We use the terms "attack" and an "initiative"
interchangeably. If there is a real difference, it's a matter of degree of
The player with an initiative commits some of his energy, both materially and emotionally. But if the initiative runs cold, he is able to regroup and defend against his opponent's counter-initiative. The game may peter out into a draw.
But when an attack runs out of steam, the consequences are usually worse. The attacker may have
committed too much. He can't regroup and the counterattack usually wins, according to Richard Reti, who called #46 an "old aphorism."
1.Nf5 1.Nf5 looked impressive in view of 1...gxf5 2.Qh6 followed by 3.g5 or 3gxf5/Rg1+ However, after
1...Qc5 2.Nh6+ Kg7 Black began the counterattack with
3.Qd2 Rd4! 4.f4 Be4! Now we see how useless White's pieces are when needed for defense, e.g. 4...Be4 5.g5 Rxd3! 6.gxf6+ Kxf6 and Black wins. The game ended with
5.Re3 Bxd3 6.cxd3 and now
6...Ne4! 7.Qe2 Rc8! 8.Qd1 Nf2 9.Qd2 Rxd3 10.Rxd3 Nxd3 0-1