In chess, deciding when to start a risky attack depends on several factors such as the position of the pieces, the development of the pieces, the material balance, the time control, and the overall strategy of the game.
Generally, it’s advisable to start a risky attack only if you have a concrete plan or a clear advantage that justifies the risk. Here are some situations where starting a risky attack can be considered:
- If you have a material advantage: If you have more pieces or a better pawn structure than your opponent, you can consider starting a risky attack to exploit your advantage.
- If your opponent’s king is exposed: If your opponent’s king is not well protected or has weaknesses in its pawn structure, you can consider starting a risky attack to try and exploit those weaknesses.
- If your pieces are more developed: If your pieces are better developed than your opponent’s pieces, you can consider starting a risky attack to try and capitalize on your positional advantage.
- If you are running out of time: If you are running low on time in a timed game, you may need to start a risky attack to try and create complications and put pressure on your opponent.
- If your opponent is running out of time: It may pay off to launch an aggressive, albeit not entirely correct assault on the opponent’s army, if you know that your adversary doesn’t have enough time to find the best strategy to repel your pieces.
Have a look at this game. The former World Champion Mikhail Tal, a renowned Latvian chess player who was known for his aggressive and attacking style of play, sacrificed a knight to break through the black king’s defenses. The after-game analysis proved that the sacrifice had been incorrect. However, it is likely that Tal knew about it, but still took the risk in a hope that the opponent wouldn’t be able to find the only response to destroy White’s attack and keep the material advantage. And that’s precisely what really happened:
Tal’s style was characterized by his willingness to take risks and his preference for tactical, attacking play. He was a master of the initiative, and his opponents often found themselves on the defensive as Tal relentlessly pursued the advantage.
However, it’s important to remember that starting a risky attack can also backfire and lead to a disadvantageous position or even a loss. Therefore, it’s crucial to weigh the risks and rewards carefully and only start a risky attack if you have a solid understanding of the position and a clear plan for success.