Opponent’s King in Center and Fred Wilson’s 4 Principles

MickinMD

Here’s a pretty though slightly-flawed 3-day/move game I just won that illustrates some key guidelines for playing good chess.

I just wrote this as one of a series of pieces I send to a relative who coaches a middle school chess club. I hope the principles examined will benefit some players here and demonstrate the value of Fred Wilson's book, Simple Attacking Plans - I don't personally know Fred, but I love the book!

I had the White pieces in the game below which is posted interactively near the bottom of this post and can be viewed interactively at: https://www.chess.com/daily/game/201911236

The main things this game shows are:

  1. why you castle and why you keep your opponent’s King in the center if possible.
  2. why it pays to follow the four principles in Fred Wilson’s great book, Simple Attacking Plans.

 P.S. Note: In some of the comments below it's mistaken or assumed Fred Wilson is a low or club-rated player (since Fred Wilson is a common name, maybe there are others). Wilson is, in fact, a very good play and writer:

Fred Wilson, age 72, is rated 2210 (master level) by the US Chess Federation and has the 26th highest USCF rating of those 65 and over (Seniors): http://www.uschess.org/component/option,com_top_players/Itemid,371?op=list&month=1806&f=usa&l=R:Top%20Seniors.&h=Top%20Age%2065%20and%20Over

in 2003, Fred Wilson was named Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America.

The opening moves reach a position called “The Italian Game” which the Italians call “Giuoco Piano” and which means “Quiet Game” but that’s misleading because it can quickly develop into wild attacks. Note that, in keeping with Fred Wilson’s 1stprinciple (at bottom): In the opening, whenever justified, relentlessly attack the weak squares f7 or f2, my c4-Bishop is pointing at Black’s f7 square and my f3 Knight is one move from doing the same. Black played his pawn to h6 to keep the Knight from doing it and starting a wild opening called “The Fried Liver Attack.”

I did not intend to play the Fried Liver Attack, but it is feared by so many Black players that the …h6 move of the the “Anti-Fried Liver Defense” may give an advantage to “standard” Italian Game players by causing Black to waste a tempo on a Pawn instead of developing a Piece.

The first key position is after my 6th move:

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My moving the Knight is NOT a winning move for the Knight alone, though Stockfish 9 (set to 20 ply depth, analyzed post-game on the great freeware Lucas Chess), says it’s the best move and puts me ahead by over a Pawn Equivalent - probably because Black’s violation of another principle - Don’t move your Queen out too early - left his c7-Pawn vulnerable and forces Black to play:

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And now his King cannot castle! I have him - at least temporarily - stuck in the middle! The Black King is now on the d-file instead of the e-file so my FIRST thought is to follow Fred Wilson’s principle #3 (at bottom), If your opponent’s king is trapped in the center, make every reasonable effort to open and dominate the e-file, and sometimes the d-file also, and dominate the d-file. I want to castle and move my c1-Bishop so I can get my rooks toward the center files (columns).

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 Above, I blundered and overlooked a great move, Bb6+ then Bxa5, but Stockfish 9 says I’m still +1.71 Pawn Equivalents ahead. As the game goes on, Stockfish finds a few “mistakes” I make where its preferred moves are “better” but more complicated, which means human players have greater chances of going wrong: and all my moves from here keep me with a winning advantage according to Stockfish 9.

Above, on my 10th move Qd2, I’ve achieved mobility for my Rooks as planned and did NOT let myself be distracted by Black threatening to trade my well-placed c4-Bishop for his Knight: besides, when he does so it will open-up the d-file for me when I retake the Knight with my d-Pawn.

One more thing is noteworthy: when I moved my Queen, I kept her aimed at the Black King. That not only follows another one of Wilson’s principles, #4 at bottom: If possible, point all your pieces at your opponent’s king, it follows advice from the best book on tactics I know, Martin Weteschnik’s Chess Tactics From Scratch, 2nd Ed., which which notes that lining up your Q, R, or B with your opponent’s King can result in great tactical opportunities.

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Finally (above), on my 16th move, I’m able to put serious pressure on the d-file, attacking Black’s d6-Pawn which is pinned to the d-file by my Queen.

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Black (above) tries to avoid serious problems by pushing his d-Pawn forward, but it doesn’t work.

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Black (above) instinctively moves his Bishop to d7 to block the discovered attack and check by my Queen after dxc6. This let’s me get my Knight into the attack:

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Black (above) moves his Rook and hopes I will trade my Knight for it, gaining an advantage for me. But there’s an old rule of thumb about Knights: A Knight on the 3rd rank is poised for attack. A Knight on the 4th rank is as good as a Bishop. A knight on the 5th rank is better than a Bishop. A Knight on the 6th rank is devastating!

I have a Knight on the 6th rank, so I looked for other moves that would let me keep the devastating Knight:

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My 19th move, dxc6!! above is the winning move and Stockfish 9 says I’m 11.77 Pawn Equivalents ahead. The d7-Bishop is pinned and Black can’t take my c6-Pawn because I’d checkmate Black by taking the d7-B with my Queen.

Below, a couple moves later after taking Black’s d7-Bishop, I take the opportunity to grab another pawn: Black can’t take my Knight because of b8=Q check!

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After each side grabs a Pawn, Black makes a bad move (below) that violates another principle: When you are behind in material: trade Pawns, not Pieces.

He also strips away protection from his King.

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But there’s a method to Black’s madness. Black knows he’s far behind in material now. He knows he needs to try to attack me NOW. By exchanging Bishops, he opens up the h-file for his Rook and Queen to attack h2 - which would be checkmate and would follow Fred Wilson’s Principle (#2 at bottom): Most successful kingside attacks are directed against the squares h7 or h2, and they are often preceded by eliminating or driving off its defender.

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Below: I saw that I could open up the e-file (again, Wilson’s Principle #3 at bottom) for my Rook (Principle #4 at bottom) by moving my Knight to g4 and that Black’s wide-open King would get mated if Black’s Queen took the Knight or Black tried to drive the Knight off with f5 - the eliminating or driving off its [h2’s] defender part of Wilson’s Principle #2, which Black knowingly or instinctively followed:

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Below, after 25 Rfe1+, Black could have stretched out the game by playing …Re7, But the result would not be in doubt.

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But after 25…Kf8? (above), it’s easy to visualize a mating net where White’s Q and N force the Black K to a mating position. I have a forced mate in 3 after 26 Qd8+ Kf7 (forced) 27 Ne5+ Ke6 (forced) then 28 Qe6 checkmate:

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The interactive game (with chess.com max analysis):

 

 Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson’s 4 principles from his excellent book Simple Attacking Plans where the 4 principles are demonstrated by 36 annotated games:

I have come to believe there are only four essential, even primitive, concepts which you must learn and understand in order to play successful, attacking chess - Fred Wilson

  1. In the opening, whenever justified, relentlessly attack the weak squares f7 or f2
  2. Most successful kingside attacks are directed against the squares h7 or h2, and they are often preceded by eliminating or driving off its defender. Corollary: most successful attacks require a long queen move.
  3. If your opponent’s king is trapped in the center, make every reasonable effort to open and dominate the e-file, and sometimes the d-file also
  4. If possible, point all your pieces at your opponent’s king.

 

 

 

IMBacon

The first diagram illustrates "why" it was a bad move it was to place the queen on f6.  Like you said, it violates opening principles, bringing the queen out early, leaves c7 vulnerable, but also shows how the knight cannot get to its most active square (f6), and now the dark square bishop is blocked.  Leaving nothing but the king to defend c7.

Nice illustration of how whites violation of opening principles of moving the knight twice is OK in this position.

Daniel1115

a3 into b4 was a waste of time imo

MickinMD

Yesterday - the day after this game finished, I won another Italian Opening (Guioco Piano) as White where Black played the anti-Fried Liver Attack Defense: ! e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 h6 (same in this game by transposition) against a player rated over 1900 compared to my lower-1800's.

I didn't intend the Fried Liver Attack and wonder how much 3...h6 is a waste of a tempo. Looking at the chess.com Opening Explorer's Master Games, I see that after ! e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 h6 (or any transposition to the same position), White wins 62%, draws 19% and loses 19%.

If the Fried Liver Attack is allowed with 3...Nf6 4 Ng5, White wins 41%, draws 20% and loses 380% (1% missing due to rounding error).

Only 37 out of over 27,000 master games played 3...h6, the anti-Fried L:iver move and it's clear why.  Still, I wonder how many non Masters are playing it?  There are a huge number of master plus mostly non-master games in Chess King's huge database and the last, most-recent page shows White with 18W 2D 5L.

Consequently, I think I'm right to enjoy seeing an opponent play 3...h6.

pfren

Fred Wilson is a class C player (1506 FIDE). I am sure enough that you can be taught sounder principles by other chessplayers.

Daniel1115
pfren wrote:

Fred Wilson is a class C player (1506 FIDE). I am sure enough that you can be taught sounder principles by other chessplayers.

Ouch! Why would someone so low rated put time into writing a book?

pfren
Daniel1115 έγραψε:
pfren wrote:

Fred Wilson is a class C player (1506 FIDE). I am sure enough that you can be taught sounder principles by other chessplayers.

Ouch! Why would someone so low rated put time into writing a book?

He might have a good marketing dpt.

Besides that, it's well known that the majority of potential buyers will likely prefer a random book by a largely unknown American author than a Russian/ Soviet classic book.

IMBacon
Daniel1115 wrote:
pfren wrote:

Fred Wilson is a class C player (1506 FIDE). I am sure enough that you can be taught sounder principles by other chessplayers.

Ouch! Why would someone so low rated put time into writing a book?

Because even low rated players can teach beginners.  It doesnt take a titled player to teach someone the basics, and if he can get a book published that is well written, explains things well, and makes him some money?  Why not?

MickinMD

Those saying Fred Wilson is a low-rated player are wrong and here's the proof:

Fred Wilson, age 72, is rated 2210 (master level) by the US Chess Federation and has the 26th highest USCF rating of those 65 and over (Seniors): http://www.uschess.org/component/option,com_top_players/Itemid,371?op=list&month=1806&f=usa&l=R:Top%20Seniors.&h=Top%20Age%2065%20and%20Over

in 2003, Fred Wilson was named Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America.

Before slinging mud as someone, you should double-check your "information."

dfgh123

the im's research dpt sucks