September Workshop - Catalan Opening - Pawn Structures, Tactical Ideas, Endgames, and Theoretical Trends

The King Is a Strong Piece

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The King Is a Strong Piece

GM Valeriy Aveskulov

One of the first things every kid learns in his first lessons is that he needs to secure his own king. In order to achieve it, we usually develop minor pieces and castle. When we become stronger we get the idea that we can also castle long and the whole play becomes more interesting. Having more experience we can even dare to leave the king in the center and sometimes it gives a positive effect. Of course, all three scenarios (short, long castling and leaving the king in the centre) do not contradict - simply different situations require different actions. But there is also one more possible role for the king... First World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz can be named as a father of positional chess but many people know him thanks to his phrase that king can defend himself. Of course, quite often such strategy lead to disasters but nowadays we mainly recall his successful attempts. Let me show you one of the most famous games played by Steinitz and his king

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