Click to follow
The Independent Culture
ONE blindingly obvious element of strategy that appears to be lacking in the education of some of our modern "grand masters" is the matter of directing one's forces to the right battleground. An attack on the king is more likely to win the game than anything else; yet when Garry Kasparov plays the King's Indian Defence, too many of his opponents persist in a pointless Q-side advance, only to succumb to a direct onslaught on their own kings. The correct way to attack has been known since the days of Morphy and Anderssen, but the news seems slow to travel.

White: Adolf Anderssen

Black: Wilhelm Steinitz

Ninth match game, London 1866

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.0-0 d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.d5 Na5 10.Bd3 Ne7 11.Bb2 0-0 12.Nc3 Ng6

While many players knew about the development lead and central control White obtains for his pawn in this Evans Gambit line, only Anderssen appreciated its true subtlety: in giving Black an extra Q-side pawn, he is distracted from his duty to attack the white king.

13.Ne2 c5 14.Qd2 Bc7 15.Rac1 Rb8 16.Ng3 f6 17.Nf5 b5

Black's extra pawn is out of the starting stable and the race is on!

18.Kh1 b4 19.Rg1

With Black's pawn already in the home straight, White's laborious preparation looks too slow. But let us not forget that Black's winning post is rooted in empty space, while White's is the enemy king.

19...Bxf5 20.exf5 Ne5 21.Bxe5 fxe5 22.Ng5 Qd7 23.Ne6 Rfc8 24.g4

The storm clouds gather. Soon White will be able to afford to ignore the Q-side.

24...b3 25.g5 bxa2 26.g6 (see diagram)

The moment of truth. Black dare not play 26...h6 for fear of 27.f6! Nb3 28.f7+ Kh8 29.Qxh6+! gxh6 30.g7 mate.

26...Nb3 27.gxh7+ Kh8 28.Qg5! Bd8

Or 28...Nxc1 29.f6! g6 (29...Nxd3 30. fxg7+ Kxh7 31.g8=Q+ Rxg8 32.Qh5 is mate) 30.Qxg6 Nxg3 31.f7 and Black is dead.

29.Nxd8 Nxc1 30.f6! Rc7 31.f7

Black must now give up his queen with Qxf7, after which Steinitz soon resigned.