Premature Attacks on the King

  • FM Joel Banawa
  • Avg Rating: 1440
  • Attacks

Knowing when to sacrifice material in order to open up your opponent's King is one of the most important tactics to learn in chess. Proper execution of this maneuver must take in to account all of a defender's pieces (or lack thereof) to determine whether or not the sacrifice will work and is sound, and/or if you have a continuation to follow the try.

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  • Premature attacks on the King

    Learning how to sacrifice material for a win is an essential part of improving your chess game. In order for a sacrifice to be proven sound, however, an accurate assessment of all your opponent's defensive resources (or lack thereof) must be taken into account. Premature attacks on the king can lead you to having to play on at a material disadvantage and/or losing a game immediately. The following examples begin as one side has sacrificed a piece(s) in order to generate an attack on the opponent's...
  • Knights are strong defensive pieces!

    Miscalculated sacrifices should be punished! The classical bishop sacrifices on both h2 (for White) and h7 (for Black) have certain requirements for them to work. In this example, the unwillingness to comply with these rules will result in premature attacks which can easily be defended.
  • Attack on h2

    Castled positions can be prime territory for the premature sacrifice to occur. As both sides look for creative ways to tear away at the newly built fortresses that have been made. It is important, therefore, to calculate any and all sacrifices to their conclusion prior to going for the win.
  • A mysterious defensive rook move

    We can frequently find ourselves under such a heavy mating attack. When facing scary looking attacks, many chess players tend to panic and will occasionally play moves that weaken their king's castle. In this example, sometimes it's not necessary to move the pawns in front of the king to defend against an attack. A stronger player is expected to be resourceful and should find the best ways to defend without causing further weaknesses to their position.
  • Don't panic!

    Sometimes when our opponent threatens to execute an unusual checkmate in the middlegame, it can provoke us to play the wrong defensive moves against the threat. In this lesson, we are going to examine an unusual attacking pattern that is not to be feared. If we panic, we can get in real big trouble.
  • An unexpected dangerous diagonal

    It is extremely important for a chess player to develop a sense of danger when pieces loom near their king. This feeling is especially critical when there is a knight in attacking range. The following example illustrates another unusual attack on the castled position where extra defensive care must be taken...
  • A premature sacrifice on h3

    Many chess players are very emotional when it comes to going on the attack. Many times, they will still proceed on the offensive even though it is considered dubious at best to try in a given position. This example will illustrate why most sacrifices do not work due to precise defensive resources.
  • The best defense is sometimes indirect

    So far we have delved into the category of defense via the strict guarding of our castled position. At times, however, it is necessary to attack our opponent's position in order to properly defend our own. Let's look at a demonstration of that...
  • Looking for sneaky f7 sacrifices...

    Sacrifices on the f7 square are always sneaky and unpredictable and sometimes unsound...This example will illustrate why...
  • Double Trouble Part 1...

    There are times during a chess game where it may seem that your opponent has all the advantages. More development, the bishop pair, better active pieces, etc., whatever the case may be, however, a defensive resource is a defensive resource, and as such they may be used to interfere with an opponent's plan of attack.
  • Double Trouble Part II

    This is the 2nd part of "Double Trouble" If you haven't worked on the first one, I suggest that you try it out before attempting this lesson.
  • Need a Lift?

    When it seems like you are being surrounded and all of your opponent's pieces are acting in unison to invade your castle, you must look for any and all resource(s) on hand to save the day.
  • Removing an attacker from an active square.

    Often times, when we are faced with dangerous mating attacks along the h-file, the first instinct that takes over is to look for ia way to transfer our king into the safety zone. This does not always have to be the case. Sometimes, we can just knock our opponent's attackers off of their active posts and dis-coordinate them to the point where an attack can no longer be executed. We will demonstrate this technique in this lesson.
  • An Emergency Switch

    Occasionally, we find ourselves in a position where an opponent sacrifices plenty of material for a dangerous-looking attack. In this example, it will be illustrated how important it is to never give up while trying to find the correct defense.
  • Reduce the Heat

    As mentioned earlier, an unsound sacrifice needs to be dealt with swiftly and with a heavy hand. The final lesson exemplifies how quickly the tide can turn on an unsuspecting opponent who decides just to attack, attack, attack at all costs...

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