Attack and Defence

4th_Aug_09 Attack and Defence

Items from the initial list of areas for improvement:

  • - Attacking chess where simplification is not the best option
  • - Defending
  • - When you have to defend something and stop your attack
Fischer-Myagmarsuren Sousse 1967

1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. g3 c5 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Ngf3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e5 Nd7 9. Re1 b5 10. Nf1 b4 11. h4 a5 12. Bf4 a4 13. a3

"Believe it or not, I actually spent more time on this innocuous push (15 minutes) than on any other move in the game! I didn't want to allow Black to get in ...a3 thereby creating 'holes' on c3 and a3. On the other hand, by stopping to meet his positional threat I am forced to postpone my own schemes for at least one move. Chess is a matter of delicate judgement, knowing when to punch and how to duck."

13…bxa3 14. bxa3 Na5 15. Ne3 Ba6 16. Bh3 d4 17. Nf1 Nb6 18. Ng5 Nd5 19. Bd2 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Qd7 21. Qh5 Rfc8 22. Nd2 Nc3 23. Bf6 Qe8 24. Ne4 g6 25. Qg5 Nxe4 26. Rxe4 c4 27. h5 cxd3 28. Rh4 Ra7 29. Bg2 dxc2 30. Qh6 Qf8 31. Qxh7+ 1-0

Here's another classic Fischer game, where the cut and thrust is more to the fore:

Successful attack

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.f3 Nf6 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Nd2 Nf6 7.Ngf3 Nbd7 8.Bd3 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qe1 c5 11.Qh4 cxd4 12.Bg5 g6 13.Ne4 Re8 14.Ne5 Nxe4 15.Rxf7 Nxg5 16.Bxg6 Nf3+ 17.gxf3 Bxh4 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng6# 1-0

Successful defence

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Nxf6+ Bxf6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nf3 0-0 9.c3 b6 10.Ne5 Nd7 11.Ng4 Qf4 12.Be2 Bb7 13.0-0 f5 14.Ne3 Rf6 15.Re1 Rh6 16.Nf1 Nf6 17.Bf3 Ne4 18.Re3 Rf8 19.Qa4 a5 20.Rae1 Rd8 21.Ng3 Qh4 22.h3 Nxf2 23.Bxb7 Nxh3+ 24.gxh3 Rg6 25.Bg2 Rf8 26.Qc4 Kh8 27.Qxc7 f4 28.Rf1 Rxg3 29.Qd6 Rd8 30.Rxf4 1-0

Unsuccessful attack

1.d4 b5 2.Nf3 a6 3.c3 Bb7 4.Bf4 e6 5.e3 Nf6 6.h3 Bd6 7.Ne5 0-0 8.Nd2 Nd5 9.Bd3 Nxf4 10.exf4 f5 11.Rh2 c5 12.Ndf3 Nc6 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.Ne5 Bb7 15.g4 cxd4 16.cxd4 Bb4+ 17.Kf1 Bd5 18.a3 Be7 19.g5 d6 20.Nf3 Qb6 21.Be2 Rfc8 22.h4 Ra7 23.h5 Rac7 24.Ne1 a5 25.b4 a4 26.Rb1 Rc3 27.Bf3 Bxf3 28.Nxf3 Rxa3 29.Qe2 d5 30.Ne5 Qxd4 31.Ng6 Kf7 0-1

Lessons from this game:
  • White developed as he intended to, and attacked as he intended to, without heed to Black's actual set-up.
  • Black offers White a target on move 1, which White ignores.
  • gxf5 was a chance to open up lines -- perhaps the position is still better for Black, but White spends the rest of the game unsuccessfully trying to prise open the Black King's-side.
  • The Move-all-the-pieces-over-and-checkmate plan can work, but it works when the centre is either blocked (Fischer's KIA and Brian's Stonewall) or is owned by the attacking side.
  • White lost some tempi earlier on (c3 and h3) which could have been put to better use.
  • The game is an argument for greater flexibility in setting up your attacks -- if White had spent some time tying Black down to defence on the Queen's-side, a later switch to the King's-side might have been decisive.

Chess Quotes

"The most important feature of the chess position is the activity of the pieces. This is absolutely fundamental in all phases of the game (opening, middlegame and especially endgame). The primary constraint on a piece's activity is the Pawn structure."
— Michael STEAN, in Simple Chess.