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Minority Attacks

Most beginners like to attack, very often thinking that an attack merely consists in delivering tactical blows, combinations and sacrifices. Certainly all this plays a very important role, but the success of an offensive does not only depend on tactical skills alone. Exact planning, creating all necessary preconditions, choosing the right time and place. All these are indispensable features of an attack too. In other words, the preparation and realization of an attack also requires strategical skills.

If one side attacks, the other has to defend, and although defending a bad position is not everybody's cup of tea, it is one of the requirements of the complete chess player. Emmanuel Lasker wrote that a position is never so bad that it can not be defended. In such a situation the task of the passive side is to use all opportunities to hamper the opponent's attack creating new and more obstacles. This may tire your opponent, making him more likely to make mistakes, and finally you may be given the chance to not only rescue the game, but even to proceed to a counteroffensive.

In this section we shall consider some strategical methods of preparing for the attack as well as important defending tools.

Minority Attack Fundamentals

Hand in hand with the pawn-majority goes the pawn-minority. Whenever the pawn-formation is broken in two, a frequent consequence is that there are two minorities on different sides, each confronting an enemy majority. It is like heads and tails on a coin, linked inseparably together. Like pawn-majorities, pawn-minorities occur with all type of centers but are most common with the dynamic center. The reason is the same, the asymmetrical pawn structure.

There are minority attacks in which a small unit of pawns, usually two of them, are launched against a larger pawn-structure in order to weaken it and open up files or diagonals for pieces to use. However, the term minority attack may cause some confusion. For quite a long time, the term minority attack has become almost synonymous in instructional books with the minority attack carried out by White in the Exchange Queen's Gambit. No one knows why or when this happened. It is obvious that the term minority attack has a far wider meaning for an advance of a small pawn unit against a larger pawn unit is a minority attack.

You can see numerous cases of minority attacks, especially in the Sicilian, where it forms a natural part of strategic plans. However for understanding the Minority Attack, its best to stick with a short survey of the Queen's Gambit minority attacks. Especially in the fixed center of the Queen's Gambit and related systems is it common where we can see its targets and its aims.

Now let us look at a key part of the Minority Attck, The Carisbad Variation from the International Karlsbad Tournament of 1923, a very important part in understanding the Miniorty Attack.

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	* * * *  The Carlsbad Variation - Click here for Page Two  * * * *

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You can check out the Cambridge Springs Defense that the Carlsbad Variation came from, here

Queens Gambit Declined Cambridge Springs

The Games

1. Alekhine - Rubinstein - Karlsbad 1923 - Annotated
2. Maroczy - Wolf - Karlsbad 1923
3. Nimzowitsch - Bermstein - Karlsbad 1923
4. Rubinstein - Saemisch - Karlsbad 1923
5. Saemisch - Wolf - Karlsbad 1923
6. Teichmann - Chajes - Karlsbad 1923
7. Petrosian - Krogius - Annotated
8. Keres - Najdorf - Annotated
9. Djuric - Pfleger - Annotated
10. Timman - Andersson - Annotated
11. Petrosian - Spassky - Annotated

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