Tuesday, August 18, 2009
How the Art of Attack book is helping me.
Excuse me if I'm pimping the Art of Attack book lately. It just that this book (Or books like this, e.g. How to become a deadly chess tactician) is I think the natural evolution for someone who studies tactics deeply and wishes to take his game to the next level. However, this presupposes that this person wants to play in a certain style.

The beauty of chess is that it is a "multi-paradigm" game. There is no one way to win. One, for example, can engineer to develop a queen-side pawn majority and then exchange pieces trying to win on the endgame. Or perhaps the zugzwang and prophylaxis is closer to ones liking. A slowed jockeying for position akin to an anaconda squeezing.

There are lots of ideas and plans you can try on the board and each game the clash of two opposing ideas makes for a fascinating backdrop on an otherwise dull moment.

As for me, I try to play using a plan called "Suicide Red". A term I borrowed from another game, but in chess I mean to say an uncompromising attack on the enemy king.

Chess is just a hobby and the only reason I play it is because I find some of its ideas interesting. Consequently, there are just (uninteresting to me)things I would not bother to learn or do. Getting the full point is nice as is a good rating, but as much as possible I've much rather try to win on my own terms. It would limit my chess growth to be sure, but life is a series of self-limiting choices. Two roads diverged on a road and I, I'm sorry I could not travel both..

Back to Art of Attack, to give you an idea of how it affected my play.. Let me give you a position taken from a recent game.

Look first at this diagram and what do you see? I'm playing Black. What is the plan that pops into mind?


The main thing here is that there are two targets on whites positions. What Vokuvic termed
as focal points. In this case, The squares/pawns on H3 and G2. In addition to the H-file.

There are three end-positions I was trying to bring to life

1. Doubled Rook on the H-file. The strategy revolves around swapping the queen and the bishops so there would be no interference.

2. A Queen Mate
A variation of the first part

3. A very hazy Bishop-Rook Mate
The most far fetched, but hey stranger things have happened!

Now, of course these are not the only end result that Ive been mulling in mind. Only that three
most thematic.

And here is where the AA book excels. In teaching the thematic things that one can incorporate
when one is conceiving of strategies.

And not only that, the stated manner in which one should plan in the book is greatly influencing me.

It is almost like Vukovic's speaking softly during the game

..The winning position is prepared by a calculated deployment of the pieces

..First of all post the heavy pieces in their assault positions

..The most important focal-points where castling king-side is concerned are g2 and h2.

..Attacks against g2 are more dangerous (Than attacks on h2)

And I take back what I said about AA being dry and musty. Comments like this -

"Malicious old men said that this was the only sacrifice ever risked by the cautious master Burn in his whole chess career. To this observation one might add, 'and even then it wasn't correct'."

Makes me giggle. Hehe. Humour is best served dry. :)
posted by Nezha at 3:14 AM | Permalink |