This week we discussed a focus attack. Before we go any further I will share a game played between AJ the grinder and my wife Sarah.
1.e4 e5, 2.Bc4 c5? 3.Qh5? Nf6??
If you look at the above diagram you will see that White's bishop and Queen both point at the f7 square. We call this type of attack a Focused attack. Both of White's pieces attack the same point.
A Focused attack is where two or more pieces gang up on one point in the enemy camp.
In the above game Sarah failed to spot the focused attack and continued her development. After each move by your opponent you have to ask yourself some questions:
Does his last move threaten anything?
Has he got any checks?
Has he left something in his camp unguarded?
When we discussed the options for check things were simpler because the game can not continue until you are out of check. For this week's topic we first have to realise that we are under attack. As stated above try to ask yourself what your opponents last move changed. If you spot a Focused attack then you have four options.
Move, Block, Capture or Protect. Similar options to check, but with the addition of protect, also like check we need to Stop, Think, Evaluate and then Move. Lets return to the above game:
THINK - In this stage we look at all the possibilities in our four sections:
Move - There are none as the pawn on f7 is pinned by the queen, moving it is illegal.
Block - There are two blocks we must consider each one in turn
The tempting 3...g6
Next block is 3...d5
Capture - None
Protect - There are three ways to protect the pawn.
Evaluation: Bad as black still seems in trouble.
Evaluation: Good, with one small drawback.
Just because we have found a good move doesn't mean we just play it. Look at all the options first.
As we have finished looking at each of our options we have to try and decide which move had the best evaluation.
Ask yourself what your opponents last move did. Does it attack anything, are they any checks, has he left anything unguarded?
If you notice a focused attack you have four options: Move, Block, Capture or Protect.
Stop, Think, Evaluate and then move.
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