GM Shankland Meeting a Flank Attack with Counter-play in the Center

In this article we will investigate meeting a flank attack with counterplay in the center. In general, a lot of chess revolves around one’s ability to advance their own agenda and make it more important than their opponent’s, and in this case we can see that active counterplay can be just as effective a method of defense as buckling down and keeping everything protected. I’ve found a few spots where I am asking my readers to consider how best to proceed with black, and in all cases I would like them to keep the theme of active defense in mind.



While I won this game, the result definitely would have been different had I faced a more ambitious and active defense. One should never forget their own assets and goals- even when coming under fierce fire, sometimes the best defense is a good offense. In this game, even with an extra rook and bishop and a wide open king, black’s best defensive tries often saw him being the one to deliver mate.


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