As we get better at chess, wins are harder to come by. Your chess attack strategy needs to become stronger to match the more robust defense you encounter.
We all know the frustration of pressing all game, making threat after threat but getting nowhere as our opponent somehow manages to survive.
The problem is when we play our knight to g5, they know we’re planning a kingside attack, and they defend accordingly.
If you want to make your attacking life easier, break their resistance before attacking by suffocating them with positional pressure!
Breaking your opponent’s resistance is vital to a winning chess attack strategy, and IM Valeri Lilov shares some of his secrets in this excellent video.
Momentum Is Crucial to Chess Attack Strategy
Defending is not an easy task at the best of times. You can make it even harder for your opponent to defend successfully if you gain a lead in development.
Time is a crucial element of chess that many chess players, especially at the club level, do not fully understand. Our natural tendency is to keep our material, but you can overcome this by playing gambit openings.
Playing gambits will help you learn how dangerous a lead in development is in a winning chess attack strategy. One of the most important lessons you will learn is not to rush into winning back your pawn if it means slowing down your momentum.
Sacrificing a pawn in the opening is designed to gain you time and a lead in development!
Slowing down to regain material is not in keeping with your chess attack strategy. Remember, it is more important to consider the active pieces than the material count.
If your opponent’s pieces cannot help defend the king, then they are not helpful pieces, and any material advantage counts for naught when you deliver checkmate.
Here is a game by the great Paul Morphy where four of his opponent’s six pieces are still on their starting squares when Morphy delivered checkmate. Morphy won this game in only thirteen moves and started a rook down!
Take a look at how Morphy made excellent use of his lead in development against Marache.
Marache – Morphy, 1857, 0-1
Sacrifices Open Lines to the Enemy King
Many openings have thematic sacrifices that open lines against the king. In the Sicilian Defense, it is not uncommon for white to sacrifice a knight on d5 or e6.
Knowing these sacrifices will ensure you do not miss a chance to win the game early!
A general rule to help you decide if a sacrifice is valid is how many moves it will take for your opponent to castle. If your opponent needs two or more moves, then consider a sacrifice to keep the king in the center.
Initially, playing sacrifices will be scary, but as you gain experience, you will begin to look forward to the opportunities. Even if a sacrifice does not work, you can learn lots about chess by analyzing why it didn’t work.
This will help you improve your chess attack strategy and make you an even more dangerous opponent.
Two other elements of a successful chess attack strategy.
- Misdirection – just when your opponent thinks they have everything covered, BANG! You smash through on the other side of the board!
- Finish with fireworks – Bobby Fischer once said, “Tactics flow from a superior position” – learn how to read the clues to spot killer tactics.
Attacking is easier than defending because it can often cost you the game if you make a mistake in defense. Nobody enjoys constantly reacting to your opponent’s threats for a long time.
The wonderful thing about improving your attacking play is that you can learn to become a better attacker. As in the opening, guidelines help you launch dangerous attacks.
Playing more games is vital to gaining the experience you need to get a feel for when to play a sacrifice. Accept that not every attack will succeed, but every attack is a learning opportunity.
Thanks to IM Valeri Lilov, you can learn more about the attack and every other essential aspect of chess attacks in his high-quality Master Method course.
Learn from great attacking players from the past, including Morphy and the legendary Bobby Fischer. You can get thirty hours of chess instruction from an International Master for under $2 per hour!