The students of
IS 318 are best known for winning multiple Junior High School Championship
titles, but they are also bughouse champs. In a CLO exclusive, they reveal their secrets from openings, covered in the first part, to the current installment on typical attacking ideas and partner
management. The series was compiled by
IS 318 coach Elizabeth Vicary.
Randy plays Settlers of Catan at the 2011 US Amateur Team East. 9th grade National Champ Azeez Alade reaches across the board
Attacking g7 by Randy Rivera
Everyone knows that f7 is a target square in chess, but in bughouse, g7 can be just as weak. A great attacking idea is to wait until the Bf8 moves, and then drop a knight on h5. For example, White has the excellent attacking idea,
Nh5 hitting the g7 pawn after its defender, the bishop on f8 has moved.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4
White now drops a knight on h5,
Sometimes, Black's best idea is to move the defender
back to protect the pawn.
If there's a pawn at e5, white can increase
the pressure by dropping a pawn on f6,
drop another pawn at g7.
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.Nf3 d6
Again, White drops a knight on h5
4.N @ h5
If Black does not defend it this time and plays
then 5. Nxg7+ Kf8 and now White brings the knight back (6. Nh5) and threatens
to drop a pawn on g7 or a piece on f6.
f2 by Joel Ogunremi
Attacking the light squares around the
black king or attacking the dark squares around the white king is a fundamental
attacking method. Let's look at an example of each.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d6 3.d5
If Black does not take the pawn on d5,
then you can take the pawn on e6. If Black takes back with the f pawn, White
has ideas with dropping a pawn on f7, dropping a knight on g5, playing Qf3, and
dropping pawns on d5 and/or f5. Taking back with the bishop is bad because White
could drop a pawn on d5, move the bishop to c4, and drop another pawn on e6.
3...exd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Bc4
White is threatening to drop a pawn on
e6. Even if Black plays the most common move here,
The idea is so strong that White can
sacrifice the queen: 6. P@ e6 Bxd1 7. exf7+ Kxf7 8. N@g5 and, for example, 8...
Ke7 9. N@f5 Kd7 10. B@e6 Ke8 11. p@f7#
Many black players just play 5...Qe7+ instead of 5....Bg4
You should play 6. Nge2 with 7. Bg5 next.
Black can attack white's dark squares
by attacking and sacrificing on f2.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Bg5 d6
5.Nf3 Ng4 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Qe2?
This is not a good move, but it is
important for white to defend f2; otherwise black will definitely take there
next move. Black has a good position and has ideas with dropping a pawn on e3,
or a knight on Nf4, or with taking on f2 and continuing to put pressure on f2
by dropping another knight on g4 and a pawn on e3.
Warren Zhang on sacking a knight on f7
The sacrifice Ng1-f3-g5xf7 is commmonly
used by White to clear the f7 square. In order to play this, you should have a
partner who you know plays an opening that involves the massive trading of
pieces, knights and queens in particular. The reason for this is because you
are sacking on f7, but this is very easy to defend against: You can't walk into
a battlefield without any weapons. Remember that Black will be playing moves
like ...Nh6, ...Qe7, dropping a pawn on f6, etc. in order to defend. You'll be
trying to attack f7 constantly by first taking on f7, then Ng5 (drop), Qf3,
Bc4, etc. You want to gain as much pressure as possible; keep in mind that you
can't only rely on pieces your partner gives you; you should use your starting
pieces as well.
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e5 Ne4 4.Qe2 d5
If you can drop a pawn at e5, that's great. For instance,
6. P@e5 Nf5 7. d3, preparing Ng5, and White has a solid and secure position. If you don't have a pawn, then play
Prepare to play Qf3, drop a knight on
g5, and even try to clear the g7 square by N@h5xg7, Bxg7; Nh5, Bf8; P@g7.
Partner Management by Jakob Kobaljo
So you sit down to a game of bughouse and your
opponent's attack has ceased. For instance, I'm Black in the following position:
While my partner's position is:
What should you do? Should you start your own
attack or should you bolster your defense? One logical thing to do is
trade pieces. Your partner needs them to continue his attack. Trading pieces
can also be used to get rid of some of your opponent's pieces that may be used
for an attack later.
Your partner's opponent's king is not safe at
all. He cannot go back to e8, where he wants to go due to the protection of the
pawns. However due to the bishop on f5 that is not going to happen now. You can
quickly play Bb4 pinning the knight to the king. That knight is yours and your
partner can use it to bring their opponent's king closer to your side. One
thing not to do in this specific position would be to sac pieces to start your
attack. Now the only people getting pieces are your opponents. They could
easily defend, and then they could start their attack and finish the game quickly.
Another issue is who should be which color.
White is usually the attacker, due to making the first move. Black is the
defender at first. A more defensive, closed player might want to be Black. A
wild, attacking person might want to be White to start and finish the attack
and ideally, the game.
See the first IS 318 bughouse article here and look for the final piece in the coming weeks.