3 Main Principles of Attack in Chess

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First, let me remind you of the new course that I have created for you “Attack and Win” and the special 30% discount I’m providing you with on the course. Use the coupon “attack30”. It will be valid from today till Saturday, 2 November (inclusive). If you don’t know how to use a coupon, please see here.

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designAttack is one of the most exciting topics in chess. Everybody loves to attack, from amateurs to top grandmasters. Can you recall a fantastic attacking game of yours? I’m sure that you have at least one, am I right?

Attack is one of the most important skills to win chess games. However, the question here is, how well do you understand attack? Do you know the 3 main principles that guarantee success to your attack?

In this article, you’re going to learn the 3 main principles of attack which will help you create stronger attacks and make it successful. In order to help you understand that, I’d like to share with you a game from one of my students.

Recently (and totally accidentally), I stumbled upon the RCA student Roman, from Istanbul, Turkey. We managed to meet personally, which is very cool! It’s always my great pleasure to serve you guys, and it’s great to connect with you personally.GM Igor Smirnov Student

From left to right: My wife Alyona, myself (Igor Smirnov), Roman Babenko and his daughter Sofia


Of course, we played a game, and it’s remarkable how strong he was in attack, and I feel delighted of my little contribution to it.
GM Igor Smirnov StudentBesides that, Roman shared with me one of his blitz games, which illustrates the 3 main principles of attack, clearly. Check it out below!

Elshad – Roman Babenko

GM Igor Smirnov's Student Game

Black’s turn

1) Open Up the Position

One of the main principles of attack is to open up the position. For that reason, Black here played the excellent move, 12…g4, in order to open the position.

You need to do that in order to open files and diagonals for your pieces. This will help your pieces to be active and create problems to the opponent. At the same time, you are removing the pawns around the enemy king, and it is possible for you to penetrate there with your active pieces.

There followed: 13.hxg4 Ng4 14.Bxg7 Rxg7 15.Qb2
GM Igor Smirnov's Student Game

Black’s turn

2) Bring More Pieces to the Attack

Here Black played 15…Qh5. This move illustrates the second most important rule of the attack. He brings the most powerful piece close to the enemy king.

This is an important rule because you need to have more pieces arithmetically in order to prevail over your opponent’s defense. In the following moves, Black continues bringing more and more pieces into the attack.

16.Nh4 f6 17.Ndf3
GM Igor Smirnov's Student Game

Black’s turn

3) Remove the Opponent’s Defenders

Black continues bringing more pieces into the attack and, simultaneously, he removes one of the key defenders. In general, when you’re attacking, you don’t want to exchange pieces; but, usually, there are a few key defensive pieces and, if you manage to exchange them, then your attack will boost a lot.

You can see the complete game below:

If you like to learn more important rules of the attack and get deeper in this subject, then I strongly suggest you to study my new course “Attack and Win”.

Attack is the main way to win. Therefore, it’s always advisable “to hone your sword” if you want to bring yourself to the next level in chess.

I wish you good luck in your games and, if you play a good attacking game, please feel free to send it to me in order to publish it on the RCA site.




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