You see a tactical combination on the board and you have the opportunity to play it…you become excited, after all this is your moment to play like Tal, but chances are that you do not play like Tal. While you have spotted a tactical opportunity, it may not be the best move, it might even be…
1. Look at the whole board.
2. Look for immediate opponent threats.
3. Narrate tactical themes (Hanging bishop, skewerable or forkable pieces, etc.).
4. Look at more than one candidate (when you find a good move look for a better one).
5. Calculate at least 6 ply (3 moves) deep.
6. Look for in-between moves.
7. Examine forcing moves first in the order of checks, captures and threats.
8. When all seems lost, look for stalemate possibilities.
9. If you feel you are on the right track, but your are not finding the winning move, then try to reverse the move order.
I have made an observation while solving puzzles, that I feel will improve my tactical puzzle solving skills, and might have direct application during actual games. When solving a tactical puzzle of intermediate to advanced level I either: 1. Have no clue how to go about solving it and get it wrong. 2. Have multiple ideas that…
White to move from Spielmann – Tartakower, 1925 Highlight for answer: 1.Qh6! Qxe1+ 2.Bf1 (2.Kg2? Ne3+), and Black must give away his Queen with 2. …Qe#+
White to move 1. Material: White is up a pawn, that is about to Queen. But White cannot defend it. 2. King safety. White’s King is pinned to the light squared bishop. Black’s King is in no immediate danger. 3. Activity: Black’s rook is more active, and his bishop is not pinned like White’s. 4.…
Chess TempoÂ is a new online tactics site, it is still in testing, but it is definetly worth a visit. It is similar to the Chess Tactics Server, but you do not have the time penalties CTS has, so you can think about the position a bit longer.
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:
The following serve as signposts for possible tactical combinations: 1) Weakened or undefended King. 2) Undefended pieces. 3) Trapped king. 4) Pieces along the same rank, file or diagonal. 5) Open ranks, files or diagonals. 6) Weak back rank Read The Seeds of Tactical Destruction by Dan Heisman for a great article on finding and…
A smothered mate occurs when a Knight gives checkmate because the opponent’s pieces block their own King’s escape. This is the starting position for the Smothered Mate. White is in double check from the White Queen and the White Knight. The Queen sacrifices herself to force the Rook to g8 removing any possible escape routes…
A corner based mate delivered by the Rook and the Knight working in tandem, the Arabian Mate is one of the earliest on record.