At my Tuesday club I was playing someone as black and using the King’s Indian Defence. I don’t particularly like the the defence from either side of the board because it seems to lead to claustrophobic games but I haven’t looked into any other responses to 1.d4 yet. Anyway as I was playing the teacher came up and suggested to my opponent that if he wanted to play against it aggressively then he should try the four pawns attack. He then went through this and as the black defender I found it very hard to play against – it almost made me want to play 1.d4!
The suggested four pawns attack he advocated went like this. Black needs to move accurately (as shown) to maintain equality.
If black doesn’t play accurately things can go horribly wrong as per this video.
One of the first books I bought about chess was called ‘How To Beat Your Dad At Chess’ by Murray Chandler. It was for my son but I found it very useful. It is a collection of mating nets each of which has been given a name. I have looked through it a bit but not nearly enough. What I like about it is that it starts with a simple mating net position with maybe white to move and win – lets say a back rank mate – and enriches the position step by step so that in a quite complex position you can look out for mating nets. It’s a great book for people starting out because often beginners are not focused towards killing the king.
I rencently won a game because I spotted two potential mating nets and went for them doggedly. I’ll start at the point where I spot the nets.
One net was with my queen on g7 something like this
The other being a rook and queen canon on the h file something like this
I felt that I would have enough time to try for these despite being a piece down. Blacks position was fine but it would take some time for them to swing their rooks and queen into action.
There may have been better, surer ways of forcing the checkmate, and the checkmate could have been prevented by the bishop being on f8 and rook being on g7 but it was good to spot a mating net early so I could play in such a forcing way.
I enjoy playing 1.e4 as white because it often leads to a fairly open game. Often, however, people respond with the Sicilian 1. …c5 and, if the opponent castles on the kingside, it seems to close things up a bit and I end up enjoying the game less. So I was thrilled to see a video on chess.com that had an alternative and ‘bonkers’ approach to the Sicilian, an approach that quickly throws the black player off. The video was made by a funny Grand Master called Simon Williams whose tastes in play I like – attacking, romantic play.
In the video GM Williams advocates 2.a3! with the view to a later b4 push to destabilise blacks c5 pawn. When whites a and b pawns are traded for blacks c5 pawn. GM williams offers convincing arguments for good counterplay.
I saw this video just in time for my ICCF game against Germany. I will annotate the game as it happens.
I am playing in a 1 move per 3 days competition on chess.com. It started with 30 players and I have made it through to the second round of 11 people where I faced a player who is rated 100 points higher than me. He had more space and two knight (which I felt were more useful in a closed position) so I decided to ‘Lock Down’.