Understanding before Moving 48: The target on g6

by ChessBase
10/10/2021 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 48th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman shows how to use "the target on g6" to build up an attack. | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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In the previous episode, we looked at positions in which Black weakened his kingside by playing ...h6. Such an innocent move can sometimes have major consequences, as it can be the signal for the white player to launch an attack against the king. This is also the case with ...g7-g6.

There are many openings in which Black fianchettoes the bishop, hoping that the bishop on g7 will play an important role in the middlegame.

But as we know, for example, from the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian and the Grünfeld, White can try to open the h-line for his rook by pushing the h-pawn ahead: h2-h4-h5. If the bishop on g7 can also be rendered harmless, the storm on the black king can sometimes turn into a hurricane.

Following Alpha Zero, the latest fashion in the Grünfeld is to start the advance of the rook pawn after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 very early on: 3.h4. Among other things, this move appeared on the board in a recent Shankland-Svidler game from the World Cup.

The diagram position is from an old game of mine that was played in 1982. I had White against Paul Boersma and I also had managed to weaken the black king's position with h2-h4-h5xg6. To focus on the attack I had sacrificed my rook on a1 but now I had to find a way to continue the attack. Black just played ...f6-f5. Do you see how White can now start an irresistible attack against the black king?


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