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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The attack against the Uncastled King.

Pin It Making a mating attack on a king which had not yet castled was one of the joys of chess players in the past. these days the victim of such an attack is usually someone playing a master in a simultaneous display who has

failed to castle at the right time.
The initail position of the king before it castles contains two main weaknesses. One is that it is exposed if the e-file is opened up, the second is that the square f7 in Black's position is vulnerable (f2 in White's position)since it is covered by the king alone. It is therefore natural that the vast majority of attacks on an uncastled king exploit one of these weaknesses.

The attack along the e-file,

The first and most fundamental condition for an attack along the e-file is that the opponent's king should be on that file, and that for some reason it is impossible or difficult for it to move away. If all the adjacent squares are occupied by the king's own pieces or controlled by the opponent's, its escape is absolutely imposible. However, if the player is simply being prevented from castling, but other squares are not covered, the movement of the king is only relatively restricted; in other words, it can move at the cost of losing the right to castle. Castling can also be thwarted indirectly : for instance, if the king has to guard one of the pieces which is protecting it ( e.g. on e7 in Black's case).

The second for an attack of this kind depends on the attacker's own circumstances. First of all, the e-file should be open, or it should at any rate by in the attacker's power to open it; the attacker should also either have a piece which can control a file ( a rook or queen ) on the file or be abble quickly to post one on it. Besides this, he usually needs to strengthen his pressure on the e-file, for instance by doubling rooks or by attacking one of his opponents pieces which is on the file and protecting the king.

From these necessary conditions it transpires that in an attack along the e-file there tends to be a chain of defence, and the attack is carried out against the central unit of the chain, that is, the piece protecting the king. If this piece is on the square directly infront of the King ( e7 or e2), the attacker may be able to mate bycapturing it with hsi queen ( or Rook) i.e by making the square into the focal point.

An attack on the e-file tends to occur most frequently at an early stage of the game. The following miniature is an example of how raipdly this kind of attack may develop after an openign mistake.

1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 d4 exd4 5 Nxd4 Bb4 6 Nxc6 bxe6 7 g3? Qe7

Agood move, which counters White's Plan ( Be2 and 0-0 ) by attacking along the e-file. If white were now to play 8 e3, such an attack would admittedly not follow, but he would still be weakening his position.

8 Bg2 Ba6 9 Qd3 d5 10 b3 d4!
An interesting move; Black abandons his attack on the e-file for the time being, transferring his pressure to the weakened diagonal 15-e1. If White now takes the c6 pawn and then the a8-rook, Black can win a piece by ---Bxc3+ and ---Bxa1.
11 Q x d4 Rxd8

Forcing the queen to give up the defence of the kinght.

12 Bxc6+ Kf8 13 Bd5 Rxd5! 0-1
White regains, since 14 cxd5 is followed by 14---Qxe2#. Play returns to the e-file at the final point of victory. With an attack along the e-file, the main difficulty can often be the actualopening up of the file, especially if everything else has already been achieved.

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