Daniel King: Test your Attacking Chess!

by Priyadarshan Banjan
12/14/2014 – Mating the king ends the game, attacking the king is fun. And it is something you can learn. GM Daniel King shows you how. On his Powerplay 20 DVD he uses deeply annotated games to show how to conduct an attack, then he invites you to take over and find the moves of the masters. Priyadarshan Banjan looked at the DVD and liked that hard work promises fun.

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Attack and play better: A review of Daniel King's Powerplay 20: "Test your Attacking Chess"

“The process of making the pieces in chess do something useful (whatever it may be) has received a special name: it is called the attack. The attack is that process by means of which you remove obstructions.”

Powerplay 20: Test Your Attacking Chess is one of the more recent contributions to the Powerplay series. This series of DVDs hosted by English Grandmaster Daniel King is widely recognized as  crucial educational material that has helped countless chess players improve their game. Powerplay 20 focuses on the concept of giving birth to an attack on the king in middlegame positions.

GM King is one of the best chess teachers and commentators, a distinction he seems to have held for almost two decades now. His commentaries and methods of teaching are a balanced mix of moves accompanied by colourful words; lovable.

Although the days of soccer-like commentary in chess are long gone, you must have a look at this video, in which GM King commentates a blitz game - accompanied by GM Maurice Ashley, another remarkable and lively commentator.

They pump up your adrenaline, don’t they?

GM Daniel King on the cover of the British Chess Magazine

“...there comes a certain moment in the game where it becomes necessary to calculate... there always comes a moment in the game where you have to calculate.” –Daniel King in the introduction to Powerplay 20.

GM Daniel King in the ChessBase studio

Powerplay 20 is a training-oriented DVD designed to help you improve your over the board thinking skills and calculations. GM King believes that ‘direct attack on the king’ is one of the most important skills a chess player should possess and you will certainly experience a world of good by studying it.

According to King, you must constantly work on your calculation skills if you want to improve your over the board play and the best way to do that is by studying complete Grandmaster games where you will understand the flow with which the attack takes form. His method teaches you the essential techniques of playing attacking chess by making good use of the ChessBase interactive training format with video feedback. This novel training method is the next best thing to having a personal coach, only a lot less heavy on your pockets.

This....

...is as good as this, in video format with colours and pointers added to impress on your memory.

GM King analyses and explains a number of methods for attacking the king in his typical style.

  • Attacking with the h-pawn,
  • attacking with the f-pawn,
  • typical piece maneuvers,
  • calculations in key moments, etc.

The range of games presented in this DVD are an ideal mixture of classical and recent games, focused on getting the concept engraved in your mind. However, I feel that the classification of these methods could have been more varied. Also, with the title offering you to train your attacking skills, you would expect more than just material about mating attacks.But the attacking patterns GM King discusses are very important and – as he promises in his introduction – he really helps you to train your attacking and calculation skills.

King presents ten complete games full of attacking ideas. In key moments he asks you to analyse the position, calculate, and make a move. If you are correct, a video feedback praises your hard work and the segment continues.

When you get it right...

If you get it wrong, don’t despair! In another video King will explain moves you might have missed to help you to correct them and to find the right answer.

When you are not really precise...

However, if your mistake is more elementary or if your move is way off the mark, a simple dialogue box will appear informing you of your mistake which means you need to think again.

If your move is way off the mark relative to GM King’s explanations and hints...

If you are unable to find the solution, you can always click on the ‘Solution’ button and move ahead.

Here is one of the ten games presented in the DVD with analysis by GM Daniel King:

Svidler-Ivanchuk, Candidates 2013: 17. Bc5!

 

The DVD also contains a database of 50 games – including the ones presented in video-format by King – to supplement your studies of the concepts explained therein. Some of these games are annotated while some are not; nevertheless, GM King has noticeably taken great care to make sure that the themes explained in the videos are emphasized in his comments to the games in the database to help understanding the concepts better. With a video runtime of 4 hours and 40 minutes, this DVD is an absolute must have training material.

With a complete training package focussing on attacking the king, Daniel King did a fine job of making a student sweat it out on the board and learn from his enlightening comments. In chess, as in any other sport, you don’t become a better player by watching other players push the wooden pieces or watching your engine doing the ‘thinking’ for you. You have to work at it yourself; work really hard. King helps you to do so.

Sample video

 

Daniel King:
Powerplay 20: Test your attacking skills

• Video running time: 4 h 40 min (English)
• With interactive training including video feedback
• Exclusive database with 50 essential games
• Including CB 12 Reader

 

€29.90
€25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU)
$31.06 (without VAT)

This DVD can be purchased as a hard copy or it can be downloaded directly from the Internet, that way sparing you the few days needed for it to arrive by post.

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Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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