Attack against uncastled King..


In the opening both player endeavour to devlop their pieces, to occupy the central squares, and to remove their King to the flanks where it stands more protected.

Naturally, it is to one's advantage if the opponent cannot solve all these opening problems.  It is of course always advantageous to keep the opponent's pieces on their original squares as long as possible when they cannot obtain control of master points in the center, and, in particular, when the enemy King has not succeeded in tucking itself away in safety.  A King that is left standing in the center is an ideal target of attack, and it is worth a great deal to attain such an objective.  Therefore masters will often use every possible means available to keep the opponent's king right the middle of the board.


It is well worth while.  When the King stands just on its original square one can, as has already been said, expose it to a fierce attack, and therefore masters sometimes sacrifice both pawns and pieces solely to prevent the opponent's castling.


Let's see for example how Paul Keres sacrifices in the following game against Sajtar in the Chess Olympiad at Amsterdam in 1954.





There are many other examples that could be quoted to show how the attacker sacrifices a piece for one or two pawns with the sole aim of keeping the opponent's King right in the middle of the first rank. For example, let's look at a remarkable telephone game between Bengt Horberg-Kotov.

After Black's ninth move this position arose:








By Nd5! Horberg sacrificed a piece for two pawns.  I though that White's attack could be warded off, but Horberg subtle play, ressourceful and imaginative, enabled him to bring the whole combination to a successful conclusion. 

Now, let us take up an important question.  What plan ought we to decide upon when the opponent's King is pinned down to the middle of the board?

We can take as our point of departure a position in which our pieces are pratically fully developed, castling has been carried out, and many of our opponent's pieces in fact stand on their original squares.  So how we have his King stuck fast in the centre.  How shall we set about it, what sort of plan shall we fashion as our continuation?

The answer to these questions soon comes to mind.  When we have the better development and our pieces display more activly, then these circumstances must be exploited at once.

We are in effect obliged to set about harassing the opponent without loss of time by direct threats and swift attacks.  He must be forced to ward off these attacks at once.  this had the specific effect of hindering him still further from completing the development of his pieces.  Finally, the attack should attain such overwhelming force as to bring about the win for us.

We shall examine an other instructive game on this theme.  It was played between kotov-Kalmanok in 1935.

In this game, Black has adopted a slow opening system with the result that he remains backward in development.  This Bishop move lessens the power of movement of the Black pieces still more, since after the natural c5 there would follow d5..







We will conclude this post with a remarkable example, signed Alekhine, that unparralleled master among attacking players.  His game with Veillat is of supreme interest by reason of the way the attack is built up, and it serve as a copybook example by excellence of our theme!!!

In this diagram, Black is ahead is development.  White requires 2 more moves before his King can gain the haven of g1.  In the meantime Alekhine creates positive threats so that his opponent is not in a position to make just the 2 moves that necessary to complete his development..



This is from Kotov's Art of the Middle Game.