Pigs on the 7th
Going beyond attacking the King, I was searching for an instructive game to present to players making their first foray into the realms of strategy.
What better than Alekhine-Yates, London 1922 1-0 which illustrates the theme of Rooks (or pigs) on the 7th rank
I present this famous game in an interactive format, starting from the end to let the reader solve critical moments.
Almost like the movie Memento, we work backwards to see how these positions arose
Let's start at the decisive finish to this game
White has absolute control of the 7th rank. However, his Knight is threatened.
How did White continue, and in doing so use all his pieces
The Black King is hemmed in. How can White exploit the position of the Black King and Rg8 using a pin along the 7th rank?
White has total control of the c-file. Where is White's target and how does he start to attack it?
Black is threatening to create a passed pawn and activity on the Queenside. How does White deal with this?
Can you find a way to activate White's last remaining dormant piece?
There is a excellent outpost for White's pieces to occupy.
An outpost is a square that is protected by a pawn which can not be attacked by an opponent's pawn.
Can you find how White started proceeding to occupy this outpost?
The entire game
Lessons to be learnt
Observe the power of White's Rooks along the 7th rank, in comparison to the passive Black Rooks
Take note of the central control White's Knight has on e5, compared to Black's bad light squared Bishop (on the same colour as his own pawns)
See how White exploits the c5 outpost, which plays home to firstly the Knight, then Queen and Rook
Intuitively sense how Black weakens himself with f5 and b5, which eventually create outposts and e5 and c5
Watch how White transfers control of the c-file into domination of the 7th rank
Appreciate how Alekhine activates his King, centralising him in the endgame whilst the Black King can not do so
The subtle touch of White playing h2-h4-h5 to remove any counterplay with g5 and clamp down on the g6 square