Breach the defence and slay the king

The King is the most important piece on the chess board and his safety is of paramount importance while at the same time the opponent can sight victory early if he can separate the King from his defenders.

Once the defenders are lured away, the castle breached and the King is dragged out of his sheltered place, then he has to fend for himself which is difficult and this makes victory much easier.


In the game which follows, it is rather unusual to see the King like a lone wanderer after the early exchange of queens in the opening stages of the game. What is note-worthy is the fact that the King moves around 14 times in the game which lasts barely for 33 moves

White: Edvins Kengis (2585) – Black: Ulf Andersson (2655)
European Championship, Pula, 1997
English Symmetrical-Hedgehog


1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 g6
Both players are fianchettoing their bishop on the King side

4.c4 Bg7 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 d5
Better options are 6. ..Nc6 or 6. ..Ng4

7.Nc2
Difficult to understand why White retreated the knight and sacrificed the pawn
7. ..dxc4

If 7...e6 or even 7...Qa5+ 8.b4 Qc7 9.cxd5 Ng4 10.0–0 Bxa1 11.Nxa1 0–0 12.Nb3 Nd7 13.Qd4 Ngf6 14.Bb2 is better for White

8.Qxd8+
Exchanging queens early and denying Black castling rights
8. ..Kxd8 9.0–0

White on the other hands castles and gets his rook into play. If 9.Ne3 Nc6 10.Nxc4 Be6 11.Nba3
9...Nc6

If 9...Nbd7 10.Rd1 Ke8 11.Nba3 Nb6 12.Nb5

10.Rd1+ Kc7 11.Nba3 Bg4

White is a pawn down but his pieces are well posted and his King has castled whereas the Black king is out in the open. If 11...Be6 12.Bf4+ Kc8 (12...Kb6 13.Bxc6 (13.Ne3 Na5) 13...bxc6 14.Ne3) 13.Ne3 Nh5 14.Nexc4 Nxf4 15.gxf4

12.Bxc6 Kxc6

If 12...bxc6 13.Bf4+ Kb7 14.f3 Be6 (14...Bf5 15.e4 Be6 16.Nd4 c3 17.bxc3) 15.Nd4 Nd5 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Nxc4 Nxf4 18.gxf4 and White is better
13.Nxc4

White has gained back the pawn and though the material is even, Black’s King looks shelter-less
13. ..Rad8

If 13...Bxe2 14.Ne5+ (14.Nd4+ Kc5 15.Nxe2 Kxc4 16.Be3 Rhd8 17.Rac1+ Kb5 18.Nd4+ Ka6 19.Rd3) 14...Kc7 15.Re1 Bb5 16.Nxf7 And if 13...Nd7 14.f3 Be6 15.Nd4+ Bxd4+ 16.Rxd4
14.Ne5+ Kb6


Diagram 1

The wrong square. Better is 14...Kc7 15.Bf4 though this is still better for White
15.Be3+ Ka6 16.Nb4+ Kb5 17.Ned3

White is posting his pieces on strong squares and controlling the board while Black is just forced to move his King

17...Bxe2 18.a4+ Ka5  19.Nc6+
Interesting knight sacrifice by White. This is possible only because the Black King is left ot his own mercy and his pieces cannot come to his defence


19...bxc6 20.b4+ Ka6 21.Nc5+ Kb6 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Ne6+(discovered)
There is virtually no defence for Black


23. .. Kb7 24.Nxd8+ Kc7
The Black King is like a nomad, trying to dodge the enemy pieces by himself.

25.Re1
If 25.Nxf7 Bc4
25...Kxd8
If 25...Bc4 26.Rc1 Bd5 27.Nxc6

26.Rxe2 Nd5 27.Bxa7 Nxb4 28.Bc5 Na6 29.Bxe7+ Kd7 30.Bg5 Bf8 31.Rd2+ Ke6 32.Rd8 Bd6 33.Bf4 and Black resigned for if 33. ..Bxf4  34.gxf4 h5  35.a5 and White wins.
1–0

Diagram 2
Black to play and win
1.     .. Nf3+ 2.gxf3 Bxf3 3.Qg5 gxh2 Checkmate.

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