Every chess player enjoys playing successful attacks, but not every chess player realizes that you don’t need to calculate a win to launch an attack.
There are times when your opponent will defend well, and you won’t checkmate him. However, if you find yourself in a positionally won position or ahead in material, your attack is a success.
Flank attacks are the more familiar chess attacks, but burning bridges chess attacks can help you take down a higher-rated opponent.
Strong British grandmaster GM Danny Gormally has created an excellent course to help you improve your middlegame play. In this video, he shares his thoughts on burning bridges attacks.
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Flank Chess Attacks
There are three main strategies to use in flank chess attacks:
- Opening up a file against the king,
- breaking down your opponent’s defense with sacrifices,
- and using pawns to create weaknesses.
The last, a pawn storm, is how many attacks begin. They are more common in positions with opposite-side castling.
Even if your opponent castles on the same side, don’t forget about attacking with your pawns. A closed center dramatically reduces the risk of advancing your pawns.
Pawns can get sacrificed to open files or diagonals against your opponent’s king.
Advancing your pawns can cause your opponent to create a weakness by pushing his pawns forward to stop your advance. For example, if your opponent meets h5 with …h6, you can consider sacrificing a piece on h6 to expose his king.
Sometimes you will force your opponent to return the material you sacrificed and end up in a technically won position.
Remember, counter-attacking is a very effective form of defense. In this game, Cheparinov made excellent use of the open b-file and his bishop on f6.
Boris Savchenko – Ivan Cheparinov, 2018.03.20, 0-1, European Individual Chess Championship 4.29, Batumi GEO
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Burning Bridges Chess Attacks
The only way to save the game is to go all-in with an all-or-nothing attack in some games. The sharper the position, the less time you have to break through your opponent’s defenses.
Ironically, burning bridges chess attacks are some of the most uncomplicated chess attacks to play. This is because you don’t need to worry about your position.
In a make-or-break attack, there is no going back!
When you launch this type of chess attack, your level of aggression often swings the practical chances of winning in your favor.
The more aggression you play with, the more you give your opponent to worry about. He has to consider every possible move, no matter how outrageous, because you have shown a willingness to sacrifice lots of material.
Before burning your bridges, you need to consider if such extremes are necessary. These are not the sort of chess attacks you can use in every game, but they are good to have in your attacking arsenal.
Mikhail Antipov – Saar Drori, 2018.03.22, 0-1, European Individual Chess Championship 6.70, Batumi GEO
Chess attacks are lots of fun to play. They put your opponent under tremendous pressure because he knows the slightest misstep could cost him the game.
Sacrifices are often needed to break down defenses, but only play them after you have spent time calculating your opponent’s options. What happens if he accepts the sacrifice? What if he declines it?
The good news is there are guidelines to help you craft winning chess attacks in your games.
Of course, chess attacks are only one aspect of a chess game. Bringing your pieces to their best squares, getting the best out of each piece, and defending are other essential skills covered in The Gormally Method.
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