Karsten Müller: How to attack - Review

by Christian Hoethe
2/7/2023 – Attacking is what is most fun in chess. Ideally, you mate! But how do you make your attack successful? On his latest Fritztrainer, Grandmaster Karsten Müller has put together some rules of thumb for a successful attack. Christian Höthe has taken a look at the course.

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Attacking correctly - rules of thumb for practical play

What chess player hasn't experienced this? You follow a tournament online and are thrilled by a sacrificial game in the style of Paul Morphy, which deeply impresses you.

So hooked, you sit down at the chessboard at the next club evening to show your opponent what attacking is about - and you lose without a chance.

But how to attack correctly?

In his new 4-hour course "How to attack", Grandmaster Dr Karsten Müller has compiled a large number of rules of thumb and motifs and shows on the basis of current and historical games - including an extra chapter with games of the 8th World Champion Mikhail Tal - how such attacks can be prepared and work. Tal in particular often took a lot of risks in his games in the 1960s and proudly said about his attacking play: "There are correct sacrifices and mine!"

The presentation of the topics offers a colourful potpourri of tactical motifs: for example, "Invite everyone to the party", "The attacker does not exchange attacking potential", "Opening up attacking routes" or "Typical attacking motifs" such as the bishop sacrifice on h7 or back rank mates.

Müller divides the topics of each chapter into a number of sub-chapters, in which he presents memorable examples that are useful for every attacking player.

Thus, the chapter "Typical attacking structures" deals with typical attacking methods in positions with an isolated d-pawn, Black's kingside attack in the classical King's Indian, the King's Indian Attack from White's perspective, and the question how White can successfully attack in the French Winawer.

Other chapters that were particularly exciting for me deal with attacking play on a colour complex, maintaining attacking potential and Karsten Müller's core competence: the endgame. Surprising attacks in the endgame round off the work in an instructive way.

As a final bonus, you can test your knowledge with more attacking tasks, as GM Müller has specially selected 20 well-known attacking games for you!

Conclusion: There is plenty of inspiration here for every - even future - attacking player! Let yourself be inspired! 

How to attack - principles of training

Most players prefer to attack rather than defend. But what is the correct way to do it? GM Dr Karsten Müller has compiled many rules and motifs to guide you, along with sharpening your intuition for the exceptions.

Karsten Müller: How to attack - Sample video

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Christian Hoethe was born in 1975, is father of two daughters and one son, lives in Brunswick, Germany, and learned chess relatively late, at the age of 13, from his father. At his peak he reached an Elo of 2247. He plays for the German club SC Wolfsburg where he also teaches once a month.