Move forward!

When we teach a beginner player about chess, one of the first things we talk about is to move our pieces forward toward the opponents territory. As young chess players develop, far too often they stop thinking much about basic chess principles and try to calculate concrete moves and variations. They are looking for the exceptions from the rules even in the type of chess positions when calculation is not really necessary because decisions should be made based on general principles and common sense.

There are also situations in chess where indeed very concrete and precise calculation is required. In all of the following examples a Knight will be attacked and will be at a crossroad, to move forward (which in some cases involves a sacrifice) or more passively backwards.

The chess position below in our first example has been reached after some common opening moves in the Kings Indian defense.

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