Chess games that have symmetric chess positions are often drawn. That is the challenge when playing the King’s Indian Attack (KIA). Black can close the center by playing e5 and c5. After that, the strategy shifts to subtle maneuvers and piece redeployment. That is what happened in this game.
The move f4 is a thematic break that often occurs in the KIA. It has to be well-timed and is not always practical to play. The idea is to open the f-file and the c1-h6 diagonal which puts pressure on the enemy king. I played f4 at move fourteen even though Stockfish 14 considered it to be second-rate. Let’s see what happened.
Managing symmetrical chess positions
Maneuvering your pieces. Closed chess positions often require you to reposition your pieces in such a way that they exert maximum pressure on the enemy position. In this game, you saw the moves Nc4 and Nh4. Both of these moves were used to secure the f5 square and prepare the f4 break. This is a common idea in many chess positions.
Control the center. This is a rule taught to beginners new to the game of chess. The players who controls the center usually dictates the pace of the game. That’s because the central squares are how pieces are transferred from one side of the board to the other. In this case, Black made a bad decision in capturing my pawn with 14…ef4. After gf4, my pawns control the critical e5 square and I now have access to the enemy king via the newly opened g-file.
Because I control the center, moves like Kh2 and Rg1 are possible. Also, Be4 is another idea to bring pressure to the Black king. All of these moves happened simply because of my grip on the center.
Always try to grab space. Moves like f4 or c4 are designed to secure the center. Once Black relinquished control of the center with ef4, the advantage shifted to White. Make sure to analyze moves where your pawns exert pressure on the sweet center, which is defined as the d4,e4,d5 and e5 squares.
This was a blitz game so the quality of play was low once we got into time pressure. But my constant studying of tactics allowed me to hang in there to deliver the fatal blows before time expired. As I mentioned in a prior post, studying ten tactical problems per day will improve your board vision and allow you to see combinations faster.