We’re coming to a close of our several weeks venture into learning how attacks start and are implemented. We’ve learned that you need to develop a sense for figuring out when the time is right, even though you can’t perhaps see a mate in two or three. You’ve also learned that there are commonly occurring factors that tell you when to start: you can break up the castled king’s pawn structure, you can take advantage of weak squares in his castled position, you can often sacrifice a piece to help your access to your opponent’s king and you can get that king into the open and forced up the board to make it easier to get at him. Hopefully, you’ve also learned to look at moves your opponent may play that don’t cooperate with your expectations. Today’s position is from a game played by one of the greatest attacking players of all time—Kurt Richter. It’s stunning in its conception. You probably won’t see it all, but neither did I when I first saw. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you learn from playing it over and then store the ideas for later use. Oddly enough, I used one of the ideas in this game just last night at a friend’s house. It was a five-minute game, and seeing the idea appear meant I didn’t have to think much with the clock ticking away. Good luck with this. Remember the rules we always give here and then work out as best you can.
We’ve been looking at developing a sense for when to initiate a decisive attack. One of the most important ideas is seeing that your opponent’s king can be forced into the open. You can do that in this position, but the “cost” is high. Can you figure it out all the way to the end?
Timing is everything in chess. We’ve tried recently to give you a feel for the moment to start an attack rather than just concentrate on mating at the end. The reason is good. You have to know how to get to the mating positions! Our position is from Capablanca-Blackburne in the great 1914 tournament. This is your “moment.” How do you initiate an attack here?
This is a very instructive position for players who are a bit timid to give up material. You have to realize that just about all sacrifices fall into certain categories. One of those categories is to pick up time on your opponent. It’s like getting two or three moves in a row! Another is to break up a castled position. Both of these categories are in play here.
White has five pieces with easy access to Black’s castled position. FIVE!! That’s about as good as your ever going to see. If a position such as this ever shows up in one of your games, you should sit there until you find the best continuation. There has to be the win of major material or mate. There just has to be!