Stonewall Attack (Part 3)
Hello all and welcome back to the Stonewall Attack series. This is is the third part of my 6 blog entry series. In the introduction, I basically just gave an intro and shared my genreal opinions. Garbage, right? But in the first entry, I listed down my fellow Stonewall supporters and did some mroe introducing. When we got to to the second part, it became more serious. So now on this entry, the third part, I'll give a couple examples of stonewall games with commentary plus I'll show you how to do mating nets and also how to do it fluently. This is going to be very exciting!!
Before I show the Stonewall games, I should first explain mating net strategies on the Stonewall. Last entry I said the good posts for pieces look like this, plus castling kingside:
Unless your opponent plays d6 or f6, you can drop your knight on to e5 as an excellent post. The pawns on f4 and d4 are supremely supporting the fearless knight who is excellent on space-taking. White's light squared bishop is sitting on d3 or sometimes c2, watching over black's kingside with intensity. Your queen should also have an excellent white-square diagnol view, too. White castling kingside is very crucial to the attack because not only does it shelter the king in the corner, it brings the rook to f1, which can then be lifted to f3, then to h3 or sometimes g3 to eye black's kingside. Rook lifts are common in the Stonewall and it is a great thing to do. Though it may be slow and your opponent may realize what you're doing, they can do various things against you, but are rook lifts it? Nope.
Forget about me mentioning white's king hiding behind a shelter of white pawns. Instead, white sometimes likes to march the g pawn up to g5 to try and boot away black's knight if it's on f6. "But white is exposing his king to danger by advancing the pawns too far away!" This is one question I asked myself, but after small thinking, I just decide that your rook on the third rank can already make an excellent shield. Anyways, you can even sometimes slide your king over to h1, cowering away in the corner while your doubling rooks, giving space for your pieces to be coordinated, etc.
Ok, now this is the fun part :D
MATING NETS!!!!!!!!!!!! (Just as a note, I am perfectly aware that you have many, many questions. "What if black castles queenside?" is a common one, and I will answer that in later entries) You're probably thinking, "yes, yes! white has a bishop and queen and rook pointing at black's kingside. Now what??" First, to burst anyone's bubble, we are not going to do obvious attacks that will be easily defended against. We're going to check out unexpected and surprising attacks called a sac (short for sacrifice).
The sac that all Stonewall players prepare to do is the Greek Gift Sac ( in case you don't know, a GGS is a sac involving trading a bishop for a pawn at h7, luring the king out to try and attack it). It is a very fun thing to do. Here is an easy puzzle to test your sac'ing skills:
Surprised? I bet you must be unless you've actually done this before. That right there is an example of the magnificent GGS that surprises your opponent greatly. Doing a rook lift isn't necessary all the time in the Stonewall. There are often many positions where black takes the knight on e5. But after take on e5, take back with the f5 pawn. If you already castled kingside, then your rook will have a clear file to work with, which is great. You will still have a lot of access to attacking your opponent's kingside.
If you never tried a sac before, then this message is for you, especially. DO NOT TRY A SAC UNLESS YOU ARE CERTAIN YOU CAN GET MATE OR EXTRA MATERIAL. Believe me, it is unbelievably embarassing to try a sac and to fail. Be extremely sure and play out all the possible outcomes in your head. Not all sac'ing mates will be in the form as shown in the puzzle above. There are more variations to mating. 0n the next entry, I will dig much deeper into the defenses you might face when playing Stonewall. And remember, feel free to message me with any question you have. If it's something I'm going to post laster, then I'll let you know.
--------CONTINUED ON BLOG 4--------