Intrusion on the 7th Rank

A common continuation once you have taken control of a file is to invade on the 7th or 2nd rank, respectively. Vukovic’s The Art of Attack uses that very same strategy to launch an assault against the castled king. The procedure is as follows: dominate the file > weaken the pawns in front of the king with pawn levers or by exploiting backrank weaknesses > occupy the 7th rank for mate. As an example, he cites the game Rubinstein – Maroczy, Goteborg 1920.

Notice the interplay between your piece control and your opponent’s pawn structure. The more I play chess, the more my thought process and my assessment of a position revolves around these two factors; the potential of my pieces on the one hand and the potential pawn weakness of my opponent on the other.

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