The quickest route to win in chess is checkmate. Amateurs commit the mistake of attacking the king in every single position, even when it is against the nature of the position. It is crucial to understand when it is possible to make a direct attack on the king and when isn’t. The most effective way to attack is when the opponent has not castled and when one has development advantage. It is necessary to have higher piece mobility in the area when one wants to attack. After that, it is necessary to open the position. There are two ways to do this: by pawn breaks and by sacrifices.
In the following position, White has a development lead, while Black still has to castle. In these types of positions is important to create threats in every move, since our opponent only needs one or two tempos to find safety. It is important to stop our enemy from castling, even if we have to sacrifice material.
Smyslov vs. Euwe (1948)
12. c4! White sacrifices a pawn just to open the position. dxc4
13. bxc4 Bxc4 Black decided to capture the pawn, trying to justify his inferior position.
14. Qe4 White attacks with every move. Ce7 Black’s castling is practically impossible. This move is a mistake because Black’s dark square bishop is now blocked.
15. Na3! Attacking in every single move and threatening to recover the pawn in a superior position. If Black plays Be6, Nxb5 is strong. c6
16. Nxc4 bxc4
17. Qxc4 Qb7 Now White has a better pawn structure, better development, and is equal in material. Moreover, Black still needs to castle. White decided to continue attacking.
18. e6 Trying to open the position by pawn breaks. f6
19. Rd7 Qb5
20. Qxb5 This seems like a bad decision, since White is exchanging queens in an attacking position, but Black’s queen is the only piece holding Black’s position. cxb5
21. Nd4 Rc8
22. Be3 Ng6
23. Rxa6 Ne5 Black’s position fell down quickly; he is a pawn down and is still down in development. White is still attacking.
24. Rb7 Bc5
25. Nf5 0-0 After only 13 moves, black castled. But it is too late, anyway.
26. h3 1-0