Cavalry charge
"Cavalry charge" by Ivan Pryanishnikov

Cavalry charge

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When I was a little kid, the most popular theory about teaching chess was that one should start from the games of the old masters. There are two main advantages to that:

1. The older games are full of beautiful combinations and romantic sacrifices, which mesmerize the beginners and forever hook them on the beauty of chess.

2. It does not hurt that the level of play in XIX century was not very high. An average opponent of Morphy or Andersen did not pose them too many problems, thus allowing the attacking genius of these great master to shine through.

After studying the Romantic masters the kids were supposed to slowly advance from XIX century to the present day, gradually improving the complexity of the games and concepts that they were studying. It takes a lot of time and training to start appreciating the careful maneuvering of Rubinstein or the refined simplicity of Capablanca!

And yet there is something magical about the attacks of past masters, that takes the breath away even from the most educated and sophisticated chess players. There is an incredible audacity and reckless abandon in attacking your opponent from move 1. It reminds of the cavalry charges that were instilling fear on the battlefields of XIX century. More often than not the cavalry attack would overrun and overwhelm the enemy.

Many years would pass and the cavalry would become an outdated and even stupid way to wage a war. The horse-riding and sable-rattling men would have nothing on barbed wire and tanks. But boy was it beautiful while it lasted!..

The game below is the chess equivalent of cavalry charge. Look how quickly the opponent succumbs to White's dashing attack!