The ability to successfully attack your opponent’s king is an essential skill for any ambitious chess player. After all, no matter what style you play, you’ll never checkmate the king – and ultimately win the game – unless you attack at some point.
For all the talk of strategy, checkmate ends the game. And hunting the enemy king is the first and final love for many chess players, the ultimate essence of the game.
The high stake sacrifice, tenacious defense and the brilliant finishing move are a major part of many of the most beloved games in history.
In this video, Mato Jelic deconstructs some of the greatest attacks ever played, teaching you how to win games in the most satisfying way imaginable! This is a free preview of Mato’s brand new course, The King Hunt, Part 2.
The King Hunt 2 – Mato Jelic
Throughout his new course, Mato Jelic provides you with hundreds of tactical patterns to study and later recognize in your own games. Tactical pattern recognition helps you to improve your calculation as patterns you’ve noticed in the past come to your mind in your games.
Mato’s examples in this course are well-structured and based on five elementary attacking patterns like the sacrifice or h7/h2 or the sacrifice on g6/g3. This structure follows simple tactical concepts which leads you to find more targets in own games.
By absorbing as many of these patterns as possible, you’ll be able to identify pieces or squares which are perhaps exploitable. This can also help you to spot the not-so-obvious moves.
You’ll also learn key insights about the coordination of your pieces. It’s essential to remember that tactics occur when pieces are in the right places, on active squares. When you have the right structure, with pieces working well together, you will find the tactical shots that decide games. Click here to get your copy with 35% off!
Attack On The Castled King
The most natural place for the king is in a castled position. It is usually his safest shelter. It is advisable for each chess player to castle early and on the right side. In fact, in most chess games, both players manage to castle in the opening. However, there are still plenty of possibilities for attacking a castled king. If you want to go for such an attack, you first of all need to identify the weakest point in your opponent’s position.
Choose a clear target for your attack. Instead of randomly placing your pieces on the kingside, you need to focus on a certain square and specifically build up your attack against it. Right after castling, the h2 or h7 squares become a target.
The rook doesn’t protect the square anymore and it is solely protected by the king. This weakness often stays a motif for combinations until the late middlegame. Frequently, the attacking player sacrifices pieces on h7 or h2 to eliminate an important defending pawn and to expose the king.
Try to get your pieces working together. If you want to attack the h7 square, for instance, the combination of a light-squared bishop on c2 and a queen on d3 can be extremely strong. Both pieces eye the vulnerable h7-square.
For example, see the position on the right. A sacrifice on h7 is possible on some special occasions. Usually, this sacrifice involves a White bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal, a White knight on f3 which can come to g5 with a check and a White queen which then joins the action on the kingside.
In the position at hand, White can play 1.Bxh7+! Kxh7 2.Ng5+ Kg8 3.Qh5 (threatening mate on h7) 3…Re8 4.Qxf7+ Kh8 5.Nxe6!, attacking the Black queen and threatening mate on g7. Black is totally lost.