King Moves

What to do when early on the King must move, yet has a choice of squares Are there some basic principles that we can use to help arrive at the correct decision Some of the time there is nothing else to do than mechanically to check out each of the alternatives. For instance in Diagram 31, V. Smyslov-D. Smyslov-Bronstein 1951 USSR Championship after Black's 13th Smyslov-Bronstein 1951 USSR Championship after Black's 13th Bronstein, 1951 USSR Championship (a Closed Sicilian which started 1 P-K4...

Section Triangulation

The term King triangulation refers to the King making a triangular run around its location in order to arrive again at its starting point, but in a position a move behind its opponent. The purpose of triangulation is to give the move to the opponent and is of significance only in zugzwang positions. Triangulation is only meaningful when the triangulating King has more maneuvering room than its counterpart. The following examples will clarify this abstract sounding definition. The greatest...

QBl Pk Qn Kb Nr NxN QxNch KK BNch KBl NK NxN BRch KK QxNch with a winning attack for White

We see that White's King was safe enough on KB1, whereas the attempt by an underdeveloped Black to open the position boomeranged. In K. Regan-G. Kuzmin, Budapest 1978, the American posed a practical problem for Black after the moves 1 P-K4 P-QB4 2 N-KB3 N-QB3 3 P-B3 P-K3 4 P-Q4 P-Q4 5 KPxP KPxP 6 B-K3 PxP 7 BxP NxB 8 NxN B-Q3 9 B-N5ch. Interposition by 9 . . . B-Q2 comes easy, but after 10 BxBch QxB 11 0-0 White has pretty much completed his development, while Black has no visible compensation...

Section Preparing Action

You want to do something, but the King is either in the way or of no help Move it, so that you can then be ready for action First I'll consider the case where the King position makes a desirable plan impossible. Diagram 139 is K. Regan-P. Benko, 1978 U.S. Championship, after White's 25th move. A cursory look may lead to the conclusion that White has some advantage, due to the strong pressure against the KP and the passive placement of Black's KR. Yet note how quickly Black demonstrates the...

King Moves to Prevent Threats

In this and the next two chapters the King's usefulness as a defender will be demonstrated. In the middlegame the King can and should be used as a normal piece in the defense of his sector. Chapters 15 and 16 will consider various aspects of defensive strategy here we'll take up the subject of coping with immediate threats. Some threats are direct and prosaic and the required King move is equally direct and simple. Diagram 62 is U. An-dersson-H. Westerinen, Geneva 1977, after Black's 22nd move....

Section Offering Exchanges

Exchanging or offering to exchange pieces is one of the key operations throughout a game. The exchanging can be done for any one of a number of good reasons, including removing a dangerous attacker, simplifying a position into an endgame to realize a material advantage, aiming for a draw by means of a routine exchange of all the pieces. It is well accepted that in the endgame the King has a significant role in this operation. Yet there also should be no reluctance to involve the King in...

The Active King as a Power

As already mentioned earlier, the chances that aggressive King play in the opening phase will bring happiness are very slight. Nevertheless, it is quite wrong automatically to dismiss a continuation just because it requires the King to be active and aggressive. Be very suspicious of such a plan, but give it a fair evaluation. Chess is inexhaustible enough to create a few such opportunities, and dogmatism should never be the reason not to take advantage of them. Let us look first at Diagram 25,...