Attacking Chess Exercises
Warning: This post will take some time to work through, and is meant to be more of a lesson rather than an article. Take your time on these, as that is the best way to get anything out of it. Your time can not be better spent than solving these exercises!
In the previous post we discussed the difference between attacking and tactical chess. I highly suggest reading that post first.
Now we will try to practice this thought process with a few examples.
We are working on our ability to consider the critical moves.
These critical moves include: forcing moves (tactical moves) as well as others (the point of the previous post). The specific type of moves we are looking for here is those which increase the activity of our pieces. You may find it helpful to not think one move at a time, but multiple moves at a time, letting White make 2-3 moves in a row.
I suggest trying to solve the above diagram before moving on. You may get a different answer than mine, which does not mean that yours is wrong but do try to compare the answers as this reaps great benefits to your game. Just reading the below solution would not help you as much as actually trying to solve it first
Spend between 30-60 minutes
The solution is below:
This is how I would think about this: after looking for tactics, I did not find any clear continuation. Thus it would be senseless to only focus on the forcing moves - I should consider attacking moves as well. Which pieces can be improved? This can be answered by asking ourselves, where is the target? We would like to take on g6 many times as this would open up lines to the Black king. My rook and bishop are already ideally placed. That leaves my queen and knight - the queen is more readily available to be improved now (it is being attacked right now...) Thus we have found our move.
I wouldn't just play the move after I found the move, we must now calculate to make sure it is all working. Now we see the two parts of chess thinking:
(1) Find the right move (seems so simple, but it really isn't. That's why I'm writing these articles to help you find the attacking move)
(2) Calculate it to make sure it works. (we used to skip #1 and go straight here. This worked for tactical problems, but not so much for anything else)
We can not skip #2, otherwise we'd be playing fantasy chess.
On the theme of thinking about multiple moves for White, I would have thought about:
Qh6, hxg6, Bxg6, Rxg6
Before playing Qh6, I should have already calculated the continuation as well.
This thought process may still seem a bit foreign - I will be posting more examples to help you master this. For now, keep in mind the key principle: Include your pieces in the attack!
This is a series of articles on attacking chess - the analysis of original thus I apologize in advance if there are inaccuracies - though I doubt there will be many. I hope you found this useful, but regardless, I would appreciate it if you left a comment below with your feedback. Best of luck.