11 articles Tactics

When Solving for Tactics

Steal Like a Grandmaster

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.

10. Blundercheck.

Connecting the Dots in Chess

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…

The Smothered Mate

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…