Saturday, November 6, 2010

Attacking the orthodox castled position


So the quest continues, to learn the fundamentals of this game before the opening theory, and hopefully pick up some opening knowledge along the way.

Knowing how to attack in general rather than just a few set patterns of attack from openings (like pushing the h-pawn against the dragon, or bringing the white Queen to the dark squares via e1 in the Grand Prix attack), is far more useful. It's far more noble too- you'll get a lot more out of chess if you learn it's spirit rather than memorise a few movements.

Most attacks are based on making weaknesses in the castled position then exploiting them. Last post I mentioned the Queen/light squared Bishop battery (in lots of Queen's pawn openings), on the white squares hitting h7, paired with maneuvers to weaken black's defense of h7 like Bg5, e4-e5 etc. Anyway! Let's look at a few more examples:

1. Azmaiparashvili - Rashovsky
"Going for the jugular!" A cliché yes, but I can't think of any other way to describe this game. White offers e4 for rapid development, plays an early f4 and I can't imagine a quicker attack really!
game continues below;)

So... what can this game teach you? I don't think you (or Azmaiparashvili) calculate attacks like that all the way through, but it does show you 2 things you can remember: firstly, pushing away the kingside defence and organising your game to attack the weak points that creates. and (B): tempo is your friend.
*You can also find this game annotated in Jacob Aagard's fantastic "attacking manual" video series

2. Steinitz V Macdonnell
"attack the weakest point in your opponent's defence"
This game shows you how far defending has come since the old days. Definitely not played in the style of today, but it illustrates two important ideas: cramped positions, and attacking the weakest point.

a typical plan for white in the 'Sozin'

Not sure if anyone can make sense of that or if it just makes things more confusing!! To weaken d5 white usually:
  • Plays Bg5 and swaps Bish for Knight on f6.
  • pushes the f-pawn up the board forcing black to play e5 leaving a hole on his target d5.
  • Remove the final black defender of d5 by swinging his d4 knight to e2, g3, then h5 and swapping on f6 again. He'll then have a minor positional advantage
Any Sozin players looking for some general annotations can check out John Emms' "Simple Chess" which has 3 or 4 Sozin's in the "outposts" chapter.

Ok, so I lied- I promised to show some simple attacking maneuvers and ended up showing a couple of crazy games with totally different themes... next time!

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