In this video series, I will look at some extremely aggressive lines for White in the King’s Gambit against the Fischer Defense and similar setups. Namely, I will look at Kingside pawn pushes by White, even when White is castled on that side of the board. Those pushes are double edged because, although White usually gets some attacking chances, Black has counterattacking chances on the exposed White King.
In some cases, White plays h3 or h4 right in the opening, sometimes before castling and sometimes after. I find these lines particularly challenging to play against, so that’s why I’m starting to study them, and I’ll share what I find in this series. For today’s video, though, I just want to introduce the idea of counterattacking after White has weakened his King. The pawn push in this game comes quite late, but it is still instructive. At least, I learned something by thinking about this game a bit after playing it.
Although I usually just try to play solid in the Fischer Defense and get to a winning endgame, I want to challenge myself to look for more counterattacking opportunities in these lines. Black can often push his own Kingside pawns, and, when done at the right time, those pushes can lead to a crushing attack on White’s King, often by opening up key diagonals and files.
Also interesting is this idea of “drawback chess,” which is simply trying to look at the downside of your opponent’s move and trying to take advantage of it. That is, every move has pros and cons, and the con is usually that you had to give up the defense of specific squares when moving your piece. As Josh Waitzkin says in some of his chess tutorials online and in the Chessmaster game series, think about what your opponent’s move “left behind.” For example, if your opponent moves a Bishop from one diagonal to another, it no longer controls the previous diagonal. Can one of your pieces now use the squares on that weakened diagonal?
As you can imagine, with both sides castling Kingside and both potentially pushing the pawns in front of their King, these games can get very wild. Going back to the idea of drawback chess, if your opponent pushes his h pawn in front of his King, which squares does it weaken? Can you use them, either immediately or in the next couple of moves? We’ll see some examples of those, even on the highest level, in future videos. For now, let’s take a look at a simple way to take advantage of a mistimed h-pawn push by White.