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Attack the Uncastled King

This is the second installment in our series of “How to attack the King.”

Attack the King-Part 2

Attack the King: Intro

  In our last article we dealt with the a King Hunt. King Hunts  happen for various reasons whether the King has castled or not. The point of a King Hunt is to lure the King away from his home. ( If you want the read the previous article click here)

The is another case, suppose the player has been lackadaisical in seeking safety for his King? What can we do? What should our approach be? 

Well, you luck reader, that is why I am here!

Attack the King that is Uncastled

The starting position in chess has 2 initial weak spots. One is the square f2/f7 and the other is the open e-file. This article is going to deal with specifically the attack along the open e-file, in the next article we will deal with attack on the f2/f7 squares.

Attack Along the e-file

So how do we decide to attack along the e-file? There are certain preconditions that  must be present for an attack on the e-file to be successful. The conditions that should be met are:

  1. The opponents King should be on the file
  2. It should be hard for the King to move away from the file
  3. The e-file should be opened or could easily be opened
  4. The attacker should be able to put a Rook or Queen along that file.
  5. The attacker should be able to increase the attack along that file or important squares



A great book
The Art of Attack in Chess by Milan Vukovic! Recommended as a Super book!
Attacking the King!

Examples of Successful E-File Attacks

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none] 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Ke7 3. Qxe5# * [/pgn]
[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nd4 4. Nxe5 Qg5 5. Nxf7 Qxg2 6. Rf1 Qxe4+ 7. Be2 Nf3# * [/pgn]
[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none] [Event "Swedish National League, Division 5"] [Date "2007.10.28"] [Round "1"] [White "Samurai Pawn"] [Black "Island Dude"] [Result "1-0"] 1.e4 b6 2.Nc3 Bb7 3.d4 e6 4.Bd3 d5 $6 5.exd5 $1 exd5 $2 6.Nf3 Nd7 $2 7.O-O Ngf6 8.Re1+ $1 { 8...Be7 9.Qe2 $1 9...c5 10.Bg5 10...h6 11.Bxf6 $6 11...Nxf6 12.Bb5+ Nd7 $4 13.Ne5 $1 Bc8 $2 14.Nc6 $1 Qc7 $2 15.Qxe7# $1 1-0 [/pgn]
[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none] [Event ""] [Site "Santana Row"] [Date "2007.??.??"] [Round ""] [White "Santana Row Player"] [Black "Jay"] [Result "0-1"] 12...e5 $1 13.dxe5 $2 13...Nxe5 14.Bc2 Ba6 15.Bg5 d4 $3 16.Qxd4 $2 16...Nxf3+ $1 17.gxf3 Qxe2# 0-1 [/pgn]
[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none] [Event "Hastings"] [Site "Hastings ENG"] [Date "1895.08.17"] [Round "10"] [White "Wilhelm Steinitz"] [Black "Curt von Bardeleben"] [Result "1-0"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.O-O Be6 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Bxd5 Bxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Re1 f6 15.Qe2 Qd7 16.Rac1 c6 17.d5 cxd5 18.Nd4 Kf7 19.Ne6 Rhc8 20.Qg4 g6 21.Ng5+ Ke8 22.Rxe7+ Kf8 23.Rf7+ Kg8 24.Rg7+ Kh8 25.Rxh7+ {And black resigned at this point. As Steinitz demonstrated immediately afterward, there is a mate in ten moves which can only be averted by ruinous loss of material; analysis follows: ...Kh8 25. Rxh7+ Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kh8 27. Qh4+ Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+ Kd8 33. Qf8+ Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6#} 1-0 [/pgn]
[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none] [Event "Foxwoods Open"] [Site "Foxwoods"] [Date "2007.04.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Ernest Colding"] [Black "Andres Castaneda"] [Result "1-0"] 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.cxd4 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Nf3 Bd7 8.O-O Bc6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Nd7 11.d5 exd5 12.exd6 Bxd6 13.Re1+ Kf8 14.Bxd5 Nf6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16.Nd4 Qc7 17.Nf5 Re8 18.Rxe8+ Nxe8 19.Nxd6 Qxd6 20.Qxd6+ Nxd6 21.Ba3 1-0 [/pgn]

Next article: Attack on the square f2 or f7

A nice article on e-file attacks can be found here

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