For all the talk of strategy, checkmate is what 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, the tenacious defense and the brilliant finishing move are a major part of many of the most beloved games in history. Mato Jelic, the hugely popular chess coach, has produced an extraordinary new investigation and training course into the art of the King Hunt.
In this video, a free preview of his full course, Mato deconstructs some of the greatest attacks ever played, teaching you how to win games in the most satisfying way imaginable.
Attacking The Uncastled King – Key Points
Let’s look at some of the main ideas when it comes to attacking the uncastled king. The most natural place for the king is to be castled safely in the corner. It is advisable for each chess player to castle on time and on the correct side. However, plenty of chess players castle too late. Especially in the early phase of the opening, kings are vulnerable, because of the weak squares f2 and f7 which are guarded solely by the king.
In the diagram on the left, Black’s king is far away from castling and White can already win the game with 1.Bxf7+! Kxf7 2.Ng5+ Ke8 (2…Kf6 3.Qf3#) 3.Ne6. Black’s queen is trapped.
An important key to keep in mind is that if you’re attacking an uncastled king, you can’t waste any time! The king in the center is a dynamic factor, not a static one. Dynamic chess is all about momentum. The first World Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, said: “If you have an advantage, you must use it immediately, or it will disappear”.
Generally speaking, if your king is castled and your opponent’s king is not, then the strategy is simple – stop your opponent from castling! That makes it necessary for you to to open up the position, open lines up to expose the enemy king even further. There are two ways to do this: by pawn breaks and by sacrifices.
In the diagram on the right, White has a lead in development, while Black still has to castle. Given the time, Black would play …Be7 and …0-0. Hence, in these types of positions it is important to create threats with every move, since our opponent only needs one or two tempi to find safety and consolidate their position. It is important to stop our enemy from castling. White goes for the strong pawn break 1.c4! Black’s queen on d5 is under attack. If Black takes the pawn, the d-file opens and White already has a winning combination – 1…dxc4 2.Bxf6 gxf6 3.a4!. Black’s queen has to move and is unable to protect the d7-square anymore – 3…Qb6? (3…Qd5 4.Qxd5 exd5 5.Ng6+ +-) 4.Qd7#.
The Greatest King Attacks
Games can be won or lost just like that, right in the opening phase of the game, and all because the King is not castled early. Watch the video to get more ideas and see these in more depth! Want to learn a ton of tactical patterns to help you finish games in style? Revolutionize your attacking ability with the complete 17 hour course The King Hunt from Mato Jelic. Click here to get instant access with 35% off.