Recognisng the pattern # 26

Whilst coaching beginners we often ask them not to move pawns in front of their castled king unless it is compulsory to do so. This is because it is a hook and your opponent can often launch a successful attack based on it. Today we will see how to attack when a pawn moves to h6/h3.

Here mainly two themes will work for a successful king-side attack.
1. Break the king side shelter with the sacrifice on h3/h6
2. Another is to break the shelter with pawn lever g4 (g5) to g5 (g5)
with an idea of opening up some lines against the king.

In this article we will discuss the first one.

This is one of my games played on This is one of the typical formations of pieces when you are playing 5…exf6 in the Caro-Kann.

1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4. Nxe4 Nf6
5. Nxf6+ exf6

White’s usual strategy in this line is create a passed d-pawn on and Black’s strategy is to rely on the activity of his pieces and successful blocking on d6 (usually with dark square bishop).

In this position, White played c2-c4 with the idea of d4-d5.
Q: How would you proceed with Black?

Hint: Black’s knight can jump to f4/h4 at any point in time, his rook can be lifted with Re4 and both bishops and queen are already eyeing White’s monarch.

Solution The game went as follows:

17. gxh3? Qxh3

Now knight on f3 is taboo. Black’s rook can go to e4 to join the attack or his knight can jump to h4. In view to all these threats White played as follows:

18.Bf1 Qxf3

And Black is two pawns plus and went on win after few moves. We will see how to break shelter with pawn lever on next article.

Piece of advice: Before sacrificing something first try to create a piece majority on that side.

Here you can find more interesting games played by the chess masters on same theme.

Ashvin Chauhan