Today we will see a typical way of breaking down a fianchetto formation. Here are some points to be considered while attacking fianchetto formation:
1) Try to exchange the fianchettoed bishop which will create a long term weakness around the opponent’s king.
2) Open up the h-file by advancing the h-pawn, sometimes you need to sacrifice to open it, I will discuss this pawn being blocked in my next article.
3) A pin on f7 (f2) can play a very crucial role
4) Try to stabilise the center, which is important as a wing attack can often be answered by a central counter attack.
These are the ideal conditions but it is not compulsory to carry out all of it before proceeding for an attack.
Steinitz against Mongredian in 1863. – White to move
Is it the right time to attack with h4-h5 lever in order to attack the finachetto formation?
Solution: Most of the preconditions have been fulfilled except the exchange of fianchettoed bishop. Steintitz went for a kill as follows:
The idea is to open the h-file with the h4-h5 lever.
If 10…h5, in order to prevent White from opening up h file, then 11. Ng5 is very unpleasant.
11. h5 c5 12. hxg6 Nxg6
If 12…hxg6 then 13.0-0-0 followed by Ng5, with the idea of Ne6, is very dangerous for Black.
Bringing the rook into the game and protecting e4.
13…a6 14. Ng5 Nf6
It seems that Black is well protected but Black missed a blow. Can you see it?
Of course you often need to sacrifice something in order break the opponent’s defence when your pieces are placed optimally.
15…Nxh7 16. Rxh7 Kxh7
16. Qh5 was even stronger than the text move.
17. Qh5 Kg8 18. Rh1!
18…Re8 19. Qxg6
The point of whole combination.
19…Qf6 20. Bxf7+ Qxf7
Now 21. Rh8+ wins the queen and game. Black resigned after one more move.