How to Attack Your Opponent’s King?

Comments: 15

About a month ago, we published an article on the topic “Why do you lose chess games?” – it was written by the RCA Academy Manager, Aggelos Kesaris. Today he has something else to teach you – ATTACK. To be more precise, he will teach you about the best kind of all attacks, attacking the opponent’s king! Have a good read. 😊
attack the king


I’m one among those lucky guys who managed to study GM Igor Smirnov’s courses even from his first days; thus I know some of his secrets. One of them was how to win against titled players, not only better players but those who had won chess title as FIDE master or International master etc…

Okay, let’s be honest. It’s impossible to become better in chess in a short period, because chess is like a marathon; you need to learn a lot of things and apply them in practice. However, there are some key ideas which may help you to play better at some games, and boost your performance. One of these ideas is ATTACK.

In general it is possible to win against a strong chess player, or any player, only after his MISTAKE. And here the main question which comes to our mind is how to force them to make a mistake? Amateurs or weak players can make mistakes easily thanks to many reasons -bad calculations, overseeing opponent’s threats, bad knowledge of the middlegame position, lack of endgame technique, etc…

On the other hand, when we are talking about strong players, they know all these things, so they make mistakes rarely. As we mentioned earlier, we need to force them to make mistakes. So, if we attack them we may achieve our goal. But the next question is where to attack? In general there are three potential attacking ideas or targets, we can attack a piece, a pawn or the king. I add the chess king separately, because if you lose a Bishop the game will continue on, but if you lose your King, by checkmate, you’ll lose the game instantly, am I right?

Therefore, you need to attack and you should focus your attack mainly on the opponent’s King. Your task will be easy because you can focus only on one square, this one which the enemy king is standing! If he change his square, for example if he is castling short, then again you need to focus on this square. So, without further ado, let me present you one of my games.


chess game

White’s turn – 9.h4

This is the King’s Indian Defense system and more specifically the Sämisch Variation which is characterized from the f3 move. This system is easy to play for White because he can develop his pieces easily at the center, Black cannot attack White’s Bishop on e3 with the move Ng4 and, last but not least, White is ready to start an attack against the Black’s kingside with the move h4-h5 and perhaps g4 as well.

In reply to White’s system, Black chose the Panno Variation. The idea is to play b5 move and open the queenside. As we mentioned earlier White would like to start an attack on the kingside, so the most logical way is to castle queenside, am I right? Chess opening theory developed by logic, so Black says if you would like to caste queenside then I’ll start an attack there immediately with the moves Rb8, a6 and b5.


chess game

White’s turn – 14.Bd3

Here White should take a choice. Black just played c5 in order to close the center. Thus, White can open the center with en passant, dxc6. Another option is to castle queenside and continue the kingside attack. One more option is to play immediately b4. I had seen this idea, b4, in a game where Karpov was White, but it is more complicated to me. The last option, which many of my friends suggested is Be2 in order to prepare g4 advance.

In the game I chose the move Bd3 with the plan of playing Qe2 and Kd2. The king will be comfortable on the center, because the center is closed, thanks to Black’s last move c5. The Bishop from d3 is well-placed because it tries to prevent the two basic breaks b5 and f5. The Queen from e2 helps the Bishop to prevent the b5 break, which is the main idea for Black. Similarly, after these moves the Rook will be connected and White will play Rag1 and he will perform his main strategic break which is g4.


chess game

White’s turn – 15.0-0-0

As Fischer used to say; chess is time. Black changed his strategy and already this is one small victory for White. If you manage to stop your opponents’ main idea then you drop him out of his safe path. He should start thinking on his own and he start making mistakes. For sure, he will feel uncomfortable and will not be sure of his moves.

However, even in unknown positions strong players are able to find strong moves. There are a lot of rules and strategies which a strong or titled player follow. If you like to learn more about that, I suggest you to study the course “How to beat stronger opponents” by GM Igor Smirnov.

Returning to the game, Ne8 is a strong move and I should change my plan. Please also note that after the 13th move I was thinking on my own, I didn’t know more moves from my home preperation. Thus, I should use my thinking system and follow the rules which I know.

What we learn today? I gave you a simple rule which you can follow. Observe on which square your opponent king is and try to attack there!

Looking at the position in general, we can see that all of the Black’s pieces are standing on the last ranks, right? What should we do in such situations? Of course, we should open lines in order to attack. White have more activity and space, so he can enter into a tactical battle. Unfortunately, he cannot play immediately the g4 move because his King is in the center. Similarly, we don’t have enough time to continue our original play, Qe2, Kd2, and Rag1 because right now Black is threatening f5 and then f4, closing the kingside and slow down our attack significantly.

In the light of the above calculations and thinking process, I came to the conclusion that it’s time to enter into the tactical battle as soon as possible. Thus, long castle came into my mind in order to speed up my development and I played the move g4. 


chess game

White’s turn – 20.g4

After some moves Black managed to play both f5 and b5. White took the decision to capture on c4 with the Bishop, so the queenside is closed. Yes, White has a huge weakness on b3, but the problem for Black is that he cannot organize a good attack on it. The Bishop c4 is protecting it very good. Similarly, Black have also has a weakness on a6 which he should defend as well.

White prepared all of his forces, he cannot increase his activity anymore, so it’s time to performs his own break. If you think and act in this way then it’s easy to find the only break in the position, which is g4. Of course, when we play classical chess, but we need to calculate the variations property before make a move.

Let’s do it blindly, try to follow the moves without the chess board. This is an exercise for advanced players, but if you like to be better player, you should try it too. Calculations are like running. The first time which you go on stadium and try to run, it will be very difficult. If you insist and run day by day, you’ll see that your stamina will be increased. This is like calculations. First, try to foresee one move ahead, then two, etc. Please try to do it step by step and I’m sure that you can calculate blindly some moves after little practice.

Returning to the game; if Black captures on g4, 20…fxg4, then White can immediately play Ne4. Black cannot capture the other pawn on f3 because the g-line will be wide open and Black’s King is standing there, opposite to the White’s g1-Rook…

In the game, as you can see in the position, after 20.g4, Black captures hxg4 and after, 21.fxg4 he captured back 21…fxg4. The idea remains the same for White, he played Ne4. By putting pressure on f6-Bishop he “forces” Black to capture on g5. Please note that White can increase the pressure by playing Rook to f1.

Returning to the diagram 4, after some calculations we can agree that the g4 is the most important move in the position because we open lines against the enemy king. In chess you need to follow rules. One of the MOST IMPORTANT rules on the attack is to open lines when your pieces are better developed.


chess game

White’s turn – 20.g4

Last time resistant! To be honest, Black’s last move, 24…Rf6, totally came as a surprise to me. Strong players have a lot of mechanisms and defensive ideas, don’t they? Black already is a pawn up and he offers the exchange. The temptation to capture the material is very big and I fall into this trap. If White captures the Rook then he gives up one of his best attacking pieces. In return Black will secure his King, the g6 pawn will be weak, similarly the d5 pawn will be weak and Black may organize an attack against it in the future. White will have two Rooks, but they cannot continue easily his attack against the enemy King. So, please be extremely careful when you exchange “your attack” with material, because piece exchanges are very crucial! Sometimes it is a good way to continue the game, but not always…

White sacrificed the g-pawn in order to open the line for his Queen. It’s important to stay focused on your own plans and try to perform them. Thus, in the game White played the strongest move, 25.Qh6 and after 25…Rxg6 the final move was 26.Qh7+. Black will lose the Bishop on f5 or he will be checkmated.


  • In order to win a stronger player you need to force him make mistakes.
  • In order to do that, you need to ATTACK him.
  • The best target for your attack is your opponent’s KING.
  • How to prepare the attack? First you need to active your pieces and then to open lines for them.

I hope you enjoyed the game and the rules. I’d like to thank the Remote Chess Academy for publishing my game. And I wish you to follow the rules which I used in order to win stronger players than you. I wish you good luck with your games and I hope to see one of your victories on the best training chess website in the world. 🙂 Please share this with your friends.

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Comments: 15

Comments 1

  1. Hello I have your Grunfeld defense course. I want you to suggest me some opening ideas against London system in Grunfeld setup for black.What should we remember while playing against it.

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