Master: Attack and Defense

  • IM Bryan Smith & IM Danny Rensch
  • Avg Rating: 1760
  • Master

In this course we will be learning how to attack and defend like a master.

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  • Defensive Trading

    A very important defensive idea is to force trades. Often, when you are facing an attack, a well-timed trade can remove the danger to your position.
  • Breaking Through the Castle...Advanced

    A seemingly well-covered king can still be attacked when there is a large attacking force. In particular, a "rook lift" is a dangerous method of attack against the castled king.
  • When to Attack

    "When to attack?" is a very important question. The first World Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, said that the side which has the advantage must attack, or they will lose their advantage. But things are not so simple - for example, you could have the overall advantage in some positions, even if you are defending. Generally you should attack when you have an advantage on some part of the board - especially if it is a temporary advantage.
  • Seizing the Moment

    "Carpe Diem" is applicable to chess. In many positions, if you don't use your chance when it arises, you will lose it.
  • Prophylactic Thinking 101

    "Prophylactic" thinking means preventative thinking. It means that you think from your opponent's point of view, and try to prevent what he is planning. Thinking in chess involves two aspects: your plans, ideas, and threats; and the plans, ideas, and threats of your opponent. However, many players neglect the second aspect.
  • Defensive Sacrifice

    While material is important in chess, there are many positions where there are more important goals which require the sacrifice of material to achieve. This is not limited to positions where you are attacking your opponent's king - in some cases you might need to give up material for defensive purposes.
  • Killing the Target

    The words "if only..." are a frequent way that a chess master begins to formulate a combination. "If only I could get my queen to this square"; "If only I could make this piece move away"...If you see an "if only" on the chess board, look for a way to make it a reality. There won't always be a way, but sometimes there will.
  • Reinforcing Your Attack and Defense

    Sometimes the pieces you have available for your attack (or defense) are insufficient. In that case, you need to bring up new pieces. Calculation will tell whether the time involved is too high a price.
  • Attacking the Vulnerable

    An important strategic concept is to identify the weak points in your opponent's position and attack them.
  • Positional Attacking

    You cannot always attack your opponent's king. Usually he will try to keep it well guarded, and you will have to look for other weaknesses and use positional factors to gain an advantage, which - much later in the game - could be turned into an attack on the king.

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