King can be the most vulnerable

King can be the most vulnerable

Not only is the King the most important piece on the chess board but also the most vulnerable target on the 64 squares. His safety is of paramount importance while for the opponent, no possible chance of an attack should be goofed up. An attack culminates in checkmate when all the pieces combine together and make inroads into the enemy territory.

In the game which follows, Black does not castle and moves his King to the queen side in search of safe squares. White however utilizes all his pieces into the attack and sets up a neat checkmating net.

White: Alexander Bangiev (2400) – Black: Thomas Schunk (2276)

Germany, 1999

The King’s Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.f4
The King’s Gambit which is rarely seen these days at the highest level of the game
2. ..exf4
Accepting the gambitted pawn
3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e5 Nh5 5.d4 d5 6.Be2 Bg4 7.0–0 g6. If 7...g5 8.Nc3 Ng7 9.Nxg5 Bxe2 10.Qxe2 Qxg5 11.Nxd5
8.h3. If 8.Ne1 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 c5 11.e6 f5 12.Bxf4 (12.Nxf4 Nxf4 13.Bxf4 Nc6) 12...Nc6 And if  8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Ne1
8...Be6. If 8...Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Ng3 10.Rf2 g5 11.c4 Ne4 12.Re2. 9.Rf2. Difficult to understand this move. Better appears 9.Nh2 Ng3 10.Rxf4 Bh6 11.Rf2
9...Be7. If 9...c5 10.c3 Nc6 11.Nh2 Ng3 12.Bxf4 Ne4 works better for Black
10.Nh2 Bh4 11.Rf1
Retreating back as he has no option!
11. ..Ng3 12.Rxf4 Bg5 13.Rf2 Ne4 14.Rf3
If 14.Rf1 Ng3 15.Re1. 14...h5
Black is perhaps hasty in this pawn push. Better is 14...c5 15.Nc3. 15.Nd2
If 15.Bxg5 Qxg5 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.Rxc3; 15.Nc3 c5 16.dxc5. 15...c5 16.c3 Nc6 17.Nb3 Rc8 18.Rf1
If 18.Bf1 c4 19.Nd2 Bxd2 20.Bxd2 Qb6
18...c4 19.Nc5. If 19.Nd2 Be3+
19...Nxc5 20.dxc5 Qe7
Despite a few good moves available for Black, he fails to select wisely. He should have played 20...Nxe5 20...Bxc1 21.Rxc1 Nxe5 22.Qd4 Qc7 23.Rf2 0–0 or even 20...Be7 21.Be3 Nxe5
21.Nf3. If 21.Bxg5 Qxg5 22.Nf3 Qe3+ 23.Kh1 g5 is better for Black. 21...Qxc5+ 22.Kh1 Be7. Once again Black could have given a thought to 22...Be3
23.Bf4 b5 24.Qd2 b4. Black wants to push through on the Queen side. 25.Bd1 Qa5 26.Bc2 Rg8. If 26...Rb8 27.Bg5 bxc3 28.bxc3  . 27.h4 Kd7 28.Qe1 bxc3 29.bxc3 Rb8 30.Ng5. If 30.a4 Rb2 31.Rf2; 30.Rf2
 30...Bxg5. If 30...Rb2 31.Rf2 Rgb8 32.Nf3 Bc5 33.Be3 Bxe3 34.Qxe3 Qa3 and Black is better
31.Bxg5 Rb2 32.Rf2 Rb7
Worth a look is 32...Rgb8 33.Bc1
33.Qe3 Kc8
A mistake! He could still play 33...Rgb8 34.Raf1 Ke8
34.Qg3 Qa3 35.Bc1 Qa5 36.a4 Qc7 37.Bf4 Na5 38.Raf1 Nb3 39.Be3 Qc6 If 39...Nc5 40.Bd4 Nb3 41.Be3 Nc5
40.Bf5  40...Re7 41.Qg5
If 41.Bxe6+ fxe6 (41...Qxe6 42.Bg5) 42.Rf8+ Re8 43.R8f7
41...Qe8 42.Bxe6+ fxe6 43.a5 a6! 44.Bb6 Kd7 45.Qh6 Qb8
If 45...Rh8 46.Qe3
46.Qe3 Qc8
If 46...g5 47.hxg5 Reg7 48.Rf7+ Kc6 49.Qf2 is better for White
47.Rf7 Qe8 48.R7f6 Qc8 49.R1f3 Kc6 50.Rf7 Qb7 51.Rf8 Re8 52.Rxg8
If 52.R3f7 Rexf8 And if 52.R8f7 Re7
52...Rxg8 53.Qf2 Rg7 54.Rf8 Kb5 55.Kg1 Rd7
If 55...g5 56.hxg5. 56.Qa2 d4
If 56...Rg7 57.Rd8 And if 56...Rf7 57.Rd8
57.Bxd4 Kc6. If 57...Nxd4 58.cxd4 (58.Qa3 Nc6) 58...Qd5 59.Rf4
58.Rf6 Re7 59.Bb6 Kd7 60.Rf8 Kc6 61.Rd8 Kb5
Diagram 1
62.Qa3. Setting up a picturesque checkmating net.
62. ..Qe4 63.Qb4+ Kc6 64.Rc8+ 1–0
Diagram 2
White to play and checkmate
1.Rxf7+ Nxf7 2.Ng6 checkmate.