Piece Storm Attack

A “piece storm” is the opposite of a “pawn storm” attack. It means sending lots of pieces against the enemy King. This strategy is used in more advanced chess, whereas beginner and intermediate chess often involves lots of pawn storms.

The general idea of a piece storm is to bring lots of pieces over to the side of the enemy King. Often this means massing your pieces in front of your pawns. A particularly common method is to bring a Rook out in front of the pawns. For example, if you are castled Kingside, then play f4…Rf3…Rg3, which gives an attack against the Black King’s g7 pawn, or Rh3 against the Black h7 pawn.

A piece storm has the advantage over a pawn storm that it can be safely done against castling either side. It works if the kings are castled opposite sides or same sides.

A piece storm can also be more difficult to defend against than a pawn storm. Often a pawn storm can be neutralized simply by refusing to allow any pawn swaps. If you can push your pawns rather than take in a pawn storm, you can often keep your king safe.

A pawn storm can also fail against a defensive strategy of “hiding the King behind enemy pawns”. But a King cannot hide behind enemy pieces, so that doesn’t work against a piece storm.

A general rule might be that the pawn storm often works well against fianchetto King positions, where the Rook pawn can often pry open the rook file. The piece storm is very effective against a standard (non-fianchetto) castled position, since the pieces can attack any of the 3 pawns in front of the enemy King.

Defence against a piece storm can be difficult. It may involve bringing back more pieces for defence. It also involves setting up the correct defensive setup of the pawns and the few pieces around the King. For example, in a non-fianchetto position, the King can be well defended by a Rook and Knight by a setup such as Rf7, Nf8, f6, g6, and h7.

Related Chess Tactics

Read more about these related chess strategies: