Looking for Tactical Opportunities

When do you know to look for a tactical combination? According to Dan Heisman in his Novice Nook Article The Seeds of Tactical Destruction
a tactical opportunity might exist when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Loose (unguarded) pieces – “Loose Pieces Drop Off” = LPDO
  • Pieces that can easily be attacked by enemy pieces of less value One or more pieces than can be attacked via a “discovered attack”
  • Weak back rank
  • Pinned or “skewerable” pieces along the same rank, file, or diagonal
  • Pieces (or squares) vulnerable to Knight forks
  • Overworked pieces (pieces guarding more than one piece or square)
  • Inadequately guarded pieces
  • Falling way behind in development (overwhelming opponentforces)
  • Pawns nearing promotion
  • King uncastled or lost pawn protection with Queens on the board
  • Open enemy lines for Rooks, Queens, and Bishops to your King Pieces that have little mobility and might easily be trapped if attacked
  • A large domination of one side’s forces in one area of the board

Remember that all tactics are based on undefended pieces, a weakened King, and / or a double attack. – Kotov

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