Kasparov's Rule To Play BRUTAL Chess [Even Carlsen Uses It!]

Kasparov’s Rule To Play BRUTAL Chess [Even Carlsen Uses It!]

Kasparov’s Rule To Play BRUTAL Chess [Even Carlsen Uses It!]

When two of the highest-rated chess players ever agree on the main idea to win at chess, it’s hard to debate its effectiveness. In this lesson, we’ll explore a strategy endorsed by both Magnus Carlsen and the legendary Garry Kasparov. It’s a rule that, when applied skillfully, can lead to brutal victories on the chessboard.

Garry Kasparov’s Ten-Threat Rule

According to Garry Kasparov, if you make ten threats in a row, your opponent is bound to blunder eventually. While executing ten threats consecutively may not always be possible, the key is to keep the pressure on your opponent by creating threats whenever you can.

Sooner or later, your opponent will crack under this relentless pressure, leading to a tactical error. This rule emphasizes that even simple, one-move threats can be highly effective in mounting pressure.

Below, you can find the examples shown in the video:

Carlsen Applying Kasparov’s Rule

Let’s begin by looking at a game played by Magnus Carlsen. In this particular game, Magnus was playing as Black against Trimitzios Petros. The position was equal, but Carlsen aimed to create threats to force an error.

magnus carlsen chess strategyCarlsen played 16…Rd7, seemingly preparing to stack rooks along the d-file and attack the d4-pawn. White defended against this threat with 17.Rcd1. Carlsen persisted by playing 17…Rad8, maintaining pressure on the same pawn. White responded with 18.h3.

Despite the pawn being defended, Carlsen continued to create threats. He played 18…Qe4, adding another attack to the pawn. White, feeling the pressure, solidified with 19.Kf1. Carlsen couldn’t capture the pawn immediately, as it would lead to a disadvantageous exchange.

magnus carlsen chess strategyCarlsen asked himself, “How do I attack something else?” He played a seemingly modest move, 19…a5, aiming to weaken White’s pawn structure. White played 20.a3 preventing Black from advancing to a4 and locking the position.

However, Carlsen saw a new target: the pawn on a3. He played 20…Be7, threatening to capture the pawn. White, perhaps feeling the mounting pressure, played 21.Ra1.

magnus carlsen chess strategyCarlsen’s next move was 21…f5, planning to push the pawn to f4 and trap White’s bishop. This simple one-move threat eventually led to White’s blunder. You can find the continuation in this video lesson.

Kasparov Applying This Rule

Now, let’s see how Garry Kasparov applied this rule in one of his games. Kasparov playing as Black against Sarkisov, he faced a difficult position with White having a pawn advantage.

garry kasparov chess strategyKasparov initiated his attack with 15…Rfb8, making a simple threat to a pawn. White defended the pawn with 16.Rab1. Kasparov continued by playing 16…Ra7, preparing to stack rooks along the b-file to increase the pressure.

garry kasparov chess strategyAs the game progressed, Kasparov kept attacking. He played 22…h6, creating a simple threat to the bishop. White played 23.Qc1 to counterattack the rook, thinking that Kasparov would retreat the rook.

garry kasparov chess strategyHowever, Kasparov had a more powerful move: 23…Rxb1 24.Qxb1, followed by 24…hxg5, winning material.

Kasparov’s relentless approach continued, with simple threats at every turn. He didn’t just settle for material gains; he kept asking, “How do I move forward and create a threat?” This approach forced White to retreat and become passive.

The game eventually reached a point where Kasparov had a winning material advantage, showcasing the effectiveness of the ten-threat rule.


The ten-threat rule, endorsed by both Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov, emphasizes the power of creating threats in chess. Whether through simple one-move threats or more complex tactics, the strategy of relentless pressure can lead to opponent blunders and victorious outcomes.

To witness this rule in action and explore the games in more detail, watch the video here, where the practical applications of this strategy are demonstrated by two chess legends.

In your own games, remember to apply this rule judiciously, and you might find yourself achieving brutal victories just like Carlsen and Kasparov.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want GM Igor Smirnov to help you get better at chess, watch this Masterclass.

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