Attacking Properly Vol. 3

Attacking Properly Vol. 3

IM mat_kolosowski

If mastering chess was only about learning theoretical principles and following certain guidelines, no one would play this game at this point. As much as I like trying to take a scientific approach to many chess concepts, I perfectly understand that the moves made on the board are the only things that matter after all. This is particularly relevant when it comes down to attacking the king. 

From one of my previous posts you may recall that there are several attacking rules of thumb. While they were designed to help you in finding the right moves over the board, this is never going to be sufficient unless you are able to find your way to win the game, i.e. calculate. Tactics will always play the major role in attacking, whether we like it or not. Understanding strategic patterns is definitely helpful but not enough to bring you precious victories.

The difference between strong attacking players and weak ones those who still need to practice more is the ability to find tactical resources when it is requied, especially when the opponent is not expecting anything. A sharp attacker is like a magician - creates something out of nothing, performs the trick right in front of the audience opponent's eyes and gets the well-deserved applause (a nice win usually).

Here's a sample of attacking witchcraft presented by Dr Siegbert Tarrasch. If you manage to outfox the master of romantic chess such as Mikhail Chigorin - the world championiship challenger in such a way, you don't need to solve chess tactics anymore (otherwise, you do).

To take the most out of this video, make sure to press the pause button before White's moves and try to figure out the way Tarrasch destroyed his great opponent.

Take a look at my brief annotations, too.

At this point you should understand that:

  1. A successful attack is an application of theoretical principles into practice by a mixture of good strategic decisions (e.g. to open the position) and precise calculation.
  2. It is advisable to look for the hidden resources available in the position - make sure to calculate (at least the forcing moves) in every position (often a quick blunder scan should suffice).
  3. You are not going to attack properly unless you are able to calculate well - make sure to work on your pattern recognition and chess vision.
  4. Tactical shortcuts are not advisable - it is good to trust your intuition but a strong attacking player often needs to calculate till the end (when the evaluation of the position can be made).

In the upcoming videos I will attempt to address more specific issues, i.e. attacking the king on opposite wing and attacking the king placed on the same part of the board.

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