The attack against the uncastled king 2. The attack on the king that has lost the right to castle 3. On castling and attacking the castled position in general 4. Mating Patterns 6. The classic bishop sacrifice 7.
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The attack against the uncastled king 2. The attack on the king that has lost the right to castle 3. On castling and attacking the castled position in general 4. Mating Patterns 6. The classic bishop sacrifice 7. Ranks, files and diagonals in the attack on the castled king 8.
Pieces and pawns in the attack on the castled king 9. The attack on the fianchettoed and queenside castling positions Defending against the attack on the castled king The phases of the attack on the castled king The attack on the king as an integral part of the game Index Preface by John Nunn Attacking the enemy king is one of the most exciting parts of chess, but it is also one of the hardest to play accurately.
Every chess player has had the experience of seeing a promising-looking attack crumble into dust, whereupon the enemy counter-attack sweeps aside everything in its path. The author himself points out that not everything in chess can be reduced to a set of rules, but the general principles he establishes in this book provide excellent guidance on when to launch an attack and how to ensure that it has the maximum chance of success. As usual with classic books I have edited. I will take a little time to explain exactly how I have prepared this new edition.
First and foremost is the conversion to algebraic notation. I have lightly edited the rather ponderous English of the original translation, and brought the method of displaying variations into line with current practice.
The index of the original book included only complete games, but I have also indexed the game excerpts. In two of the complete games, Alekhine-Asztalos and Alekhine-Kmoch, I have brought the moves of the game into line with the move-order given in the original tournament books.
Quite often the results were startling; in the well-known game Alekhine-Botvinnik, Nottingham , he found a flaw which had eluded the many annotators who simply accepted the version of events Alekhine gave in the tournament book.
Introduction Action is the essential basis on which the game of chess is founded and any action which contains a threat — i. To the outside observer, a chess game is dominated by the conflict between the two players. Moreover, it can be said that the reforms which have been made in the rules of chess have always been in the direction of increasing and stimulating the opportunities for attack.
The great reform of c. For three centuries of chess history, attack predominated over defence in the practice of the great players, and mastery at that time meant skill in conducting an attack. Only with Philidor did the first positional ideas appear, and with them more mature defensive strategies; these were to find in Steinitz a century later a legislator of genius.
During the classic era of chess from Morphy to Steinitz and on to Lasker the value placed on attack gradually decreased, for with greater positional understanding the foundations were also provided for the perfection of defensive technique. This, however, was followed by a new period in which Capablanca, and particularly Alekhine, perfected the technique of attack, above all that of the attack on the castled position, founded on exact positional play.
With Alekhine the aggressive and dynamic style of play reached a zenith; in the period which followed the tide again turned away gradually from the risks of the direct attack in search of new paths.
The main reason for this is not to be found in any weakness inherent in the attacking style, but in the simple fact that, given the conditions of present-day tournaments, it is more profitable and advantageous to make a study of openings. When this source of opening innovations begins to dry up, the problem of attack will present itself once more.
The time may even come when the principles on which Alekhine built up his attacks will be completely understood, and those ideas which in the case of Alekhine had the appearance of a spark of genius will take on the more approachable aspect of attacking technique.
It will be more convenient to discuss these questions at the end of the book. At this point it should be enough to point out that there exists an extremely large group of chess players, who are no longer beginners nor, on the other hand, masters or point-hunters, but players who aim primarily at deriving an aesthetic satisfaction from the game.
For such players an attacking game is more attractive than positional technique and they will continue to attack regardless of risk, for their stormy contests are not going to be noted down in theoretical textbooks.
So why should such players not become acquainted with the general principles of attack and why should they not perfect themselves in that style of chess with which they are most at home?
Attacks of this kind can be distinguished according to the following categories. Let us take the following position as an example: Here White makes the normal positional move 1 d4, which obviously does not represent an attack against the black king; but in one variation it contains the elements of mate.
That is, if Black is careless, and plays for example The vast majority of attacks in fact fall into this very wide category. A simple example is given by this position: White plays 1 Ng5, carrying out an attack on h7. Black has three practical alternatives Nf6, and Nf6 White will no doubt again continue his attacking play, e.
However, on Nf8, attacking play does not promise success, and White will be content with a positional alternative, playing 2 Ne4. Then Black cannot really prevent 3 Nc5, after which the knight will have a strong position on c5 and the black bishop will be poorly placed on b7. This is the third and highest degree of attack.
We can categorize attack in another way if we take castling into account. Thus we have: 1 Attack before castling, i. Attack can also be divided on the basis of so-called mating patterns; of focal-points; of basic formations of pieces, files, ranks, and diagonals; of basic sacrifices; as well as by the stage which the attack has reached. These divisions according to the spatial, material, and temporal aspects of an attack will help us arrange the material so as to reveal the part played by each factor.
The basic pattern of mate For mate to be obtained. This is well known, and it seems rather banal to start out from this basic pattern or anatomy of mate; but in fact certain elementary rules can be formulated only on this basis. In the next position Black, to move, is unable to avoid mate in 4 different variations. He is threatened by 2 Bg7 first mating pattern ; If he plays Kf6, there follows 2 Bg7 second mating pattern ; moving the knight leads to 2 Qe6 third mating pattern ; while if The final or mating position is called the mating pattern, and this term is especially useful when such a pattern is worth remembering.
A mating pattern can be typical i. We call a mate or mating pattern pure if none of the squares concerned is covered by two or more attacking units. Thus Ne2 2 Qe6 is a pure mate, whereas Kf6 2 Bg7 is not, though it would be if we were to remove the bishop on f5. Pure mates are valued in chess problems, but in practical play they are unimportant. The sum of these combined factors is known as a mating net.
Thus in the above diagram, after Ne2 the focal-point is e6, since it is from there that the queen mates at close quarters. Similarly, after However, if Black plays, for instance, To carry out a mating attack successfully it is always useful to survey the possible mating patterns, to prepare a mating net accordingly, and to concentrate on the focal-point. In this connection it is in many cases important to clear the focal-point, that is to deprive any opposing pieces of their control over a square which would be convenient as a focal-point.
So he clears the focal-point d4 as follows: 1 Rxe2 eliminating the knight Kd5, then 2 f4 ; if Qc1 then 2 Qd4 ; or if Bxf4 3 Qd4 Many readers will object that the patterns of mating attack shown here are so obvious, indeed banal, that they need not even have been mentioned. However, I think it is useful to strengthen just this simple kind of knowledge, since in fact there are many mistakes made precisely in this field.
Here are a few instances of mistakes concerning mating patterns. Such a course of action is naturally futile, and though it may possibly produce perpetual check, it cannot produce mate. Mistakes made in the selection of a focal-point will be found even in the games of the masters. So it is useful to get to know the general pattern and structure of mating; less experienced players are especially recommended to study games to see whether a player has made a mistake with regard to the pattern and, if so, where he has made it.
The art of the mating attack We must now make some finer distinctions, and put a series of questions which arise out of the basic conceptions of a mating attack, and which at the same time also touch on the most difficult depar tments of the art of chess today.
How does a mating attack relate to the other operations which take place in a game of chess? How much is a mating attack conditioned by the actual position on the chessboard, and how much by the skill of the attacker?
Where does the risk attached to a mating attack lie? About which points are the minds of players today still unclear with respect to carrying out a mating attack? The relationship between these questions can be easily perceived, although they are posed separately. A separate reply, however, cannot be given to each, and an attempt must be made to answer them collectively.
Mate is the final aim and crowning achievement of the contest and the mating attack is the ultimate operation in relation to all the rest, which are only contributory. Consequently, the mating attack demands more preconditions than other operations. There exist a number of definite preconditions for a mating attack, and these combine to require a considerable degree of superiority on the part of the attacker. In the case where he has abundant superiority, great knowledge and ability on the part of the attacker are not necessary, but if his superiority just borders on what would justify a correct attack, then the maximum skill is also required in carrying out the attack.
The Romantics knew little, but they had great confidence in themselves; the first small increase in knowledge diverted their style from its course. The new formula, still accepted today, is: carry out a series of preliminary operations, which require only a smaller degree of advantage, and then you will attain the abundant superiority which facilitates a mating attack. However the consequence of this is that there has been a failure to exploit the art of attack to the full and masters have been over-inclined to see a risk in an attack.
It is still not clear what the minimum preconditions are, or what kind of advantage is necessary, for a mating attack. It may be a question, for example, of a single moment in a game which never returns. The order of his preparatory moves is extraordinarily important.
The only really simple thing is the principle itself — that moves entailing fewer obligations should be carried out before those which are more strongly binding. Putting this principle into practice, however, demands great skill of a kind which is very rare — it was fully possessed by Capablanca and Alekhine, but by few others.
Art Of Attack In Chess
Mar 18, Hao Duong rated it it was amazing It was a good book it showed me different variations of attacking in the game of chess, its very mindful that you study the tactics in the book so you can use them in real life. I took my time to study the books variations and applyed it to my real life chess games and was able to out play 2 of my algebra teachers other then that it was a really good book for someone who is looking for aggressive play in chess I look forward to reading more of Vladimir Vukovics chess books to improve for the It was a good book it showed me different variations of attacking in the game of chess, its very mindful that you study the tactics in the book so you can use them in real life. I took my time to study the books variations and applyed it to my real life chess games and was able to out play 2 of my algebra teachers other then that it was a really good book for someone who is looking for aggressive play in chess I look forward to reading more of Vladimir Vukovics chess books to improve for the scholastic chess tournament over the spring break. Re-reading every so often as you improve you get more insight into attacking chess detailed in this book. Excellent and highly recommended. Feb 05, Emilio rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: chess enthusiasts Shelves: chess This is a great guide to the offensive, no matter what the state or stage of the game.
Art of Attack in Chess
ART OF ATTACK IN CHESS