Mastery: Attacking

The Essence of the Initiative

The Essence of the Initiative

In this course, I will present to you positions where you have to either correctly handle or maintain the initiative or defend against it. There will also be situations where you have to decide if a speculative sacrifice promises a powerful enough initiative to ensure full compensation.

  • Sieze the initiative

    This problem is relatively easy. Black has a slight lead on development and white has his king stuck on f1, but in the long term black's light squared bishop will be a bad piece and white has more space. How can black decisively act and seize the initiative?

    • 4 challenges
  • Diffusion

    White is up a pawn, but White's position is very loose and the king looks slightly exposed. How would you continue?

    • 2 challenges
  • Endgame Initiative

    Black seems to have the initiative and the upper hand in this highly unbalanced endgame. How would you continue?

    • 3 challenges
  • Opposite castling

    In this opposite side castling scenario, both kings may end up walking the tightrope. How can black seize the initiative?

    • 3 challenges
  • Pawn Tension

    Oftentimes positions with lots of pawn tension create interesting possibilities. In this one, the tension has been maintained for a few moves, and both sides must decide whether they want to keep it or release it.

    • 3 challenges
  • Fighting Back

    Black is down a pawn but is ahead in development in a queenless middlegame.

    • 2 challenges
  • Diffusion 2

    At this point, white has just instantly dropped down Bxf7+, pitching a piece as well as the 2 pawns from the previous 2 moves, to gain a powerful initiative. Will you be able to point out the flaw in those sacrifices?

    • 4 challenges
  • Breaking it apart

    In a normal Bayonet type position of the Kings Indian attack, Ivanchuk erred. Try to emulate Kramnik's play.

    • 1 challenge
  • Grab it while you can

    Black recently played f5, initiating the trade of the e-pawn for the f-pawn. Is this a promising trade for him?

    • 1 challenge
  • Fighting Back II

    White's center is coming under enormous pressure and the black bishops are springing into action.

    • 3 challenges
  • Some evil Trickery

    White seems to have some advantage but no way of pursuing it further

    • 1 challenge
  • Rauzer Attacks

    In a seemingly normal Rauzer position, something is out of place.

    • 5 challenges
  • The archangel lives!

    White seems to have repulsed all immediate danger in an Archangel and remains up a pawn. Is Black in trouble or is this an illusion?

    • 2 challenges
  • A tense encounter

    Both sides have their obvious trumps in a very complicated middlegame, and both kings are safe for the moment but at any point could be in dire straits.

    • 3 challenges
  • A sharp Benoni

    In an all-important last round game, the struggle seems to have gone black's way so far.

    • 1 challenge
  • A tense moment

    In a scheveningen structure, a very tense battle is about to begin.

    • 1 challenge
  • Defend!!

    White has sacrificed a piece to develop a powerful initiative.

    • 2 challenges
  • Counterchances

    Black has the bishop pair, an extra pawn, and White's queen is very passively placed. The situation seems grim- try to create chances for the first player.

    • 5 challenges
  • increasing the pressue

    White seems to have a pleasant position, suggest a way to further develop his initiative.

    • 1 challenge
  • The granddaddy

    If you like throwing triple and quadruple piece sacs and hanging everything to go for the king, this one is for you :). It is also the hardest problem in the course.

    • 5 challenges
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