In Chess Tactics: The King’s role in attack – part 1, you saw how one King, while apparently running away from opponent’s checks, was actually moving towards the enemy camp to assist his own pieces for trapping the opponent’s King. By the time the opponent realized what was happening, it was too late to do anything about it.
The three games we have chosen for this article is slightly different from the aforesaid theme. Here a King deliberately steps out of his castled position and marches towards the enemy King to provide support to his own attacking pieces. Of course this was possible because though opponent’s heavy pieces were still on board, the pawn positions severely restricted their free movement and the attacking King deftly maneuvered through the crowded position.
First game –
|31||Kh2||Rc8||If Black could guess the intention behind the White King’s move, he could try 31. … Bc8. We would have missed the interesting ending, but White could have still won the game by:
31. … Bc8 32. Ng5 Bxd7 33. Rf4. For example:
33. … Bc8 34. Nxf7 (threatening 35. Qxg6#) Rxf7 35. Qxf7+ Kh8 36. Qxg6 Qd7 37. Qxh5+ Qh7 (37. … Kg8 38. Rg4+ Kf8 39. Qh8+ Ke7 40. Qf6#) 38. Qxe8+ and Black has to give up his Queen to avoid checkmate.
|32.||Kg3||Rce8||Black is so short of option that he just keeps moving his pieces without much purpose!|
|34.||Kg5||Resigns||34. … Bxd7 35. Kh6 any 36. Qg7#
34. … Kh7 35. Rxf7+ Rxf7 36. Qxf7+ Kh8 37. Kh6 with mate in two moves.
Second game –
|34||f4||Ra2+||1…Rxd4 2. f5 exf5 3 e6 Re4+ 4 Nxe4 fxe4 (4…Bb3 5. Ke3) 5 Rc7, threatening Rxc6|
|41.||Nf7+||Resigns||41. … Ke8 42. Rc8+ Kd7 43. Rd8#|
Third game –
|41.||g3||Resigns||Black is totally tied up and White will soon be able to create passed pawns that will wear down any resistance Black may have in mind.|
You will notice that the oldest game we chose in Chess Tactics: The King’s role in attack – part 1 was played in 1888 (there are even older examples in chess archives) and the latest one in this article is from 2008. So, you now know that such Royal ventures, though not so frequent, have continued to recur for more than a century even when chess theories and styles have undergone a lot of change over these years.
We hope that these games will broaden your thinking on the role of the King and to identify situations where such steps by the King may reap benefits for you.