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  1. 1. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.1 INTRODUCTION Tactics are the tricks and techniques chess players use to get a quick advantage over their opponents. We will begin with the most elementary ideas, and gradually grow from there. The tactics we will examine in this booklet are: En Prise If you can take a piece for free, we say the piece is en prise. En Prise (Ahn Preez) is a French term which means that a piece is in a position to be taken for free. If a piece is en prise, it is under attack and not protected. Take a More Important Piece If you trade pieces, but the one you take is worth more than the one you lose, you get a material advantage. For example, if you can take a Rook with your Bishop, but you will lose the Bishop you are taking a more important piece than you are losing. More (or Better) Attackers than Defenders The idea here is to attack something more times than it is defended. If you attack something three times and it is only guarded twice, you can get it. A similar idea is when something is defended by more powerful pieces than those that are attacking. For example, if a Bishop is attacked by a Knight and Rook, but defended by the King and Queen, the Bishop is in trouble. Either the Knight or the Rook can take the Bishop and not fear being taken in return. Fork A Fork in chess occurs when one piece attacks two or more enemy units. A fork is sometimes referred to as a double attack. All the pieces and pawns can fork, but the Queen, attacking at long range in eight different directions, is the best piece to inflict the fork. The tricky Knight, also attacking in eight directions, is another formidable attacker. Pin A Pin occurs when a long range piece—Queen, Rook, or Bishop—attacks an enemy unit, and if the enemy unit were to move, there would be an attack on a more important piece behind it. A pin against the King is called an Absolute Pin, because the pinned piece is forbidden to move. If it were to try, the King would be in check. Since you can never make a move that puts the King in check, it is against the rules to move a piece that is pinned to the King. All other pins are Relative Pins. It may not be a good idea to move the piece held by a relative pin, but it isn t against the rules.
  2. 2. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.2 Skewer A Skewer is just like a pin, except that the most important piece is in front, or the pieces are of equal value (two Rooks can be skewered by a Bishop). Discovery A Discovery is related to the pin and skewer, except that instead of an enemy unit between your long range attacker and the enemy target, your own piece is blocking the attack. In a discovery, you move your piece out of the way, revealing an attack from the long range piece behind. Naturally, you would like to do as much damage as possible with the moving piece. If you can attack something else with the moving piece, then you have two attacks at once. Frequently your opponent will have to give up something. Double Check This is a very forcing kind of discovery. When the King is in check from two directions, it must move to escape. Capturing or blocking one check still leaves the other in force. In some situations the King can move out of one check by taking the other unit that is attacking, but even in this case, the King must move. A double check freezes the entire army while the King makes a move to escape from both attackers. Removing the Guard, Overload, and Deflecting are all ways of diverting a piece from its task. Basically, they all have to do with making an enemy piece leave a protective post. If you can make the protecting piece leave, whether by taking it, forcing it to take one of your pieces, or chasing it away, you can then get the piece or occupy the square it was guarding. Decoying is a special form of diverting. In the other forms, we are trying to make a piece go away so we can take advantage of its absence. In a decoy, we want to make it go someplace so we can take advantage of it in it s new location. Trapping If a piece is under attack and can t escape, it is trapped. When to look for tactics: Tactics are often present when there are loose pieces (pieces that are unprotected) on the board, pieces that are poorly guarded, and when the King is exposed or in some way vulnerable. When you see any of those situations on the board, look for tactics! If none of those conditions exist, there probably aren t any tactical shots.
  3. 3. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.4 EN PRISE PUZZLES CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (Wdwdwdwd} 7dwdwdpiw} 7dwdwdpiw} 6wdwdwdpd} 6wdwdwdpd} 5dwdw0w0w} 5dwdw0w0w} &wdw1wdBd} &wdwdwdP)} 3dwdwHw)P} 3dwdqHPdw} 2w$wdw)Kd} 2wdRdwIwd} %dwdwdwdw} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. Black to Move 2. Black to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (rdwdwdkd} (wdw4wdkd} 70wdn4p0p} 7dpdwdw0p} 6w0wdwdwd} 6pdbdN0wd} 5dw0wdwdw} 5dwdwdPdw} &wdwdwdwd} &wdwdwdwd} 3dwdwdw)w} 3dPdwdwdP} 2P)Pdw)B)} 2PdwdwdPI} %dwdRdRIw} %dw$wdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. White to Move 4. White to Move Answers: 1. … Qxb2. 2. … gxh4. 3. Bxa8. 4. Nxd8.
  4. 4. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.6 TAKE A MORE IMPORTANT PIECE CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (Wdwdwdwd} 7dwdwdw0k} 70wdwdwdw} 6p0wdw4wd} 6w0wdk4w0} 5dwdNdwdw} 5dwdwdw0w} &wdwdwdPd} &wdwdwdwd} 3)w)wdwIP} 3dwGwIwdP} 2wdwdw)wd} 2P)wdw)Pd} %dwdwdwdw} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. White to Move 2. White to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (rdb1kgw4} (wdwdwdkd} 70p0wdp0p} 7dp1wdp0w} 6wdndwdwd} 6pdwdwdw0} 5dwdp0wdw} 54wdwdwdQ} &wdwdNdwd} &wdwdwdwd} 3dwdBdNdw} 3)wdwdBdP} 2P)P)w)P)} 2w)wdw)Pd} %$wGQIwdR} %dwdRdwIw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. Black to Move 4. Black to Move Answers: 1. Nxf6+. 2. Bxf6. 3. … dxe4. 4. … Rxh5.
  5. 5. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.8 MORE (OR BETTER) ATTACKERS THAN DEFENDERS CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (rdwdrdkd} 7dwdwdpiw} 7dwdwdp0w} 6wdwhwdpd} 6wdwdwdw0} 5dwdwdwdw} 50wdwdwdw} &wgwdwdwd} &Pdwdwdwd} 3dwdwdwGP} 3dwdwdPdP} 2wdwdw)Kd} 2wdwdRIPd} %dwdRdwdw} %dwdw$wdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. White to Move 2. White to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (rdbdkdw4} (wdwdwdwd} 70p0php00} 70pdwdpdk} 6wdndw1wd} 6w1bdw4pd} 5dwgwdwdw} 5dwdwdwdp} &wdwHPdwd} &wdP$wdw)} 3dw)wGwdw} 3dwdQdN)w} 2P)wHw)P)} 2P)wdw)Kd} %$wdQIBdR} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. Black to Move 4. Black to Move 1. 1. Bxd6 Bxd6 2. Rxd6, White wins a Knight. Naturally, you do not want to make the first capture with the Rook, since you are going to lose the first attacker. Go in first with the less valuable unit. 2. 1. Rxe8 Rxe8 2. Rxe8, White wins a Rook. 3. 1. … Nxd4 2. cxd4, Bxd4 3. Bxd4, Qxd4, Black wins a Pawn. 4. 1. … Rxf3, and White is unable to recapture. 2. Qxf3 loses the Queen, and Kxf3 is illegal. For extra fun, figure out what White might do here, and how Black would respond. (1. … Bxf3+ also works, but taking with the Rook is better.)
  6. 6. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.10 FORK PUZZLES CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (Wdwdwdwd} 7dwdwdwdw} 7dwdwdwdw} 6wdwdwdwd} 6wdwdwdwd} 5hwdwdkdw} 5dwdw$wdw} &wdwdwdwd} &wgwdwdwd} 3dwdwdwdw} 3dwdwdwdw} 2wdwdwdwd} 2wdwiwdwd} %dwdRdwdK} %Iwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. White to Move 2. Black to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwiwd} (rdwdkdwd} 7dwdwdw0w} 70p0wdw0p} 6wdwdBdwd} 6wdwdqdwd} 5Hwdwdwdw} 5dwdNdwdw} &wdwdwdwd} &wdPdwdwG} 3dpdwdwdP} 3dPdwdwdP} 2w1wdwdPI} 2Pdwdw$Pd} %dwdwdwdw} %dwdwdwIw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. Black to Move 4. White to Move Answers: 1. Rd5+ forks the King and Knight. 2. … Bc3+ forks the King and Rook. 3. …Qe5+ forks the King, Bishop, and Knight. 4. Nxc7+ forks the King, Queen, and Rook (a Family Fork).
  7. 7. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.11 FORK PUZZLES CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdw4kd} (rdb1kdw4} 7dpdwdp0p} 70p0pdp0p} 6wdqdndwd} 6wdwdwhwd} 5dwdwdwdw} 5dw!whwdw} &ndwdRdwd} &wdwdPdwd} 3)wdwdPdw} 3dB)wdwdw} 2KdPdwdP)} 2P)wdw)P)} %dwdQdwdR} %$NgwIwHR} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 5. Black to Move 6. Black to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (rdb1kdw4} (wdwdwdwd} 70p0pdp0p} 7dwdwdw0k} 6wdwdwhwd} 6pdw$wdw0} 5dwdwhwdw} 5dbdwdwhw} &wdwdPdwd} &wdwdwdwd} 3dB)wdwdw} 3dwdwdwdw} 2P)wdw!P)} 2Pdwdw$wd} %$NgwIwHR} %dwIwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 7. Black to Move 8. Black to Move Answers: 5. … Nc3+ forks the King, Queen and Rook. 6. … Nd3+ forks the King and Queen. 7. … Nd3+ forks the King and Queen. 8. … Ne4 forks the Rooks.
  8. 8. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.17 FIND THE PIN Bishop Pins: Find the enemy pieces lined up on a DIAGONAL. CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdkdbdwd} (wdwdbdwd} 7dwdwdwdw} 7dwiwdwdw} 6wdwdwdwd} 6wdwdwdwd} 5dwdwdNdw} 5dwdwdwdw} &wdwdwdwd} &wdwdQdwd} 3dwdwdwdw} 3dwdwdwdw} 2wdKdwdwd} 2wdwdwdwd} %dwdwdwdw} %dwdwdwdK} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. Black to Move 2. Black to Move Rook Pins: Find the enemy pieces lined up on a RANK or FILE. CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdkd} (WdWdwdwi} 7dwdw4wdw} 7dwdwdp0w} 6wdwdwdwd} 6rdwdwdw0} 5dwdwdwdw} 5dwdwdwdP} &wdwdwdBd} &wdwdNdwI} 3dwdwdwdw} 3Dwdwdw)w} 2wdwdwdwd} 2wDwdwdwd} %dwdwdwIw} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. Black to Move 4. Black to Move Answers: 1. … Bg6 pins the Knight to the King. 2. … Bc6 pins the Queen to the King. 3. … Rg7 pins the Bishop to the King. 4. … Ra4 pins the Knight to the King.
  9. 9. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.18 FIND THE PIN Queen Pins: Find the enemy pieces lined up on a RANK, FILE, or DIAGONAL. CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdQd} (Wdqdwdwd} 7dwdwdwdw} 7dkdwdwdw} 6wdwdwdwd} 6wdwdwdwd} 5dwdwdwdw} 5dwdNdwdK} &wdwdwdwd} &PdwdwdPd} 3dwdwdwdw} 3dwdwdwdw} 2wIpdwdwd} 2wdwdwdwd} %dwdkdwdw} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 5. White to Move 6. Black to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (wdwdwdwd} 7dpiwdwdw} 7dwdwdp0k} 6qdwdwdwd} 6p4wdpdw0} 5dwdwdwdw} 5dwdw)wdw} &wdwdNdw)} &wdwhw)Qd} 3)wdwdw)w} 3)wdwdwdP} 2w)wdwGwd} 2K)wdwdwd} %dwdwIwdw} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 7. Black to Move 8. White to Move Answers: 5. Qb3 pins the Pawn to the King. 6. … Qc5 pins the Knight to the King. 7. … Qe6 pins the Knight to the King. 8. Qg1 pins the Knight to the Rook.
  10. 10. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.26 FIND THE SKEWER CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (Wdwdwdwd} 7dwdwdwdP} 7dwdqdwdw} 6wdwdwdwd} 6wdwiwdwd} 5dwdwdwdw} 5dwdwdwdw} &wdwdwdwd} &wdKdw$wd} 3dwiwIwdw} 3dwdwdwdw} 2wdwdwdwd} 2wdwdwdwd} %1wdwdwdw} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. White to Move 2.White toMoveandBlackto Move (both sides have a Skewer) CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (wdwdwdwd} 7dwdwiwdw} 7dwdkdw)w} 6wdwdwdP$} 6bdwdwdwd} 5dwdwdwdw} 5dwdwIwdw} &wdwdwdwd} &wdwdwdwd} 3dwdwIwdP} 3dwdwdwdw} 2wdwdwdwd} 2wdwdwdwd} %dwdwdwdq} %dwdwgwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. Black to Move 4. Black to Move Answers: 1. h8=Q+ Pawn promotion to a Queen is an instant skewer. 2. White: Rd4+ skewers the Queen. Black: Qa4 skewers the Rook. 3. … Qc1+ skewers the Rook. 4. … Bc3 skewers the Pawn.
  11. 11. Copyright © 2004 by Chess-in-the-Schools.34 FIND THE DOUBLE CHECK CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (Wdwdwdwd} 7dwdwdw0k} 7dwdQdw0k} 6wGwdwdw0} 6wdwdwdwd} 5dRdbdwdw} 5dwdwdwdw} &wdwdrdwd} &Kdwdbdrd} 3dwdwdw)w} 3dPdwdwdw} 2wdwdwdw)} 2wdwdwdwd} %dwdwdwdK} %dwdwdwdw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 1. Black to Move 2. Black to Move CuuuuuuuuC cuuuuuuuuC (wdwdwdwd} (wdw4wdkd} 70wdwdwdw} 70pdwdw0w} 6wdwdwdbi} 6wdqgwhwd} 5dw)wdwdp} 5dwdNdwdp} &w0wdrdp)} &wdQdPdw)} 3dNdwdw)w} 3)wdwdwdw} 2P)wdwdwd} 2w)wdwdPd} %dKdwdw$w} %dwdwdRIw} c,./9EFJMC c,./9EFJMC 3. Black to Move 4. White to Move Answers: 1. … Re1#. This double check (++) is also mate. If the b5 Rook were to take the Bishop, the King would still be in check from the Rook, and if the b6 Bishop were to block on g1, the King would still be in check from the d5 Bishop. 2. … Bc6++. The King must move, even though the Queen could take either piece that is attacking the King. Taking one still leaves a check from the other. This double check is also a fork. 3. … Re1#. Another double check and mate. There is no escape. 4. Ne7++. Check from the Queen and check from the Knight. The King must move, and then the Knight gets the Black Queen on c6. The double check froze everyone, so the Bishop could not take the Knight, even though it meant losing the Queen.

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