Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to attack: Part 5

Before I leave y'all off to prep for your exams, I want to finish off my "How to attack" series with a sample attacking game taken from the recent FIDE World Cup held in Norway, Tromso. In this game, notice how White utilizes the mating focal points, the open f-file, and the a1-h8 long diagonal to attack his enemy.

Gata Kamsky vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
FIDE World Cup, Tromso 2013

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 e6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nc6
5. Nc3 Qc7
6. f4 d6

The main line continues 6... a6, a prophylactic move against 7. Nb5/7. Bb5

7. Be3 Nf6
8. Qf3 a6
9. Bd3 Be7
10. O-O O-O
11. Kh1 Bd7
12. Rae1 b5
13. a3 Rab8
14. Nxc6 Bxc6
15. Qh3 Rfd8
16. Bd2 d5
17. e5 Ne4 (D)

Black now probably thought he had the advantage due to his protected outpost on e4. But now he is in for a surprise...

18. f5!

In order to maintain his advantage for the attack, White decides to sacrifice his bishop.

18... Nxd2

Some analysts argue that Black could have survived by declining the bishop sac: For example after  18...exf5 19.Qxf5 Bf8 or Rf8 (19...Nxd2?? 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.Qh8#) with a unclear position for both sides.

Now, White is quick to launch his assault against Black's castled position:

19. fxe6 Ne4
20. exf7+ Kh8
21. Nxd5! Bxd5
22. Rxe4 (D)

22... g6

22... h6? 23. Qf5 and the passed pawn proves too much for Black to handle.

23. Ref4

White now has the f-file under his control.

23... Kg7?

This move only hastens defeat for Black. Analysts suggested 23... Qc6, while Fritz prefers 23... Qxe5.

24. e6

Creating a protected passed pawn on the 7th rank. Black's situation is critical.

24... Rf8
25. Qe3! (D)

White makes preparations for his Queen to invade the a1-h8 long diagonal.

25... Bc5
26. Qe1 Bd6
27. Rh4 Be7
28. Qe3 h5
29. Qd4+ (D)

Seizing control of the long diagonal. White now aims for the g7 square.

29... Kh6
30. Rxh5+ (D)

Final position after 30. Rxh5+

30... gxh5 leads to 31. Rf6+ Kg7 (31... Bxf6 32. Qxf6#) 32. Rg6+ Kh7 33. Qg7#, while 30... Kxh5 leads to 31. Qxd5 g5 32. Rf3 in preparation for Rh3+ and Black has no defence to be found.

A very instructive attacking game which utilizes the concepts of files, diagonals and focal points involved in the assault.


Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

And with that, I end off my series of articles on attacking skills. All the best for your exams! (:

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