Chess Openings for Beginners: Attack!
Rapid Development + Consistent Threats/Pressure = Strong Attack
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 (develops towards center and attacks e5)
2. …d6 (this defense is too passive, black should play more actively with 2. …Nc6 or Nf6) 3. d4 (white blasts open the center and applies more pressure to e5)
3. …Bg4?! (black tries to be active and pin the Nf3, but better is simply 3. …Nd7)
4. dxe5 (white forces black to initiate the exchange with 4. …Bxf3 – giving white the 2 bishops and essentially giving Morphy a free move by developing the white queen to f3)
5. Qxf3 dxe5 6. Bc4 (developing actively and threatening mate on f7)
6. …Nf6?! (this allows white to seize a dangerous initiative – black must be careful now)
7. Qb3! (Morphy plays precisely, creating a double attack on f7 and b7)
7. …Qe7 (the only move to defend f7. 7… Qe7 is better than 7. …Qd7 because if 8. Qxb7 black can trade queens and reduce the pressure with 8. …Qb4+!)
8. Nc3 (Morphy doesn’t cash in his attack for the pawn on b7, preferring active development to strengthen his initiative. also now white really is threatening to win the black Ra8 with Qxb7 – as black no longer has the check with …Qb4)
8. …c6 (black must defend the pawn on b7. also this protects the d5 and b5 squares)
9. Bg5 (white continues developing and applying pressure to black’s awkward set-up. due to Morphy’s aggression, black is unable to develop naturally and achieve coordination between his pieces.
9. …b5!? (in a difficult position, black tries to gain space and push white’s pieces back)
10. Nxb5!! (Morphy refuses to retreat with 10. Bd3 and allow black to gain counterplay with 10. …Nd7 followed by Nc5. By sacrificing the knight on b5, Morphy will immediately gain 2 pawns and a very dangerous attack – ambitiously exploiting white’s immense lead in development)
10. …cxb5 11. Bxb5+ Nbd7 12. 0-0-0! (Morphy conducts the attack perfectly, smoothly bringing in his rooks to add more pressure on black’s king)
12. …Rd8 13. Rxd7! (Morphy goes for the kill, sacrificing the exchange to bring his last piece – the rook on h1 – into the game as fast possible, not allowing black time to develop or react)
13. …Rxd7 14. Rd1 Qe6 (black tries to trade queens and untangle his pieces to develop and castle, however white’s attack arrives too quickly)
15. Bxd7+! Nxd7 16. Qb8+! (this classic deflection sacrifice is the culmination of white’s previous aggression, ripping open black’s last line of defense)
16. …Nxb8 17. Rd8# (Morphy delivers mate in spite of his large material deficit – in the final position, white has 2 pawns for black’s queen and knight!)
Morphy was able to win this game in such convincing fashion because he strove to create a new threat with every single move, consistently creating pressure and forcing his opponent to solve tactical problems. Morphy quickly seized the initiative with pressure against black’s e5 pawn, then switched his attention to rapid development development with the help of pressure against the f7 and b7 pawns. Morphy continued building the pressure with active piece-play, and reacted to black’s off-balance attempt at counter-play with 9. …b5!? by exploiting his lead in development to the fullest with the piece sac 10. Nxb5! Morphy concluded the game with logical precision, methodically bringing in every single piece to participate in the attack – leading to a spectacular checkmate.
Tags: beginner chessCategories: Beginner's Corner, Chess Openings, Classic Games (Pre 2010), Strategy & Game Review
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