When to Start an Attack?

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Today we are going to talk about a topic that most of the chess players love – ATTACK! Many chess players do not really understand this important concept in chess. It is so important that a proper and a successful attack can decide the game. Many chess players, unaware of the attacking principles, start a premature attack (start an attack when they actually should not) and fail at it.

So today, we are going to discuss about this – what makes a position ideal to start an attack, and when it is a wrong time to start an attack.

Basic Attacking Principles

  • Piece development: One of the main attacking principles in chess is that we need to have our pieces developed so that they can take part in the attack.
  • Resources (pieces) in the attack: We should have more pieces involved in the attack than the number of defending pieces of our opponent.

It seems fair, right? Think about a war – the only way for one side to defeat the other is to have more developed, organized, and armed fighters. And this holds true for chess as well.

Our guest coach Manuel Ocantos has prepared a very instructive video lesson on this topic. He will teach with illustrative examples – with the games of top grandmasters like Mikhail Tal, Rudolf Spielmann, Wilhelm Steinitz, and Friedrich Saemisch.

He will show you examples on a failed attack, the reason where the above two principles were not followed, and also a successful attack, where the principles were followed. You can watch the video lesson below:



  • A good sign to start an attack is when you have all of your pieces developed
  • When starting an attack, count the number of attackers and the number of defenders
  • Always consider the resource of the defender to give back material

You can also download the PGN of these games below:

About the author – Manuel Ocantos

Manuel Ocantos
I am ELO rated 2217, one of the top players of Luxembourg, have beaten several IMs in classical chess and drew against GM’s and the best Argentine players. I am the Vice-President of Marketing of the Remote Chess Academy 🙂 In my free time I’m a lifelong learner and traveler.

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