Attacking with g2-g4

“I believe that without the g2-g4 thrust I would never have achieved success as a player and trainer.”GM Dmitry Kryakvin

Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is Attacking with g2-g4: The Modern Way to Get the Upper Hand in Chess by GM Dmitry Kryakvin.

The g2-g4 thrust is a very important motif in fighting for the initiative. Against an f5-pawn, White opens the g-file. Without an f5-pawn, White can play g4-g5 to kick back the f6-knight – removing an important defense of the kingside and starting a pawn storm. When g4 is met with …h6, White can play h4 followed by g5 to open lines. This thrust is so important for fighting for the initiative, that Vukovic categorized it as a ‘bayonet’ attack in his classic book ‘Art of Attack in Chess’. Attacking with g2-g4 teaches students how to use this weapon in closed openings and annotates dozens of games (organized mostly by opening), showing how to play after this pawn thrust opens lines.


Chapter 3: Issac Lipnitsky’s favorite position

Mikhail Botvinnik not only liked to play g2-g4 himself but also rated very highly Isaak Lipnitsky’s book Questions of Contemporary Chess Theory, which contains, besides the majority of the above examples from the games of the sixth World Champion, a particularly beautiful example of the g-pawn battering ram.

Nowadays, the name Lipnitsky says little to the modern reader, but, just as the prematurely deceased Leonid Stein, this was a player with a very interesting, striking style, and great practical strength. He also died tragically early, at just 35.

Lipnitsky won the Ukrainian Champion, regularly qualifier for the final of the USSR Championship, and in 1950 was a silver medallist in this marathon tournament, He had an equal score against Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, and Tal, drew with Botvinnik and had a win against Petrosian to his credit. In the database, he has only 159 games, but the older generation of Soviet players always pronounced the name Issak Lipnitsky with respect.

The GM’s eternal memorial was the above-mentioned book, which came out in 1956. In John Collins’ book on Bobby Fischer, (a fact unearthed by Yakov Zusmanovich), it is stated that the future American World Champion obtained Lipnitsky’s book when still quite young and virtually slept with it under his pillow! It is a striking textbook on dynamics, the battle for the initiative and the linkage between the opening and the middle game, and was recommended to readers by the great trainer Mark Dvoretsky. Having been reprinted in Dvoretsky’s book, Lipnitsky’s famous position then appeared in many other publications. Here it is.


Why choose the Forward Chess edition? It is cheaper than the physical version and the variations are more efficient to play through on a digital board. You can also use the latest stockfish engine, add your own notes, bookmarks, and much more.

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Arun J

Arun J

Content Marketing @ Forward Chess.