file with the same deadly result.  The next game is a brilliant example.

The next game is the unique example where Black was able to combine the two above-mentioned ideas.  Also notice that the author of the "Immortal" and the "Evergreen" games Adolf Andersen found himself on the receiving end of the attack!

Sometimes just a simple march of your 'h' pawn forward wreaks havoc on your opponent's position. The next game is Rubinstein's masterpiece in his pet line in the Four Knight's Defense.

Next time we will discuss a situation where your opponent fianchettoes his/her bishop by playing g7-g6.  In this case all you need to do to launch an attack is to push your 'h' pawn (h2- h4-h5) and the 'h' file opens.
to be continued....
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