The Art of Attacking, Part the Second

The Art of Attacking, Part the Second

May 29, 2016, 3:53 PM |

Hey everyone, I'm back again with the second part of my article series The Art of Attacking.  If you haven't read my previous two posts, you should read those first. Here are the links:


Part 1:

For those of you who have read them, you might want to read them again, because it's been a long time since I wrote one of these (March), and you'll need to know the concepts mentioned in them to understand what I'm about to talk about. So take a break and read those, and I'll meet you back here to discuss today's topic: attacking while castled on equal flanks.


OK, all ready? Let's dive in.


Jeremy Silman has some good advice on what to do about attacking while castled on the same time.

"When both players have castled on the same side of the board, pushing pawns on that side could weaken one's own King, although such pawn attacks are still seen from time to time."

Here is an example:

Here, because the center is open, White's g2-g4 did more harm to his King than to his opponent's
"Because of this fact, an attack with pieces is the normal way to begin a king side assault. Of course, before you begin such an attack, you have to ask what justification you have in doing so:
1. Is the center wide-open or in the state of flux? If so, a wing attack has little chance of success. An example is as follows:

 As there is still tension and play going on in the center, any wing attack is doomed to failure.


2. Only if you have control of the center, or if the center is closed, a pawn storm may become possible, even if you must push the pawns directly in front of your own king. An example is as follows: 

Here, the center is closed, so g2-g4 is perfectly acceptable."
There are several more general principles that we can indicate as methods of attack:

1. Destruction of the pawns of your opponent's castle

2. Weakening of the structure of your opponents castle with a piece penetration

3. The opening of files and diagonals

4. Planning an attack with different colored bishops

5. Attacking with heavy pieces (Queens or Rooks)

6. Attack with a pawn storm. However, this is a double-edged sword, because sending a pawn storm at your opponent's castle while castled on the same side will weaken your own castle. As mentioned before, the success of this method depends on the stability/closure of the center.


The following games will show examples of the principles mentioned.

This game is a classic example of using a piece sacrifice to break apart your opponent's castle.


Let's look at some other examples:

These games show us the use of minor pieces to attack the opponent's castle. Now, let's look at some examples of using heavy pieces to attack the enemy castle. Unfortunately, I didn't find any master games online with examples of these, but fortunately, I do have some among my own games. In both of these following games, I play white.
Not all attacks lead to checkmate, but they can lead to winning positions. My next game shows a similar game, but with a better defense.
So, like the last game, my rook attack didn't lead to immediate checkmate, but to a material gain and a winning position.

Now that I've showed you how to attack while castled on the same side, test yourself with these puzzles! 

A reminder as always, I'm only an average player, so don't take this as the final word on this subject, and I'm always open to any suggestions or improvements. I have two other articles coming after this, containing more information on how to attack. I hope you found this useful, and thanks for reading! grin.png