Fundamental Checkmates 1910093807, 9781910093801

Chess might seem a complex and mysterious game, but the ultimate goal is simple: checkmate. Checkmate can occur in all

1,677 204 8MB

English Pages 384 [1556] Year 2016

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Fundamental Checkmates
 1910093807, 9781910093801

Citation preview

Fundamental Checkmates

Antonio Gude Translated by Phil Adams A complete study of mating patterns, mechanisms and combinations

Contents Symbols Preface Introduction

Part 1: First Steps 1: 2: 3: 4: 5:

Strategy, Tactics, Combinations The Basic Mates Named Mates Mating Positions Using a Single Piece Combinative Patterns

Part 2: Mating Combinations Using Two Pieces 6: Queen + Rook 7: Queen + Bishop 8: Queen + Knight 9: Queen + Pawn 10: Rook + Rook 11: Rook + Bishop 12: Rook + Knight 13: Rook + Pawn 14: Bishop + Bishop 15: Bishop + Knight 16: Knight + Knight 17: King + Piece 18: Minor Piece + Pawn Training Positions: First Set

Part 3: Target: The King in the Centre 19: King on its Back Rank 20: King on its Second Rank 21: King on its Third Rank Training Positions: Second Set

Part 4: Target: The Castled King 22: Rook Sacrifices

23: Bishop Sacrifices 24: Knight Sacrifices 25: Queen Sacrifices 26: Multiple Sacrifices 27: Exceptional Combinations Training Positions: Third Set Solutions to the Training Positions Index of Names Copyright Information About the Author About Gambit Publications Other Gambit Titles on Kindle

Symbols x capture + check ++ double check # checkmate 0-0 castles kingside 0-0-0 castles queenside !! brilliant move ! good move !? interesting/probably good ?! dubious ? bad move ?? blunder Ch Championship 1-0 the game ends in a win for White ½-½ the game ends in a draw 0-1 the game ends in a win for Black ( n ) nth match game (D) see next diagram

Preface Chess is imagination. D AVID B RONSTEIN I think that a chess game is an analytical problem always has a solution. A LEXANDER K HALIFMAN


The dynamism that characterizes modern chess has made it ever harder to define the role that strategy plays. Strategy does, of course, exist and its presence is felt throughout the whole game. Nonetheless, the concept of a game of chess as an entity in which a strategic plan could be worked out and applied throughout the game has nowadays been overtaken by events. But this is nothing truly new. Because from the 1940s onwards the best Soviet chess masters had introduced a new dynamism into the game, according to which the various forms of compensation (better position or initiative in exchange for material, asymmetrical positions, etc.) constituted an effective attempt to transform the static era that prevailed in the first four decades of the 20th century. Botvinnik was part of this movement and demonstrated his overall superiority by becoming world champion in 1948. But it was above all Geller and Bronstein, and then, in the generation of the 1960s, Spassky, Tal and Stein (with Fischer, of course, in North America) who were the most brilliant champions of the new dynamism. Subsequently, Kasparov, world number one for nearly twenty years in total, was the main representative of a way of playing which undermines, right from the opening, the opponent’s game, creating continuous pressure and complications. His most notable followers were, in the 1990s, Alexei Shirov to begin with, and a little later Alexander Morozevich. It was Kasparov himself who made some revealing declarations on the Internet concerning the confrontation (in May 1990) between the Israeli team and the Junior chess program: “The fact is that it does not matter how good the position is after the opening, it does not matter what positional mistakes the computer might have made in an unusual move-order: the fate of the game will, more often than not, be decided in tactical

complications. It seems to be clear that the tactical factor plays a much more important role in the game than we previously thought.” Strategy refers to large plans, the global view of the game, the much-mentioned what to do , as opposed to how to do it . But it happens that the ultra-dynamic action of the modern game makes us try in the opening itself to twist in every way the foreseeable destiny of the game and both players tend to get tangled up in a close hand-to-hand struggle, which cannot be more precisely identified than as tactics , in the fullest sense of the word. Nowadays, strategy can begin even before the game; the player prepares an opening and variations and tries to match them to his playing style. From the moment when he decides what kind of game he wants and plans to play, he is to some extent determining the way the game will proceed: to take the struggle to a purely positional plane, to a complicated playing field with possibilities for both sides, to yield the initiative, to take control of it at all costs... All of these attitudes are more strategic than psychological, because what the player decides a priori will to some extent become a part of the development of the game, ideas and plans being transferred in terms of the opening and the specific variation chosen. What is the objective of this book? There is, if course, an objective and a very precise one: the technique of the mating combination; or, in a word, mate , which is, by definition, the ultimate objective of our game. Obviously it would be absurd to claim to reduce all chess combinations to models and typical themes, given that the combinative possibilities of chess games and moves are practically unlimited. More than seventy years ago the mathematician Kraitchik informed us that while the number of atoms that make up the observable universe is in the order of 10 70 , the number of possible games of chess is approximately 10 120 . And so, who are we, mere mortals, to claim to reduce chess to models? The attempt to extract thematic combinations and reduce them to models is not, however, a senseless undertaking. Just as architects and painters study in great detail the basic materials that they will use in their works of art without this restricting their creative ability (it will, on the contrary, give it consistency), so it is no less legitimate for chess-players to study the raw materials with which they will work: the powers of the pieces,

the ways in which they work together, and typical structures. Combinative themes, tactics and attacking play have been the subject of some valuable studies, amongst others those carried out by writers such as Bondarevsky, Vuković, Voellmy, Tal (about the attack), and Euwe and Pachman, on the middlegame and tactics in general. There are also those who have written about specific combinations; Kurt Richter stands out, as well as Romanovsky, Kotov and Bronstein, and there is a special mention for Lisitsyn’s exceptional work, Strategy and Tactics (which, in spite of its title, is a book exclusively about tactics). It is also only fair to recognize the worth of the Argentine writer Roberto Grau, whose General Treatise on Chess has nurtured generations of Spanish and Latin American chess-players. However, I do not think that anyone has attempted, until now, to make a rigorous classification of the basic mechanisms of checkmate, nor to reduce to models both the mating patterns and the typical mating combinations. That effort has been made here. Taking into account the difficulties involved in a work of investigation, I beg for a certain amount of good will, because the mysteries of chess are as difficult to grasp as they are to express. Every classification has its limitations, and even more so the topic which we have in hand, but the need to make the work systematic demands that effort to strip down and classify the mating combinations, so that we can finally begin to study them in all their ramifications. In this task, some classic examples are indispensable, since the very fact that they are ‘classics’ implies that they are excellent enough to have lasted and inspired for generations. However, I have been especially careful to include many examples from recent decades, because only in this way will the reader get a clear idea of the types of positions and styles of play that are prevalent in modern chess. In any case, we must all be aware that, as chess is eternal, most themes and combinations are repeated, even though in every case they may have certain special features, variations or some element of originality. I did not want to limit myself to merely schematic examples either, because the richness of the game lies in its variety and diversity. Idealized forms have their place in a textbook, but we must learn to build on them in order to make practical use of them. Thus you will find that many of the examples in this book have a certain complexity, with many side-variations in

addition to the central themes under investigation. This reflects the reality of competitive chess, so please do not begrudge the effort to examine the more complicated pieces of analysis presented in these pages. A few words about the concepts talent and intuition . You should take no notice of any negative judgement about your talent which the resident ‘expert’ of your circle might come out with. When he was a child of eight or nine, the former FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman was denied entry to the Pioneers’ Palace in St Petersburg because, as he himself admits, “he was not sufficiently talented”. Far from discouraging him, this spurred him on to devote his energy that summer to studying chess intensively. Three months later he once more presented his request for entry to the chess section and this time examination revealed that he now “had enough talent”, something that Khalifman recounts with irony and which seems to me to put the label talent into its rightful perspective. What does this marvellous gift that an eight-year-old child can acquire in three months consist of? Naturally when someone tells you that you have talent, you must not believe him either. Judgements of this kind bring us to another concept much loved by many chess masters: intuition . If an outstanding player ‘incomprehensibly’ makes just the right move in a difficult position, he often hurriedly explains it by saying he acted ‘intuitively’. This word gets a lot of good press. Even in such a rational and theoretical activity as chess, intuition passes as an almost mystical concept. “A clear, instantaneous perception of an idea or a truth, as if it were before your very eyes, and without any need for the intercession of reason.” Or more familiarly, “The ability to understand things at first sight, or to become aware of them when they are not yet evident to everyone.” Clearly, this ‘intuition’ is a marvellous thing! Understanding things at first sight! What can reason and study come up with against that? When Kasparov (or Karpov, Anand or Carlsen) says that he played such and such a move ‘out of pure intuition’, are we to believe that his chess knowledge sprang out of nowhere, spontaneously generated? Or should we remember the tens of thousands of hours he has dedicated to studying and playing chess? However, this magnificent intuition does not prevent them (i.e. players who possess it to the highest degree) from making serious mistakes, in which case they never explain them away as being based on intuition. We

must conclude, therefore, that intuition is no more than a launch-pad for great moves, but it does not protect you from committing genuine blunders. Explaining a move on such an ethereal basis as intuition is like attributing harvests or tidal movements to the hazards of fortune. Trying to uncover the ‘mysteries’ of chess is a difficult task. But if for a moment we abandon mysticism, then we will be in a fit state to discern that things like, for example, mating mechanisms and typical combinations can be stripped down to their basic elements and explained with a certain degree of coherence to the ordinary player. Imagination, yes, all that you could wish for. No, to concepts so capricious and ethereal as intuition and talent . Yes, finally, to intelligence, the exercise of which continues to be completely reliable and greatly prized, and which, when developed by the habit of study and by self-critical analysis, as well as active practice at the chessboard, guarantees all kinds of success in chess. In spite of its considerable size, this book contains few words and little theoretical text. On the other hand, it can offer you many magnificent combinations and very many marvellous games, including some of the best work of the greatest artists of our game. We are talking about high art, since, according to many people, combinations are the quintessence of chess. I hope you enjoy them and that you benefit from them, because I have no doubt that your tactical ability will reach a very high level after reading this book. If you discover any errors or if you can contribute more precise references about certain positions in the text, your contributions will be more than welcome. Finally, a few words about the interactive effect, which for a few years has been shaking up our society and seducing teachers, institutions and the media. In this age of rabid interactivity I would like to remind people that, so far, humanity has not invented anything more interactive than a book. A book is a fascinating object and source of mental sustenance, from which the author calls for the reader’s attention. Once he has that attention (since the reader is reading) the writer calls on all his intellectual and emotional resources to retain it and to get the reader on his side. From that dialectic between the text and the possible complicity of the reader there is born an empathy, which every author hopes will last, at the very least,

to the final word of the interactive than that?






Introduction There exists a general combination theory the practice of which is quite widespread. And knowledge of it helps all chess-players to find the true point of reference in many positions. P IOTR R OMANOVSKY , Middlegame Combinations This book is intended as part of an encyclopaedia of tactics, and it is aimed at middle-ranking players or players in training. It is about mating combinations and checkmate itself in all its forms. This is a practical work, aimed at tournament players or those seeking to reach that level, to help them absorb typical or thematic combinations whose target is the king. We shall study positions which, for the most part, have occurred in over the board master play, with the occasional inclusion of illustrative positions, studies or problems.

Structure of the Book The book is made up of four parts, the aim and content of which are as follows:

Part 1 In this initial step, we take a look at mates which have acquired a name and mating patterns using only one piece, as well as an overview of the conventional way of dividing up combinative themes, so that the reader can become familiar with chess terminology.

Part 2 Here we study the core of the mating mechanism: mates using two pieces in all possible pairings; in other words, tactical teams reduced to their minimum expression. The level of difficulty in the positions in this second part is less than in the two final parts. The reason is that the schematic approach adopted here means that the positions have as clean an outcome as possible. Throughout the book, the degree of

difficulty will, in general, increase within each section or subsection. I am convinced that any player who studies this book will find at some point positions that present him with real difficulties, whatever his playing strength. In other words, the simplicity of the first examples should not lead anyone to believe that this will be the general level of the work.

Part 3 The topic here is schematic attacks on the king in the centre. The classification is less rigorous than in Part 2, as we are dealing with a more amorphous subject, but still provides a degree of structure to the material.

Part 4 The fourth and final part studies typical or thematic combinations against a castled position, mainly on the kingside. Queenside castling presents certain peculiarities which make it difficult to integrate it, although this has not prevented the inclusion of a few representative examples.

Anecdotes and Biographical Details Occasionally, I included some additional commentary or an anecdote relating to a particular game, or biographical notes about a player. My intention was to dwell on the human factor , to remind everyone of the obvious fact that even the greatest chess-players are human beings (and not just names in a game heading), and often interesting and colourful characters. In most cases, the players I have singled out have not been the great champions, because I feel that their lives and their triumphs are almost too well known, but players who, although belonging to the chess elite, are perhaps half a step further down the ladder of success.

Mating Patterns or Models Board segments (halves and quarters) have been used on many occasions to illustrate mating positions. While this is nothing new, I can claim to have made two original contributions. In other works, board segments have usually

been used in a rather chaotic and unsystematic way: no sooner was a scheme or two used in a particular chapter than their development was completely forgotten about in the next. On the other hand, the geometrical use of the board has been even less rational, because in most cases squares, ranks and files have been taken completely at random, which leaves you feeling puzzled and confused. The elements I am talking about are: 1) The segments used here are always natural halves or quarters of the board. Every half is either a complete wing (kingside or queenside) or a whole ‘camp’ (the first four or the last four ranks). In the case of quarters, these are not just any geometrical quarter either, but the natural half of a ‘camp’ or half of a wing, which means they can only correspond to the following squares: d1-a1-a4-d4, a5-a8-d8-d5, e8-h8-h5-e5 or e1-h1-h4-e4. There is always a corner and there are always two half-edges – every time, without exception. Consequently the boundary line (or the edge of the board) makes it possible to identify easily the sector being talked about, the ground we are covering. 2) As regards teaching material, the conventional use of White as the stronger side seems to me to be a very bad habit from the point of view of the practical player. For in some way, such a repetition of images and the corresponding equation (White wins) must inevitably leave an underlying impression, which is that White is always stronger than Black and that it is always White that mates. It is possible that this habit, which has been present in technical chess publications for more than a century, has no importance, but I am sure that it is important and that it has a negative influence and produces false ideas and sensations when the time comes to play with Black. Well, here the mating squares are alternated, sharing out the winning roles: in some cases it is White that mates and in others Black.

Functionality of the Method This way of presenting models or mating patterns is very appropriate, as much for reasons of textual economy (which is quite important in a book as thick as this one) as to exclude from the picture all the non-essential elements, anything that gets in the way and could make it more difficult to remember

these images of checkmate, which are of undoubted value to the student of the game.

Training Positions Three sets of positions for solving are included in Parts 2, 3 and 4, for an overall total of 317 exercises. They are structured in three levels of difficulty and within their respective sets they maintain a certain hierarchical order. Naturally, this is a subjective matter, and it is not possible to have robotic accuracy in this, because each player will encounter more (or less) difficulty in certain positions than in others, based on his personality, experience and aptitude.

Points and Timing: A Task for Instructors I have not set time-limits or awarded points for solving these exercises, believing that they distract from the learning experience. I am sure that you will want to solve each position (an interesting task, of course) and if you have neither time-limits nor points to gain, you will simply focus on the crux of the matter and stimulate your faculties to the maximum. Should the book earn the confidence of chess trainers and monitors, they are certainly the ones who can use the material in the best way and with the greatest sense of purpose; they know the strengths and weaknesses of their students and which aspects need most attention. Consequently they will be able to make use of this material in a methodical and appropriate fashion, setting time-limits, if they feel it is useful, for solving the positions for each specific student. In any case, the player who is hungry for tactical practice can convert the book into a gigantic exercise, as each of the positions that make up its basic content has an introductory commentary, followed by the solution, together with analysis. In other words, by the simple procedure of covering up the text he can set himself the challenge of solving every example. If he wants to give himself some clues, he can read the introduction, in full or in part. Sometimes this will be revealing and at other times less so.

1: Strategy, Tactics and Combinations Strategy and Tactics Strategy: The planning and direction of long-term objectives. Tactics: The art of directing the game, in other words, the means by which strategic plans are brought to fruition. D AVID H OOPER AND K ENNETH W HYLD , The Oxford Companion to Chess Strategy has to do with concepts, game plans and decisions of a general kind, and even at times somewhat abstract. When it is a matter of specifics, we are already in the realm of tactics. When Tigran Petrosian (World Champion 1963-9) explained his triumph in the Candidates Tournament in Curaçao (1962), he said that his “sporting strategy had been based on playing so as not to lose.” Can this be translated into specific moves or even concrete game plans? Impossible. Petrosian tells us that he approached each game with a conservative attitude, trying not to take risks, to look for solid playing options, etc. The way in which this was transmitted to the board in each case and showed itself in concrete moves would then be within the realm of tactics. Strategy is what to do and tactics is how to do it . Making long-term plans, the major decisions of the game, these are strategic matters. Tactics takes care of all the rest. Every move is by definition tactical. When a writer or a commentator says that a move is ‘strategic’ he is committing a gross conceptual error. Let’s point out a similarity to the art of war. When the leadership of a nation decides to attack an enemy, they are making a political decision. When they start to think about the immediate questions, the matter comes down to a strategic military level: What to attack? And with what? Once the target has been selected and the main lines of attack are determined, subsequent decisions move totally into the domain of tactics. The attack will take place on such and such a day, for such and such reasons, and use, e.g., the airforce and the navy in particular roles. All the details of the operation are tactical: from the moment the order is given to attack, to when the last forces return to base. All the manoeuvres, the resources, the

individual or collective failures or successes, all the details form part of a gigantic tactical operation. This allows us to form a concrete image of these definitions in simple terms. Strategy is what is planned on paper and tactics everything that happens in reality. If someone thinks, in general terms, about what he is going to do: strengthen the weak points, attack the enemy king, carry out a positional attack on the queenside, react to an enemy attack with a counter-attack in such and such a sector, etc., all of these can be decisions of a strategic kind but, once they have been taken, tactics goes on to take control of operations.

Combination The combination is the poetry of chess. A LEXANDER A LEKHINE If chess is a closed universe, the combination is a closed universe within chess. It is a dramatic event: a player makes his calculations, assesses the key positions, weighs up the risks – for there often is a real risk – and takes the plunge. The precise definition of a combination is to some extent an academic question, with most experienced players understanding what a combination is without having to compare it against a checklist. However, as the combination is central to this book, we should attempt to define what we shall mean by this term. A combination, in general, is a forcing manoeuvre, generally with a sacrifice of material, seeking to achieve a specific purpose . The main point of contention is whether a sacrifice is strictly essential, and this factor is blurred by the fact that a sacrifice may exist in a subsidiary line but not in the principal variation. Certainly it is agreed that a combination should feature tactical themes and be in some way spectacular. But consider the following position:

White to play Kluger – Nagy Budapest 1942 In this position White played 1 Ne6 , and after 1...Qa5 2 Ndc7+ Kf7 3 Nd8+ Kg7 4 Ne8+ Kg8 5 Bc4+ , Black could not prevent mate. I wouldn’t call this sequence a combination; it is an attack. White has not had to invest any material to carry out his attack, and this has developed in a purely natural (although curious or even spectacular) way.

White to play Topalov – Kasparov

Moscow Olympiad 1994 In this game Black is a pawn up, but there are some more or less enduring positional factors which tilt the balance in White’s favour, namely: 1) the black king is stuck in the centre and confined to the back rank; 2) the white rook on b7 is very strong; 3) the second rook (f1) is also ready to penetrate on the seventh rank, in contrast with the black rook on h8, which has still to come into play. There is a tactical problem to be solved: if Black manages to get rid of the bishop controlling the a3-f8 diagonal, then the immediate mobilization of the h8-rook, via f8, comes into consideration with possibilities of consolidating the position. Topalov played very well: 1 Bb4! Re3+? 1...Rxg3 is best, though after 2 Rxg7 a5 Black will need to continue playing very accurately to survive. 2 Ne2 Be5 3 Rff7 The much-feared threat of invasion: doubled rooks on the seventh rank are like a bomb waiting to explode and, technically speaking, the advantage is already decisive. 3...Rxh3 A more tenacious defence was 3...Bd6 4 Bxd6 Nxd6 5 Rfe7+ Kf8 6 Ra7, but White has a big positional advantage, thanks to the power of the rooks, the passed c-pawn and the possible incorporation of the knight via f4 or d4. 4 Nd4! Re3+ 4...Bxd4 allows 5 Rfe7+ Kd8 6 Rb8#. 5 Kf1 Re4 6 Rfe7+ Kd8 Or 6...Kf8 7 Nxe6+ Kg8 8 Re8# (there is an even prettier mate, but it takes one move longer: 8 Rg7+ Bxg7 9 Rxg7#). 7 Nc6+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of the imminent mate: 7...Kc8 8 Na7+ Kd8 9 Rbd7#. Was this a combination? That is debatable, but it was a brilliant tactical sequence.

White to play Bronstein – H. Hunt Maidstone 1994 This situation is pure dynamite: both kings are exposed, Black is the exchange and a pawn up but in exchange White has greater freedom of movement (better development). The way the struggle on the board is resolved demonstrates that White’s lead in development counts for more than Black’s material advantage. 1 Kh4! This unpins the d3-bishop, threatening 2 Bg6+. 1...f5 2 Be2 Renewing the threat on the h5-e8 diagonal. 2...Qf6+ 3 Kh3 Rf7 Or 3...Rh8 4 Bh5+ Kd8 (4...Kf8 5 Bh6+ and mate) 5 Rd1+ Bd7 6 Qxd7#. 4 Bh5? 4 Qg8+ Rf8 5 Bh5+ Ke7 6 Qh7+ Rf7 7 Bxf7 is the correct move-order. 4...Ke7? 4...Bd7 intending ...0-0-0 enables Black to limp on into a difficult ending. 5 Bxf7 Qxf7 6 Bd6+ Kf6 7 Qh6+ Qg6 8 Be7+ 1-0 8...Kf7 9 Qf8#. The audacity of the white king and the attack as a whole are impressive, but I still would not speak of a combination here.

The following position places a question mark over the widespread view of what constitutes a combination, because in the following manoeuvre the only sacrifice is that of a pawn. However, Black is able to take advantage of the dominant position of his knight and the mobility of his queen to win the game.

Black to play Weiss – Krüger Hamburg 1910 At first sight the advantage of the exchange might appear decisive, especially because the rook occupies a very active position, but the black knight is very strong and the white king is exposed. Black found the following winning continuation: 1...Qg1! Threatening 2...Qg3#. 2 Qg2 Practically the only move. 2...g4+! 3 Qxg4+ Perhaps Black has forced the exchange of queens? 3...Ng5+ 4 Kf4 The only move to save the queen. 4...Qf2+ 5 Ke5 Qf6# As we have seen, the only sacrifice involved in the combination was that of the g-pawn. But the tactical details (clearance of the g5-square for an important knight check, the insecure situation of the white king, etc.) might lead one to think that perhaps this manoeuvre could nevertheless be considered a

combination. Whatever the case, the aim of this book is not to debate definitions in a purely academic way. Instead my intention is to put forward clear ideas and discuss chess on a practical level, encouraging the reader to draw conclusions and derive practical principles that are of immediate application. It is certain that the art of the combination cannot be reduced to a set, even an enormous set, of principles and rules, since the features and ideas that can form the trigger and the realization of a combination are practically infinite. However, it is definitely possible to learn, and reduce to a set of thematic situations, certain positions that contain combinative possibilities that are already known and have been previously studied.

2: The Basic Mates By basic mates we mean those by particular pieces supported by just the king, against a lone enemy king. There are four basic mates: Mate with a Queen Mate with a Rook Mate with Two Bishops Mate with Bishop and Knight It is not possible to mate with king and two knights , unless the defender commits a serious (and very obvious) error. I shall assume that the reader is familiar with the technique of executing these mates (if not, then I can refer you to my book A Complete Chess Course ), but we shall pause to consider a few peculiarities, to fix the ideas more firmly and revise the various mating patterns. All the methods leading to the execution of these mates are based on the same general idea. There are two stages in the mating process: 1) Confining the defender’s king to a restricted space; 2) Execution of the mate itself. Since all the basic mates take place on the edge of the board, the first stage consists, without exception, of imprisoning the defender’s king on one of the edges (a- and h-files, first and eighth ranks). The second stage will vary, according to which piece(s) the attacker is trying to mate with.

Mate with a Queen The following diagrams represent patterns of the mate with K+Q.

practically all the


White to play This diagram allows us to memorize an important typical position for the final execution of the mate. The squares marked with a star are ones where the white queen could checkmate immediately. Let us suppose that it is White to move. Our objective, starting from this position, is to force checkmate in two moves. If the queen moves to a7, mate on the following move is unstoppable (1...Kd8 2 Qd7#; 1...Kf8 2 Qf7#, in both cases in accordance with the second schematic making pattern above). The same happens with 1 Qe5: 1...Kf8 2 Qh8# and 1...Kd8 2 Qb8# are two symmetrical mates, matching the fifth pattern. Mate in two can also be achieved by playing 1 Qd4 or 1 Qf4. In general, when the defender’s king is situated on the edge of the board with the attacker’s king directly opposing it, the arrival of the queen on the seventh rank guarantees immediate mate.

Mate with a Rook The next two quarter-diagrams represent the mating patterns with K+R.

If, in the queen checkmate example, we replace the queen with a rook, we have the following position.

White to play Now the squares marked with a star indicate where the rook would need to stand to give mate. White can force mate in three moves. The key is to make a waiting move with the rook, for example, 1 Re2. If the black king moves towards the queenside (1...Kd8), then the rook replies with 2 Rc2, cutting off its path and forcing it to return to its previous square, 2...Ke8, which is answered by 3 Rc8#, executing the mate in the first schematic pattern above. If the black king heads for the other wing (1...Kf8), then White plays 2 Rg2 Ke8 3 Rg8#. Would 1 Re1 also work? Of course. The idea is the same: whichever way the defending king is going, the rook cuts it off by moving to the next file, in the king’s direction of travel. For the same reason, 1 Re4 and 1 Re5 would also work, since nothing can prevent the same mating process. What happens if the rook doesn’t move along the file that it occupies, but along the rank instead? The result is the same, limiting the black king’s options even more. For example: 1 Rf3 Kd8 (now this move is forced) 2 Rc3 Ke8 3 Rc8#. The conclusion is that in this position any rook move leads to mate in three. Consequently it would be very useful for you to store this pattern away in one of your favourite mental archives!

Mate with Two Bishops

This mating procedure presents no mystery for anyone who has previously studied it. In every case it’s a matter of confining the defender’s king into an ever more restricted space, utilizing the ability of the two bishops to create a barrier that the enemy king is unable to cross. Once on the edge, the king is forced towards a corner, where it will be mated. The diagram above shows a pattern for this mate.

Mate with Bishop and Knight

This is the most difficult of the basic mates, but it is perfectly possible to learn the technique. I presented in detail one

method in A Complete Chess Course : the attacker’s three pieces must keep confining the enemy king in triangles, sharing the task of controlling the different squares. With this ‘sweeping’ procedure, the defender’s king will be inevitably confined on the edge of the board, where it will be mated in the corner of the same colour as the bishop (i.e. the colour of the squares that the bishop moves on). The mating piece can be the bishop (with the king situated in the corner) or the knight (with the king on one of the squares next to the corner).

Mate with Two Knights? With two knights it is impossible to force checkmate against a lone king (i.e. without any other material on the board), because the defender can always achieve a position of stalemate. But let’s qualify that statement: impossible to force mate doesn’t mean that mate is impossible , just that the opponent needs to make a very obvious mistake for it to happen.

White to play Here we have the most favourable position for the attacker, i.e. a position in which the defender might go astray. Mate is possible; e.g., 1 Nf6+ Kh8?? 2 Nf7#. But if Black plays 1...Kf8 there is no mate and all White’s attempts run into a brick wall.

3: Named Mates In this short chapter, we shall briefly look at a few specific mates that have acquired names, a number of notable mating manoeuvres, and some terminology for mates that have particular features.

Fool’s Mate This is the quickest possible checkmate, but it requires White’s crazy collaboration: 1 f3? e5 2 g4?? Qh4# (D)

White to play This mate would be unlikely to occur in a real game, since it would require, as Grandmaster Tartakower remarked, masochist tendencies on the part of the player with the white pieces, who is committing hara-kiri. The French call this the ‘Mate of the Lion’, perhaps because of the deadly ‘clawing’ that takes place with the game scarcely begun. The strategic idea of the weakness of the e1-h4 (or e8-h5) diagonal, at one end of which sits the king at the start of the game, has nevertheless given rise to numerous combinations and opening traps.

White to play Here, for example, White can deprive the black king of its castling rights by playing 1 e6!, since 1...fxe6? is not playable because of 2 Qh5+ g6 3 Bxg6+! hxg6 4 Qxg6#.

Scholar’s Mate After Fool’s Mate, the next fastest well-known checkmate Scholar’s Mate. This arises after: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 Bc5 3 Qh5? Nf6?? 4 Qxf7# (D)


Black to play While this does not involve the opponent’s collaboration, it does

require his gross inattention. The move 3 Qh5? creates rather an obvious threat, and is both unnatural and a poor move if Black responds well. There are variations of this mate, such as 1 e4 e5 2 Qh5 Nc6 3 Bc4 d6?? 4 Qxf7#, mentioned in the book The Famous Game of Chesse-play , by Arthur Saul, the first chess book in English, which dates from 1614. The sequence 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 Nc6 3 Qf3 has also been played, when with 3...Nf6 Black is in a position to exploit the premature development of the white queen. The name Scholar’s Mate illustrates very well who is likely to fall for this mate – no experienced player. Anyone trying to mate in this way, or falling for it, is likely to be a novice, who would be well advised to rule out this mate as a serious possibility.

Legall’s Mate Kermur de Legall (1710-92) was a contemporary of Philidor, who, it is said, was the only player who could beat him in his day. This mate is normally shown as occurring after these moves: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 d6 3 Nf3 Bg4 4 Nc3 g6? (D)

White to play White is now able to carry out a simple combination: 5 Nxe5! Bxd1?? 6 Bxf7+ Ke7 7 Nd5# (D)



Black to play On the fifth move, however, Black can play 5...dxe5, acquiescing, after 6 Qxg4, to the loss of a pawn, an evil considerably less than mate. The real version of the game in which this mate occurred for the first time (and hence acquired its name) seems to have followed a different course however. Kermur de Legall – Saint Brie Paris 1750 Philidor’s Defence 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bc4 Nc6 4 Nc3 Bg4 The story goes that at this moment Legall touched his knight on f3 and, on removing his hand, was required by his adversary (supported by the onlookers) to move the touched piece. Then he played: 5 Nxe5? This is in fact a crude blunder, because Black has only to reply 5...Nxe5 to remain a piece up. (Or a piece and a rook , since it is also said that White played at rook odds; i.e. he started the game without his a1-rook.) But the punctilious player with the black pieces, seeing the booty dangled before him, couldn’t resist the temptation to take the white queen. 5...Bxd1?? Now Legall was able to execute his mate with impunity. 6 Bxf7+ Ke7 7 Nd5# It is possible that Legall deliberately touched the knight, setting

the scene for his trap and thus lulling the opponent into a false sense of security, since, having to move his knight, he couldn’t prevent the loss of his queen!

Boden’s Mate This is a mate produced by the crossfire of two bishops, generally preceded by a queen sacrifice against a queenside-castled king. It is named after the English player Samuel Boden (1826-82), as a result of the following friendly game: Schulder – Boden London 1853 Philidor’s Defence 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 c3 f5 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 d4 fxe4 6 dxe5 exf3 7 exf6 Qxf6 8 gxf3 Nc6 9 f4 Bd7 10 Be3 0-0-0 11 Nd2 Re8 12 Qf3 Bf5 13 0-0-0?? d5 14 Bxd5 (D)

Black to play 14...Qxc3+! 15 bxc3 Ba3# (0-1)

Back-Rank Mate This name is given to a mate in which the defender’s king can only move along the back rank, behind a line of pawns, which prevent it from escaping from a check by a queen or rook along the rank where it is situated.

There are numerous combinations associated with this motif, known technically as the weakness of the back rank . See the sections on the queen and the rook in Chapter 4 .

Smothered Mate This is a checkmate delivered by a knight, so-called because all the squares next to the defender’s king are occupied by pieces of the same side. In other words the defender has himself blocked off (or been forced to block) all his king’s possible flight-squares. One form of this mate is Lucena’s Mate (also known as Philidor’s Legacy and Greco’s Mate), but there are other possibilities, such as the following: Alekhine – Consultation partners Palma de Mallorca (simul.) 1935 Caro-Kann Defence 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nd7 5 Ngf6?? 6 Nd6# (D)


Black to play This game was played by Alekhine against a team of four opponents playing Black. One could argue that this isn’t a pure smothered mate, since it also involves a pin on the black e-pawn. The following game is an extreme example, which could hardly

happen in reality as it requires greater cooperation even than Fool’s Mate, but which serves to illustrate this type of mate: 1 e4 Nc6 2 g3 Ne5 3 Ne2?? Nf3# (D)

White to play

Lucena’s Mate/Philidor’s Legacy This is a spectacular mate with a knight, preceded by a queen sacrifice forcing the complete ‘smothering’ of the defender’s king by his own pieces. Although Philidor’s name is generally attached to this mating idea, and it is also known as Greco’s Mate, it was proved many years ago by the Spanish researcher Joaquin Perez de Arriaga that this mate ought to bear the name of Lucena, since this mating mechanism can be found in his treatise Repeticion de Amores e Arte de Axedrez – the earliest mention of it. Here is the position:

White to play Lucena , 1496 White wins by carrying out a manoeuvre which has been seen innumerable times since. 1 Qe6+ Kh8 1...Kf8 allows immediate mate with 2 Qf7#. 2 Nf7+ Kg8 3 Nh6++ There is also a mate in three with 3 Nd8+ Kh8 4 Qe8+ Qf8 5 Qxf8#, but in his book Lucena specifies that the solution must not include the capture of any black piece, which is a way to mitigate the existence of this ‘cook’ (alternative solution), which nowadays would be considered a flaw in any composed problem. With the black queen situated on another square, such as, for instance, a4, this second mate would be impossible. 3...Kh8 4 Qg8+!! Rxg8 5 Nf7#

The Disgraceful Mate This expression is rarely used these days and originates in Iceland (one of the ‘homelands’ of chess), where this name was given to a checkmate delivered by a pawn (examples of this type of mate can be seen in Part 2 , in any of the chapters featuring piece + pawn). This mate finds its most extreme manifestation in the most disgraceful mate , administered by a pawn to the enemy king which is still situated on its starting square.

In the following game disgraceful mate:

we have

an example of the


Pytel – NN Romans (simul.) 1982 Two Knights Defence 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 d4 exd4 5 e5 Qe7? 6 0-0 Ng8 7 Bg5 f6? 8 exf6 Qc5? 9 f7# (D) (1-0)

Black to play

Epaulettes Mate This mate features a king on the edge of the board sandwiched between two of its own pieces which prevent its flight, so that the mate is executed by a major piece checking along a rank or file.

White to play Albin – O. Bernstein Vienna 1904 Here we have an example of this mate, produced by Black’s last move, ...Rg6#.

Economical Mate This is not a specific mating idea, but a more general concept, and an aesthetic consideration rather than a practical one. In the field of composed chess ‘problems’, this term is conventionally used to describe a mate in which all the pieces of the attacking side participate. It is a type of mate linked to the ideal (still speaking of the field of chess composition) of achieving the maximum result with the minimum possible material.

Mirror Mate This is a mate in which the eight squares adjacent to defender’s king are unoccupied.


Pure Mate This type of mate needs to fulfil the following conditions: a) the empty squares adjacent to the defender’s king attacked no more than once;


b) any of the defender’s own pieces blocking the king’s flight are not attacked; c) the mating move is not a double check. This term to describe a mate originates in the field of chess compositions (chess problems and endgame studies rather than real games of chess).

Model Mate A model mate is a pure mate in which all the attacker’s pieces participate, with the permitted exception of the attacker’s king and pawns. It can also be defined as a mate that is both pure and economical .

Ideal Mate A term used in composition referring to a type of mate which every piece on the board has a role.


Perfect Mate A term used to describe a mate which is both model mirror .


Dilaram’s Mate The Turkish poet Firdawsi at-Tahihal, who lived in the 14th century, is the author of the longest poem ever composed (890,000 lines) and which deals with the widest range of human themes. In one of his stories he tells how two princes played chess. One of them was losing all his possessions and finally wagered his favourite, the princess Dilaram. To illustrate his tale, the author used a mansuba (an Arabian checkmating problem) from the 10th century, although he failed to copy it correctly. There are several versions of this problem in circulation; the following diagram shows the most common one.

White to play At the moment White (to move) is threatened with no fewer than four different checkmates: on a8 and a2 and on b4 with either rook. The prince was about to make a losing move, when Dilaram, realizing what he was about to do, prompted him: “Oh, my prince, sacrifice both your rooks, but not Dilaram!”. Of course, today such outside help would be considered to be against the rules but poetic license allows us to draw a discreet veil over that. Here is the brilliant solution: 1 Rh8+!! Kxh8 2 Af5+ Kg8 3 Rh8+!! Kxh8 4 g7+ Kg8 5 Nh6# You need to take into account that the piece shown as a bishop is the ancient piece known as an alfil , which could move diagonally two squares and could jump over other pieces, although without controlling the first square.

Anastasia’s Mate The first reference to this mate can be found in the book Anastasia und das Schachspiel (‘Anastasia and the Chess Game’) by the German writer Wilhelm Reinse, published in 1803. This text is in the form of correspondence from Italy, in which the author includes positions from the book by Gianbatista Lolli, Osservazioni teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli scacchi (from 1763) and although some confusion reigns about what precisely can be considered to be Anastasia’s Mate, it seems

that the following position, attributed by Lolli to an anonymous Count from Turin, is a true representation.

White to play White wins in elegant fashion: 1 Qc5+! dxc5 2 Rd8# As we can see, the white king controls the three squares on the e-file, the knight controls the two light squares on the furthest file (the c-file), and the rook mates on the d-file, once the queen sacrifice forces Black to block the c5-square with his own pawn. Lolli quoted other examples, among which we have included one, attributed to A.Bellincini, in Chapter 12 . This general type of mate (though at the edge of the board) occurs often in practical play and the reader will come across several examples in this book.

4: Mating Positions Using a Single Piece Within the general thesis of the book, which seeks to reveal and demystify the inner workings of the checkmate, it is essential to begin with mate delivered by a single piece, without the assistance of any of the attacker’s other pieces. Naturally, this requires the defender’s own pieces to block some of the king’s flight-squares. This chapter is divided into three parts: 1 : Queen Mates 2 : Rook Mates 3 : Bishop and Knight Mates In the same way as in Part 2 (where we examine mates involving two pieces), in this classification we shall consider only those pieces which take part in the final mating position, disregarding any others which might have been able to intervene or facilitate the outcome.

1: Queen Mates The queen, without the aid of another friendly piece, can only checkmate with the collaboration of the enemy pieces, which are needed to block vital escape-squares against their own king. We shall begin with the most characteristic patterns.

These mating patterns represent practically all the mates that can be achieved by a lone queen. Of course, there are a host of variants, but essentially they are all variations on a theme: the blocking pieces might be different, the mate might be on a file instead of a rank, the position might be rotated somehow, etc., but in the end it must conform to these patterns. Let’s now see how it works in practice. From Gambit In this crude variation of the From Gambit (1 f4 e5) a queen mate can occur, which we shall include here, just as a curiosity (note the similarity to Fool’s Mate). 1 f4 e5 2 g3? exf4 3 gxf4?? Qh4# (D)

White to play

White to play Huss – M. Schärer Swiss Ch, Grächen 1999 White wins quickly here, exploiting the queen’s great mobility along open lines. 1 Rh8+! 1-0 1...Kxh8 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Qh7+ Kf8 4 Qh8#. The escape-square e7 is blocked.

White to play Steinitz – NN 1861 The first World Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, delivered a pretty mate here: 1 Rd8+! To deflect the black queen from covering the e6-square. 1...Qxd8 2 Qe6+ Kh7 3 Rxh6+! gxh6 4 Qf7# The black rook on h8 and pawn on h6 are the self-blocking pieces that the white queen needs. Notice the similarity between this mating manoeuvre and another reported more than two centuries ago by a classical author. Lolli included an interesting analysis of this position from a real game, in which Black took the draw by perpetual check.

Black to play G. Lolli Osservazioni teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli scacchi , 1763 Lolli demonstrated that Black could have checkmated in the following manner: 1...Qf3+ 2 Kh3 2 Kg1 Qe3+ 3 Kh1 (3 Kg2 Qe4+ and mate in three) 3...Qe4+ 4 Kg1 Qxb1+ 5 Kg2 Qf1#. 2...Qh5+ 3 Kg2 Qd5+ 4 Kh3 Qf5+ 5 Kg2 Qe4+ 6 Kh3 Rh4+! 7 gxh4 Qf3# A priceless mating pattern, still today the basis of numerous combinative possibilities. The same theme is present in this position, even though does not appear on the board.


Black to play Pirrot – Hertneck Bundesliga 1989/90 1...Bg4!! 0-1 White resigned since there is a threat of 2...Bxf3+, and seeing 2 fxg4 Qxf7 and 2 Rxg4 Qf1+ 3 Rg1 Ng3+! 4 hxg3 Qh3#. Note in the second variation the same mating pattern as in the Lolli example, with the rook blocking the escape-square of the king.

Black to play Prins – Soultanbéieff

Hastings 1950 A final example of the same theme, with the added difference that the white queen is defending the g1-square. Black found this finish: 1...Rxg1+ 2 Rxg1 Qf3+ 3 Rg2 Qf1+ 4 Rg1 Now Black has reached the desired position. 4...Ng3+! 5 hxg3 Qh3# Let’s now see an opening variation which, with a few variations, occurs with relative frequency, especially in casual games. Imbusch – Hering Munich 1899 Vienna Game 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bc4 Nxe4 4 Bxf7+ Kxf7 5 Nxe4 Nc6?! 5...d5!. 6 Qf3+ Kg8?? (D) 6...Ke8!.

White to play In this position White wins with the simple... 7 Ng5 1-0 7...Qxg5 8 Qd5# is an unusual diagonal mate right in the opening, which in fact conforms to one of our schematic patterns above.

White to play Rakić – Govedarica Yugoslavia 1975 Black’s king is exposed on the edge and that danger is increased by the presence of the white queen on the long a1-h8 diagonal, controlling the g7-square. 1 Rh5+! gxh5 2 Qf6#

Black to play Kovačević – Magem Osuna 1993 White has just played Qe2 (an unfortunate square when


opponent dominates the h-file) and the response was not long in coming: 1...Rh1+! 2 Nxh1 Qh2+ 0-1 3 Kf1 Qxh1#.

White to play Tirard – Tobak Koszalin 1999 1 Rxf7?? Aiming for the mate on the back rank (1...Rxf7?? 2 Rb8+ and mate), but this capture needed to be prepared. White could win with 1 h4! (or even 1 h3!), and then if 1...Qxe5, 2 Rxf7! Rxf7 3 Qxg6+ Rg7 (3...Qg7 4 Rb8+ Rf8 5 Rxf8+ Kxf8 6 Qxc2) 4 Rxg7+ Qxg7 5 Qxc2. 1-0?? Apparently Black resigned here, but he could have struck first on White’s own back rank: 1...Rc1+ 2 Bxc1 Qe1#.

White to play Alekhine – Frieman (variation) New York (simul.) 1924 This possible variation from a petite combinaison by the great Alekhine illustrates very well how to exploit the weakness of the back rank, by means of the tactical devices of deflection (first) and decoy (second), ideas that are covered in the next chapter. 1 Nh6+! To deflect the black queen and allow the white queen access to the back rank. 1...Qxh6 2 Rxf8+! Kxf8 3 Qd8#

White to play Aitken – R. Payne British Ch, Whitby 1962 White’s control of the only fully open file, in conjunction with the strong position of the knight (however temporary that might seem, since it is attacked by two enemy pieces) and the great mobility of the white queen all combine to tilt the balance heavily in White’s favour. The weakness of the back rank does the rest. 1 Qh6! 1-0 Threatening mate on h7. Black resigned in view of 1...Qxf6 (if 1...Bxf6, naturally 2 Qf8#) 2 Rd8+! (deflection of the bishop) 2...Bxd8 3 Qf8#.

Black to play Podgaets – I. Ivanov Kishinev 1975 This is a strange position, in which the white knight that has infiltrated the enemy camp is more like a hostage than an invader. In any case, it is Black to play and he brought the struggle to an end as follows: 1...Bxf2+! 2 Kxf2 Rb2+ 3 Kf3 Or 3 Kg1 Qd4+ 4 Kh1 Qf2 5 Rg1 Qxg2+! 6 Rxg2 Rb1+ 7 Rg1 Be4#. 3...Qd5+ 4 Kg4 Qf5+ 0-1 5 Kh4 Qg5+ 6 Kh3 Qh5#.

Black to play Fuchs – Uhlmann East German Ch, Premnitz 1961 Here the struggle has a surprising outcome, based on the potentially ‘smothered’ white king. 1...Ng3+!! Uhlmann in fact played 1...Bc6? and went on to win only thanks to a blunder by White. 2 hxg3 Rf5! Calmly threatening mate on h5, taking into account that the white king is a prisoner on the h-file (the only possible escape-square would be g1, but this is attacked by the black queen). 3 g4 Rh5+! 4 gxh5 Qh4# Here the great power of the queen has been clearly evident. First it served to prevent any attempt by the white king to escape via g1 and then it ‘took personal charge’ to deliver the mate. At the heart of this mate is one of our thematic patterns, with the board rotated 90 degrees: the white king is blocked in by its own pieces on g1 and g2, which convert the h-file into a real ‘corridor of the death’.

White to play Volodin – Sergeev Perm 1996 In this position the key is to force Black to block the escape-square e7, which is easily achieved. 1 Ne7+!! Bxe7 Instead 1...Rxe7 meets with the same reply, while 1...Nxe7 allows immediate mate with 2 Rh8#. All this demonstrates the danger that awaits Black on the h-file. 2 Rh8+! Nxh8 3 Qh7+ Kf8 4 Qxh8# White used the same manoeuvre as in the game Kovačević-Magem, where the escape-square e2 was occupied by the queen.

White to play Mieses – Von Bardeleben Barmen 1905 Black (who is already a rook up) threatens both 1...Rxg2+ and 1...Rxf3, exploiting the pin of the g2-pawn along the g-file. But he is in for a big surprise... 1 c7+! Rxf3 2 Qe8+!! An interference sacrifice, thanks to the privileged position of the pawn on c7. 2...Rxe8 2...Bxe8 3 c8Q#. 3 Rxe8+ 1-0 Mission accomplished! The pawn queens with mate: 3...Bxe8 4 c8Q#.

White to play de la Paz – Pujols Cuba 1993 The dominant positions of both white knights, as well as the disappearance of the g-pawn, give White a great advantage, because it means that the black king is in serious danger. 1 Rxe7!! To prevent ...Nf5 when the white queen moves to h6. 1...Qxe7 2 Re1 Qd8 3 Qh6 Rg8 Instead 3...Bxh5 allows 4 Qxh7#. 4 Nxh7! Bxh7 5 Re8!! 1-0 The key: it’s a double deflection. If the rook is captured by the queen, 6 Qf6+ mates, but if it’s captured by the rook there is mate on g7, which is threatened in any case (5...Qd7 6 Qg7#). 5...Qg5 doesn’t work either, because the black queen is not really defended.

White to play H. James – E. Miles New Zealand Ch, Napier 1911 White has a big positional advantage and much more active pieces than his opponent, and starts a combination that will end in a queen mate. 1 Bh7+! Kh8 2 Nxf7+! To eliminate the protection of the g6-square. 2...Rxf7 3 Ng6+! Kxh7 4 Nf8++ 1-0 4...Kg8 5 Qh7+ Kxf8 and with the (forced) capture of this final piece, the black king allows a final and decisive check: 6 Qh8#.

2: Rook Mates Like the queen, the rook can only give checkmate on its own with the collaboration of the enemy pieces, which are needed to block their own king’s vital escape-squares. Mates with a lone rook usually take place on one of the edges of the board, since otherwise a great many enemy blocking pieces are required for the mate. In this regard, the bottom-left quarter-diagram is an extreme case (with four self-blocking pieces) and even here the king is situated on the edge.

Let’s move on to the practical examples.

White to play White wins immediately by sacrificing the knight to open the vital file: 1 Nb6+! axb6 2 axb6# This mating pattern is very useful and often applicable in practice.

Black to play Bastrikov – Goglidze USSR Team Ch, Riga 1954 It is Black to play and he will now demonstrate the practical value of the control that his pieces exert over the key lines of the board (especially the f-file and the g1-a7 diagonal). 1...Qxd2! 0-1 2 Qxd2 Rf1+ 3 Rxf1 Rxf1#. The knight on g2 is a very efficient self-blocking piece.

Black to play Zair – Am. Rodriguez

Ubeda 1998 Here the weakness of White’s back rank is a more than adequate basis to enable the Cuban grandmaster Amador Rodriguez to bring the struggle to an end: 1...Ra1+! 0-1 2 Bxa1 Qb6+ 3 Kh1 (or 3 Qd4 Qb1+ and mate) 3...Rf1#.

White to play E. del Rio Sopra il Giuoco degli Scacchi , 1750 The aggressive position of White’s two knights allows him to checkmate in five moves: 1 Qg8+!! Kxg8 1...Rxg8 allows instant mate by 2 Nf7#. 2 Ne7+ Kh8 3 Nf7+ Rxf7 4 Rxc8+ Rf8 5 Rxf8#

White to play Fershbery In this curious composed position, which looks as if it arose from a normal game, Black’s king position has been weakened and he is also clearly behind in development, which allows White to finish the game with a pretty combination. 1 Rxh7! fxg4 If 1...Rxh7, 2 Qxg6+ Rf7 3 Nf6+ Bxf6 4 Qxf7#. 2 Nxc7+! Qxc7 3 Bf7+! Kd8 3...Kf8 allows 4 Bh6#. 4 Rxh8+ Bf8 5 Bg5+ Ne7 6 Rxf8# A clean rook mate, with which the author illustrated one of his peculiar chess stories. So, who was Fershbery, the author? Fershbery (literally, fers-beri = ‘grab the queen’ in Russian) was a pen-name that appeared in the Soviet technical press in the 1950s, behind which was hidden Boris Vainshtein (1907-93). And who was Boris Vainshtein? An important person, a technocrat of the Stalinist era, who directed the Department of Economic Planning in the Soviet Ministry of the Interior, and one of the rare bigwigs of that time who – they say – publicly declared that he was not a communist(!). He also liked chess and arranged for the publication of David Bronstein – Chess Improviser , on the career of the great David Bronstein and in collaboration with him. He was also president of the USSR Chess Federation, although that does not appear to be his greatest chess achievement, because his brilliant articles and books on our game are, by far, his most interesting

contribution to the chess world.

3: Bishop and Knight Mates The possibilities of mate with a minor piece are so limited that, naturally, even greater cooperation from the enemy pieces is required than in the case of the mates by the major pieces. The bishop can only control one diagonal that is relevant in a mate, so that all the other squares around the enemy king need to be blocked off by the opponent’s own pieces for the bishop to mate. Knight mates require an almost complete blockade of the enemy king by its own pieces, leaving it with no flight-squares at all. So most knight mates are of the ‘smothered’ variety, and especially the Lucena Mate (Philidor’s Legacy). The four patterns that are shown below could well be reduced to two: the essence of the mate is the same. In the case of the bishop, it controls one diagonal, while the squares of the opposite colour adjacent to the enemy king are blocked. The blocking pieces might vary, but the situation is practically identical. Most mates with a knight feature the enemy king in the corner square, since otherwise a great many squares need to be blocked. However, it is curious that in practice there are many more mates with a lone knight than with a lone bishop.

Teed – Delmar New York 1896 Dutch Defence 1 d4 f5 2 Bg5 h6 3 Bh4 g5 4 Bg3 White is tempting Black to trap the bishop. 4...f4? 5 e3! Threatening mate on h5. 5...h5 6 Bd3 Now it is the bishop that threatens mate along the e8-h5 diagonal, though 6 Be2 is even better. 6...Rh6?? (D) The rook covers both mates, but it is overworked, since it has two jobs...

White to play Consequently: 7 Qxh5+! Rxh5 8 Bg6# (1-0)

Black to play NN – Pillsbury USA (simul.) 1899? White is a piece up and it looks as though the time has come for Black to resign the struggle. However, there is a spectacular finish in Black’s favour: 1...Qf1+ 2 Bg1 The only move, but Black has succeeded in blocking the g1-square. 2...Qf3+! A combination based on the theme of the X-ray attack (a theme that we shall study in the next chapter), which produces a great impression, even when its action is purely geometrical: a piece plays through an enemy piece that is interposed: 3 Bxf3 Bxf3# Greco – NN 1620? Owen Defence 1 e4 b6 In the Owen Defence, a mate can arise right in the opening itself, if Black fails to handle it correctly. 2 d4 Bb7 3 Bd3 f5? Too audacious: Black wants to attack the g2-square. 4 exf5 Bxg2 5 Qh5+ g6 6 fxg6 Nf6? The theoretical move is 6...Bg7, when White has many tempting options, of which the best may be 7 gxh7+ Kf8 8 Nf3 Nf6 9

Qg6 Bxf3 10 Rg1 Rxh7 11 Qg3. 7 gxh7+ Nxh5 (D)

White to play 8 Bg6# The knight, although considered the least valuable of the pieces in chess, is very good at delivering mate, for the most part based ‘smothering’ the enemy king. We shall begin with a position that appears in the book of Pedro Damiano.

White to play P. Damiano

Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi et de le partite , 1512 The solution here is very simple, but even today it has a certain impact. The white king is not present in the position. 1 Qxh7+!! White has only to deflect the black queen to achieve his objective. 1...Qxh7 The only move, since h7 is attacked by the knight as well. 2 Nf7# Here the knight produces a sensation of omnipotence. Note the lack of a white king, often hidden in those days, for the purpose of taking bets. Knowing the mate in the previous position, the reader should have no difficulties in finding the one that follows.

White to play Atkinson – Price Manchester 1929 How to bring about the mate shown by Damiano? It isn’t difficult: 1 Rxe6! Qxe6 2 Ng5 Qg6 3 Rxh7+! Qxh7 4 Nf7# We have already seen Lucena’s Mate (Philidor’s Legacy). Here are some more positions in featuring the same idea, although with some further difficulty added.

White to play An. Schneider – Strahm Swiss Seniors Ch, Grächen 1999 White first makes a sacrifice to draw out the black king: 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Ng5+ Kg8 Or: 2...Kg6 3 Qd3+ Kxg5 4 Bc1+; 2...Kf8 can be met by 3 Nxe6+, winning the queen, or even 3 Qxe6, threatening mate on f7. 3 Qxe6+ Kh8 4 Nf7+ Kg8 5 Nh6++ Kh8 Or 5...Kf8 6 Qf7#. 6 Qg8+! Rxg8 7 Nf7# (1-0) We have seen, move for move, a manoeuvre identical to the one shown by Lucena more than five centuries ago!

Black to play Morozov – Smirnov Krivoj Rog 1997 Black has all his pieces aiming at the white king and so much attacking power has to be converted into a devastating finish. 1...Qxc2!! 2 Nxc2 If 2 Rxc2, 2...Rb1#. 2...Rb1+! 3 Rxb1 Nxc2#

Black to play Mustelin – Haapasalo Finland 1986

The three black minor pieces, together with the queen, constitute a very active attacking team. To begin, they can penetrate on f2: 1...Qxf2+ 2 Kh1 Ne3!! Black offers the bishop on b7, because he has seen an unstoppable mate. 3 Bxb7 Ng4 Threatening mate on h2 and there is only one possible reply: 4 Bg2 But now Black forces a smothered mate, the only difference being that the bishop blocks the g2-square. 4...Qg1+! 5 Rxg1 Nf2#

White to play Tarrasch – Von Gottschall (variation) Dresden 1892 Black’s castled position has not been weakened, but here we are going to see, as on so many occasions throughout the book, that the positional balance is very favourable to White, because at this moment his attacking power cannot be restrained by Black. 1 Qxh7+!! Nxh7 2 Nxf7+! Nxf7 3 Ng6# It was also possible to mate using another move-order: 1 Nxf7+! Nxf7 2 Qxh7+! Nxh7 3 Ng6#. All roads lead to Rome (sometimes). The following is a smothered mate but it has nothing to do

with Lucena’s Mate:

White to play Roth – Harsch Switzerland 1992 The two white knights on the fifth rank, at such an early stage of the game, are a bad omen for Black and in fact the worst comes to pass. 1 Nxe6! fxe6 2 Qxe6+ Ne7 Black only has the possibility of choosing between two different mates. If 2...Be7, then 3 Nd6+ Kf8 4 Qf7#. 3 Nd6# Black’s king is completely asphyxiated! The following is a pretty composed position which appears in the book of the Syrian Philip Stamma, the best player in the world in his day apart from the Frenchman Philidor.

White to play P. Stamma Nouvelle manière de jouer aux Echecs , 1777 In the best tradition of the old Arabian problems, to create the maximum suspense, Black is threatening mate in one, but White, by means of a series of sacrifices, demonstrates the superiority of his position. 1 Be4+ Rb7 2 Qb8+!! Rxb8 3 Rxa7+! Bxa7 4 Nc7# First White pins a piece (the rook on b7), blocking the first escape-square of the black king. Next he sacrifices two major pieces to block the two other possible flight-squares, completing the mating pattern so that the knight can jump with impunity to c7. The pin and self-blocking are combinative devices that we shall study in the next chapter. The mate in the next position is more refined, being the fruit of an artistic composition.

White to play A. Seletsky (end of a study) Shakhmaty v SSSR , 1933 White to play and win. The problem here is more difficult, since at first sight it is not easy to imagine that the white knight might end up delivering mate. What is certain is that both sides have exactly the same material, even to the respective kings on the back ranks. Let’s see how the mate comes about. 1 Ba6+ Kb8 2 Qg3+ Ka8 3 Bb7+! The idea of this sacrifice is to block the b7-square and its acceptance is forced. 3...Bxb7 4 Nd7 Qd8 Black must protect the b8-square. 5 Qb8+!! Anyway. White forces the necessary blockages to deliver the desired mate. 5...Qxb8 6 Nb6# Did you not like that one?

5: Combinative Patterns The themes of combinations are often confused with the motifs that favour the combinative manoeuvre. The theme is what is actually done, the type of manoeuvre initiated, depending on a range of motifs that exist in the position and which allow or make possible the said manoeuvre, such as weakness of the back rank, numerical superiority of pieces on one wing, a weakened castled position, a lag in development, etc. These are the motifs and the theme is what we are going to study here. The theme is something that is carried out. The motif already exists. Some of these motifs can be temporary or circumstantial (king in the centre, loose pieces, etc.) and others more enduring or static, such as a damaged pawn-structure, a king castled kingside or queenside, etc. The themes into which combinations are conventionally classified are: 1 : Fork and Double Attack 2 : Pin 3 : Deflection 4 : Discovered Attack 5 : Decoy 6 : Interference 7 : Removing the Guard 8 : Clearance 9 : Self-Blocking Definitions and examples of each theme have been included, even though the majority of these have a sufficiently descriptive name. Furthermore, since it is not my intention to study combinations according to their themes, they have only been included here to enable the reader to become familiar with chess terminology, so that when he encounters references to the various themes in chess books, magazines or lessons he won’t feel all at sea. However, since at this point the aim is to acquaint the reader with the characteristics of each theme, the examples will not always be mating combinations, since in some cases combinations of another type can be more useful and expressive. Thus in this chapter (and this one alone) a few of the combinations examined will not lead to mate.

1: Fork and Double Attack A double attack is at the root of the majority of combinations, whether it be direct or latent. As the name suggests, a double attack occurs when two points come under attack simultaneously, generally creating extreme difficulties for the defence. A fork is a special (though common) case, where a single piece makes both attacks. A fork can also have more than two targets, such as when a knight attacks king, queen and rook simultaneously. The most forcing type of double attack is when it comes with check; this can be executed by any of the pieces, including the pawn. In this case, one of the targets is, obviously, the king. Let’s look at a few examples. Aronin – Kantorovich USSR Team Ch, Moscow 1960 Sicilian Defence 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 g6 3 c3 b6?! 4 d4 Bb7 5 Bc4 d5? exd5 Bxd5? 7 Qa4+! Bc6 (D)


White to play Now White wins with a simple double attack: 8 Ne5! 1-0 White attacks the bishop on c6 and threatens mate on f7! There is no way to defend against both threats at the same

time and so Black had to resign. A very instructive miniature. The following two examples are also very simple.

White to play Cebalo – Lekić Bled 1999 Black is offering an exchange of queens, but has overlooked the fact that his rook on c2 is undefended, which gives rise to a combination. 1 Rxf8+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...Qxf8 2 Qb3+ (checking the king and also attacking the loose rook on c2) followed by 3 Qxc2, and 1...Kxf8 2 Rd8+ Ke7 3 Rd7+ ( deflection , a theme we examine later) 3...Kxd7 4 Qxf7+.

Black to play Rivise – Benko US Open, San Francisco 1961 A latent double attack enables Black to conclude the game. 1...e4! 0-1 White resigned since 2 Nd4 is met by 2...Qg5, with the double threat of mate on g2 and 3...Nh3+, winning the queen.

White to Tukmakov – Ashkhabad This position is a minefield and

play Gutman 1978 both kings are in


danger. It is White to play, and he has an extremely strong move: 1 Bc5! Threatening mate on f8 and cutting the communication between the black queen and the rook on h5. 1...Rxc5 White has succeeded in decoying this rook to a square where it can be forked. 2 b4 Black is lost after 2...Qa4 3 Rxc5 Rh6 4 Rf5+ Ke8 5 Rh5. In the game Tukmakov played 1 Rd7+? instead, and after 1...Nxd7 2 Qxd7+ Kg6 3 Qg4+ Kf7 4 Qd7+ Kg6 5 Qg4+, a draw was agreed.

Black to play Morović – Korchnoi Match (game 2), Viña del Mar 1988 In this position we shall see a very simple manoeuvre based on the theme we are studying: 1...Rd1! 0-1 After clearing the second rank for the queen, Black is threatening mate on h2 and also attacking the rook on e1, so this move can be considered a double attack, although it could also be classified under the theme of clearance , which we shall soon explore further on in this chapter. The motif of the combination is the weakness of White’s back rank and the domination exerted by Black’s major pieces on

the seventh rank.

Black to play Shatskes – Murei (variation) Moscow Ch 1963 The black knight is trapped and, after its capture, White would have a decisive advantage. It might appear, however, that Black can checkmate right away with 1...Qxg2+ 2 Qxg2 Bxg2#, but this is not possible because the b7-bishop is pinned. 1...Qd7!! This move wins on the spot; the queen is taboo (2 Rxd7 Rf2# – the knight still lives!) but Black now has a double threat: 2...Rf2+ 3 Rxf2 Qxg7 and 2...Qd3+, mating. Other possibilities are: 2 Qf6 Bxg2# (the queen on d7 has unpinned the bishop), 2 Ree7 Rd1+ 3 Ke2 Qd3# and 2 gxh3 Qxh3+ 3 Kg1 Qh1#. Motifs: exposed king, command of the seventh rank. Theme: double attack.

White to play Capablanca – Thomas Hastings 1919 This is a curious position, in which we shall have occasion to see what might have happened but didn’t. As could scarcely have been otherwise, the great Capablanca grasped perfectly that Black’s back rank was weak, aggravated by the presence of the pawn on g6. However, his finishing let him down for once. He played 1 Qa8?, increasing the pressure on the e8-rook, to force an exchange on b8 that would allow him to win the black queen. He was in luck, because Sir George Thomas resigned. However, he could have achieved a draw, at least, if he had spotted the tactical idea 1...Rxa2!, counterattacking against the white queen, and after both 2 Qxa2 Rxb8 and 2 Rxe8 Rxa8 3 Rxf8+ Rxf8 Black has some advantage. What is certain is that White could have won with 1 Rxe8! , when 1...Qxe8 2 Qa4!! is a spectacular fork (of the black queen and rook), made possible by the weakness of Black’s back rank, since if 2...Qxa4, then 3 Rb8+ and mate. Here the theme was the fork, while the motif on which the combination was based was the repeated weakness of the back rank.

2: Pin In a pin , one side’s piece immobilizes an enemy piece, since if

the latter moves, his side would lose a more valuable piece. A pin may be absolute or relative. An absolute pin is when a piece is completely immobilized because the more valuable piece ‘at the end of the line’ is the king. A relative pin is when the pinned piece can legally move, since although it is shielding a piece of superior value, that piece is not the king. By definition, since the pin is a tactic based on straight lines, only the pieces that move in straight lines (queen, rook and bishop) can pin, but not the knight or the pawn.

White to play Bronstein – NN Sochi (simul.) 1959 This position constitutes a magnificent example of the power of the pin. White won easily with: 1 Rd8+! 1-0 To start with, this rook sacrifice is possible because the knight on c6 is pinned. However, if 1...Kxd8 (or 1...Ke7), White plays 2 Qxe4, since now the knight on f6 is pinned! A simple tactical shot that was enough to win the black queen.

White to play Marcelin – Sellos Bescanon 1999 The white pieces are very active and already able to conclude the struggle: 1 Qe8+! 1-0 A decisive move, based on the pin on the bishop: 1...Nxe8 2 Rf8# or 1...Ng8 2 Bxg7+ Kxg7 (2...Qxg7 3 Nf7+) 3 Qf8+ Kh8 4 Nf7+.

White to play Beliavsky – Cebalo

Slovenian Team Ch, Bled 1998 The fact that the black king and white queen are on the same diagonal enables White to exploit the theme of the pin. 1 Be6+!! The immediate 1 Rd4? would not work, because of 1...d5, unpinning the rook. However, after the decoy move played in the game, the move ...d5 will not save Black, since the pawn will be captured with check. 1...Kxe6 2 Rd4 Ke7 Or: 2...Rc8 3 Rc1; 2...d5 3 exd5+. 3 Rxc4 Qb7 4 Rfc1 White has won the exchange and is in complete control. 4...Rd7 5 Rc8 1-0 Now we shall see how even the most outstanding grandmasters can make a blunder right in the opening. We should console ourselves with the thought that not the game of chess but human nature itself is to blame for such lapses.

Black to play Zapata – Anand Biel 1988 This position was reached after 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 Nc3 Bf5?? 6 Qe2. The black knight is attacked twice and, if Black defends it with 6...d5, then 7 d3 will win it. But 6...Qe7 is no use either, because of 7 Nd5 Qd8 8 d3. Therefore Anand resigned. This was the shortest loss of his career.

White to play Robatsch – Jansa Sochi 1974 Black has just captured a pawn on d5, relying on the pin against the bishop on b2 (1 cxd5 Bxc3 or 1 Nxd5 Bxb2), but his calculations have been incorrect, because White will now perfectly exploit the possibilities that have been offered to him. 1 cxd5! Bxc3 2 Qd2!! This is also a type of pin, known as a cross-pin , and it decides the game. The white queen cannot be captured because the black king is also on the long diagonal (absolute pin), while if 2...Bxb2, the black queen can be captured (relative pin) with 3 Qxa5. As there is no way to strengthen the defence of the bishop on c3, Black resigned (a few moves later).

Black to play Makogonov – Chekhover USSR Ch, Tbilisi 1937 Black has pinned the white queen with ...Rf8, but White must have thought he was onto a good thing with his reply Rd8, in turn pinning the rook and parrying the threat, assuming that the continuation could not be other than 1...Rxd8 2 Qxd8+, etc. However, he was in for a big surprise when Black played... 1...Qh4+! 0-1 This once again exploits the theme of the pin, since the black queen cannot be captured, making this apparent leap in the dark a winning move. So, we have just seen a position involving a pin, a counter-pin and finally exploitation of the first pin. The theme you know, while the motif has been the exposed position of the white king.

White to play Baburin – Godena Havana 1999 The white pieces are very strong, with his rook already situated on the seventh rank. Now he finds a decisive tactical sequence, sacrificing the rook. 1 Rxf7! Rc7 This was one offer that had to be refused; 1...Kxf7 is met by 2 Qd7+ Kg6 (2...Kf8 3 Qxg7+ Ke8 4 Qg8+, winning the queen) 3 Qxg7+ Kh5 4 g4+ Rxg4+ 5 Qxg4+ Kh6 6 Bg7#. 2 Rd7! Bd5 3 Be5 1-0 After this pin, Black had to resign.

White to play Duras – Spielmann Bad Pistyan 1922 This is a situation in which both kings are in danger, owing to the great number of open lines on the board. White could checkmate in one (1 Rxe8#), except that the white rook is pinned by the enemy queen, which also appears to be threatening 1...Qxh6+. How to escape from the pin? It isn’t easy to imagine. Nevertheless, the inexhaustible inventiveness of Duras (imagination!) will allow him to solve the problem brilliantly. 1 Qg3!! This unpins the e5-rook, since the queen blocks the ‘line fire’ to the king. 1...Qxh6+ 1...Rxg3? allows 2 Rxe8#. 2 Qh3! Qd6 The only move, since after 2...Qxh3+ 3 Kxh3 the threat of mate prevents Black from saving the bishop on e8. 3 Kh1 Again slipping out of the pin. 3...Kg8 There was no way to prevent the loss of the bishop. 4 Rxe8+ Kf7 5 Rh8 1-0

3: Deflection This combinative theme is based on forcing an opponent’s piece to abandon a key defensive position.

White to play Dunkelblum – Canal Venice 1953 The fact that Black’s rook is protecting his queen allows White to make a decisive deflection: 1 Rc8! 1-0 This deflection is also based on the fact that the black queen is pinned. 1...Qxd4 is met by 2 Rxe8+ and 3 exd4, while 1...Kg8 loses to 2 Qxe5. In our next position it was actually White to play, but examine what Black’s threat might be.


Black to play Rödl – Bogoljubow Nuremberg 1931 Black’s three major pieces all occupy dominant positions, while the defence of White’s back rank hangs by a thread (a single rook stands guard over it and the e1-square is twice defended and twice attacked). Any move by the white queen or the c1-rook would result in the invasion of White’s back rank, with catastrophic consequences. 1...Rc2! Once one has conceived the right idea, it is not difficult to find Black’s threat. Since neither the queen nor the rook can capture on c2, this move would be decisive. After 2 Qe1 Rxc1 3 Qxc1 Re1+ Black mates. Naturally, identifying a threat like this is a vital step towards finding a way to parry it, so this should not be viewed as a purely hypothetical exercise.

Black to play Estrin – Angelov Correspondence 1970-3 Given Black’s domination of the h-file, advancing his g-pawn would be enough to force checkmate. However, if the pawn advances right now, White would exchange queens. Black solves the problem with a simple deflection. 1...Nd3! 2 Qxd3 The capture of the knight is forced because it controls the

escape-square f2, but now Black has managed to deflect the enemy queen. 2...g3! 0-1 The deadly advance has been accomplished and White has no defence against the mate.

White to play Fischer – Benko USA Ch, New York 1965/6 The powerful build-up along the g-file, the pawn on g7 and the potential strength of the bishop mean that White’s position is overwhelming. But he needs to finish Black off, which he can do thanks to a deflection. 1 Qe8+!! This deflects the rook from the protection of the d5-square, thus allowing the bishop to deliver a decisive check. 1-0 After 1...Rxe8 2 Bd5+ Re6 3 Bxe6+, Black is lost.

Black to play Sashikiran – Janssen World Junior Ch, Calicut 1998 The pressure exerted by the black rooks on the a-file is extremely strong and, together with the g6-bishop firing down the b1-h7 diagonal, creates serious threats against the white king. 1...Qf6! 0-1 This move hits the nail on the head. The queen is immune from capture on account of 2...Rxa2#, and there is no defence against the double threat of 2...Rxa2+ and 2...Qxc3+.

White to play L. Spasov – Kozma Zinnowitz 1965 A simple deflection manoeuvre concludes the struggle: 1 Rxg7+! 1-0 1...Rxg7 2 Re8+ is a second rook sacrifice: 2...Qxe8 3 Qxg7#; 2...Kf7 3 Qxg7+ Kxe8 4 Qf8#. Motifs of this combination: overload of the queen and weakness of the back rank.

White to play L. Vajda – Lipinsky World Junior Ch, Erevan 1999 The tremendous pressure exerted by the White’s major pieces on the f-file must, of necessity, conclude with some sort of invasion on f7 or f8. The solution arrives by means of a deflection. 1 Bd7! Bf5 Or: 1...Bxd7 (deflection of the bishop) 2 Qf7+ Kh8 3 Bg7#; 1...Qxd7 (deflection of the queen) 2 Qf8+ Bxf8 3 Rxf8+ Rxf8 4 Rxf8#. 2 Bxf5 gxf5 3 Qxf5 1-0 The mating threats cannot be parried.

Black to play S. Madsen – Napolitano (variation) Correspondence World Ch 1950-3 White resigned a move before this position would have arisen. The possibility of promoting his pawn offers Black a winning combination. 1...Re1+! 2 Rxe1 Qd4+! Naturally if 3 Qxd4 Black plays 3...dxe1Q#.

White to play Kveinis – Buchis Klaipeda 1978

Here too the plight of the black king is more dramatic than it seems at first sight. The queen defends the e6-pawn which, if it could be captured by a white rook, would lead to mate next move, and this is the motif which suggests seeking to deflect the black queen as the decisive step towards the victory. 1 Qa4! 1-0 Black resigned on the spot, in view of 1...Qxa4 2 Rxe6+ Re7 3 Rxe7#, 1...Bb5 2 Qxb5, etc., and 1...Rc7 2 Rxe6+, winning the queen, owing to the pin on the a4-e8 diagonal. Motifs: defensive overload of the black queen, exposed king.

White to play Szabo – Milner-Barry Hastings 1938/9 The weakness of the back rank is the motif dominating the position. White is able to exploit this motif, using the theme of deflection. 1 Qc3!! The white queen threatens mate on g7, since it is taboo (1...Rxc3?? 2 Rxe8#). 1...Qg6? 1...Bf6 is better; White maintains a significant advantage with 2 Rae1. 2 Rae1!! Kf8 3 Qb4+! 1-0

White to play Flis – Ksieski Polish Ch, Poznan 1984 In this position we shall see a pretty and effective deflection episode. The only defence of the bishop on f6 is the queen, and the only defence of the black king is the bishop on f6. Therefore these two pieces (bishop and queen) are all that is holding the position together. 1 Bb6! Qe7 Obviously the bishop cannot be captured because of 2 Qxf6#. 2 Bc5! A new attack on the queen and, for the same reason as before, the bishop remains taboo. 2...Qd8 3 Bf8!! 1-0 The bishop moves with impunity to a square protected by the black queen, since the latter is tethered to the defence of the bishop (3...Qxf8 4 Qxf6+ and mate). But now Black had to resign, since there is no defence against the invasion on g7 (4 Bg7+, etc.).

White to play Hébert – Felmi West Germany 1975 The excellent deployment of White’s pieces allows him to launch a decisive attack against Black’s castled position. The motif is insufficient protection of the king, plus bad piece coordination. 1 Nh5! Deflecting the only piece defending the black king from the defence of h7. 1...Nxh5 2 Nd5! The corollary of the previous move, controlling the escape-square e7. 1-0 If 2...exd5, 3 Qh7+ Kf8 4 Qh8#, since the e-file has been opened and is controlled by the white rook.

White to play O. Bernstein – Capablanca Exhibition game, Moscow 1914 White judged that the black pawn on c3 had already lived for too long and so captured it: 1 Nxc3? But this move is a blunder, because Black had calculated that he could exploit the problems arising from the weakness of White’s back rank: 1...Nxc3 1...Rdc8 2 Nd1. 2 Rxc3 Rxc3 3 Rxc3 Bernstein was not worried about 3...Qb1+ 4 Qf1 Rd1??, because of the mate on the back rank. 3...Qb2!! 0-1 Capablanca’s masterly deflection: 4 Qxb2 Rd1# or 4 Rc2 Qb1+ 5 Qf1 Qxc2.

Black to play G. Berg – Glek Eupen rapidplay 1994 Despite the friendly pieces surrounding the white king, its position is somewhat weakened and the black pieces are menacing placed. 1...Bxc2! Deflecting the white queen from the e2-square. 2 Qxc2 Re2+ The deflection has allowed the black rook to penetrate. 3 Kf1 The only move. 3...Qh2 Another penetration by a black major piece into the white camp. 4 Qc4 Rf2+! 5 Ke1 Or 5 Rxf2 Qxf2#. 5...Re8+ 6 Kd1 Rxd2+ 7 Kc1 Re1# (0-1)

White to play P. Nikolić – Hartmann West Germany 1979 In this position (where curiously all seven squares along the a2-g8 diagonal are occupied by black pieces) the white pawns on the sixth rank pose a permanent threat to the black king. If there were some files open, winning would be a joy ride for White, but there are none. So, they need to be created... 1 Rxe6! This unexpected move, which is based on a deflection, opens the floodgates into Black’s position. 1...Qd8 1...Qxf4 allows 2 Re8#, while 1...fxe6 2 f7+ Kf8 3 Qf6 is winning for White. 2 Qc7!! Another deflection; 2...Qxc7 is unplayable owing to the mate on e8. 2...Qf8 3 Re7 With the unstoppable threat of 4 Rxf7! Qxf7 5 Be6! Qxe6 6 Qg7#. 1-0 Once again, the weakness of the back rank was the motif that allowed the combinative manoeuvre of deflection.

White to play Chiburdanidze – Malaniuk Odessa 1982 White wins here, again thanks to a combinative manoeuvre based on deflection, which in turn is made possible by the great activity of the white pieces. 1 Rxb6! Eliminating a key defensive piece in order to attack the f7-square. 1...axb6 2 Bc4 Be6 Or 2...Rxe1+ 3 Qxe1 Bf6 4 Nxf7 Bd7 5 Bg5 Bg7 6 Qe7 Qe8 7 Ne5+ Kh8 8 Nxd7. 3 Rxe6! fxe6 If 3...Rxe6 then 4 Nxe6 fxe6 5 Qe3 Kf7 6 Qf3+ Kg8 7 Qe4 Kf7 8 Bxe6+ Qxe6 9 Qxb7+. 4 Qf4 Qd7 5 Bb5! 1-0 A typical deflection that decides the game: the black queen is unable to keep defending f7. Even ‘heroic’ measures such as 5...Rf8 fail, in this case to 6 Bxd7 Rxf4 7 Bxe6+ Rf7 8 Bxf7#.

Black to play Sznapik – Bronstein Sandomierz 1976 This position seems a mansuba , because White is threatening a mate which seems unstoppable and yet the struggle will be decided in Black’s favour. 1...Qxc1+!! 2 Qxc1 Bxb2! A deflection, exploiting the weakness of the back rank and justifying the sacrifice of the queen. If 3 Qxb2? then 3...Re1#, while if the queen moves along the back rank, Black is left with a clear advantage, owing to the passivity of the white pieces: 3 Qb1 Bxa3 If now 4 Kf1, Black can play 4...Rd2. In the event of 4 Ne4 Black replies 4...f5, with a decisive advantage.

Black to play Koskinen – Kasanen Helsinki 1967 In this extremely tense position White is two pieces up but on the other hand his king is in terrible danger, since its survival on the third rank, in front of the pawns, is hanging by a thread. It is Black to play, but it is not at all easy to find the way to finish off the king, even though it is so exposed. The pawn on b4 is attacked three times but defended three times and, if White is given a breathing space, he can play b3, providing his king with a vital escape-square on b2. But we are now going to witness a really high-class combination. 1...Qxb4+!! A queen sacrifice out of the blue, because it is not at all obvious how Black is going to follow it up. 2 Bxb4 Rd2!! 0-1 One of the most beautiful moves in the whole history of chess. The rook creates a massive obstruction (and deflection), since every way of capturing it (and it can be taken by no fewer than five white pieces!) leads to mate, while, on the other hand, Black is now threatening mate (...Nc2#) since the influence of the h2-rook is neutralized. 3 Qxd2 Capturing the rook with any of the minor pieces allows mate with 3...Nc2#, while the capture with the rook allows 3...axb4#. 3...Nc2+! Deflection of the white queen from b4.

4 Qxc2 axb4# A marvel!

4: Discovered Attack The discovered attack is one of the most feared moves in chess, on account of its devastating effects in the majority of cases. A discovered attack consists of revealing an attack on an opponent’s piece by moving another of your own pieces out of the way. This means that, if the attacked piece is important, the piece that moves out of the way to reveal the attack is often free to move to any square with impunity. If the attacked piece is the king, we call this a discovered check . The discovered attack can be one of three types: a) The discovered attack is only by one piece against one target; b) The attack is by two pieces against two different targets; c) The attack is by two pieces against a single target. When the target is the king, then we call this double check .

Black to play Van den Berg – Donner Beverwijk 1963 Here we have a position that allows a simple combination based on the discovered attack (type ‘b’). 1...Rxf1+! 2 Kxf1 Bxg2+ 0-1

The bishop attacks the king and, at the same time, the discovered piece, the queen, attacks the enemy queen, winning it. We can see a discovered attack with a similar idea in the next example.

Black to play Velimirović – Peng Zhaoqin Pozarevac 1995 Here Grandmaster Velimirović was caught out by a simple manoeuvre by his opponent. 1...Qe3+ 2 Kh1 After 2 Kh2 Qxf4+ 3 Kh1 (3 g3 Qf2#) 3...Qb8 Black wins, while if 2 Kf1 again 2...Qxf4+, etc. 2...Bxg2+! 0-1 White resigned, since he loses his queen (3 Kxg2 Qxe7).

White to play This is an example of type ‘c’, double check, following a queen sacrifice. The effect is lethal. 1 Qd8+!! Kxd8 2 Ba5++ Double check! 2...Ke8 3 Rd8# This simple combination against the king in the centre is a pattern which is repeated in more sophisticated combinations, more or less with variations on the same theme. We can see examples in Chapter 11 , ‘Rook + Bishop’, and also in Part 3 , ‘Target: King in the Centre’. The following position is another case of type ‘c’, with the same idea of decoying the king to a square on which he will be mated by means of a double check.

Black to play Chistiakov – Kogan Moscow 1933 Black can immediately exploit the position of the white king in the centre. 1...Qd1+!! 2 Kxd1 Ne3++ It is important to be accurate in making the discovery: it must be here and not on c3, because then the king could escape via the c2-square. 3 Ke1 Rd1#

White to play

Nei – Petrosian USSR Team Ch 1960 Here we see another example of the most fearsome type of discovery: the double check. In the majority of cases the result is deadly. 1 Qg8+! 1-0 A queen sacrifice to decoy the king to the g8-square. Black resigned, since if 1...Kxg8 then 2 Be6++ (type ‘c’, double check – both pieces attack the king at the same time) 2...Kh8 3 Rg8#. There are three possible ways to deal with a single check: take the checking piece, block the attack with a friendly piece or move out of the check; one of the peculiarities of the double check is that there is only one course of action open to the defender: the king must flee!

White to play Truskavetsky – Bendel Budapest 1999 In this example we have yet another type of discovered attack, but which comes under the heading of type ‘b’. 1 Rxg7! 1-0 Black resigned because of 1...Rxg7 2 Rxg7 Kxg7 3 Nxf5+, when one piece, the knight, attacks two targets (a fork) and the other piece, the queen, attacks only one target, the enemy queen, winning it.

Black to play Zita – Bronstein European Team Ch, Vienna/Baden 1957 This is a more subtle case, but at the same time easy to understand. Everything revolves around the potential discovered check by the f6-rook, but at this moment it would be ineffective because, for example, if 1...Rf2+ White could respond with 2 Qd4. Thus the key is based on taking control of the d4-square. However, if Black plays the immediate 1...c5, that would give White a tempo to organize his defence, which Black doesn’t want to allow. 1...c6! This attacks the rook and is based on the point that 2 Rxd6 is not playable because of 2...Rxd6+. 2 Rd4 The only move, since any move by the rook along the fifth rank would be met by 2...Rf5+, winning it. 2...c5! 0-1 Black has achieved the desired objective, without any loss of time. White can resign, since if, for example, 3 Rd5, then 3...Rf2+ and to prevent the mate White would have to give up a rook.

White to play Tartakower – Rey Ardid Paris 1934 This position constitutes an excellent example of the virtues of the discovered check. In the game White chose 1 Re6 and won the endgame. But he could have wrapped up the game more quickly: 1 Ng6! White is now threatening mate on h8. There is just enough time for the knight to move to g6, but it must not delay, since its protector, the rook on b6, is attacked. 1...Rxb6 2 Nf8+ Forking the king and the d7-rook. 2...Kg8 3 Nxd7+ A discovered check: now the rook attacks the king and the knight attacks the rook. This type of check is deadly. The second rook is lost and the game can be considered over.

White to play Muffang – Devos Paris 1948 The passivity of the black pieces, in contrast with White’s domination of the key lines, will allow White to carry out a pretty combination involving several different combinative themes. 1 Rc7! An elegant decoy of the black queen to a square that allows a double attack. 1...Qxc7 Or 1...Qf8 2 Rxg7. 2 Rxd8! A double attack on the rook on e8 and the queen on c7. Since the queen is unable to take the rook (mate on g7) and 2...Rxd8 allows 3 Qxc7, Black resigned.

White to play Miszto – Kloza Poland 1955 There is tremendous tension in this game. The rook on g7 is pinned by the enemy bishop, but this is, in turn, pinned by its black counterpart. Deep analysis allowed the white player to realize that his doubled rooks could form a ‘firing squad’ along with the bishop. Let’s see in what spectacular way he did this: 1 Qh7+!! Decoy. 1...Kxh7 2 Rxg7+ Kh8 2...Kh6 allows 3 R1g6#. 3 Rg8++ A double check. 3...Kh7 4 R1g7+ Kh6 5 Rg6+ Kh7 6 R8g7+ Kh8 The series of rook checks has allowed White to reach his ideal position: the rook on g7 is now protected by the bishop, making it possible to play... 7 Rh6# The usefulness of the discovered check was displayed here in all its splendour. For its spectacle and beauty, I couldn’t possibly omit the position in which the young Mexican master Carlos Torre beat the ex-World Champion Emanuel Lasker with the ‘see-saw’ combination.

White to play C. Torre – Em. Lasker Moscow 1925 Here Lasker was surely expecting to win a piece, since the white bishop is pinned. However, young Torre had prepared a dazzling combination: 1 Bf6!! Apparently sacrificing the queen, only to regain it with interest a few moves later. This move involves a double attack, attacking g7 as well as discovering an attack on the queen. 1...Qxh5 2 Rxg7+ Kh8 3 Rxf7+ The first discovered check. We can see that the bishop gives check, while the rook has captured the pawn. 3...Kg8 4 Rg7+ An important check, to force the black king back to h8, so that the white bishop can then capture Black’s b7-bishop with check. This cyclical sequence (a piece gives check, then moves to capture an enemy piece, discovering check, etc.) is what led this type of combination to be called the see-saw . Some sources claim this to be the first game in which it occurred. Whether this is strictly true or not, it is certainly the earliest well-known master game featuring the idea. 4...Kh8 5 Rxb7+ The second discovered check. 5...Kg8 6 Rg7+ Since with each cycle a piece disappears from the board, there is no danger of repeating the position.

6...Kh8 7 Rg5+ After mowing down the enemy pieces stationed on the seventh rank, the rook now changes direction to operate along the file. Torre could even have played 7 Rxa7+ and only after the next cycle played Rg5+, but in reality he was not interested in capturing the a7-pawn, since this would open the a-file for the black rook, which would later capture the pawn on a2. 7...Kh7 8 Rxh5 With his combination White has won a piece and two pawns, but Lasker still has one resource. 8...Kg6 This forks two white pieces. 9 Rh3 Kxf6 10 Rxh6+ So White emerges three pawns up. Lasker still continued playing for a few more moves before resigning. The life of the Mexican grandmaster Carlos Torre Repetto (1905-78) bears certain similarities to that of Paul Morphy, to whose native town, New Orleans, he moved with his family as a child. After several successes in tournaments, including the Championship of New York, he was invited to participate in some international tournaments in Europe, where he performed quite well. It is said that he got off the train in Moscow, in the depths of winter, wearing summer clothes. Torre suffered for long periods of his life from mental problems associated with depression and maladjustment.

5: Decoy A decoy , in the most general sense, means luring a piece to a square or line that allows us to exploit its presence there in some manner. We shall largely restrict our examination here to sacrifices to attract the king to a square that permits either a decisive attack or a draw in an apparently lost position.

White to play Winter – Friede East Germany 1978 Black exerts great pressure on the long h1-a8 diagonal and the white king is exposed. But it is White to move and he is able to strike first, exploiting the weakness of Black’s back rank. 1 Qf8+!! An unexpected and decisive decoy sacrifice, forcing the black king to f8, when Rxf7 will come with check. 1...Kxf8 2 Rxf7+ Ke8 Or 2...Kg8 3 Rf8#. 3 Rf8+ Kd7 4 R2f7# The role of the pawn on e5 was crucial, since without its participation (controlling d6) the manoeuvre would not have been possible.

Black to play Andersson – Hartston Hastings 1972/3 White has just taken the c7-pawn with his queen (1 Qd8xc7??), a colossal blunder, although it was difficult to imagine that his position would a collapse in a single move. 1...Qh3+!! 0-1 This devastating blow forced White to resign in view of 2 Kxh3 Bf1# (the key point), 2 Kf2 (or 2 Kg1) 2...Qf1# and 2 Kh1 Qf1+ 3 Bg1 Qxf3#, producing Pillsbury’s Mate , in which a bishop blocking the escape-square g1 allows the mate by an enemy bishop on the long diagonal (except in this case it is a queen instead of a bishop). A harsh punishment for one, seemingly slight, error. What was the underlying cause? Nothing more or less than the white king being left to fend for himself, as the sole defender of the weakened light squares on the kingside.

Black to play Siversen – Podgorny Correspondence 1932-3 The white king has boldly gone right up to the frontier of the enemy’s territory and is much more exposed than might appear at first sight. 1...Qa5+! If the white king was hoping for a favourable ending, in the event of exchanges taking place, that ‘ending’ has now arrived, but not the sort White was expecting. 2 Kxa5 Rxa2+ 3 Kb4 a5#

White to play Bogdanović – Suetin Yugoslavia-USSR, Budva 1967 Black is threatening mate in two, but his king is also in danger, as White will demonstrate: 1 Bf6+! Decoy. 1...Kxf6 Acceptance is forced. 2 Qd8+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 2...Kf5 3 Qg5+ Ke4 4 Qe5# and 2...Kg7 3 Rg3+ Ng4 4 Rxg4+ Kh6 5 Qh4#.

White to play Alekhine – Feldt Tarnopol 1916 A classic example. The great Alekhine will draw the black king into the open: 1 Nf7! This attacks the queen and the e6-square at the same time. 1...Kxf7 If 1...Qc8, 2 Qxe6, with the threat 3 Nh6++, followed by Lucena’s Mate (Philidor’s Legacy). 2 Qxe6+!! Kg6 It was not possible to play 2...Kxe6, on account of 3 Ng5#, while 2...Kf8 is met by 3 Ng5, with mate on f7. 3 g4!

Threatening both 4 Nh4# and 4 Bxf5#. 1-0 Notice that both the pawn on f5 and the knight on f6 are pinned.

White to play Rossolimo – Leiserman Moscow 1927 The fact that the black king is on its third rank, with inadequate pawn protection, should not be allowed to go unpunished, as Rossolimo will demonstrate. Furthermore, he is attacking in a position where the material is equal. 1 Qh5+!! An obvious decoy, dragging the king into the open. 1...Kxh5 If 1...Kg7, 2 Nf7 is good enough, attacking the queen, the bishop and the h6-square. 2 Bf7+ Bg6 Or 2...Kh4 3 Be1#. 3 g4+ Kh4 4 Be1#

White to play Liu Wenzhe – Donner Buenos Aires Olympiad 1978 The Chinese player with the white pieces reached this splendid attacking position by aggressive play based on direct threats, taking Grandmaster Donner by surprise. Now everything is in place for the great finish. 1 Qxg6+!! A spectacular decoy of the king to create a mating-net. 1...Kxg6 1...Kg8 2 Qh7+ Kf7 3 Bh5#. 2 Bh5+ Kh7 3 Bf7+ A very precise discovered check, covering the escape-square g8. 3...Bh6 4 g6+! Much better than the routine 4 Rxh6+ Kg7 5 Bxe6. 4...Kg7 4...Kh8 5 Rxh6+ Kg7 6 Rh7#. 5 Bxh6+ 1-0 Black resigned since in the event of 5...Kh8 White has the lethal discovery 6 Bxf8+.

White to play Kasparian – Manvelian Erevan 1939 The position of the black king and black bishop on the long diagonal is precarious and White is about to reveal why. 1 Qxc6+!! An important decoy sacrifice, to drag the black king into the open. 1...Kxc6 2 Ne5++ It is vital to choose the right double check here, since black king must be prevented from escaping via d7. 2...Kc5 3 Nd3+ Kd4 4 Kd2! 1-0 A magnificent conclusion to a great combination. White is threatening unstoppable mate with 5 c3#.

Black to play Raman – Aaron India 1977 This is a slightly more difficult example, in which the white king is lured out of his den. 1...f3+! 2 Nxf3 Bh3+! The key. 3 Kxh3 g4+! 4 Kxg4 The king has to keep going forward, since 4 Kg2 loses to 4...gxf3+. 4...Qd7+ 5 Kh4 Bf6+ Now the white king meets his doom in the jungle of black pieces. 6 Ng5 Bxg5+ 7 Kxg5 Rf6! Black mobilizes all his troops. 8 g4 Or: 8 Kxf6 Qg7+ 9 Ke6 Qg6+; 8 Qh5 Qg7+ 9 Kh4 Rh6; 8 Kh4 Rh6+. 8...Qe7 9 Kh5 Rh6+! 10 Kxh6 Qh4#

6: Interference Interference is a theme based on forcing the obstruction of a vital line (or square), which allows the execution of a decisive combination.

White to play Zhuravliov – Semeniuk USSR 1976 Here everything is in place for White to win with a simple combination. 1 Rd8+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...Rxd8 (deflection) 2 Qxb7 and 1...Bxd8 (interference) 2 Qe8#, having blocked the black rook’s defence of its back rank.

White to play Ivanović – Popović

Yugoslavia 1973 White’s present control of the a2-g8 diagonal, together with the worrying presence of the pawn on h5, creates threats around the black king. The diagonal can be closed (with ...d5) and the pawn can be exchanged, but it is White to move. 1 h6+ Kh8 2 Be6! It is not possible to take the bishop: 2...Qxe6 (deflection) 3 Qf8+ Qg8 4 Qf6+ Qg7 5 Qxg7#. With this interference sacrifice, White breaks the communication between Black’s queen and bishop. If 2...d5, White suddenly has access to the long a1-h8 diagonal: 3 Qe5+, and mate next move. On the other hand, any move by the black bishop allows 3 Qd4+ and mate. Thus Black resigned.

White to play Maroczy – Vidmar Ljubljana 1923 Black is two pawns up, but his king is in a straitjacket: a single check on the a2-g8 diagonal, even though that appears unlikely, would be fatal. 1 Re7! An excellent deflection (1...Qxe7 allows 2 Qd5+ and mate next move) and, at the same time, an interference (if 1...Nxe7 or 1...Bxe7, 2 Qf7#); in both cases, with a simple touch of the magic wand, the white queen appears on the fatal diagonal. Black resigned. The ‘heroic’ defence 1...Ne5 prevents the mate, but after the simple 2 Rxd7 Nxf3+ 3 Nxf3, Black is simply lost.

Note however that 1 Rd6??, with a similar idea, does not work, because with 1...Bxd6 Black frees the f8-square for his king, while the queen still covers f7.

White to play Kosten – K. Berg Næstved 1988 The way White won here is very instructive: 1 Nxf5+! gxf5 2 Re6+! 1-0 Winning the queen, since 2...fxe6 allows 3 Qf6#. The pawn on e6 blocks the action of the black queen along its third rank.

White to play Réti – Bogoljubow New York 1924 A thorough examination of the position reveals that Black has some difficulties (weakness of the back rank, inactive bishop, pieces badly coordinated), but it would take a genius to appreciate the true gravity of Black’s situation. Réti was a genius and he concludes the game with exemplary simplicity. 1 Rf1! Rd8 Black opts to strengthen his back rank. Worse were both 1...Qe7 2 Bf7+ Kh8 3 Bd5! (interference on the d-file, to prevent the rook from defending the bishop, which is lost) 3...Qf6 4 Qc8 and 1...Qd8 2 Qf7+ Kh8 3 Qxf8+ Qxf8 4 Rxf8#. 2 Bf7+ Kh8 3 Be8!! 1-0 Now the interference is on the back rank. With a single move, White attacks the bishop twice, breaking the defensive connection between the rook and the bishop. There is no defence.

White to play K. Richter – Kipke Berlin 1934 Black was convinced he was winning with the threat of a devastating check on a1, since if 1 Rxa7?, 1...Qxg1+ 2 Bf1 (not 2 Qf1 Qe3#) 2...Qxa7, but the ‘Berlin Executioner’, as Kurt Richter was nicknamed, pulled out of his sleeve one of his strokes of genius.

1 Ba6!! A tremendous interference move. 1...Bxa6 1...Rxa6 allows 2 Rxh7+! Kxh7 3 Nf6#. 2 Qg3 1-0 The g8-square is attacked three times (the bishop now blocks the a-file, so that it is White who can create the more pressing threats), while 2...Qc8 allows 3 Rxa7.

White to play Alterman – Matlak Moscow Olympiad 1994 Everything hinges on the d7-pawn, which White will exploit to launch a direct attack on the black king. He begins by cutting off the enemy queen from the defence along the sixth rank. 1 Rd6! Interference. 1...Bxd6 1...Qc7 2 Rxh6! gxh6 3 Qg6+ Kf8 4 Qg7#. 2 Qe6+ Kf8 Or: 2...Kh7 3 Qg6+ Kh8 4 Qxg7#; 2...Kh8 3 Qxh6+ Kg8 4 Qxg7#. 3 Rxd6 Qc7 4 Bxg7+! 1-0 Black resigned since 4...Kxg7 allows mate in three: 5 Qxh6+ Kf7 (or 5...Kg8 6 Rg6+ Kf7 7 Qg7#) 6 Qh7+ Kf8 7 Rf6#.

White to play Mabbs – L. Alexander London 1961 White has his queen and three minor pieces aiming at the enemy kingside, while Black’s queenside is still undeveloped. In addition to Black’s bishop, his queen is playing an important role in the defence of his king, since it controls all of the fifth rank and can move quickly, via e5 or f5, to the other wing. 1 Rd5! An interference sacrifice, to cut off the black queen from the kingside. 1...cxd5 2 Nh5 g6 3 Nhf6+ Bxf6 4 Nxf6+ Kg7 4...Kh8 is met by 5 Qh4 h5 6 Bd4!. 5 Qe5! Kh8 6 Bh6 6 Nh5+ f6 7 Qe7 is the quickest way to force mate. 6...Nc6 7 Bg7+!! Kxg7 8 Ne8++ Kh6 9 Qf4+ g5 10 Qf6+ Kh5 11 Ng7+ Kh4 12 Qf2#

7: Removing the Guard ‘Removing the guard’ consists of eliminating a key defensive piece, thus enabling a combination to be played, or, in a direct attack on the king, it can involve the elimination of one or more of the pawns protecting the king.

Black to play Stroppa – S. Peter Bescanon 1999 Here we have an obvious case of removing the guard, based on the weakness of the back rank. 1...Qxc3! 0-1 2 bxc3 Rxd1+ leaves Black a piece up, as does 2 Rxd4 Qxd4. It is clear that if the king had had an escape-square, the combination would not have been possible.

Black to play Wilhelm – Mayer

Mulhouse 1970 It isn’t the uncastled black king that is in danger, but the white king. Black has all his pieces in play, with his queen and bishop looking particularly threatening on the g1-a7 diagonal, and also the knight on f5, controlling some critical squares. White’s only active pieces are his queen and knight. In fact the knight is really the only thing holding the white position together, so Black decides to eliminate it. 1...Qxe4!! 0-1 The knight was defending the g3-square, which is key: 2 dxe4 Rxd1+ 3 Qxd1 Ng3+! 4 hxg3 hxg3+ and mate next move. If 2 Qxe4, then Black can play the immediate 2...Ng3+!, with the same mate.

White to play Kupper – F. Olafsson Zurich 1959 Black’s castled position is weakened by the absence of the dark-squared bishop and White puts his finger on the most tender spot in the enemy position. 1 Rxf7+! A typical sacrifice to remove the guard; after the disappearance of the f7-pawn, the e6-square is left without protection. 1...Kg8 1...Rxf7 2 Ne6+ costs Black his queen. 2 Rg7+! Kh8 Or: 2...Nxg7 3 Qxh7#; 2...Kxg7 3 Ne6+ and 4 Nxc7.

3 Rxh7+ Kg8 4 Rg7+ 1-0 4...Kh8 5 Rxg6, with a complete collapse. The white rook moved along the seventh rank as if it owned the place! The Icelandic grandmaster Fridrik Olafsson (not to be confused with his younger fellow grandmaster and compatriot Helgi Olafsson) was one of the strongest players in the world from near the end of the 1950s until the 1970s. In 1958 he gained the title of grandmaster and in 1959 he participated in the Candidates Tournament. In 1963 he came third in the extremely strong Piatigorsky tournament in Los Angeles (only surpassed by Keres and Petrosian). He worked as a civil servant in his country’s Justice Ministry until 1974, when he left his post to spend some time as a chess professional. In 1976 he gained his greatest tournament success when he tied for first at Wijk aan Zee, with Ljubojević, ahead of Tal. Another of Olafsson’s achievements was to be elected president of FIDE in 1978.

White to play Geller – Novotelnov USSR Ch, Moscow 1951 White has been attacking, but it now looks as though he has run out of ammunition and the material balance is also rather depressing: he has a single pawn for a piece. However, Grandmaster Geller had calculated accurately. 1 Rxf8+! Removing the key defensive piece. With this sacrifice all

obstacles in White’s way vanish, as if by magic. 1...Kxf8 Or 1...Qxf8 2 Bh7+ Kh8 3 Bg6+ Kg8 4 Qh7#. 2 Qh8+ Kf7 3 Bg6+! 1-0 This second sacrifice ends the game, since 3...Kxg6 is not possible because of 4 Qh5#, while 3...Ke6 is met by 4 Qc8+ Qd7 5 Bf5+.

White to play Nezhmetdinov – B. Romanov Russian Ch, Arkhangelsk 1950 White has a lot of space and can launch a direct attack on the enemy king; the key is to eliminate Black’s best defensive piece. 1 Qg5! g6 2 Ne7+ Kg7 Not 2...Kh8, on account of 3 Rxd7 Qxd7 4 Qf6#. 3 Rxd7! Removing the guard of the important f6-square. 3...Bxd7 4 Qf6+ Kh6 5 Rf5! Threatening mate on h5. 5...Qa7+ 5...Bxf5 6 Nxf5#. 6 Kf1 1-0

8: Clearance When

lines or



liberated, incredible


possibilities sometimes appear. Opening lines (whether ranks, files or diagonals) or vacating squares is the combinative theme known as clearance .

Black to play Bjarnason – Stefansson Icelandic Ch, Heimaey 1994 The pawns defending White’s king have been disrupted and the a-file has been (half-)opened, which could provide Black with an avenue of attack. 1...Nc3! 0-1 Clearance of Black’s fourth rank, opening the way for the rook to reach a5. Now after 2 Qxc2 (or 2 bxc3) Black wins with 2...Ra5#.

White to play White is a rook down, but the exposed position of the black king allows an unexpected finish. 1 Qc6+!! White clears the a6-square for the knight, simultaneously forcing Black to block c6 with one of his own pieces. 1...dxc6 1...Bxc6 has the same outcome. 2 Na6# In this position two tactical themes combine: clearance and self-blocking.

White to play Galier – Hermann West Germany 1965 With the pressure of the major pieces on f1, it seems that Black is going to win, but the black king is very exposed and White is able to demonstrate that this assessment is incorrect. 1 Ne7+! A clearance sacrifice, opening the a2-g8 diagonal for the bishop. 1...Nxe7 2 Qg3+! Deflecting the black queen from covering the f7-square. 2...Qxg3 3 Bxf7#

White to play Luczak – Fedorowicz Naleczow 1979 There is no mistaking White’s aggressive intentions. He has his queen and knight embedded in the enemy camp and rooks doubled on the e-file. With his last move, ...f5, Black neutralized the dangerous b1-h7 diagonal and gained a tempo by attacking the rook. What should White play here? 1 Nf6! In the game White missed his chance, and instead played the tempting 1 Rg4?, which is based on the fact that 1...fxg4?? is not possible owing to the mate on h7. However, it fails to 1...Qd2! 2 Rf1 Nd3! (or even 2...Nd7!), which gave Black the advantage. 1...gxf6 2 Rg4!

But now it really is possible to exploit the b1-h7 diagonal: if Black takes the rook, it is mate on h7 but otherwise Black is unable to prevent the mate on g8.

White to play Sokolsky – Saigin Kiev 1950 White’s attacking position ought to be decisive. However, something is lacking, since 1 Qh7+ Kf8 doesn’t seem to achieve much. 1 Rf3!! This is the answer to White’s worries: an elegant move that opens the c1-h6 diagonal. 1...gxf3 The capture is forced, since White was threatening 2 Qh7#. 2 Bxh6 1-0 2...Qe7 3 Qh7+ Kf8 4 Qh8+ Kf7 5 Qxg7#.

Black to play Lanka – P.H. Nielsen Moscow Olympiad 1994 Both kings are exposed and the position is open enough for there to be numerous combinative possibilities. It is Black to play, and he found a surprising manoeuvre. 1...Bc3+!? Clearance. 2 bxc3 Not 2 Qxc3?? Qe2#. 2...Bxa4 With the sacrifice of the bishop, Black has managed to open the b-file and he is now threatening mate, starting with 3...Rb1+. 3 Qd1?? Bxc2 0-1 The black rook cannot be prevented from coming to b1. However, White had a defence with 3 Qe2!, in which case Black has no real advantage (and in the diagram position, 1...Bxa4 is a better objective try for advantage). The inclusion of this example is justified since it illustrates the fine line between a mirage and a precise calculation.

White to play Vojcik – Handsuren USSR 1971 The white pieces are very well placed and an attack on the king features among his plans. In return for his cramped position, Black has a pawn. 1 Bd8! This clears the g5-square without any loss of time. 1...Qxd8 If 1...Rexd8, then still 2 Ng5. 2 Ng5 h6 3 Nf7 Qe7 4 Qxg6 Rf8 5 Be4! Setting up decisive threats on the b1-h7 diagonal. Black resigned.

White to play Alterman – Gabriel Bad Homburg 1997 In this curious position Black was naturally expecting 1 gxf3, after which he would have played 1...Rd7 with good prospects, thanks to the loose white pieces on the kingside. However, the zwischenzug that appeared on the board was a real shock. 1 Nc6! Clearance: the knight vacates the e-file. 1...Qe6 Black cannot allow the rook check on e1. 2 Nxd8 Kxd8 3 gxf3 Qg6+ 4 Kh1 Qd3 5 Rfa1 Qxf3+ 6 Kg1 Qg4+ 7 Kf1 Qh3+ The problem that White must solve is purely tactical: how to escape from the checks. 8 Ke1 Qe6+ 9 Kd2 Qd5+ 10 Ke3 Or 10 Kc3 Qd3+ 11 Kb4 Qd2+ 12 Kxb5 Qd5+ 13 Kb4 Qd2+ 14 Kxc4 Qc2+ 15 Kd5 Qb3+ 16 Ke4 Qc2+ 17 Ke3 Qc5+ 18 Bd4. 10...Qd3+ 11 Kf4 Qd2+ 12 Ke5 Qxb2+ 13 Kd6 Qd2+ 14 Kc6 1-0 The checks have finished and with them the game. There is a combinative device that is usually studied separately, namely the X-ray . However, I consider that, although it is unusual, it can be regarded as a form of clearance. An X-ray tactic occurs when a long-range piece (rook, bishop or queen)

exerts pressure ‘through’ one of the opponent’s pieces, indirectly attacking, threatening or defending something beyond it. Let’s imagine that White’s queen and bishop are on the same diagonal, with an enemy piece (let’s say a bishop) between them. Whichever piece the black bishop captures, the other white piece can recapture, so in a certain sense its influence is felt ‘through’ a solid body – the enemy piece. It is easier to explain with the help of some practical examples.

White to play Alekhine – Nestor Trinidad (simul.) 1939 The motifs that are present here are the weakness of Black’s back rank and the possibility of promoting the d7-pawn. Alekhine played his trump cards immediately. 1 Rc8! Rxc8 After 1...Qxd7 Black has protected his rook and eliminated the dangerous pawn, but now comes the X-ray: 2 Qf8+! Rxf8 3 Rxf8#. 2 Qe7! 1-0

Black to play Van Wely – Garcia Ilundain Las Palmas 1993 All the black pieces are aimed at the white king and now they can conclude the struggle thanks to a deflection, which threatens an X-ray mate. 1...Qxa2! 0-1 A pretty move, which proves decisive. The queen cannot be captured since 2 Rxa2? allows 2...Rb1#, but the rook is also taboo in view of 2 Rxb3 Qa1+ 3 Rb1 Qxb1#. In any case, Black threatens unstoppable mate with 2...Qb1+ (X-ray: the black rook on b3 acts ‘through’ the white rook on b2) 3 Rxb1 Rxb1#.

Black to play Novotelnov – Averbakh (variation) USSR Ch, Moscow 1951 Black is undoubtedly in a commanding position, but it seems that White has constructed a good defensive set-up, with all his pieces protecting each other. 1...Bxf2+! The dream is shattered. 2 Qxf2 Or 2 Kxf2 Rf5+, winning the queen. 2...Qxd1+! The X-ray is decisive: 3 Rxd1 Rxd1+ 4 Qf1 Rxf1+, etc.

White to play Grunsberg – Nielsen Copenhagen 1953 White’s major pieces have all taken up excellent positions and are now able to conclude the game by means of an X-ray tactic. 1 Rxe6! Qxe6 2 Rxd7+ Now the white queen protects the d7-square: a perfect illustration of the X-ray effect. 2...Kf6 3 Qxg7+ Kf5 4 Rf7+ Qxf7 5 Qxf7+ 1-0

White to play Suetin – NN USSR 1965 Black seems to have effectively neutralized the siege by the white rooks, but so much heavy artillery in the vicinity of the black king does not bode well. The combination that we are about to see involves three themes: deflection, X-ray and fork. We have included it in this section because examples of the X-ray are scarce. 1 Qe6+! Deflection: now 1...Rxe6 allows 2 Rxd8+, mating. 1...Kf8 If 1...Kh8, the X-ray effect is produced with 2 Qe8+! Rxe8 3 Rxe8#. 2 Qf7#

9: Self-Blocking In a self-blocking combination, the attacker forces his opponent to occupy squares that are needed by his other pieces. There are basically two types of self-blocking: 1) the defender is forced to occupy a certain square and this leaves him unable to parry the manoeuvre which follows; 2) in the case of a mating combination, the defender is forced to occupy a square which would otherwise provide the king with an escape-route. It can be seen that this theme is closely related to the ideas of deflection and decoy.

Black to play Kopylov – Karlson Irkutsk 1961 One of the general principles of chess strategy states that, once the queens and a few other pieces have left the board, the kings should be activated, ready to fight in the ending. Well, here the white king has certainly been ‘activated’ – so much so, that he is in serious danger. 1...Rd3!! Now Black is threatening two mates: 2...Rc3# and 2...Nxa3#. 2 Nxd3 The knight has blocked the escape-square d3 and now the bishop can switch diagonals, to fulfil the role of executioner. 2...Be6# (0-1) Assuredly not the ‘ending’ that White desired!

If I had to state the motif of this combination, there would be no doubt in my mind: exposed king. Conclusion: distrust the principles, including the few contained in this book.

White to play Ahues – NN Berlin 1932 The white major pieces exert strong pressure on the h-file; in addition, the explosive potential of the d5-pawn will provide the decisive trigger. 1 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 2 Ng6+ Kg8 3 Rh8+ Kf7 4 Rf8+ Surely White has blundered? The black queen can capture on f8, winning material. 4...Qxf8 5 d6# Now it is clear that White knew his business! Who would have guessed that the bishop would enter play like this? The combination involved a decoy of the black king, and also a clearance, since the black queen was compelled to abandon d6, allowing the mate.

White to play Fischer – Benko USA Ch, New York 1963/4 An example of the first type of self-blocking tactic. White has an attacking position against the black king, especially since Black’s g-pawn is missing. 1 Rf6!! A tremendously strong blocking move, paralysing Black’s entire kingside and multiplying a thousand-fold the effectiveness of the e5 advance. This move would not work immediately, since after 1 e5?, Black can respond with 1...f5! and, at the same time as he parries the threat against h7, he attacks the white queen. 1...Kg8 After 1...dxc3 or 1...Bxf6, White still plays 2 e5!. 2 e5 h6 3 Ne2 1-0 There follows 3...Bxf6 4 Qxh6 or 3...Nb5 4 Qf5, with mate on h7.

Part 2: Mating Combinations with Two Pieces The reason why this is the most extensive part of the work is the author’s conviction that determining the objectives with precision is the most effective way to achieve those objectives. In order to understand the workings of a machine, an engineer begins by familiarizing himself with all its component parts. Likewise, in the complicated machines that mating combinations can be, I believe that the best way to get to know its final mechanism is to do precisely that: dismantle it and make a detailed and careful examination of the pieces which are involved in the mate, which in its simplest form is usually one or two pieces. Since in Part 1 we have already studied some typical examples of mates involving just a single piece, in this part we shall spend a considerable amount of time on those mates which have a certain schematic nature. This will make it easier for the reader to retain the final images or patterns, so that in practical play he can spot them in every situation where mate is lurking around the board. Note that in studying mates that are delivered by two pieces, we are not saying that only two pieces are involved in the combination as a whole, just that two pieces carry out the mate itself. Very often a third piece may have been sacrificed to make this mate possible, or there may be even more pieces involved in some capacity in setting up the attack. There is probably no perfect way to classify checkmates and combinations, but I feel that an examination of mating patterns with two pieces is the best way to develop a strong mental image of the mating ideas, as preparation for detecting combinations when the opportunity to carry them out arises over the board.

6: Queen + Rook The sheer power of this team of major pieces is enormous, given their capacity to ‘sweep’ whole ranks or files. We are dealing here with pieces whose description says it all: major or heavy , which alludes to their mobility and the influence that can bring to bear on the struggle. The queen contributes, in addition, its diagonal move, to complement the control of critical diagonals in certain manoeuvres. Consequently there are very many cases of combinations culminating with a mate by this team, so we shall try to select not just the most spectacular examples but, especially, the most representative and the most likely to establish patterns that the student can assimilate. Queen and rook create the greatest level of danger when they operate on adjacent ranks or files, especially when the enemy king is situated on the edge of the board, or when doubled on a rank or file. Their presence on the seventh rank is fearsome, when threatening a king stuck on its back rank. This chapter is divided into two sections, as follows: 1 : Mate with the Queen 2 : Mate with the Rook

1: Mate with the Queen This section is divided into the following categories, according to whether the queen and rook, at the moment of the mate, are: Doubled on a Rank Doubled on a File On Adjacent Ranks On Adjacent Files One on a Rank and One on a File

Doubled on a Rank

White to play Bosch – Van Helvoort Dieren 1997 A very effective invasion manoeuvre is produced when, as a consequence of a combination, the attacker’s queen and rook succeed in penetrating to the seventh rank. Here we have a case in point: 1 Rxf7+! Decoy, deflection from the h7-square. 1...Kxf7 2 Qh7+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 2...Kf8 (or 2...Ke8) 3 Rc7, with unstoppable mate. We can see the same manoeuvre in the game Alterman-Lev in the second part of this chapter, although there the piece that delivers mate is the rook, and it enters via a file, not a rank.

Black to play Storey – D. Walker British Ch, Scarborough 1999 The invasion by Black’s three major pieces, added to the availability of the bishop, leaves no room for doubt as to the outcome of this position, in which, furthermore, it is Black to move. 1...Rxg3+! 2 hxg3 Qxg3+ 3 Ng2 Bd4+! 0-1 The key deflection. If 4 Qxd4 there is a queen mate on g2, and if 4 Kh1, then we have 4...Qh3#, a queen and bishop mate.

White to play Trifunović – Golombek Amsterdam Olympiad 1954 Here we see another invasion procedure: White makes use of the pin on the knight to break into the enemy position. 1 g4! g5 2 h4! Kg6 2...gxh4 and 2...gxf4 are both met by 3 g5. 3 Be4+! Nxe4 4 h5+ 1-0 4...Kh7 5 Rxf7+ Kg8 6 Qg7#.

White to play Kizlov – Berebesov USSR 1971 The white pieces display an irresistible tendency to penetrate into the enemy camp, down the half-open g-file. 1 Rxg7+!! Kxg7 And now what? 2 Ne6+! A very elegant shot (which, simultaneously, is a fork) clearing the way for the rook to invade the seventh rank. 2...dxe6 3 Rd7+ 1-0 Mate cannot be prevented: 3...Kg8 (or 3...Kh8) 4 Qxh7#.

White to play Levy – J. Feller Praia da Rocha Zonal 1970 The four white pieces are very active and Black has unwisely moved his queen and his b3-rook a long way from the kingside, such that they cannot come to the defence of the king. Penetration of the back rank is in the air, since the bishop is the only thing stopping it. 1 Rxf6! A classic elimination of the defensive piece. 1...Rxf6 Or 1...gxf6 2 Qg6+ Kh8 3 Qxf7. 2 Rd8+ Kf7 3 Ng5+! The key: clearance of the e-file. 3...hxg5 4 Qe8# (1-0)

Black to play Thesing – Glek Dutch Cup semi-final 1999 Both sides have possibilities here, but Black has grasped the urgency of the situation and, exploiting the presence of one of his rooks already on the seventh rank, he decides to ignore the attack on his bishop. 1...Rcc2! 2 Rd2 Or: 2 Rd8 Rxg2+ 3 Kh1 (3 Kf1 Rcf2+ 4 Qxf2 Rxf2+ 5 Kxf2 Qxd8) 3...Bxf3 4 Rxe8+ Nxe8 5 Bxf7+ Kh8; 2 Qxb7 Rxg2+ 3 Kh1 Qe2 (an incredible case of major pieces tripled on the seventh rank) 4 Bxf7+ Kh7, and the threat of 5...Rh2+, followed by mate, is unstoppable. 2...Rcxd2 3 Bxd2 Bxf3 0-1 After 4 gxf3 Rxd2, with White’s kingside defences totally demolished, Black decides the game with his threats of 5...Qe2 or 5...Qe5.

Doubled on a File

White to play Kruta – Vasi Czechoslovakia 1962 In this case we can see that Black has a material advantage (a bishop and two pawns), but this is a case where the exposed position of the king prevents the material advantage from being realized. To begin with, the a8-rook and c8-bishop are undeveloped. Secondly, Black’s other bishop and queen are out of play. In contrast, White has his three major pieces besieging the enemy king and his bishop is also located on the kingside. 1 Bf5+!! The bishop is sacrificed to open the way for the rook on g1. 1...exf5 If Black takes the bishop with his rook, 1...Rxf5, the g7-square would be very well defended, but White culminates his invasion with 2 Rxh6+! gxh6 (or 2...Kxh6 3 Qh8#) 3 Qg8#. 2 Rxg7+! Kxg7 3 Rg3+ It’s all over: 3...Kh7 4 Qg8#.

Black to play Politis – Petrovikis Athens 1977 The pressure that Black’s major pieces exert along the f-file is frightening and must result in a winning continuation: 1...Rxf2! There is no better way of demonstrating Black’s pressure! 2 Rxc6 If 2 Bxc6, 2...Rxd2, threatening mate on f1. 2...Rf1+ Black cannot allow himself to be distracted from the main target: 2...Rxd2?? 3 Rxh6+ Kg8 4 Bh7+ Kh8 5 Bg6+ Kg8 6 Rh8+! Kxh8 7 Qh4+ Kg8 8 Qh7#. 3 Kg2 Rg1+! 0-1 White is mated after 4 Kxg1 Qf1# or 4 Kh3 Qh5#.

Black to play E. Ghinda – Gogilea Romania 1981 Black already has a rook on the seventh rank (although it is under attack), as well as the half-open h-file to work with, while White’s kingside is a wreck. The availability of the black queen completes the team for a quick finish. 1...Rxh2+! 2 Kxh2 Or 2 Kg1 Bf2+! 3 Rxf2 Rh1+ 4 Kg2 R8h2+ 5 Kg3 Qh4#. 2...Bg3++! Now White can choose between a mate with Q+B (3 Kg1 Rh1+! 4 Kxh1 Qh4+ 5 Kg2 {or 5 Kg1} 5...Qh2#) or another with Q+R (3 Kxg3 Qh4+ 4 Kg2 Qh2#). The second of these mates justifies the inclusion of this position here.

White to play Rajlich – Karnazes Stratton Mountain 1999 The scenario is completely different here. Black’s king is stuck in the centre and he is menaced by enemy pieces all around him. 1 Rxe4! fxe4 2 Qa4 A quiet but venomous move: it threatens mate on d7 and 2...Qc7 is not possible because of 3 Qa8+ and mate next move. 2...Kc7 3 Qd7+ Kxb6 4 Rb1+ Kc5 4...Ka6 5 Qa4#. 5 Qb5# (1-0)

White to play Fritz 6 – J. Polgar Frankfurt rapidplay 1999 The strong playing program from ChessBase showed the young Hungarian grandmaster that it was no slouch when it came to tactics. In the diagram position the black king is placed at the mercy of the white major pieces, which did not escape Fritz’s attention. This was the finish: 1 Rxb7+! Kxb7 2 Qa6+ 1-0 2...Kc7 3 Rc8+ Kd7 (or 3...Kd6) 4 Qxc6#.

Black to play

Serper – Gulko USA Ch, Salt Lake City 1999 In this position anything can happen on the f-file. Let’s not forget that queen and rook are a force of nature when doubled. In the game Black played 1...Rf1+ 2 Kh2 Qxd1 and White resigned, since if 3 Qxd1, then 3...Bg3+ 4 Kxg3 Rxd1, with a won endgame. However, Gulko had a more brilliant and effective finish available: 1...Qf1+ 2 Kh2 Bg3+! (decoying White’s king to the fatal square) 3 Kxg3 Qf4# .

White to play Quillen – Benko Las Vegas 1965 The experienced grandmaster Pal Benko just assumed that White would take the bishop that has just captured on b3 but, as he knows better than anyone, there is nothing worse in chess than taking something for granted. Here he was confronted with a difficult mating sequence: 1 Bf6+! Kg8 2 Be6+! The purpose of this sacrifice is to clear the b1-h7 diagonal so that the queen can reach g6. 2...Rxe6 Or 2...Bxe6 3 Qg6+ Kf8 4 Qxh6+ Kg8 5 Qh8+ Kf7 6 Qg7#. 3 Qg6+ Kf8 4 Be7++! A double check which clears the f-file, forcing Black to take

with the king. 4...Kxe7 5 Qf7# (1-0)

Black to play Gulbrandsen – Iskov Oslo 1980 White has just taken a pawn on b7, leaving both the black queen and the a8-rook under attack. However, Black jettisons the rook for a direct attack on the enemy king. 1...Qxd4!! 2 Qxa8 Qxf2+ 3 Kh3 Qxh2+ 4 Kg4 So far everything has been forced. 4...h5+ 5 Kxh5 Or: 5 Kf3 Qf2#; 5 Kf4 Qf2+ 6 Nf3 Qe3+ 7 Kf5 Qe4#. 5...g6+ 6 Kg4 f5+ 7 Nxf5 7 Kf4 Qf2+ 8 Nf3 Qe3#. 7...Re4+! 8 Kf3 Qe2# or 8 Bf4 Qh5# – mate with Q+P.

White to play Ferrera – Lavine USA 1985 The activity of the white pieces and his control of the half-open g-file prove decisive when White initiates the final demolition of Black’s castled position. 1 Bxh6! gxh6 2 Rh4 The transfer of the second rook to the kingside is decisive. 2...Ng8 Or: 2...Nh7 3 Rxh6 Qc5 4 Bd5!, with the threat 5 Rxh7+!; 2...Kh7 3 Bc2+ Be4 (3...Ne4 4 Qg4) 4 Nxe4 (not 4 Qf3?? Bg6!) 4...Nxe4 5 Qh5 gives White a decisive attack; e.g., 5...Bb4+ 6 Kf1 Qc4+ 7 Kg2 Rg8+ 8 Kh3!. 3 Rxh6+! Nxh6 4 Qh5 1-0 4...Kh7 5 Bc2+ f5 6 Qg6+ Kh8 7 Qg7#.

Black to play Castella – Serper Philadelphia 1997 All the black pieces are pointed towards the white king, which is sparsely defended; only the c3-rook accompanies it, in the face of the enemy assault. 1...Bxb3!! Destruction of the pawn-barrier. 2 axb3 Or 2 Qxa6 Bc4+. 2...Rxb3+ 3 Rxb3 Qd2+ 4 Ka3 4 Ka1 is met by 4...Rxb3. 4...Qc1+! Black has manoeuvred impeccably to finish off the white king. 5 Ka4 Or 5 Ka2 Qc2+. 5...Qa1+! 6 Ra3 Qd1+ 7 Ka5 Qd2+ 8 Kxa6 8 Ka4 Qb4#. 8...Qd6+ White resigned in view of 9 Ka5 Qxa3#.

White to play Parma – Ramirez Malaga 1963 The positions arising from the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Najdorf Sicilian, as is the case here, practically force White to try to win with a direct attack, since otherwise Black consolidates and, in addition to his extra pawn, he has the better ending. Grandmaster Bruno Parma, known for his sharp style, finishes brilliantly here: 1 Rxg7! Kxg7 2 Rg3+ Kh7 3 Bg6+! Kg7 After 3...fxg6? 4 Rxg6 there is no defence against the mate on h6. 4 Bh7+! Forcing the capture of the bishop and, in consequence, reviving the theme of mate on h6: 4...Kxh7 5 Rh3 followed by mate with the queen and rook doubled on the h-file. Parma was crowned World Junior Champion in The Hague two years before this game, and his brilliant style quickly evolved towards a more solid and conservative approach. He withdrew relatively early from competitive chess and set up a business selling chess-related goods in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

White to play Tsarev – Malaniuk Kiev 1989 The three white major pieces on the g-file look impressive. However, Black has his pieces quite well coordinated and his only slight weakness appears to be on the back rank. But how can this be exploited? 1 Bxh6!! Bxh6 Why not? 2 Rg8+ Kh7 3 Nf6+! 1-0 Because of this splendid deflection! 3...Qxf6 4 Rh8+! (a clearance sacrifice, opening a path for his queen) 4...Kxh8 5 Qg8#.

White to play Larsen – Kavalek Lugano 1970 Here we see an explosive position, with many open lines against both kings, but once again, having the move proves decisive and the great Larsen concludes the game in his best style. Let’s not forget that Larsen was then in his prime and that same year of 1970 he played on top board for the Rest of the World team against the USSR in Belgrade. 1 Ne6+! Qxe6 2 Bxg7+! Much better than 2 Qxe6?, which would allow 2...Bxb2+ 3 Kb1 Ba3+. 2...Ke7 3 Bf8+! Rbxf8 3...Rgxf8 4 Rh7+ Rf7 5 Rxf7+ Qxf7 6 Qxd6+ Ke8 7 Qxb8+. 4 Rh7+ 1-0

White to play J. Polgar – Polugaevsky Match (game 1), Aruba 1991 The wedge of white pawns f7+g6 testifies to the disastrous state of Black’s position, which is faced with dramatic threats on the h-file. 1 Bf6! White wants to eliminate the best defender of the black king, the g7-pawn. She sets up a decisive threat of 2 Rxh6#, since the g7-pawn is pinned. But either capture on f6 loses; e.g., 1...Rxf6 2 Rxh6+! gxh6 3 g7+ Bxg7 4 Qxg7#. Black now resorts to heroic measures, but they are insufficient. 1...Rxc1+ To deflect the rook from the g-file. 2 Rxc1 Rxf6 Or 2...gxf6 3 g7+! Bxg7 4 Rxh6+! Bxh6 5 Qg8# (mate with Q+P). 3 Rcg1!! But the rook calmly returns to its favourite file and now there is no good defence against the threat of 4 Rxh6+, since sacrificing a second exchange (3...Rxg6 4 Qxg6 Qxg6 5 Rxg6) would be a pointless exercise.

White to play W. Watson – Jansa Herning 1991 The position is confusing and both kings are in danger. However, White’s pieces are better coordinated and now by means of a pretty attacking sequence he demonstrates that he has a winning position. 1 Ra5!! The simple 1 Rg1 was also winning: 1...Qd5+ 2 Rg2 or 1...Qd4 2 Qxg7+! Qxg7 3 Rxg7 Kxg7 4 Rg1+, etc. 1...Qxa5 1...Qe7 solves nothing, since White wins with 2 f6!, and if 2...Qe4+, 3 Bf3. 2 Qd6+ Re7 3 f6! Opening a decisive path to the black king. 3...gxf6 4 Rg1 Qxh5 5 Qd8+ Kxf7 6 Qg8# (1-0) The g-file corridor has proved fatal to Black.

White to play Lederman – Eperjesi Biel 1981 White commands more space and has an important operating base for his knight on e5. In addition, the rook on c3 is ready to join in the attack via the third rank. The combination which follows is not a simple one: White extracts the maximum benefit from the configuration of his pieces. 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Bxe6+! This sacrifice is possible precisely thanks to the rook on c3. 2...Bxe6 3 Rf3+ Ke7 Now the reason is clear: the e6-bishop is pinned and White intends to pile up on it; instead, 3...Kg8 would lose to 4 Qxe6+ Kh8 5 Bxd6 Nc2 6 Rd1 Qxa5 7 Be5!. 4 Re1!? Playing for the attack, rather than cashing in with 4 Bh4+ Kd7 5 Bxd8 Rxd8, when Black still has play in a complicated position. 4...Qg8? White is rewarded for his boldness. 4...Qd7 is far tougher, as the black king retains the possibility of retreating to safety on the kingside in many lines. 5 Re3 Maximum concentration of forces on the pinned piece. 5...Bxg3 6 Rxe6+ Kd7 7 Re7+ Kd6 Or 7...Kd8 8 Rd7+! Kxd7 9 Qe7#. 8 Rd7+! 1-0

8...Kxd7 9 Qe7#.

On Adjacent Ranks

Black to play Agnos – Norwood London 1984 With the offer of a rook exchange on the h-file, White was hoping to neutralize Black’s build-up on the kingside. But the white position is close to collapse... 1...Bg4+!! 0-1 The first investment of material to set up the winning sequence: 2 Kxg4 Qc8+ 3 Kf3 (all forced) 3...Nh4+! (the second and decisive piece sacrifice) 4 gxh4 Qh3#. Black has gained complete control of the sixth and seventh ranks, which, with the extra help of the pawn on e5 (controlling f4) has woven the mating-net.

Black to play S. Ivanov – Skatchkov St Petersburg 1998 With his capture on c6, White seems to be in complete control of the situation. Naturally, 1...bxc6?? is not possible because of 2 Bxc6+ Rd7 3 Qxd7#, while 1...Bxg2?? fails to 2 Re6#. However, Black finds the only – multi-purpose – move. 1...Bc4!! This splendid line-clearance, controlling the e6-square while simultaneously exploiting the weakness of White’s back rank, is the start of a decisive counterattack. 2 Rxc4 Qa7+ 3 Kf1 Not 3 Kh1? because of 3...Rd1+. 3...Qe3! The threat of 4...Rd1# now tilts the balance permanently in Black’s favour. 4 Be4 4 Bd5 loses to 4...Qd3+. 4...Rd1+ 5 Kg2 Qe2+ 6 Kh3 Qh5+ 0-1 7 Kg2 Rd2+ 8 Kf1 Qd1#.

On Adjacent Files

White to play Ramaswany – Delai World Under-18 Girls Ch, Oropesa del Mar 1998 One simple move highlights the weak position of the black king: 1 Rh6+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...Kxh6 2 Qh2# or 1...Bxh6 2 Qg8#. This position could also be included in the section featuring the queen and rook doubled on a file.

Black to play Kosa – Sapi

Hungarian Team Ch, Budapest 1994 1...Rg4! 0-1 The pin on the h2-b8 diagonal allows a double attack; the white queen is attacked and at the same time mate on h4 is threatened. If 2 Qxc7, 2...Qxh4#.

One on a Rank and One on a File The first example is a very simple one.

White to play Khurtsidze – Kovalevskaya European Women’s Ch, Nova Gorica 1999 White, as well as being the exchange up, has his major pieces situated on open files, which proves to be a decisive factor, given the weaknesses of Black’s castled position. 1 Re8+! Ng8 Or: 1...Nxe8 2 Qf8#; 1...Kg7 2 Qf8#. 2 Rxg8+! 1-0 After 2...Kxg8, White mates with 3 Rg4+ Kh8 4 Qf8#.

Black to play Lame – E. Rubinstein Cracow 1934 There is a surprising finish in this position, where, however, it can be clearly seen that Black has all his guns loaded and ready: his three major pieces are aimed at White’s king and the same can be said of the bishop, which has complete control of the long light-squared diagonal. 1...Bxg2+! Such a pity to sacrifice so splendid a piece, but it is for the sake of a greater cause! 2 Qxg2 Clearly the only move: if 2 Rxg2, 2...Qxe1+ 3 Rg1 Rhxh2# (or 3...Rcxh2#). 2...Rxh2+! Brilliant and unexpected. 3 Kxh2 3 Qxh2 Qxh2#. 3...Qh4# The white queen is pinned by the surviving black rook.

Black to play Sakharov – Kholmov USSR Ch, Kiev 1964/5 This is one of the most brilliant cases of optimal coordination between queen and rook, combining in the attack on the enemy king. The position is ‘mined’. On the one hand, a black rook has reached e2 (rook on the seventh rank), which always constitutes an important element. On the other hand, White has a strong bishop on the long a1-h8 diagonal and the rook on b3 is ready to invade Black’s back rank. The tactical sharpness with which Black now imprints the game gives us a spectacle in itself. That said, White has sufficient resources to survive, which is highly surprising. 1...Ne4!? Black has foreseen the decisive invasion by his major pieces. 2 Nxe4 Rg6!? 3 Rb8? At first sight, this is practically the only means of counterplay, but in fact it is a blunder. 3 Rf1! would have kept White in the game: a) 3...Rxg2+ 4 Kxg2 Bxh3+ 5 Kxh3 Qxf1+ 6 Kh2 will lead to an unusual ending where White’s collection of pieces will stand up to the black queen and pawns. b) 3...Qe6 4 Nf6+! Qxf6 5 Rxf6 Rxg3 6 Rf2 gives White the better side of a likely draw in a rook and opposite bishops ending. c) 3...Qe8 4 Rf8+!! Kxf8 (4...Qxf8?! 5 Qxg6) 5 Qf3+ Kg8 6 Qxe2 dxe4 with a sharp middlegame that should prove roughly

balanced. 3...dxe4!! Not 3...Rxg3? because after 4 Rxc8+ Kh7 5 Nxg3 White has a clear advantage. 4 Rxc8+ Kh7 5 Qb8 White is relying on the control that his queen exerts over the h2-square. 5...Rexg2+! Precisely with this rook, and soon we shall see why. 6 Kh1 Rh2+!! A brilliant sacrifice that involves a decoy (king), self-blocking (h2) and clearance (h1-f3 diagonal). 7 Qxh2 Or 7 Kxh2 Qxa2+ and mate on g2: maximum effectiveness at maximum distance! 7...Qf3+ 0-1 Mate on g2 follows.

2: Mate with the Rook This section, just like the previous one, is divided into categories, according to the position that both pieces occupy at the moment of mate: On Adjacent Ranks or Files One on a Rank and One on a File The Queen Occupies a Diagonal

On Adjacent Ranks or Files

White to play Przepiorka – Patay Meran 1926 The imposing chain of white pawns and the traffic jam of the black pieces leaves the outcome of this game in little doubt. The simplest way might be to play f4, Kh1, Rf3 and Rg1, but the great talent of the Polish master David Przepiorka (1880-1940) will not allow him to miss the chance of a brilliant finish. 1 Bg6+!! Decoy. 1 f4 was also winning. 1...Kxg6 2 Qd3+ Kh6 2...Kf7 is unattractive due to 3 Qh7+, with an immediate catastrophe. 3 Qh3+ Kg6 4 Nf4+! To open more lines against the black king, i.e. the g-file. 4...gxf4 5 Kh1! Bxf6 6 Rg1+ Kf7 Or 6...Bg5 7 Rxg5+! Kxg5 8 Rg1#. 7 Qh7+ 1-0 Przepiorka was an active player and chess composer. He took part in two Olympiads, in 1930 and 1931, winning the gold medal with his team in the former (in Hamburg). In 1939 he showed his patriotism by selling his house to finance his team’s travel to the Olympiad in Buenos Aires. Shortly after, as a result of the invasion of Poland by German troops, he was arrested, together with other members of the Jewish community, and sent to a concentration camp, which he did

not survive.

White to play Püchele – Feustel West Germany – Finland, Glücksberg 1977 The situation is very tense and one would think that Black, with his pressure along his seventh rank, has all the chances. But this is illusory. The four white pieces are very well coordinated and the black king lacks piece protection. 1 Rxf6! exf6 Or 1...Bxf1 2 Rf7+ Kg8 3 Qe5, threatening mate on two squares: b8 and g7. 2 Nf5+! The master key that decisively opens the position of Black’s king. 2...gxf5 2...Kg8 3 Qa7. 3 Qa7+ Kg6 3...Kg8 allows immediate mate by 4 Qf7#. The rest is a technical manoeuvre in which White toys with the black king like a cat with a mouse. 4 Qf7+ Kg5 5 Qg7+ Kh4 6 Qxf6+ Kg3 7 Qe5+ Kxh3 8 Qxf5+ Kg3 9 Qf4+ Kh3 10 Qh2+ Kg4 11 Rf4+ Kg5 12 Qg3+ 1-0 12...Kh5 13 Rh4#. The threats against the white king only added to the drama.

White to play Sanin – Sarkov USSR 1987 This position must be evaluated as clearly favourable to White, who has all his pieces active and a dangerous bishop, supported by the pawn on e5, entrenched in the enemy position. Black’s knight is out of play and his bishop hemmed in by his own pawns. His kingside is a disaster, because the advanced pawns have left behind them numerous holes around his king, for which his control of the h-file is scant compensation, since the h2-square can be protected as many as four times by the white pieces. 1 Bxg4! The demolition begins. 1...fxg4 The next move is a really difficult one. 2 Be7!! The whole point is to deflect the black queen from the g4-square. 2...Qxe7 If 2...Qh6, 3 Rxg4+ Kh7 (3...Bxg4? 4 Qf7#) 4 Qf7+! Bxf7 5 Rxf7+ Qg7 6 Rfxg7+ Kh6 7 Bf6. 3 Rxg4+! Bxg4 4 Qxg4+ Kh6 Or 4...Kh7 5 Rg1, with a queen mate on the h-file. 5 Rf5 Threatening mate on h5. 5...Qe8 6 Qg5+ Kh7 7 Rf6

White has shifted the threat of mate forward a rank: 8 Rh6# cannot be prevented.

One on a Rank and One on a File

Black to play Gdanski – Kempinski Polish Ch, Polanica Zdroj 1999 White is threatening mate on f7, but it is Black to move, and his three major pieces have the enemy king in their sights. 1...Rxh3+! 0-1 2 Kxh3 allows 2...Rh4#, while after 2 gxh3 Rd2+ White loses his three pieces (3 Rf2 Rxf2+ 4 Qxf2 Qxf2+, etc.).

White to play Portisch – Bagirov Beverwijk 1965 Black’s king is inadequately defended, considering the concentration of white forces. 1 Nxg6+! 1-0 After 1...hxg6 2 Re4! Black has no good way to prevent the mate on h4. We have seen a typical case in which the commanding position of the queen (on f7 or g6) means that a rook check on the h-file is lethal.

White to play

J.M. Lopez – Labollita World Junior Ch, Erevan 1999 White’s rook on d5 is attacked, but it stands ready to form a deadly attacking duo with his queen. Black’s king’s defensive cover is very poor, as the Spanish Junior Champion of that year is about to demonstrate. 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 2 Rg5+ Kf8 Or 2...Kf6 3 Rg8+ Kf5 (3...Ke5 4 Qf4#) 4 Qg4+ Ke5 5 Qf4#. 3 Rh5! 1-0 3...Kg7 4 Qg5+ Kf8 5 Rh8#.

White to play Zangrilli – A. Spielmann French Team Ch 1999 The black queen has become completely cut off from kingside and this facilitates a direct attack against his king. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Rf3! Qxc2 To cover h7. Otherwise: 3...Ra7 4 Qxe8; 3...Re7 4 Bxe7. 4 Qf7+ Kh8 5 Rh3+ Qh7 6 Rxh7+ Kxh7 7 Re3 1-0 The other rook prepares to deliver the decisive check.


White to play Alterman – Lev Israeli Ch, Tel-Aviv 1994 Black’s king is very poorly defended, while White commands the f-file and his queen lurks close by. Let’s see what happened: 1 Rf7! Deflecting the king from the defence of h7 and decoying it into the slaughterhouse. 1...Kxf7 Forced in view of the double attack on h7 and e7. 2 Qxh7+ Kf8 2...Ke8 also loses, to 3 Qxg6+ Kf8 and then as in the game. 3 b3! 1-0 A fine move to deflect the black queen, to deprive it even of the possibility of sacrificing itself for the rook on f1. Black resigned in view of 3...Qxc3 4 Rf1+ followed by mate.

White to play Chigorin/Ponce – Steinitz/Gavilan Consultation game, Havana 1889 Steinitz, the first World Champion, has somehow achieved the almost impossible: he has allowed his queen to be incarcerated in such a way that it has no moves. But furthermore his queen’s rook and bishop are also completely hemmed in. Black’s position is a complete disaster and having so much material inactive is to grant too big an advantage to such a strong player as Chigorin. 1 e5! Opening more lines against the king, the usual procedure in attacking positions. 1...fxe5 2 Rxf4+! Kg7 Or 2...exf4 3 Qxf4+ Kg7 4 Rf1!. 3 Nf5+! A fresh sacrifice, still with the same goal: to create maximum danger to the enemy king. 3...gxf5 4 Rxf5 Rg8 5 Rdf1 b5 6 Qg4+ 1-0 White’s major pieces have been concentrated in the attack on the black king, which is helpless. 6...Kh8 7 Rf8 Rxf8 8 Rxf8#.

The Queen Occupies a Diagonal In the majority of these cases, the queen supports mate by the rook on a diagonal, as in the example that follows, where a very simple sacrifice exposes the white king.

Black to play It is Black to play and he wins easily: 1...Rxh2! 2 Kxh2 There was a threat of mate on h1. 2...Rh8+ 3 Kg1 Rh1# There was also a queen mate (3...Qh1#), so this example could also be placed in the category ‘doubled on a file’. The young Israeli Michael Roiz, then 15 years old, won the under-16 gold medal in the Mind Sports Olympiad, after achieving impressive results (draws with grandmasters, such as Chandler and Murei) and beating IM Alexander Cherniaev in the game we shall now see.

White to play M. Roiz – Cherniaev Mind Sports Olympiad, London 1999 Half-open h-file, very active knight, centralized queen in a commanding position... White has a very good hand, but it requires careful calculation. 1 Nxh6+! gxh6 2 Qxf6 Qb6 3 Bh7+! 1-0 A decisive sacrifice, which Black had probably overlooked. After 3...Kxh7 4 Rxh6+ Kg8 5 Rh8#, we have our thematic mate. But there are other cases, such as the following position, where the queen, in addition to facilitating the combination, also controls the escape-square diagonally. In this concrete case it acts like a bishop.

Black to play Karpov – Taimanov Leningrad 1977 This is a curious position, in which it seems that White has little to fear, much less being threatened with mate. But one simple (but not so simple!) move wraps up the game. 1...Ng3+! 0-1 Probably this idea came to Taimanov by first thinking about a simple mating-net with R+N: if the black rook were on h8 and the white queen were unable to capture on g3, then ...Ng3+ would be mate. Admittedly the rook is a long way from h8, but both the a-file and Black’s back rank are completely clear, which means that in a single move the rook could threaten

mate. This means that Black has a very good position. If White takes on g3 with his queen (2 Qxg3) then, obviously, just 2...Rxb1, and White is completely lost, but if 2 hxg3, the aforementioned manoeuvre decides the game: 2...Ra8! and there is no way to prevent the mate with 3...Rh8#. There is a strange harmony in this position: the two edge-files (a- and h-) are completely unobstructed, as is Black’s first rank. And this allows the black rook to skate artistically round the board.

7: Queen + Bishop Queen and bishop constitute a powerful tandem: these are two pieces that complement each other perfectly in their attacking movements. The bishop represents a powerful reinforcement to the queen’s attacking play, whether it controls a diagonal of a different colour from that occupied by the queen, or if the pieces align on the same diagonal, especially one of the long diagonals, where their combined action can prove especially fearsome. We divide the material as follows: 1 : Mate with the Queen 2 : Mate with the Bishop

1: Mate with the Queen

Let’s start with two very old games. Greco – NN c. 1620 1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 Bc4 f6? (D) This attempt to protect the pawn-chain is fatal.

White to play 5 Nxg5! fxg5 6 Qh5+ Ke7 7 Qxg5+ Ke8 8 Qh5+ Ke7 9 Qe5# (1-0) Queen and bishop have shared out the work equitably: while the bishop controls the escape-square f7, the queen attacks and mates ‘straight ahead’ along the e-file.

White to play Greco – NN c. 1620 Black has just played ...Qxc1. How does White win? 1 Nc6+! Nxc6

Or 1...bxc6, or 1...dxc6. 2 Qe8# (1-0) This time the bishop’s role has been to support the queen on the same diagonal. The examples are further classified into the following categories: Variations on Boden’s Mate The Bishop on the Long Diagonal The Mating Mechanism with a Discovered Check Mate on h7 Mate on g7 Mate on Adjacent Diagonals Mate on a Rank or File Other Mates

Variations on Boden’s Mate Since the queen can move like a bishop, it is logical that in some situations it only needs to use its diagonal power to execute the mating pattern, similarly to what happens in Boden’s Mate with the two bishops.

Black to play Balk – Barnes New Zealand 1926 The bishop on a6 attacks two vital squares (e2 and f1) close to the white king, preventing castling. In addition, Black has some other very active pieces, in particular the menacing rook

on e8, confronting the enemy king. Conclusion: 1...Nxc3! Clearance (of the e-file). 2 bxc3 Rxe3+! 3 fxe3 Bg3+ 4 hxg3 All forced so far. 4...Qxg3# Let us suppose that the queen and dark-squared bishop had been the other way round. In that case we would now have a pretty mate with two bishops.

Black to play Rukavina – Larsen Leningrad Interzonal 1973 The lack of pieces protecting his kingside is a problem for White, whose queen is cut off from the kingside by the e2-pawn. Such details are significant. On the other hand, the black pieces occupy commanding positions and the f-file is very important. 1...Rf2+! A type of sacrifice that we have already seen, in the chapter on Q+R: its forced acceptance deflects the king from the h2-square, allowing the enemy queen to penetrate. 2 Kxf2 Qxh2+ 3 Kf1 3 Kf3 Qxg3#. 3...Qh3+! 0-1 White resigned in view of 4 Kg1 Qxg3+ 5 Kf1 Qh3+ 6 Kg1 Bh2+!.

The Bishop on the Long Diagonal When a bishop is situated on one of the long diagonals (h1-a8, a1-h8) and the queen manages to penetrate close to the enemy king, either on the same diagonal as the bishop, or in some other way, the long diagonal becomes like a skating rink along which the queen slides menacingly. Exploiting a pin by a bishop sometimes allows surprising combinations, as in the next example.

Black to play Mädler – Uhlmann East German Ch, Aschersleben 1963 One would think that White has shaken off any pressure and started to pose problems for his opponent by penetrating to the seventh rank with his rook. However, the situation is completely different: the board is loaded with dynamite. 1...Rh1+! 0-1 2 Kxh1 (2 Nxh1 Qxg2#) 2...Qh3+! (the treacherous queen can strike here with impunity, since the g-pawn is pinned by the bishop) 3 Kg1 Qxg2#.

Black to play Soterini – Venanzi Rome 1999 Here we see a similar idea to that of the previous position, also involving a rook sacrifice on the same square. 1...Rxh3+ The effect of the pin. 2 Kg1 Rh1+! 3 Kxh1 Qh3+ Once again the h3-square provides hospitality, thanks to the location of the bishop. 4 Kg1 Qxg2#

White to play Romanishin – Plaskett London 1975 White has sacrificed a piece for two pawns in front of Black’s castled position but it would appear that his attack has hit a brick wall. However, there is a tactical detail that resolves the struggle. 1 Rxd7! A double deflection, which forces Black to resign on the spot, since 1...Qxd7 2 Bxf6 leaves Black no defence against the mate on g7, while 1...Nxd7 allows 2 Qxg7#. On the other hand, the queen can’t escape from the rook’s attack without dropping the f6-knight.

Black to play B. Barlow – S. Williams Hampstead 1999 Both kings are exposed, but Black will get there first thanks to a decoy sacrifice, exploiting the power of the bishop on the long diagonal. 1...Rh1+! 2 Kxh1 Qxf3+ 3 Kh2 Qg2# (0-1)

White to play Khalifman – Aseev Borzhomi 1984 Here Black seems to have a solid but very cramped position. The bishop on f8 is limited to a purely defensive role, while its white counterpart rules the long diagonal. As the rest of White’s pieces are all well-situated, one wonders whether the position might be ripe for a finish... 1 Rxd7! The first stage of the plan consists of eliminating the piece that protects the f6-square. 1...Bxd7 If 1...Qxd7, 2 Nf6+!. 2 Nf6+! This is still effective as a sacrifice. 2...Kh8 Or 2...gxf6 3 Qg4+ Bg7 (3...Kh8 4 Bxf6+) 4 Bxf6. 3 Qh5 h6 3...gxf6 4 Be4 h6 5 Qxf7. 4 Qxf7 1-0 Mate on g8 is threatened, and 4...gxf6 5 Bxf6+ leads to mate.

White to play Espig – Pietzsch Zinnowitz 1967 The control exerted by White’s d4-bishop down the long diagonal suggests there may be a way to mate, but be careful now – speed and accuracy are required, since Black has his own fearsome Q+B lined up on the long light-squared diagonal. 1 Rxg6+! 1-0 1...hxg6 (1...Kf7 2 Qxh7+) 2 Qh8+ Kf7 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 Qxg6+ Bg7 5 Qxg7#.

Black to play

Muratov – Marosi Correspondence 1963 The bishop’s command of the long h1-a8 diagonal is so important here that Black is able to conclude the struggle immediately, helped by the already exposed position of the white king. 1...Rh2+!! Deflecting the king from the defence of h4 to start an immediate mating sequence. 2 Kxh2 Rxh4+! A second and decisive rook sacrifice. 3 gxh4 Qxh4+ 4 Rh3 Qf2+ 0-1 Mate on g2 follows.

White to play Opočensky – Mackenzie Folkestone Olympiad 1933 White has a big positional advantage, which he should be able to convert into victory. His first intention was to play 1 Bc3, threatening mate on g7 and, after 1...f6, sacrifice the rook on this square and win. But Black can answer 1 Bc3 with 1...Qf8. The idea, then, is to prevent the queen from going to f8. 1 Bb4! Deflection. Instead, 1 Bh7+ Kxh7 2 Rxf7 is also winning (as, truth be told, is 1 Bc3 Qf8 2 Bb4). 1...Qa4 2 Bc3! f6 3 Rxf6! Once the queen has been deflected from the defence of the

king, the sacrifice proves devastating. 3...Nxd5 Or 3...gxf6 4 Qxf6 Qd7 5 Qh8+ Kf7 6 Qg7#. 4 Rf8+ 1-0

White to play Karpachev – Lyrberg Gausdal 1993 White’s pieces are very well placed to launch a direct attack, since his concentration of forces against the kingside is much greater than the opponent’s defensive resources. 1 Nh5! gxh5 The first sacrifice could not be declined, since it threatened 2 Rxe5! and 3 Nf6+, winning on the spot. 2 Rxe5! With the elimination of this bishop, the weakness of the dark squares around Black’s king becomes serious. 2...Nxe5 3 Bxh7+! A fresh sacrifice, further weakening the black king’s fragile defences. 3...Kxh7 If 3...Kg7, 4 Bf6+ Kf8 5 Qg5. 4 Qxh5+ Kg8 5 Bf6 Ng4 Defending against the threat of 6 Qh6, though not the one on h8. But if 5...Ng6, 6 Qh6. 6 Qh8# (1-0)

White to play Panno – Tempone Buenos Aires 1980 The first thing one notices is the long dark-squared diagonal, completely empty apart from a white bishop commanding it. The white pieces are well coordinated and the black king, even though it has some pieces protecting it, has too many holes around it. 1 Nxe4! To eliminate defensive pieces. 1...Re8 1...fxe4 is met by 2 Rxf8+ Nxf8 3 Qc3. 2 Qc3 Without further delay, the train leaves the station. 2...Qe7 3 Nxg5 hxg5 4 e4! Ne5 Or 4...f4 5 gxf4 gxf4 6 Rxf4!. 5 Rxf5! Bxf5 6 Rxf5 Ng6 7 Rxg5! Qh7 8 Rh5! 1-0 A decisive deflection. 8...Qe7 9 Rh8+! Nxh8 10 Qxh8+ Kf7 11 Qg7#.

White to play Alburt – Sveshnikov USSR 1978 A very tense position. The bishop on d5 is pinned and under threat. The black bishop on c5 is also potentially hanging in the air (at the moment it is attacked twice and defended twice). The main factor, however, is that Black’s castled position is defended only by the queen, which signifies a ‘defensive deficit’. 1 Rxc5! Rxc5 2 Qd4 Forking g7 and c5. 2...Qf8 Protecting g7, since if 3 Nxc5, 3...Rxd5. 3 Nf6+! Exploiting the omnipotence of queen and bishop on the long dark-squared diagonal. 3...Kh8 After 3...gxf6 4 Qxf6 it’s all over. 4 Qe4! Now the attack switches to the h7-square and there is no defence against all the threats. Black resigned due to 4...gxf6 5 Bxf6+ Kg8 6 Qg4+, followed by mate.

Black to play Schulmeister – Palatz Hampuri 1936 The good deployment of the black pieces (Q, R and N) enables Black to launch an energetic attack, culminating in an original finish. 1...Nf3+! 2 Kh1 As is so often the case, the knight is taboo, since 2 gxf3 allows 2...Qg5+ 3 Kh1 Bxf3#. 2...Qh4 And as is equally often the case, the queen transfers the attack to the h2-square (or h7 when White is the attacker). 2...Qd6 is actually a quicker way to force mate. 3 h3 The only move. 3...Ne1! This is the decisive move, which forces White to resign: the knight executes a spectacular fork against g2 and the white queen on c2, but the move is in fact a triple attack, because the main threat now is 4...Qxh3+, so if 4 Rxe1, Black mates with 4...Qxh3+ 5 Kg1 Qxg2#.

White to play Sakharov – Cherepkov USSR Ch, Alma Ata 1968/9 Although Black’s two queenside pawns compensate (at the very least) for White’s pair of centre pawns (N.B. 1 Qxa3?? Rxd5!), his bishop on c4 is unable to perform defensive duties, as is his queen over on the queenside. The rook on d6 is parrying some threats. But what grabs one’s attention is the long dark-squared diagonal, which is open and commanded by the white bishop. Also notable is the availability of the rook on f4 to join in the attack. 1 Bxh7+!? 1 Rxd6! Bxd6 2 Bxh7+! is an even more forcing move-order. 1...Kxh7 2 Rxd6 Bxd6 3 Rh4+ 1-0 3...Kg8 (after 3...Kg6 4 Qd1 the black king is doomed) 4 Rh8+! (a sacrifice similar to the ones we have seen in the game Mädler-Uhlmann and the game Soterini-Venanzi) 4...Kxh8 5 Qh6+! (the pin that the bishop exerts on the g7-pawn allows the mate) 5...Kg8 6 Qxg7#.

White to play Gaprindashvili – Servaty Dortmund 1974 In this position, things look fairly simple, but in fact the opposite is the case. Instinctively one would think that the rook on h1 must move, after which Black plays 1...Kxg7. But now for something completely different... 1 Qd4!! A surprising decision? Of course, but analysis reveals factors that make it logical. The rook on h1 has no way to enter play, while the powerful dark-squared bishop can rule the board via the long diagonal. On the other hand, 1 Bf3? is not playable, because of 1...Re8+ 2 Kd2 Qxf2+ 3 Kc1 Kxg7. 1...Qxh1+ 2 Kd2! Qxa1 The sacrifice of both rooks on consecutive moves, which some writers dub the immortal sacrifice. 3 Qf6!! 1-0 Two masterly queen moves, this one being a logical positional move. White is threatening, purely and simply, 4 Bh6 and 5 Qg7#. How can this be prevented? The only way would be to sacrifice the queen on b2, but then Black’s serious lag in development would deprive him of the slightest possibility of survival. The Georgian Nona Gaprindashvili (born in 1941) was for 16 years the Women’s World Champion (from 1962 to 1978) and had some significant international successes, especially her first place in the very strong Lone Pine Open in 1976. She has an

aggressive and brilliant style of play and set the standard for new generations of women who began to play at a very high level.

Black to play NN – Duras Prague 1899 The great Oldřich Duras (1882-1957), Czech Champion in 1905, 1909 and 1911, will exhibit his mastery in this position. Both kings are exposed and White’s control of the h-file is worrying. However, a careful examination reveals that the three black major pieces are very active and have easy access to the white king. Duras will demonstrate that the black bishop, despite being attacked and obstructed by the rook on f6, is the key factor which provides the basis for the brilliant combination he is about to play. 1...Rb1+! As an aperitif, a rook sacrifice. 2 Kxb1 Rb6+! For the first course, a second rook sacrifice, the purpose of which is to completely clear the long dark-squared diagonal. 3 Kc1 White declines the offer, since if 3 Bxb6, 3...Qb4+ 4 Kc1 Bb2+ 5 Kb1 Bc3+ 6 Kc1 Qb2#. 3...Bb2+ 4 Kd2 Bc3+! 5 Kc1 5 Kxc3? Qb4#. 5...Rb1+!

A third rook sacrifice, which this time must be accepted. 6 Kxb1 Qb4+ 7 Kc1 Qb2# The theme of mate on b2 is present throughout the combination. Duras was, as well as a grandmaster, an excellent composer of endgame studies. His greatest triumph over the board was in Vienna 1908, where he tied for first with Schlechter and Maroczy. He was, without any doubt, the strongest Czech player of the beginning of the 20th century.

White to play Espig – Mertens Ybbs (team event) 1968 Here once again, the control exerted by White’s e5-bishop over the long dark-squared diagonal is significant, in addition to the disappearance of Black’s h-pawn, which has left the black king exposed. It is not easy, however, to find the most appropriate continuation. The natural plan of advancing with h4-h5 would allow Black to use his a5-bishop to bolster the defence. For example: 1 h4 Bd2 2 h5? Be3+ 3 Kh1 g5. Something more expeditious is required, such as: 1 Rxf5!! A fantastic move, decisively opening lines. 1...Bxf5 2 Qh4! Qd7 Now 2...Qh7 fails to 3 Bc4+ Rf7 4 Bxf7+, winning the queen. 3 Bc4+ Be6 4 Qh8+ Kf7 5 Rf1+ Ke7 6 Qg7+ Rf7 7 Rxf7+ Bxf7 8 Qxf7+ Kd8 9 Qf8+ Qe8 10 Qd6+ Qd7 11

Bf6+ Ke8 12 Bb5! A final deflection. 12...Qxb5 13 Qe7# (1-0)

The Mating Mechanism with a Discovered Check Queen and bishop form an ideal team for the execution of this typical mate, which consists of forcing the king (by means of a bishop check) to place itself on the same file as the queen, after which there is a discovered check with which the bishop moves to attack a key square on which the queen will deliver mate. Such definitions always seem abstract or convoluted. Let’s see how this works in practice.

Black to play Kotenko – Balendo 1977 This position provides a perfect illustration of the mating mechanism that we are studying. The objective of the manoeuvre is to control the f2-square. Black needs to begin by taking measures to eliminate the piece protecting that square. 1...Rxe3! 2 Rxe3 Or 2 fxe3 Qh2+ 3 Kf1 Bg3 4 Re2 (or 4 Qe2) 4...Qh1#. 2...Bh2+ The typical first check of this particular mechanism.

3 Kh1 Bg3+ The second and extremely important check; this discovered check by the bishop must attack the key f2-square. 4 Kg1 Qh2+ 5 Kf1 Qxf2# Here we can see why it was necessary for the bishop to attack f2. The following combination is more sophisticated, but is based on the idea of the above mechanism.

Black to play Herman – Charousek Budapest 1896 White’s castled position has been completely broken up and the attempts to exploit this quietly (e.g. 1...Qh5, threatening 2...Qg6+) surely also win, but would not accord with Charousek’s style of play, nor with the characteristics of the position. 1...Bh2+!! A magnificent opening shot. 2 Kh1 Or 2 Kxh2 Bf1+ 3 Kg1 Bxe2, etc. 2...Bf1? Surprisingly, this is a blunder. He should retreat the h3-bishop, the best being 2...Bg4!, which will eventually force mate: 3 Nf6+ (3 Bg5 can now be met by 3...Qh3, when 4 Qf1 Bxf3+ shows a point of putting the bishop on g4; 3 fxg4 Bd6+ 4 Kg2 Qh2+ 5 Kf3 Rf8+) 3...gxf6 4 fxg4 Bd6+ 5 Kg2 Qh2+ 6 Kf3 Qh3+ 7 Ke4 Re8+.

3 Qd1? If 3 Qxf1?, Black wins with the mating mechanism that we saw above in the game Kotenko-Balendo: 3...Bg3+ 4 Kg2 (4 Kg1) 4...Qh2#. The saving resource is 3 Bg5!, the main point being 3...Qh5?! 4 Nf6+! gxf6 5 Qe6+, when Black must acquiesce to the exchange of queens and a roughly level ending once the dust clears. 3...Be2!? The bishop pursues the white queen, to force it to occupy the escape-square e2. White resigned, since if 4 Qxe2, then 4...Bg3+ 5 Kg1 Qh2+ 6 Kf1 Qh1#. White is blocking e2 but if the queen doesn’t take the bishop, then the f1-square is under Black’s control.

White to play Sämisch – Engel Brno 1928 White has converted the half-open f-file into a launching platform for his pieces, with a knight situated on an advanced post and his rooks doubled. However, by playing ...f6 Black has put a stop to the operations on the f-file. In addition, the fact that the white bishop is blocked by its own pawns is another reason for thinking that White’s potential attack has been neutralized, at least for the moment. 1 e5! The hostilities open with a powerful pawn-break. 1...dxe5

1...fxe5? 2 Nh6+ gxh6 3 Rxf7. 2 Rh4 h6 2...Nd6 loses to 3 Nxd6 followed by Bxh7+. 3 Rxh6! Nd6 If 3...Bxf5 then 4 Bxf5 gxh6 5 Be6. 4 Ne7+! Qxe7 5 Rh8+! Kxh8 5...Kf7 6 Bg6+! Kxg6 7 Qh5#. 6 Qh5+ 1-0 There follows the mating mechanism that we are studying: 6...Kg8 7 Bh7+ Kh8 8 Bg6+ Kg8 9 Qh7#. Friedrich Sämisch (1896-1975) was an outstanding German player in the period between the two World Wars. He was a bookbinder by trade but became a professional chess-player after a series of good results, including first place in the international tournaments of Dortmund 1928, Brno 1928, Swinemünde 1930 and Berlin 1930. Sämisch made many important contributions to opening theory, such as the variations with White that bear his name against the Nimzo-Indian and King’s Indian defences.

Mate on h7 We shall learn about this type of attack in greater detail in Part 4 , ‘Target: The Castled King’, so here we shall just examine a few examples that exemplify the typical manoeuvres and combinations.

White to play

Bidev – Puc Belgrade 1947 The white pieces are ideally placed and the disappearance of the h-pawn from Black’s castled position allows a quick finish: 1 Rxg7! Bxg7 2 f6 1-0 There is no way to prevent the mate on h7.

White to play Illescas – Z. Franco Spanish Ch, Palencia 1999 One of the most direct and characteristic mating combinations of this type can be seen in this game, where Grandmaster Miguel Illescas brought the struggle to a rapid conclusion: 1 Nf6+! The idea is to clear the e4-square for the bishop, at the same time fixing the f7-pawn. 1...Bxf6 2 Be4 1-0 There is no good defence against the mate on h7.

Black to play Cochrane – Staunton London 1842 The four black pieces are converging in a most natural manner on the position of the white king. In other words, the task is an easy one: 1...Nxh3+! 2 gxh3 Rg4+! White must resign. If 3 hxg4 (3 Kh1 Qxh3#), 3...Qh2#.

White to play Hort – Portisch Madrid 1973

This position occurred in the first international tournament held in Madrid, which was won by a young Karpov. In masterly fashion the Czechoslovak Champion Vlastimil Hort exploited his rook’s mobility along the fourth rank to launch a mating attack. 1 Rg4+! fxg4 2 Qg5+! The key to the combination: it is necessary to force the king into the corner. 2...Kh8 3 Qh6 1-0 The double threat of mate on f8 and h7 proves decisive.

White to play Eganian – Tatevosian Armenia 1985 Black is the exchange up and his queen and g8-rook are both helping defend his king. Nevertheless, there is a superior concentration of white troops on the kingside. The black bishop on d6 is acting as a blockader of the passed d-pawn, but for the same reason is relegated to a passive role, while the rook on a8 is simply out of play. 1 Rxf6! An elegant exploitation of White’s attacking superiority. 1...Qxf6 2 Bg5! With a double attack on the queen and h7, so the bishop is taboo. 2...Qg7 3 Bf6! But the bishop’s previous move was not just for show: its action is decisive and Black resigned here. He cannot even

acquiesce to the loss of his queen by playing 3...Raf8, since 4 Qxh7# is still mate. It is worth pointing out that sacrificing the queen with 2...Qg6 also failed to a move of the all-powerful bishop, 3 Bf6+!.

White to play Quinteros – Henley Lone Pine 1976 White’s pressure along the g-file is the source of all Black’s woes, which have been further aggravated by the advance of the pawn to e6. The position is ripe for a finish. 1 Rxg6+! fxg6 2 Rxg6+! A double rook sacrifice to draw the black king into a mating-net. 2...Kxg6 3 Be4+ Kg7 4 Qc7+ 1-0 Mate follows on h7, which Black can only delay by giving up his bishop and rook on his second rank.

Black to play Petursson – Campora European Junior Ch, Groningen 1976/7 Black’s pieces make a splendid picture and the positional balance is clearly in his favour, thanks to his active rooks and the knight on e4. He was able to realize his advantage with the following combinative sequence: 1...Bxh2+! 2 Kh1 If 2 Kxh2?, 2...Qc7+ 3 Kg1 Rxf3, which reveals the danger to which the white queen is exposed. 2...Qe7! Black has won an important pawn, at the same time opening a substantial breach in the opponent’s kingside. 3 Qh5 Bg3!! Exploiting the fact that 4 fxg3 would lose to 4...Nxg3+ and 5...Nxh5. 4 Bd3 Rf4! 5 Kg1 Rh4 6 Qf3 Rh1+! 0-1 A typical sacrifice; if 7 Kxh1, the queen reaches the h-file with check, gaining the necessary tempo to deliver checkmate on h2: 7...Qh4+ 8 Kg1 Qh2#.

Mate on g7

Black to play Bagirov – Nikolaevsky Erevan 1959 Here the pressure exerted by Black’s queen, rook and both bishops against the White’s cramped kingside is enormous. White’s position should collapse under its own weight, as it were, and of course the player with the black pieces was happy to give it a little push: 1...Rxh3+! Note that 1...Bxh3? would fail to 2 Bxg3. 2 gxh3 Be4+! Line-clearance, giving the black queen access to the h3-pawn. 3 Qg2 Or 3 Nxe4 Qxh3+, with mate on h2. 3...Qxh3+ 0-1 Mate with 4...Qxg2# follows.

White to play Øst Hansen – J. Jørgensen Danish League 1990/1 White is two pawns up, but one of them is doubled. With bishops of the same colour (i.e. moving on squares of the same colour), Black’s chances of saving the game are minimal. However, he has just allowed himself to be seduced by a mirage and attacked the bishop that is guarding the white rook. This strikes a discordant note, given White’s solid and flexible position. 1 Bxh6! Qxb6 So, Black has achieved his aim: the win of the exchange. 2 Qf7 Rg8 The only move, preventing the mate on g7. 3 Qe7! 1-0 A dominating move, placing Black in zugzwang, since his rook cannot move and his queen is unable to cover both f6 and e5 at the same time, squares which are a springboard to the mate on g7. The ‘difficult simplicity’ of the master!

Black to play Zhuravliov – Koskin USSR 1963 Attention please, all fans of the Dragon Variation! This type of combination can often arise when Black’s b-pawn has left the board. Now Black hacks his way through the tangle of pieces to the b2-square. 1...Nxf3! 2 Nxf3 Nxe4! 3 Nxe4 Rxb2+ 4 Kc1 White thinks he has reached a safe haven, but... 4...Rb1+! 5 Kxb1 Qb8+ 6 Kc1 Qb2# This mate on b2 has been included here since it can be considered comparable to similar mating combinations directed against g7.

White to play Gulko – Saidy Los Angeles 1987 It would appear that the sacrifice 1 Bxh6? wins, but after 1...f5! it turns out that White has squandered his advantage. However, Boris Gulko conducts the winning attack in an extremely natural fashion. 1 Rxd5! First he eliminates Black’s main defensive piece. 1...cxd5 Or 1...exd5 2 Bf6! (with the threat of 3 Qxh6+) 2...gxf6 (2...Kg8 3 Qg4 g6 4 Bxg6 fxg6 5 Qxg6+) 3 Qxh6+. 2 Bf6! Kg8 White was threatening 3 Qxh6+ and mate on g7. 3 Qg4 g6 4 Bxg6 1-0 4...fxg6 5 Qxg6+ and mate next move.

Black to play Donner – Gligorić Match (game 6), Eersel 1968 The position on the kingside is almost identical to the one we saw in the game Eganian-Tatevosian. There are, however, differences that substantially affect the course of play, such as the knight on e4 and the rook on e1. On the other hand, here Black can attack in a position of material equality (with a rook in reserve). So... 1...Rxf3! 2 Qxf3 2 Rg1 Raf8. 2...Bg4 3 Qf2 3 Qg2 Bf3!. 3...Bf3+! The same deflection tactic: the bishop acts as the main character in this drama. 4 Kg1 Now the king has this flight-square. 4 Qxf3 allows 4...Qxh2#. 4...Bxh2+! 0-1 White resigned in view of 5 Qxh2 Rg8+ (the rook in reserve) and 5 Kf1 Qh3+, with mate in both cases.

Black to play Liu Dede – Serper Jakarta 1994 White has already created significant threats against Black’s castled position, but it turns out that it is Black who stands to win the attacking race! White’s queenside has some serious dark-squared holes and the opposing major pieces and dark-squared bishop are able to take full advantage. Let’s see how. 1...Ra4! 2 Bd2 The rook was taboo, since 2 bxa4 would lose to 2...Qb4+ 3 Kc1 Qb2#. Neither could the bishop be captured: 2 fxe6 Rxa2, followed by mate on a1. Finally, if 2 Bb6 Black has 2...Qb4, with the threat of 3...Qa3. 2...Bb4! Exploiting the dark squares and sticking to the script. 2...cxd2 is also good. 3 bxa4 Ba3! 4 Bxc3 Rb8+! An essential zwischenzug , since 4...Qxc3?? would allow 5 Qb6!. 5 Bb5 Qxc3 0-1 But now there is no defence. This finish can be categorized as equally typical of a mating attack against g7.

Black to play Pihajlić – Gaprindashvili Yugoslav Women’s Team Ch, Nikšić 1997 Two black pieces are embedded in the white camp and the white king is already immobilized on the edge of the board. This gives Black a clear advantage but White’s own threats on the dark squares (f6) should not be discounted. Black acted decisively. 1...Bg4+! Instead, 1...Rh2+ 2 Kg3 achieves nothing. 2 Kxg2 Qd2+ The rook has been sacrificed to allow its queen to elaborate a mating sequence with the bishop. 3 Kg3 Or: 3 Kf1 Bh3+ 4 Kg1 Qg2#; 3 Kg1 Qxe1+ 4 Kh2 (4 Kg2 Bf3+ 5 Kh2 Qf2+ 6 Kh3 Qg2#) 4...Qf2+ 5 Kh1 Bf3#. 3...Qd3+! A precise check, based on the fact that is not possible to reply 4 Kxg4 on account of 4...Qf3# or 4...h5#. 4 Kg2 Or: 4 Kf2 Qf3+ 5 Kg1 Qg3+ 6 Kf1 Bh3+ 7 Ke2 Qd3+ 8 Kf2 Qf3+ 9 Kg1 Qg2#; 4 Kh2 Qh3+ 5 Kg1 Qg3+, etc. 4...Qf3+ 0-1 After 5 Kg1 Qg3+ 6 Kf1 Bh3+ we get the same mate as above.

White to play Tal – Rantanen Tallinn 1979 White’s rook on d1 is attacked, but his other rook is in its ideal position: the seventh rank. This, added to a commanding knight outpost and a wealth of open lines for his queen and bishop, persuaded the Magician of Riga to launch a combination of a very high quality indeed. 1 Nf6!! gxf6 Or: 1...Be6 2 Qh4!; 1...Bxd1 2 Qh4! h5 (or 2...h6 3 Qxh6+! gxh6 4 Rh7#, the Arabian Mate) 3 Qg5 Rb7 4 Qg6. 2 Qh4 Bg7 3 Bh6! Bxd1 In the event of 3...Rg8 there follows 4 Rxd6 Rb7 5 Bxg7+ Rxg7 6 Rxb7 Qxb7 7 Rd8+ Rg8 8 Rxg8+ Kxg8 9 Qxg4+ and White wins. 4 Bxg7+ Kg8 5 Bh8! Kxf7 6 Qxf6+ Kg8 7 Qg7# (1-0)

Mate on Adjacent Diagonals In this case the queen and bishop share the diagonals to create a lethal barrier around the enemy king. This type of mate usually takes place with the defender’s king situated in one of the corners of the board.

Black to play Wl. Schmidt – Bobras Koszalin 1999 The white king is seriously threatened by the black pieces, which are attacking the g1-square. However, it is the rook’s command of the e-file that proves decisive. 1...Re1+! 0-1 White resigned in view of 2 Bxe1 (interference) 2...Qg1# and 2 Qxe1 (deflection) 2...Qxf3#.

White to play Kotronias – Kalesis

Karditsa 1994 White is a pawn down, but is undoubtedly in command of the position: his rook controls the e-file, his queen is aggressively placed and he has a powerful pair of bishops. The finish exploits White’s chances to perfection. 1 Bh6! gxh6 Or: 1...Qf8 2 Qxd7 gxh6 3 Bxc6; 1...Qf6 2 Qxd7 Rf8 3 Bxg7+. 2 Re8+!! 1-0 An excellent move involving the themes of interference (2...Bxe8 3 Qf8#) and deflection (2...Qxe8 3 Qf6#), producing, in the latter case, the mate we are studying, in which the queen and bishop command adjacent diagonals.

White to play Khavin – Gufeld Kiev 1956 The position is ripe for a decisive finish: 1 Rxc1! Deflecting the queen from the e6-square. 1...Qxc1 2 Bxe6+ Kh8 3 Bxg7+ The sacrifice of this bishop proves to be the key to invasion. 3...Kxg7 4 Qf7+ 1-0 4...Kh8 5 Qf6#.


Black to play Kotov – Lisitsyn USSR Ch, Leningrad 1939 Black is in trouble here despite his extra pawn. In the game he played 1...Re5 and went on to lose. But what had Grandmaster Kotov planned if Black took the e4-pawn? 1...Nxe4? Now the aggressive potential of White’s minor pieces can be reinforced by the immediate incorporation of the queen into the attack. 2 Rxe4! Eliminating the black king’s best defender. White launches a direct attack, to which there is no defence. 2...Rxe4 3 Qg5 g6 4 Qf6! The key move, with a double attack on g7 (a mate threat) and f7. 4...gxf5 5 Qxf7+ Kh8 6 Qf6#

Mate on a Rank or File Since every square on the board is situated on both a rank and a file, this title requires an explanation. What we are referring to here is mate delivered by the queen, at a distance, along a rank or file, while the bishop collaborates by controlling an important diagonal.

White to play Kirillov – Suetin USSR 1961 With one small tactical shot, White will be able to highlight the fact that Black’s castled position is weak and poorly defended (the minor pieces, for example, have been left out of play on the queenside). 1 Ne6! fxe6 Forced, in view of the double threat against g7 (mate) and c7 (the queen). 2 Bxe6+ Kf8 3 Qh8# (1-0)

Black to play Onoprienko – V. Dimitrov Pardubice 1999 The white pieces are not well coordinated and Black wins quickly by sacrificing the more active of his rooks. 1...Rxh2+ 0-1 2 Kxh2 Qh6+ 3 Kg3 Qg6+ 4 Kh2 Qh5+ (with this ‘staircase’ checking manoeuvre, the black queen is able to draw ever closer to the execution square) 5 Kg3 Qg4+ 6 Kh2 Qh4#.

Black to play Serzanov – Nikitin USSR 1978 The motif that guides the combinative manoeuvre which follows is the weakness of White’s back rank, accentuated by the menacing presence of Black’s queen and h3-bishop. The finish is very instructive. 1...Nf2+! Deflection of the bishop, to gain the necessary tempo. 2 Bxf2 2 Rxf2 Qxe4+ mates. 2...Rd1+ 3 Bg1 Rxg1+! 4 Kxg1 Bd4+! A fresh deflection, justifying White’s resignation. 5 Nxd4 is met by 5...Qe1+, while 5 Kh1 Qd1+ is mate in two. The collaboration of the bishop, controlling g2, was fundamental.

Other Mates

White to play Morphy – Maurian New Orleans 1866 Black’s rooks are completely passive and his queen is the only piece protecting his king. A simple deflection allows White to suppress the enemy’s resistance. 1 Re2!! Threatening 2 Rd2. 1...Qxe2 Or 1...Qb1+ (1...Qd7 2 Rd2) 2 Kf2 c5 3 Rd2+ Ke8 4 Qxc8+, etc. In the game Black chose to give up his queen by 1...Re8 2 Rd2 Rxe3 and resigned a few moves later. 2 Qd5+ Ke8 3 Qe6+ Kd8 4 Qe7#

White to play Bilek – I. Farago Hungarian Ch, Budapest 1974 Normally such a position, with the pieces situated on equivalent squares and the same number of pawns on each wing, would be considered fairly equal. But there is one detail that converts it into a winning position for White: the black rook is undefended, or more precisely, it can be made so. 1 Bxe6! Rxd1 2 Qa8+! This zwischenzug wins the game. Once again we see that it is unwise to take for granted that the capture of a piece will entail the corresponding recapture. White is able to strike at the enemy king, thanks to the strength of his bishop. Instead, 2 Qxf7?? allows Black to defend with 2...Qe4+ 3 f3 Qe2+ 4 Kh3 Rd8. 1-0 After 2...Kh7 3 Bxf7 the mate on g8 cannot be prevented.

Black to play B. Janković – Šale Nova Gorica 1999 Black’s rook on a2, in conjunction with his queen, exerts tremendous pressure on the enemy king. Now Black is going to land the decisive blow: 1...Bd4! 0-1 White resigned, seeing 2 Nxd4 Qf2# and 2 Qe1 Rxe2! 3 Qxe2 (the queen now blocks the escape-square) 3...Qg1#.

Black to play Lisitsyn – Smyslov

USSR Ch, Moscow 1944 White’s only problem is that his king is vulnerable, so that Black is able to make a combination that starts with an exchange sacrifice to weave a mating-net with the queen and bishop. 1...Rxc4! 2 Qxc4 Or 2 gxf4 Nxf4 3 d5 exd5 4 Qxb6 d4, with a decisive advantage. 2...Ne3! A decisive ‘fork’, attacking the white queen and threatening mate on g2. White is mated after 3 fxe3 Bxe3+ 4 Kf1 Qf3+ 5 Ke1 Qf2#, so he decided to give up his queen by 3 Qf1 and resigned some moves later.

White to play Makogonov – Mikenas Tbilisi 1941 White’s command of the g-file and his strong bishop give him the advantage, although it is difficult to imagine that Black will have to resign very soon. 1 Qd7! Threatening 2 Rg8+. 1...Nxf3 Active defence. Now if 2 Rg8+? then after 2...Qxg8 3 Bxg8 Rxg8 White will have to give back the queen to prevent mate, after which he will be losing, but... 2 Rg7!

The white queen’s pressure, both on the seventh rank and on the e8-rook, makes this decisive invasion possible. Black resigned in view of 2...Qxg7 3 Qxe8+ and mate next move.

White to play Gutman – Kholmov USSR Team Ch, Riga 1975 White has the better position, since he commands more space and has the bishop-pair. Watch the diagonals! 1 Rxe7! Bxe7 2 Nxg6+! First White eliminates a good defensive piece and now destroys the black king’s pawn-cover. 2...fxg6 3 Qxg6 Threatening not only mate on f7 but also the entrance of the other bishop on h6. 3...Ne5 The only move, but... 4 Bh6+ 1-0 4...Rxh6 5 Qg8#.

White to play Smolnikov – Mitin USSR 1977 It is White to play and the finish here is obvious, as soon as the reader sees the precarious situation of the black king, where the black queen must protect the c7-square. 1 Rxc6+! bxc6 2 Ba6+! The decisive check, deflecting the black queen. 2...Qxa6 3 Qc7#

White to play Rotshtein – Katalymov

USSR 1952 Bishop and pawn embedded in Black’s castled position are a bad omen for him. But the white king is also ‘exposed to the elements’ and the black queenside pawns look unstoppable. White cannot pile up on the h6-square (for example, with 1 Qf4?) owing to 1...Qa1+, winning the rook. 1 Rxh6+! Bxh6 2 g7+! Now that was a surprise! The humble pawn opens a breach. 2...Kxg7 If 2...Bxg7, 3 Qh4+ Bh6 4 Qxh6#. 3 Qg6+ Kh8 4 Qxh6#

White to play Asendorf – M. Schneider Kleve 1999 Knowing the mating pattern in positions like this with a bishop on b6, we should be thinking right away of how pleasant it would be if we could only play Qa7+ and Qa8+, i.e. if we could transfer the queen to a7, the mate would be assured. So, can the queen reach a7 somehow? 1 Nd5! 1-0 The quickest way to open lines for the queen. Black resigned after considering the forced line 1...cxd5 (or 1...Nxd5, or 1...Nxe4) 2 Ra8+! Kxa8 3 Qa5+ Kb8 4 Qa7+ Kc8 5 Qa8#. As an irony of fate, White can announce mate on the same square on which he sacrificed his rook. The bishop on b6 said nothing – its mere presence was enough!

White to play Short – Arnason Reykjavik 1987 White has more pawns and in an ending he would not have the slightest problem winning, but the position is very dynamic, because it is very open and there are numerous open lines for the pieces. Nigel Short finds an attractive way to win. 1 Be6! Qe7 After 1...Qxe6 2 hxg7+ Kg8 3 gxf8Q++ Kxf8 4 Qh8+ Ke7 5 Rg7+ Kd6, White wins with 6 Qb8+ Kc5 7 Qa7+ Kc6 8 Qa6+, etc. 2 hxg7+ Bxg7 3 Rxg7! 1-0 Simple, but effective. 3...Qxg7 4 Qd8+ Qg8 5 Qxg8#.

White to play Pogorelov – Janocha Prague 1988 The same themes are repeated, over and over: the undeveloped queenside and the weaknesses in his castled position place Black in a critical situation, which White will undertake to highlight by means of a fresh piece sacrifice. 1 Ng5!! Threatening 2 Qxd5+! Qxd5 3 Re8#, forcing the opening of the long dark-squared diagonal. 1...fxg5 2 Qd4 Threatening mate on g7. 2...Qd7 3 Re8+! A deflection sacrifice. 3...Kf7 3...Qxe8 4 Qg7#. 4 Qg7+ Kxe8 5 Qf8#

Black to play Siaperas – W. Hook Lugano Olympiad 1968 Black’s queen and bishop, operating on the b1-h7 diagonal, dominate the scene. The white king has no squares and the conditions are so favourable to Black that he can hardly do other than terminate the struggle right away. 1...Nxf3! Line-clearance: a path to f4 is opened for the bishop. 2 Bxf3 Bf4! 3 Be3 Rxe3! 0-1 Deflection. 4 Nxe3 Bxe3 5 Qxe3 Qc2#.

White to play Wang Lin – Wang Li China 1988 It looks like an error, but it is not; a single letter differentiates the names of these two players. White has three factors in his favour: 1) he has more space; 2) the g-file; 3) Black’s castled position is weakened. These motifs suffice to launch a mating combination. 1 Bh6!! A truly masterly move. 1...gxh6 Forced. After 1...Nh5 2 Nd2, White crashes through on g7. 2 Qg2 Rec8 3 Qg7+ Ke8 4 Qxf7+ Kd8 Or 4...Kd7 5 Be6+. 5 Rg8+! Eliminating, one after another, all the protectors of the black king. 5...Nxg8 6 Qxg8+ Kd7 7 Nxe5+! dxe5 8 Qe6+ Ke8 Or 8...Kd8 9 Rd1+ Qd7 (9...Nd7 10 Qg8+ Bf8 11 Qxf8#) 10 Qxb6+ Rc7 11 Rxd7+ Kxd7 12 Qe6+ Kd8 13 Ba4. 9 Rg1! The invasion route was clear to White from the start of the manoeuvre. 9...Nd7 10 Rg8+ Nf8 11 Rxf8+! Eliminating the last obstacle. Black resigns. 11...Kxf8 12 Qf7#.

2: Mate with the Bishop

White to play Szalanczi – Vancsura Hungarian Open Ch, Budapest 1988 White commands the d-file and one of his rooks has already reached d8, which always proves menacing. White now concludes the game quickly by exploiting the weakness of the back rank and also of the long diagonal. 1 Qf7!! 1-0 Black felt obliged to resign in view of 1...Rxf7 2 Rxe8+, mating,

while 1...Qxd8 2 Bxg7# is a variation that justifies the inclusion of this example in the present category.

White to play Krasenkov – Nikolenko Polish Team Ch, Lubniewice 1994 In this case too, the rook has reached the seventh rank (f7), but White has a small problem to solve, in relation to his knight on e5 (notice the curious diamond shape formed by the four white pieces situated on c3, e5, g3 and e1) because, naturally, if it is exchanged he will lose his rook on f7. For example: 1 Nxg6? Rxe1+ 2 Qxe1 Kxf7. 1 Rxg7+! Here is the hidden key to the enemy fortifications. 1...Kxg7 2 Nxg6+ Kh6 Not 2...Kf7 on account of 3 Nh8+! Rxh8 4 Qg7#. 3 Qh4+! 1-0 3...Kxg6 4 Qg4+ Kh6 5 Bg7#.

White to play de Firmian – C. Rasmussen Copenhagen 1999 Black’s king remains uncastled, but he hopes to remedy that next move, once White has defended his knight. But time, in chess, is priceless, and at times the players forget this small detail. 1 Rb1! Qxc3 2 Qd6! Preventing castling and threatening 3 Rb8+, which would be decisive. 2...Nd5 3 Rb7 Bc8 4 Bxd5 Bxb7 5 Bxb7 Qa5 6 Bc6# (1-0)

White to play J. Horvath – G. Horvath Kecskemet 1985 Weakened black kingside and white pieces mobile and active: the position is ripe for an attack on the black king. An additional negative factor is, as so often, the fact that the black queen is a long way from the kingside. 1 Rxf7! Kxf7 2 Rf1+ Nf5 2...Ke8 allows 3 Ng7#. 3 Rxf5+! gxf5 4 Qxf5+ Kg8 5 Qg6+ Kf8 6 Qg7+ 1-0 6...Ke8 7 Nf6+! Bxf6 8 Bh5#.

Black to play Azmaiparashvili – Fedorov Elista Olympiad 1998 White thought he had all the squares around his king covered, but the pressure that Black is exerting on the h-file and the strong position of his knight on g5 allow Black to make a winning combination. 1...Rxg3+! An exchange sacrifice paving the way for the decisive invasion. 2 Kxg3 Qh3+ 3 Kf2 Nxe4+ 4 Ke1 Qc3+ 5 Kf1 Not 5 Kd1? Qd2#. 5...Nd2+ 6 Kf2 Qd4+ 7 Kg3 Qe5+ 8 Kf2 Qf4+ 9 Ke1 Nxb1 10 Qxc5 Qg3+ 0-1 White resigned in view of 11 Kf1 Nd2# and 11 Kd1 Qc3 12 Qd5 Ba4#.

8: Queen + Knight Queen and knight are natural accomplices, two pieces that don’t need to explain their secrets to each other. The peculiar nature of the knight’s move allows it to command squares that the queen has difficulty controlling, which enriches the possibilities for attacking the enemy king. In particular there is wide scope for creating mating-nets, to which the queen contributes its great power and capacity for controlling a large number of squares. The chapter is divided into: 1 : Mate with the Queen 2 : Mate with the Knight

1: Mate with the Queen Our sections here are: Mate on h7 Mate on g7 Mate on f7 Mate on g8 and g6 Mate on Other Squares

Mate on h7

White to play Gross – Zlotnik Moscow (team event) 1978 White’s four pieces are all very active, while Black’s are uncoordinated and out of play, except for the queen, which can

hardly come to the aid of its king. 1 Rxh6+! 1-0 Black is mated by 1...Kg8 2 Nf6+ gxf6 3 Qh7#, or 1...gxh6 2 Nf6, when mate on h7 cannot be prevented.

White to play Spassky – Bronstein USSR Ch, Leningrad 1960 This position appears in the second film in the James Bond series, From Russia with Love . In the first sequence we see two contenders playing for the world title, with this position on the board, except that the pawns on d4 and c5 are missing. White wins easily: 1 Qe4+ 1-0 1...g6 2 Rf7+ costs Black his queen, while he is mated in the event of 1...Kh8 2 Rxf8+! Rxf8 3 Ng6+ Kh7 4 Nxf8++ Kh8 5 Qh7#.

White to play Banikas – Koumanis Chania 1999 With his king’s position weakened by the disappearance of his h-pawn, Black faces serious problems, since the attacking power he faces is far superior to his defensive resources. 1 Ng5! Ba6 If 1...gxh6, 2 Nxe6+ wins the queen. 1...Rd8 is more resilient, although after 2 Ne4 Qd4 3 Nf6+ Kf8 4 Rh8+ Ke7 5 Rxd8 Kxd8 6 Qxg7, White wins easily. 2 Rh8+ 1-0 2...Kxh8 3 Qh4+ Kg8 4 Qh7#.

White to play K. Richter – Abramavicius Hamburg Olympiad 1930 Here the magician Kurt Richter pulls one of his multicoloured combinations out of his hat. Everything is ready for the final attack. There will be maximum activity from the white pieces and sacrifices galore! 1 Rh8+!! Bxh8 2 Rxh8+! Kxh8 3 Qh1+ Nh7 Or: 3...Kg8 4 Nf6+; 3...Kg7 4 Qh6+ Kg8 5 Nf6+. 4 Nf6 Kg7 5 Qh6+ 1-0 The continuation is obvious: 5...Kh8 6 Qxh7#.

White to play Topalov – Karpov Wijk aan Zee 1998 The position is ripe for a mate with the Q+N tandem. Topalov has no problems concluding the struggle, thanks to the launch-pad against Black’s castled position provided by the open h-file. 1 Rh8+! 1-0 1...Bxh8 2 Rxh8+! Kxh8 3 Qh2+ Kg8 4 Qh7#.

Black to play Lanka – Roth Germany 1956 The finish in this position is more difficult, although the elements and ideas are similar (a queen mate on h2, supported by the knight), but there are a series of tactical details that pose difficulties. 1...Qd5! Threatening 2...Rxh3#. 2 Rf1 If 2 Qxg4, 2...h5 3 Qh4 Bf6! 4 c4 Qc6 5 Na5 Qe4 6 Re1 Rd1! 7 Bd2 Rxa1! 8 Rxa1 Bxh4. 2...Rxh3+ 0-1 3 Kg1 Rh1+! 4 Kxh1 Qh5+ 5 Kg1 Qh2#. Thus here, the real brilliance lay in the analysis of the variations that did not appear on the board.

Mates on g7

White to play Black’s castled position lacks the g-pawn and in addition White’s queen and knights occupy ideal positions for exploiting a rook sacrifice on h7. 1 Rxh7+! Kg8 Or 1...Kxh7 2 Qh3+, etc., as in the main line. 2 Rh8+! Kxh8 3 Qh3+ Kg8 4 Qg4+ Kh7 5 Qg7# Which square in the castled position is the knight covering? That’s where the mate takes place.

Black to play T. Ernst – K. Berg

Malmö 1988 White’s attempts at active play on the queenside run into the snag that his position is ready to collapse on the other wing. Let’s see how: 1...Bxh3! 0-1 White resigned immediately, seeing 2 gxh3 Rxe3! (forking the knight on c3 and the pawn on h3), and if now 3 fxe3, then 3...Qg3+ 4 Kh1 Qg2#.

Black to play Brinck-Claussen – Rosenlund Denmark 1980 At first glance it is not obvious how Black can save his pinned knight and it therefore seems that his incursion is going to result in a fiasco. Nevertheless, and remembering the first commandment of the thriller genre (‘nothing is what it seems’), Black is about to surprise his opponent by pulling an ace out of his sleeve. 1...Rxa4! The key to the preceding play: this deflection leaves White so helpless that he must resign on the spot. Any capture of the knight is answered with 2...Rxa1+ and mate. 2 Rxa4 allows 2...Qe1#, while 2 Qxa4 Qxf2+ 3 Kh1 Ne1! creates a double threat of mate on f1 and g2.

White to play Henneberger – N. Bernstein Zurich 1934 Some of White’s pieces (rook and knight) seem to be hanging, but the pawn-structure of Black’s castled position is disrupted and altogether White’s active pieces constitute a menacing attacking formation. In the game White squandered his advantage by 1 Qg4? Bxf5 (1...Rxg4?? 2 Rc8+ mates) 2 Qxf5 Be5 and the game was later drawn. He had several strong moves at his disposal, the cleanest win being... 1 Bg7+! Rxg7 2 Rc8+ Rg8 3 Qg4! The double threat of mate (on g8 and g7) is decisive; e.g., 3...Be5 4 Qg7#.

White to play Pachman – Najert Boleslav 1941 Doubled isolated pawns in front of the king are nearly always a bad sign. In this case we also have the open g-file and, therefore, a possible invasion route. White’s knight can go to f5 (the ideal square in this type of position) and his queen is already in the attacking zone, bringing to mind a mating pattern. Those were Pachman’s thoughts, as his tactical antennae began to pick up signals from the squares g7 and f6. 1 Nf5+ Kh8 Other moves allow quicker mates: 1...Kg6 2 Qg4#; 1...Kg8 2 Qg4+ Kf8 3 Qg7#; 1...Kf8 2 Qh6+ Kg8 3 Qg7#. 2 Qh6! Threatening immediate mate on g7. 2...Rg8 3 Re8! A double deflection. 3...Qxe8 3...Rxe8 4 Qg7#. 4 Qxf6+ Rg7 5 Qxg7#

Mate on f7

Black to play Van den Doel – Adianto Bali (team event) 1999 Here, instead of automatically capturing on d8, Black played a strong zwischenzug , deciding the fate of the struggle on the spot. 1...Ne4! 2 Qc2 Other moves are worse: 2 Qe1 Ng3+ 3 hxg3 Rxe1+ 4 Kxe1 Qxb2; 2 Qf4 Rf5 3 Rb3 Qc5, and there is no defence. 2...Bd1! A typical deflection: the white queen has no squares. 3 Qxd1 Qxf2# (0-1) At times, the framework for the mate with Q+N can be based on something as simple as the mere division of labour: you deal with this and I’ll deal with that; these squares are for me and those squares for you. An implicit dialogue, one which requires no explanation, because, as we have already mentioned, these two pieces have a tacit understanding.

White to play Barcza – Zimmerman Venice 1949 It was actually Black to play here, but in order a choose an appropriate move, it is vital to see White’s main threat. So let’s suppose it is White’s turn to move... White has the queenside under tight control and neither black rook can do much at the moment. Looking at matters in that light, White has, as a minimum, two extra rooks to attack with. But he also has an excellent knight (which can go to e5) and an open diagonal for his bishop. What more could be required to demolish Black’s castled position? 1 Bxh6! gxh6 2 Rxf7! Kxf7 The acceptance is forced: the white queen was threatening mate on h7. 3 Ne5+ Kf8 4 Qh7 So simple! The queen threatens mate on both f7 and h8.

Black to play Friedman – Thornblom Stockholm 1973 It is obvious that the white king isn’t having a very happy time, but for the moment the bishop defends against any immediate threats. But is that really the case? Black would like to play ...Nh3, with checkmate on g1 or f2, but White would reply with the e3 advance, when the king can breathe again on e2. How can the question be resolved? 1...Re3! 0-1 Simple, but masterly: a splendid blockading move, which destroys all hope of salvation. White resigned since after 2 fxe3 Nh3 there is no bolt-hole. In any case the unstoppable threat is 2...Nh3.

Mate on g8 and g6

White to play R. Newman – G. Wood London 1946 The kings and the kingside pawns are placed absolutely symmetrically, but the white queen and knight duo has left the enemy king without a single square. Let’s now focus on the black rook. Is it active or passive? Is its position positive or negative? It could be described as an active piece (it is situated on an open file and inside the white camp), but its activity is questionable and it has left Black’s back rank in White’s control. 1 Nd7 Qf5 2 Nf8+! Kg8 3 Ng6+ Kh7 4 Ne7! 1-0 Now we can see that the knight checks were not to harass the black king but had a much more ambitious objective: mate on g8. Now the knights also stand symmetrically. The substantial difference in the position lies in the relative activity of the two queens; the white queen’s command of the eighth rank proves decisive.

White to play L. de la Bourdonnais Le Palamède , 1837 A typical composition by de la Bourdonnais, who liked to create positions with connected passed pawns about to queen. Such is the case here, where Black is threatening 1...Re1# and, obviously, White cannot play 1 Qxd3?? on account of 1...f1Q#. White’s position seems hopeless, but the solution is spectacular. 1 c8N+! 1 Qh7+? would be answered with 1...Kf6!. 1...Ke8 1...Kd8?! allows a simpler win by 2 Qxd3+ and 3 Qxe2. 2 Qg6+ Kf8 Black’s king is never able to go to the d-file on account of the check on d3. 3 Qf6+ Kg8 3...Ke8 4 Qe7#. 4 Ne7+ Kh7 5 Qg6+ Kh8 6 Qh6# (or 6 Qg8#). In this study we have been able to see the splendid coordination that can be achieved between queen and knight.

Mate on Other Squares

White to play It is White to play and the finish is: 1 Re8+! Decoy. 1...Kxe8 2 Qe7#

Black to play Bondarevsky – Botvinnik USSR Ch, Leningrad/Moscow 1941 Black’s knights are very strong and his rook has invaded White’s third rank. Since, in addition, the queen is aiming directly at h3, it is easy to establish that the white king’s cover

is deficient. But Bondarevsky was probably not expecting the roof to come crashing down quite so soon. 1...Rxh3+! 0-1 Black hits the nail on the head. There is no defence, since after 2 gxh3 Ndf4!, mate on h3 cannot be prevented.

White to play Schäfer – Botschek Fürth 1999 The finish here is very simple in view of the danger the black king is in, faced as it is with the absolute domination of White’s pieces. 1 Nd6+ Kg7 If 1...Kg8?, 2 Qe6+ Kg7 3 Qf7#. 2 Bh6+! 1-0 The decisive detail. Black resigned since if 2...Kxh6 he is mated by 3 Qh4+ (but not 3 Nf7+ to win the queen, which would indicate pure poverty of the spirit) 3...Kg7 4 Qxf6+ Kh6 5 Nf7+ Kh5 6 Qg5#. The queen mate on f6 with the knight on e7 is a typical one which occurs with relative frequency. Let’s see an example:

White to play Kallio – Stuk Budapest 1999 White has been stripped of most of his pawns and he cannot move his knight from f3, because of the mate in two. However, he has a fast-acting medicine for all his ills. 1 Ne7+ Kh8 2 Nxg6+! Exploiting the pin on the bishop. 2...Kg8 The main point is that 2...hxg6 loses to 3 Qxf8+ Kh7 4 Qxg7#, while 2...fxg6 also loses to the same decisive queen check on f8. 3 Ne7+ Kh8 4 Bxg7+ Kxg7 5 Qg5+ 1-0 5...Kh8 6 Qf6#. The ‘sacrifice’ of the knight opened the g-file so that White could then execute the mating mechanism with Q+N.

White to play Anand – Topalov Wijk aan Zee 1999 Black’s situation is more serious than it looks, as Anand will demonstrate with a single tricky move: 1 Qc1! 1-0 Black resigned due to 1...Rxa8 2 Qc7+ Kf8 3 Qxd6# and 1...Rd7 2 Qc8, threatening 3 Qe8#.

Black to play Platonov – Lazarev USSR 1964

Everything would be fine in the white position, were it not for just one little detail: it’s his king, which is in a dramatic situation, open to the elements on all sides. That being so, it is hardly surprising that Black has a combination that wins quickly. 1...Bc4+! Line-clearance to allow the black queen to come on stage. 2 Nxc4 No better was 2 Ke1, to which the answer would be 2...Ng2+ 3 Kd2 Bh6+ 4 Kc2 Ne3+ and wins. 2...Rh1+! Another clearance sacrifice, deflecting the knight so that the queen can reach e2. 3 Nxh1 Qg2+ 0-1 4 Ke1 Qe2#.

Black to play Koleda – Zabalov Correspondence 1983-5 The imminent promotion of the c7-pawn forces Black to stake everything on a mating attack, which he has foreseen. Once again, we should evaluate the situation on the board: the defensive forces available to the white king (R and B) cannot cope with the potential attacking forces (Q, R and N): this is the attacking ratio , to use Mikhail Tal’s term. 1...Re1+ 2 Bf1 Or 2 Kg2 Ne3+ 3 Kf3 (3 Kh3) 3...Qg4#.

2...Rxf1+! Eliminating the last obstacle. 3 Kxf1 Qd1+ 4 Kg2 Ne3+ 5 Kh3 Qh5#

White to play Sznapik – Sowizdrzal Poland 1987 An extra pawn is all Black has to compensate for his undeveloped queenside. White, in contrast, has all his pieces mobilized and they present an immediate threat to the black king, whose defences have already been weakened, although he still has his faithful squire, the dark-squared bishop. Sznapik carries out an exemplary demolition: 1 Bxg6! First stage: destruction of the barriers protecting the black king. 1...hxg6 2 Qxg6+ Kf8 2...Kh8? or 2...Bg7? allows 3 Re8+. 3 Re4! Second stage: incorporation of reinforcements into the attack. 3...a5 This looks like an irrelevance, but it is the only move, with the aim of bringing the rook to a6 to defend along its third rank. 4 Rf4 Ra6 5 Ng5 Third stage: the final assault. 5...Qe8 5...Qe7 6 Nh7+. 6 Rxf6+ Rxf6 7 Nh7+ Ke7 8 Qxf6#

Black to play Verlinsky – Levenfish USSR Ch, Moscow 1924 The activity of the black rook on g4 is important, as is the availability of the queen and the two minor pieces to besiege the white king. In particular, the power of the bishop will be a decisive factor in the combination that follows. 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Qg5+ Exploiting the pin (1). 3 Kh1 3 Kf2 Qg3+ 4 Ke2 Re8+. 3...Ne5 Exploiting the pin (2). 4 Qe2 4 Be1 Re8 5 Kh2 Nxf3+ 6 Rxf3 Re3!. 4...Qg3 Exploiting the pin (3). 5 Qg2 Nxf3 6 Bc3 6 Qxg3 is met by 6...Nxd2+! 7 Qg2 Bxg2+ 8 Kxg2 Nxf1, with a decisive advantage. 6...Nd4! An accurate discovery, which forces White to accept the sacrifice. 7 Qxb7 Qxh3+ 8 Kg1 Ne2+ 9 Kf2 Qe3+ 10 Ke1 Or 10 Kg2 Qg3+ 11 Kh1 Qh3#. 10...Nxc3# (0-1)

Grigory Levenfish (1889-1961) was little known in the West. Although born in Poland, he was one of the main chess organizers in the USSR in the 1920s and 1930s. His profession (engineer in the glassmaking industry) did not allow him to devote much time to chess and his appearances in international tournaments were few and far between. However, he won the Leningrad Championship on three occasions (1922, 1924 and 1925) and was twice Champion of the USSR (1935 and 1937). He also drew a match, in 1937, with the then rising star Mikhail Botvinnik, 5-5 with 3 draws.

2: Mate with the Knight Mate in the Opening Other Mates

Mate in the Opening First of all let’s look at an old game, where Black played very poorly. Reinle – NN Murau 1936 King’s Gambit 1 e4 e5 2 f4 f5? 3 exf5 e4? 4 Qh5+ g6 5 fxg6 h6? 6

g7+ Ke7 (D)

White to play There now follows a simple checkmate, which will allow us to familiarize ourselves with one of the basic patterns. 7 Qe5+ Kf7 8 gxh8N# While the queen covers the potential flight-squares that lie in a straight line (e8, e7, e6) and diagonally (f6, g7), the knight completes the operation, attacking g6 and f7. And now for a well-known opening trap. Italian Game 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nd4?! 4 Nxe5? Falling into the trap. The correct way is 4 Nxd4 exd4 5 0-0. 4...Qg5! 5 Nxf7? Qxg2 6 Rf1 Qxe4+ 7 Be2 Nf3# (D)

White to play A smothered mate which requires no explanation, but which is worth remembering as much to execute it (as unusual as that might be) as, especially, to avoid it.

Other Mates

Black to play Bakhramov – Gik USSR 1963 Here we have a case of optimal cooperation. White’s pieces could scarcely be more restricted, but were it not for the

tactical factors in the position, he might be able to consolidate his position. Naturally 1...Nxe4?? is not possible on account of 2 Qxf7+ and mate in two. 1...Rc2! An excellent deflection. 2 Bxc2 Ne2# The white queen is pinned.

White to play Browne – Sunye Linares 1994 With the transfer of his bishop to the long diagonal, Black seems to have solved his immediate problems (the bishop cannot be captured, because of the pin), but the American GM now finishes the game accurately and efficiently. 1 h7+! Kxh7 2 Qh6+ 1-0 2...Kg8 3 Ne7#. A similar idea was carried out in the following game.

White to play Perez – Garcia Spain 1957 In this position the white pieces are better placed and the knight, in particular, creates anxiety in the enemy camp. The advance of the f-pawn has weakened Black’s castled position, although in the combination that follows this factor has no significance, other than to offer the black king an illusory escape-route. 1 Rxd6! Eliminating at a stroke both defences of the e7-square. 1...Rxd6 2 Bxh7+! Kxh7 Or: 2...Kh8 3 Qh5; 2...Kf7 3 Qh5+ Ke6 4 Bf5+. 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Ne7#

Black to play C. Juarez – Lputian Manila Interzonal 1990 Black has a positionally winning game, with his knight installed in the advanced post at d3 and both bishop and queen eyeing the enemy king. He now eliminates White’s best defensive piece, effectively ending the game. 1...Rxd4! 0-1 A powerful exchange sacrifice. White resigned on the spot, since if 2 cxd4 then 2...Bf3!!, and after 3 gxf3 exf3 (threatening 4...Qg2#) 4 Rg1, the knight makes its presence felt with 4...Nxf2#.

White to play Pacl – Mozes Kobanya 1991 White’s set-up is much more solid and flexible than Black’s. In particular, his command of the e-file and the active positions of his queen and knight pose serious threats. Furthermore, it is his turn to move. 1 Re6! An interference sacrifice. 1...Qd8 1...Nxe6 2 Qxf6+ Kg8 3 Nh6#. 2 Re7+ 1-0 Another interference. If 2...Rxe7, 3 Qxf6+ Kg8 4 Nh6#.

White to play K. Behting – Nimzowitsch Correspondence 1912 In this correspondence game between two great Latvian players, White has achieved a good attacking position, and now demonstrates how it can be won. 1 f5! Exploiting the pin on the black queen. 1...gxf5 2 Qg3+! White has succeeded in opening up the enemy kingside. 2...Kh8 3 Qe5+ Kg8 4 Nxf5 The knight joins in the attack without any loss of time. 4...Qg5 5 Rg4!

Pinning the queen. 5...Qxg4 6 Ne7# (1-0) Or 6 Nh6#.

White to play ‘Mephisto’ – NN London 1883 This is one of the few positions recorded by history as one of the ‘exploits’ of the automaton ‘Mephisto’, a gadget which was apparently a precursor of the modern computer, but which in reality was a pure fraud. Hidden inside the supposed automaton was a professional player (most frequently Gunsberg or Taubenhaus), who delighted the public by beating everyone. Whoever was working it on this occasion, the ‘marvellous mechanical chess-player’, as it was called by its promoters, ‘saw’ here a crystal-clear combination. 1 Rxb7+! Kxb7 1...Kc8 2 Rc7+ Kb8 3 Rb3+ Qb4 4 Rxb4+ Ka8 (4...Nxb4 5 Qxa7#) 5 Rxa7+ Nxa7 6 Nc7#. 2 Rxa7+ The ‘automaton’ has sacrificed both rooks and now reaps the harvest, executing a typical mate with Q+N. 2...Nxa7 3 Qb6+ Ka8 3...Kc8 4 Qc7#. 4 Nc7# (1-0) Not bad for a ‘computer’ made of pins and pulleys!

Black to play Zhelnin – Balashov Russia Cup, Moscow 1998 The black pieces (rook on the seventh, queen and knight ready to intervene) dominate the scene. Well away from the approaching storm, the absence of the white queen casts an even greater shadow over the king’s future. GM Yuri Balashov is about to embark on a veritable hunt of the white king. 1...Rxf2! Drawing the king out into the open. 2 Kxf2 Ng4+ 3 Kg1 If 3 Kf1 then 3...Qe3, with the double threat of mate by 4...Qf2# and 4...Nh2#. 3...Qe3+ 4 Kh1 Qxg3 Threatening mate on h2; the white king must start running. 5 Kg1 Qh2+ 6 Kf1 Qh1+ 7 Ke2 Qxg2+ 8 Kd1 8 Ke1 Qf2+ 9 Kd1 Ne3#. 8...Qf1+ 0-1 After 9 Kd2 (9 Kc2 Qe2#), there is a quick mate with 9...Qf2+ 10 Kd1 Ne3#.

White to play Bosch – Matthiesen Copenhagen 1999 White has numerous trumps, promising a successful attack on the enemy king. This time the black queen is close by to comfort the king, but White just has too many attacking resources and the springboard of the half-open h-file. 1 Rxh7! Kxh7 Or 1...Nxh7 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 Ng5!, with the threat of 4 Rh1. 2 Rh1+ Nh5 3 Rxh5+! gxh5 4 Qxh5+ Kg8 5 Qg6+ Kh8 6 Ng5 1-0 If 6...Nf6 then 7 Nf7+ Qxf7 8 Qxf7, with mate in a few moves.

White to play Kuijf – F. Gallego Andorra 1986 White’s five attacking pieces constitute a great deal of firepower, and he decides to use this immediately, above all because his knight on d4 is attacked and he is resolved not to retreat. 1 Rf6!! A move that signifies both an invasion and a blockade. Acceptance of the sacrifice will disrupt the pawns protecting the black king, opening the g-file. 1...Bxf6 If 1...gxf6 then 2 Qg4, and mate on the g-file is unstoppable, while 1...cxd4 is met by 2 Rxg7+ Kxg7 3 Qxh6+ Kg8 4 Qg5+ Kh8 5 Rh6#. 2 Nxf6+! Kh8 Naturally, if the knight is captured with 2...gxf6, then once again 3 Qg4. 3 Qg4 Even better seems 3 Qg5!, exploiting the fact that 3...hxg5? loses to 4 Rh3#. 3...g5 If 3...g6 then 4 Qf4 Kg7 5 Qe5!. 4 Rh3 Kg7 5 Rxh6! A precise finish. 5...Kxh6 is answered with 6 Nf3! Rg8 7 Qh5+ Kg7 8 Qxg5+ Kf8 9 Nh7#.

Black to play

Bogoljubow – Monticelli San Remo 1930 The gods do not seem to be bringing much joy into Bogoljubow’s life (his surname means love of God ). He is stuck in a highly compromising situation: all the black pieces (including the pawn on h3) are converging on the defenceless white king, whose troops are all on the other wing. Monticelli, who won the Brilliancy Price for this game, finished off like this: 1...Ne2+!! A spectacular piece sacrifice, to clear the way for his rook. 2 Rxe2 It is clear that there is no alternative: 2 Kh2 allows 2...Qg2#. 2...Rf1+!! 3 Kxf1 The purpose of the rook sacrifice is to make the h1-square safe for the queen. 3...Qh1+ 4 Kf2 Ng4# (0-1) An excellent combination, worthy of the San Remo tournament, one of the most important of the first half of the 20th century.

9: Queen + Pawn Queen and pawn can constitute a formidable attacking force when the conditions are right for the optimal coordination between the two pieces. The support that a simple pawn can lend to the queen is fundamental in the execution of many different checkmates, above all when the pawn is situated in the heart of the enemy camp, especially on the sixth rank, acting like a wedge driven into the enemy king’s position, castled or in the centre. Let’s see some of the most characteristic mates.

White to play Zilbershtein – Dementiev Russian Ch, Grozny 1968 White does not need to bother recapturing the bishop on g2, since he can win in a single spectacular move. 1 Ne8! 1-0 The interference theme, disrupting the connection between the two black rooks and at the same time the clearance theme, vacating the f6-square for the queen. The threat is 2 Qf6+ and 3 Qg7#. 1...Nxe8 allows 2 Qxf8#, while 1...Kg8 is answered with 2 Nxc7, followed by 3 Qf6 and mate on g7.

White to play E. del Rio Undated manuscript White forces mate in six using a method that is worth learning: 1 Qe4+ Rb7 2 Qe8+ Rb8 3 Qc6+ Rb7 4 Qc8+ Rb8 The queen checks have been designed to reach this situation, enabling the following sacrifice. 5 Rxa7+! Kxa7 6 Qa6# The rook sacrifice must be made precisely when the queen can reach the a6-square, while the black rook obstructs the king’s only escape-square (b8).

White to play E. del Rio Manuscript (1787) White delivers mate as follows: 1 Qf8+ Ka7 2 Bb6+! Kxb6 3 Rxa6+! Kxa6 Or: 3...Kc7 4 Qe7+ Kc8 5 Ra8#; 3...Kb5 (3...bxa6 4 Qb8#) 4 Ra5+ Kb6 5 Qd8#. 4 Qa8+ Kb6 4...Kb5 5 Qa5#. 5 Qa5#

White to play Sokolowski – M. Kaminski Polish Team Ch, Suwalki 1999 Thanks to the strength of the pawn on f6, White can conclude the game on the spot. 1 Rg8+! Kxg8 Or 1...Rxg8 2 Qh6+ and mate next move. 2 Qg5+ 1-0 2...Kh7 and 2...Kf8 are both met by 3 Qg7#.

White to play Von Holzhausen – Tarrasch

Frankfurt (simul.) 1912 With the move ...Nf6-d7 Black has ended up fastening his own queen into a straitjacket, while moving the rook from f8 to e8 has weakened the f7-square. Let’s see how White exploited this situation. 1 Bxf7+! A decoy sacrifice, to draw out the king. 1...Kxf7 2 Ne6! White wins, since the knight cannot be captured on account of 2...Kxe6 3 Qd5+ Kf6 4 Qf5# (a mate right in the opening) and thus Black loses his queen.

Black to play Zeek – Link Flensburg 1959 It is Black to play and the circumstances are right for a quick mate: 1...Rd1+! 0-1 If 2 Qxd1 (the white queen now blocks the escape-square) then 2...Qf2#, while if 2 Kxd1 then 2...Qxf1#. In this second case, the black queen controls four vital squares (e1, e2, c1 and d1), the pawn attacks d2 and the white queen is the self-blocking piece, preventing the king’s escape.

Black to play Prié – V. Orlov Paris – St Petersburg 1986 Black can win thanks to a little combination, in which the pawn plays an interesting role. 1...c3+! 2 Kb1 2 Rxc3 Qa3+ 3 Kb1 Qa1#. 2...Ra1+! 0-1 3 Kxa1 Qa3+ 4 Kb1 Qb2#. The pawn acted as a trigger: if it were eliminated then the escape-square (c3) would be blocked, while in the game, alive, it provided the decisive support for the queen.

White to play Spielmann – Grünfeld Karlsbad 1929 Here the advanced position of the h-pawn is important, since it teams up very effectively with the queen. 1 Bxg7! Kxg7 2 Qg5+ Ng6 Or 2...Kh8 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 h6. 3 h6+ 1-0 3...Kg8 4 Qf6 with unstoppable mate on g7.

White to play Neiman – Rainfray French Team Ch 1999 White has sacrificed a piece for the attack and the black king is exposed. The problem is how to transfer the pieces quickly to the kingside. 1 Rxf7+! 1-0 Decoy, plus deflection from the defence of the knight. Black resigned in view of 1...Kxf7 2 Qxh7+ Ke6 3 Qg6+ Kxe7 4 Qf6#.

Black to play Portisch – Smyslov Amsterdam Interzonal 1964 This position is rather chaotic, with a white knight having wandered to g7 and a passed white pawn on d6. However, it is clear that the presence of the black queen (controlling the three squares to which the white king could otherwise move) and the pawn on f3, embedded in the heart of the white camp, constitute a decisive factor. 1...Nxg4! 2 hxg4 Qh4+ 3 Kg1 Qg3+ 0-1 After 4 Kh1 f2, any move by the bishop allows mate on the h-file: 5 Be2 Qh3# or 5 Bg2 Qh4+ and mate next move.

Black to play Erwich – Szekely Haarlem 1998 The white king is very exposed and the sidelining of his queen is a decisive factor, as well as the absence of White’s g-pawn and the poor coordination of the rooks. 1...Qg5+! 2 Kxh3 2 Kh1 Nf2#. 2...Rxf3+! 0-1 Removing the guard: the f3-pawn protected g4. 3 Rxf3 Qg4#.

White to play Zhang Zhong – Chua Heng Meng Asian Cities Ch, Genting Highlands 1998 The situation is ripe for the final assault. White has embedded the pawn on h6 as a dangerous wedge in Black’s kingside and the good positioning of the rest of his pieces contrasts with the passivity of Black’s forces. 1 Rxe7! 1-0 Removing the guard of the f6-square and also decoying the queen into a fork: 1...Qxe7 2 Bxc5! Qxc5 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 Qg7#. White could also have reversed the move-order with 1 Bxc5! Bxc5 2 Rb8!.

White to play Zelić – Genser Pula 1999 We have the audacious pawn on f6 controlling the g7-square within a kingside already weakened on the dark squares and without the support of any of Black’s pieces. The end is not long in coming. 1 Rxh5+! 1-0 After 1...gxh5 2 Qg5 Rg8 3 Qxh5#, we see that the black rook has blocked the king’s only escape-square, while 1...Kg8 2 Rh8+! is a typical sacrifice to force mate in two: 2...Kxh8 3 Qh6+ Kg8 4 Qg7#.

Black to play Larsen – Spassky Linares 1981 A head-to-head between two giants. Larsen has just blocked the seemingly innocuous check on e3 with his queen and now receives a nasty surprise. 1...g4+! 0-1 The first step in a decoy manoeuvre. Now 2 Kxg4 Bh5+! 3 Kxh5 Qg5# is the culmination of the manoeuvre. White’s lapse allowed a spectacular finish.

Black to play Silveira – Matsuura Brasilia 1999 The white king is situated at the limits of his camp and on the edge of the board. Red for danger... Black, who has two rooks, can allow himself the luxury of dispensing with one of them. 1...Rxa3+! 0-1 2 Kxa3 is forced, since the black queen covers b5, but then mate follows: 2...Rd3+ 3 Ka4 Qa2+ 4 Kb5 Qa6#. The queen and the b7-pawn assume the final mating responsibilities. Everything else is superfluous, except, of course, the self-blocking pawns on b4 and c5, depriving their king of both possible flight-squares.

White to play Havasi – Sacconi Folkestone Olympiad 1933 Although Black’s kingside pawns are still at their posts, the black king is suspiciously short of defensive pieces. On the other hand, the black bishop is rather out of play, while the command of the d-file exerted by the white rooks, added to the active position of White’s queen and bishop, mean that a menacing shadow is hanging over Black’s position. 1 Bf6! 1-0 Overwhelming. After 1...gxf6 2 exf6 (threatening mate on g7) 2...Rg8 3 Rd8! mate on g7 is unstoppable, while 1...Rg8 is met by 2 Qxg7+! Rxg7 3 Rd8+ Rxd8 4 Rxd8#.

White to play Betbeder – Tyroler Hamburg Olympiad 1930 Black’s king is still in the centre and the advanced post of the white rook, supported by the pawn on e6, is a bad omen. 1 Qf1! a6 Of course, the check on b5 would have been fatal. 2 Rf8+! 1-0 A characteristic manoeuvre to exploit the power of the Q+P team. 2...Bxf8 3 Qf7+ Kd8 4 Qd7#.

White to play

D. Ponziani Il giuoco incomparabile degli scacchi , 1769 This position composed by Domenico Lorenzo Ponziani (1719-96) serves to illustrate a typical mate with Q+P. The solution is: 1 Bd8+ Ka7 2 Rxa6+! bxa6 2...Kxa6 3 Qa5#. 3 Qd7+ Kb8 4 Qc7+ Ka8 5 Qc8+ Ka7 6 Bb6+! White has sacrificed two pieces to reach the foreseen mating pattern. 6...Kxb6 7 Qb8#

White to play Sämisch – Ahues Hamburg 1946 Black has won the battle for the queenside, but the war is being lost on the other wing! It looks as though 1 f6 wins on the spot, but this would be met with the reply 1...Qc5+, exchanging the queens. So White finds an appropriate plan: block the fifth rank. 1 Re5!! 1-0 Interference. 1...dxe5 allows 2 Qg7#, while 1...Bxe5 2 f6! is decisive in view of 2...Rg8 3 Bg7+ Rxg7 4 Qxg7#.

Black to play Wheeler – Hall England 1964 The pawn on b3 looks menacing, but in addition all three black major pieces occupy active positions and the bishop is unopposed on the long diagonal. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how Black can attack the white king. 1...Rc1+! Deflection. If 2 Rxc1, 2...Qxd2. 2 Qxc1 Rxa3+! Removing the guard. 3 Kb1 3 bxa3 allows 3...Qa2#. 3...Ra1+! A second rook sacrifice. 4 Kxa1 Qa8+ 5 Kb1 Qa2# We have Damiano’s Mate, to which we shall return with numerous examples in Part 4 , which is devoted to the attack against the castled position.

White to play Aagaard – P. Rasmussen Brøndby 1996 White’s command of the open file and the opportune placement of his queen mean that he can carry out a lightning attack on the enemy king. 1 Rxc7+! Kxc7 2 Re7+ It turns out to be vital that the queen attacks the b7-square, since otherwise the combination would not work. 2...Kb6 After 2...Kd8 3 Qxb7 the black king will not survive the combined power of queen and rook on the seventh rank. 3 Rxb7+ Ka5 4 b4+ Ka4 5 Qc6+ 1-0 5...Ka3 6 Qa6#. The final mating pattern features K+Q+P. The king covers the b2-square, while the rook and the rest of the pawns play no part.

White to play Kozlovskaya – Suleimanov USSR Under-18 Ch, Erevan 1969 The pawns in Black’s castled position are disrupted and this favours the launching of a combination, based on the attack on the b7- and a7-squares. 1 Rxd5! cxd5 2 c6 Bc8 3 Ba6 Ka8 Or 3...Qd8 4 Qb5+ Ka8 5 Bb7+ Kb8 6 Bxc8+ Kxc8 7 Qb7#. This theme will be repeated throughout the whole attacking sequence. 4 Nd4?! Seeking to bring fresh troops into the attack. However, this move allows Black to defend, and a better way forward was 4 Bxc8 Rxc8 5 Re1!, intending Bd4. 4...Qg5+ Not 4...exd4? 5 Bxd4, with a decisive attack on a7. 5 Kb1 Qe3? 5...Qg4? also fails to 6 Bb7+. Black can defend with 5...Bxa6! 6 Qxa6 Rb8 7 Ka1!? (7 Nb5 Qxf5+ 8 Ka1 Rxb5 9 Bd4! exd4 10 Qxb5 Qc8 11 Re1 Be7 12 Rxe7 Qb8) 7...Qd8 8 Nb5 Rxb5 9 Qxb5 Qb8 10 Qxd5 Be7, though White retains somewhat the better chances. 6 Bb7+ Kb8 6...Bxb7 fails to 7 cxb7+ Kxb7 8 Qb5+ (or 8 Qc6+), winning the rook on e8 with check. 7 Rd1 Be7 8 Qb5 1-0 There is no defence against 9 Bxc8+ Kxc8 10 Qb7+ Kd8 11


White to play Przepiorka – L. Steiner Debrecen 1925 The black artillery is directed against the queenside and his knight is little more than a parasite, which leaves his bishop as the only piece able to defend his king. Although the black queen has a direct route to e8, in reality all the squares along the diagonal (c6, d7 and e8) are in enemy hands. Meanwhile, what’s happening with the white pieces? They all constitute a threat to the black king and the open file is especially dangerous. How should the attacking side proceed? 1 Bxf5! gxf5 2 Qxf5 Rb8 The time needed to retreat this rook is key to the effectiveness of White’s attack. 3 Re7 Rf8 4 Rxg7+!! Removing the guard. 4...Kxg7 5 Bh6+!! Black’s king can only choose the square on which it will perish. 5...Kxh6 5...Kg8 6 Qxf8#. 6 Qg5# (1-0)

Black to play Redely – Baraty Budapest 1962 The black rooks are splendidly positioned to attack, but White, with an extra bishop and a fearsome passed pawn on f6, seems in no danger. However, this assessment proves to be erroneous, as we shall soon see. 1...Ra1+! A far-from-obvious rook sacrifice, which is based on a double attack. 2 Bxa1 Qa4! Setting up the double threat, against c2 and a1, with mate in both cases! 3 Qg8+ The only move to try to weather the storm. 3...Kb7 4 Qb3 Qxa1+ 5 Qb1 Rxc2+! Now this is a real surprise! A sacrifice made possible only thanks to the strength of a unit that seemed to be taking no part in the struggle: the pawn on b4. 6 Kxc2 Qc3# Now we shall examine a number of examples where the king is mated on the edge of the board.

White to play Pillsbury – Tarrasch Hastings 1895 Here we have one of those cases where the classic examples are simply irreplaceable, and we shall soon see why. In this game two of the greats of the time are playing in one of the strongest tournaments of the late 19th century. It could be said that Black has a won game on the queenside. But since Black’s king is seriously exposed, it would be frivolous to claim anything more. Thus Pillsbury (who would go on to win this great tournament) prepares to demonstrate that the game is in fact won for White. 1 Qg3+!! Kxh6 There is no alternative. If 1...Kf8 (1...Kh8? 2 Qg8#), 2 Qg8+ Ke7 3 Qxb3. 2 Kh1! Since the black king is imprisoned on the edge of the board, White has calculated that he can create a mating-net with Kh1 and Rg1. 2...Qd5 This is the only move: Black’s rook and knight are completely inoperative. 3 Rg1 Qxf5 Tarrasch prepares to sacrifice his queen, perhaps relying on his queenside pawns to save him. 4 Qh4+ Qh5 5 Qf4+ Qg5 6 Rxg5 fxg5 As can easily be verified, this whole manoeuvre has been

absolutely forced. 7 Qd6+ Kh5 If the king retreats to its second rank, the queen captures the knight with check. 8 Qxd7 c2 White was threatening 9 Qf7+, winning the rook... 9 Qxh7# (1-0) But he was also threatening this mate, in which the contribution of the h3-pawn, controlling the g4-square, played a vital role.

White to play Shantharam – Kaidanov Gausdal 1991 This example has in common with the previous one the sacrifice of a knight, following a check by the queen to confine the black king on the edge of the board, but the follow-up is different. The remote location of Black’s queen and the weaknesses in his kingside structure place his king in danger, but the way in which White carries out the decisive attack is instructive. 1 Qxf7+! The immediate 1 Rxc5! is also winning, as 1...Bxc5 allows 2 Qxf7+ Kh8 3 Qxf6#. 1...Kxh6 After 1...Kh8, White must avoid 2 Rxc5? (threatening 3 Rxc6 and 3 Rh5) in view of 2...Rf8!. He can keep a large advantage

with 2 Qxe6. 2 Rxc5!! Deflection. In the game, White played 2 g4? Rf8! 3 g5+ fxg5 4 fxg5+ Bxg5 5 Qxf8+ Qxf8 6 Rxf8 Nd4!?, with an unclear ending that he went on to lose. 2...f5 Or 2...Rd5 3 Rxd5 exd5 4 Nh4, while 2...Bxc5 runs into 3 Qxf6+ Kh5 4 Qg5#, a theme running through the whole combination. 3 g4! Rg8 4 Rf3!! Rd1+ 5 Kf2 Rxg4 6 Rh3+ Bh4+ 7 Rxh4+ Rxh4 8 Qf6+ Kh5 9 Qg5#

White to play Rossolimo – Romanenko Bad Gastein 1948 Black’s lack of development is striking, and accentuated by the fact that the pawn on d6 has locked his queenside pieces in a cage. Thus a magician of combination such as Nicolas Rossolimo can sense that there is a finish in the air... 1 Re8+! Kxe8 2 Qe2+ Kf8 3 Be7+ Ke8 3...Nxe7 4 Qxe7+ Kg8 5 Ng5, followed by mate on f7. 4 Bd8+! A fresh and brilliant sacrifice of material. 4...Kxd8 5 Ng5! The only possible defence of f7 is... 5...Nh6 ...but then comes:

6 Qe7# (1-0)

Black to play Bakulin – Bronstein USSR Ch, Kiev 1964/5 Here Grandmaster Bronstein could have won the exchange and the game comfortably with 1...Ba5, but preferred to present the world of chess with a glittering combination. 1...Bd3! Deflection plus line-clearance: the g-file and the g1-a7 diagonal, plus the explosive potential of the e-pawn... 2 Qxd3 Rg1+!! A lethal decoy. 3 Kxg1 e2+ 4 Ne3 There is nothing to be done. 4 Kh1 is met by 4...Qf2! 5 Qf5+ Kb8 6 Qxh3 Rg8. 4...Rxe3 5 Qf5+ Re6+ Blocking the check with another decisive discovered check. 6 Kh1 Qf2! 0-1 There would follow 7 Qxh3 Qxe1+ 8 Kg2 Qf1+, etc.

White to play Krejcik – Meitner Vienna 1909 A curious position. Black is the exchange up and has a passed pawn on e3. His bishop on d5 blockades the d4-pawn, thus blocking the long dark-squared diagonal, and is a strong piece. The only unstable factor is his king, but we shall not know how important this is until White, to move, shows us... 1 hxg5+ The natural attacking move seems to be 1 Bg3, with the idea of 2 Be5+, but after 1...Kg7 Black consolidates his position, with a clear advantage. 1...Kxg5? An error. 1...Kg7 was preferable, and after 2 f6+ Kg8 it would take White several moves before he could create threats, and in the meantime Black could strengthen his king’s defences. 2 Bh4+!! But, naturally, this is an extraordinary and unforeseeable move. Who would have thought that the black king will now suffer relentless persecution? 2...Kxh4 3 Qe1+ Kg5 4 Qxe3+ Kf6 Or 4...Kh4 5 Qh6+ Kg3 6 Qh2#. 5 Qh6+ Ke7 6 f6+ Kd6 7 Qf4+ Kc6 8 Qc1+ The white queen rules the board. 8...Kb5 Or: 8...Kd6 9 Qc5#; 8...Kb6 9 Qc5#. 9 Qc5+ Ka4 10 Qb4#

The queen has finally returned to her own wing, where she has driven the black king in order to deliver mate. It is said that the fact that the replies to the queen checks were all forced detracts from the merit of this combination, but the author believes that it is worth life-long remembrance.

10: Rook + Rook In this chapter we shall study the tactical coordination of a pair of rooks, operating like two cannons of tremendous mobility and firepower, mowing down anything in their path. Their tactical effectiveness also has a lot to do with the possibility of their being doubled on a rank or a file. The material is organized as follows: 1 : On Adjacent Ranks or Files 2 : One on a Rank and One on a File 3 : Doubled on a Rank 4 : Doubled on a File

1: On Adjacent Ranks or Files

White to play Soultanbéieff – Borodin Belgian Ch, Brussels 1943 The pin on the f3-rook grants Black certain hopes, since his bishop covers the possible mate on g7, but one subtle white move dashes any such dreams. 1 Rg2! 1-0 Black cannot parry the threat of 2 Qxh7+ followed by 3 Rh3#, since the black queen is unable to abandon the back rank (if 1...Qxf3 then 2 Qxf8#).

White to play

N. Popov – Novopashin Beltsy 1979 This position contains more than meets the eye at first glance. Three minor pieces for two rooks and a pawn is a very unusual material balance. On the other hand, the position is very open and both kingsides have been weakened. In any case, what is certain is that the situation is more explosive than it seems and White (to move) is able to conclude the game, thanks to the power of his rooks. 1 Qh6+!! 1-0 With impunity! A sacrifice which forces immediate resignation. 1...Kxh6 allows 2 Rh8# (for this mating pattern the rook and the pawn on h4 suffice), while 1...gxh6 2 Rxb7+ gives rise to the mate that we are studying, although Black can interpose (futilely) as many as three pieces on his second rank. The white rooks have swept the position, as if it were the apocalypse.

White to play Spangenberg – Relange World Junior Ch, Matinhos 1994 The remote location of the black queen is incompatible with the presence of the three white major pieces on the kingside. The young Argentinean player Hugo Spangenberg forced his opponent’s resignation with a single move (but one that required a large dose of calculation). 1 Qg5! 1-0

The pressure of the major pieces on the black king is too much to bear. Black resigned since 1...Rg8 is met by 2 Qxf6! gxf6 3 Rxh6#, while after 1...Rf7 2 Rxh6+ Kg8 (2...gxh6 3 Qxh6+ Rh7 4 Qf6+ and mate next move) 3 Qh4, the threat of 4 Rh8# is unstoppable.

White to play Pillsbury – Marco Paris 1900 White has been left almost without any pawns, while Black has four for the exchange. However, the deployment of all the white artillery on the kingside files conjures up combinative possibilities. And if we are talking about imagination, this was not a quality in which Pillsbury was exactly lacking. 1 Qh6! Threatening 2 Qg7# and 2 Qf6#, but also there is another veiled threat. 1...Qxe5 2 Qxh7+! Kxh7 3 Kg2# (1-0) Mate with the rooks on the adjacent g- and h-files.

White to play Polugaevsky – Szilagyi Moscow 1960 The rook on g1 keeps Black’s king confined on the edge of the board, so it can be safely assumed that he is in serious danger. The mating pattern quickly suggests itself; if White could transfer his d7-rook to the h-file it would be all over. But with his offer to exchange rooks, Black poses a small problem, since if White plays 1 Rdg7?, Black perhaps could save himself with 1...Rd1+! 2 Rxd1 Kxg7, and although Black has the worse ending, a lot of play remains. The solution, however, is simple and elegant at the same time. 1 Bf8+! Deflecting the rook. 1...Rxf8 Forced, since 1...Kh5 allows 2 Rxh7#. 2 Rd3! 1-0 Now the threat of 3 Rh3# is unstoppable.

White to play Kramer – Rüster Altheide 1926 This position is a good example of the power of doubled rooks on a half-open file, especially in the vicinity of the enemy king. Notice the precision with which White exploits the power of his major pieces. 1 Bxc5! Clearing the c1-h6 diagonal for the queen, as well as deflecting the enemy queen from the seventh rank. 1...Qxc5 2 Be6 Soon we shall appreciate the venom that this move contains. 2...Re7? Black should give up an exchange with 2...Raf8, when it will be hard work for White to create winning chances. 3 Qh6! This move is possible thanks to the bishop; the queen is taboo, because the g8-square would be attacked three times. 3...Rg8 Or: 3...gxh6 4 Rg8+ Rxg8 5 Rxg8#; 3...Rxe6 4 Qxg7#. 4 Qxh7+! The whole attack seemed to be directed against points on the g-file, but now White concludes his offensive on the h-file. 4...Kxh7 5 Rh3#

White to play Fridshtein – Aronin Moscow 1949 A very instructive position. There is an approximate material balance, but White has numerous troops attacking the enemy king, and now demonstrates the superiority of his position with an effective sequence. 1 Bh5++! Kh7 The rook cannot be taken: 1...Kxf5 2 Bg6#. 2 Bg6+ Kg8 If 2...Kh8 (or 2...Kg7), 3 Bd4!. 3 Rxf6! Qxe3 4 Bf7++! The bishop continues to advance in steps; this one is a double check. 4...Kf8 Or 4...Kh7 5 Bg8+ Kh8 6 Rxh6#. 5 Be6+ Ke7 6 Rf7+ 1-0 Black resigned since it is mate in two more moves: 6...Kd8 (or 6...Ke8) 7 Rg8+ Bf8 8 Rgxf8#.

White to play Spassky – Smyslov Bucharest 1953 With his participation in this tournament at the age of sixteen, Boris Spassky made his debut on the international scene. He became World Junior Champion two years later (Antwerp 1955) and World Champion in 1969, defeating Petrosian at the second attempt. Here Black has embedded a bishop on g2, protected by the pawn on h3, but it is isolated and unable to create any danger to White’s king, whereas all White’s pieces are dynamic, even the pawns on e5 and d6, which create the possibility of a short-circuit in the black position. 1 Nxg7! A brilliant sacrifice, which cannot be accepted: 1...Kxg7 2 Rg3+ Kf8 (if the king goes to the h-file, White plays 3 Rh4+, followed by mate) 3 Rxf7+!, and now 3...Kxf7 4 Qf4+ or 3...Qxf7 4 Qh6+!, forcing mate. 1...Rxd6 Black relies on the threat against the rook on e3. 2 Nxe6! Rxd2 3 Rg3+ 1-0 3...Kh7 and 3...Kh8 are both met by 4 Rh4#.

Black to play Arizmendi – Anand Villarrobledo rapidplay 1998 From a theoretical point of view, the material is balanced, but since it is Black’s move and his doubled rooks command the seventh rank, the game is tilted steeply in his favour. 1...Rxg2+ 2 Kh1 Rh2+ 3 Kg1 Rcg2+ This whole manoeuvre is designed to reach the optimal position, although in fact 3...Rhd2 would also win. 4 Kf1 Rd2! 0-1 As well as attacking the queen, Black is threatening mate on d1 and h1.

2: One on a Rank and One on a File

Black to play C. Barry – Rossolimo New York 1975 It is Black to move and the great Rossolimo makes it look very easy: 1...Qd5+ 2 f3 Qxf3+! 0-1 3 Rxf3 Rxe1+ 4 Rf1 Rxf1#.

Black to play Varjomaa – Linqvist Sweden 1980 Black commands the open g-file and is also looking to make

use of his b3-rook to make life unpleasant for the white king. There is an irrefutable attacking sequence which highlights the weaknesses of White’s position. 1...Rd3! 2 Bxe5+ Obviously, the rook cannot be captured because of the mate on g2. 2...dxe5 3 Qb2 Now it is the white rook on d1 which cannot be captured, since if 3...Rxd1? then 4 Qxe5+ Rg7 (4...Qg7 5 Qxg7+ Kxg7 6 Rxd1 and the ending is won for White) 5 Qe8+ Rg8 6 Qe5+ with a draw by perpetual check. 3...Qf3+! The key deflection. White resigned in view of 4 Rxf3 Rxd1+ and mate next move.

3: Doubled on a Rank

White to play This is a typical position which, with variations on the same theme, occurs quite frequently in practice. The key is the availability of the rooks to penetrate along an open file. 1 Qxf7+! Exploiting the weakness of Black’s back rank and the rook’s ability to invade. 1...Rxf7 2 Rd8+ Rf8 3 Rdxf8# Or 3 Rfxf8#. Is there anyone who has not won (and lost) a quick game at

least once with this simple combination?

White to play Alekhine – Colle Paris 1925 The black major pieces are concentrating their efforts on holding up the enemy passed pawn. But meanwhile something strange has happened: there are four pieces of the same side occupying the last four squares on the g-file, that is to say, there is a sort of traffic jam. Since the white rooks command open files, Alekhine sets his machinery of destruction in motion. 1 Qxd7! To weaken Black’s back rank completely. 1...Rxd7 2 Re8+ But not 2 Rc8+? because of 2...Rd8. 2...Kh7 3 Rcc8 It’s all over. To prevent the mate, Black would have to sacrifice his queen on g3, c1 or d8, remaining a rook down. 3...Rd8 4 Rexd8 1-0

4: Doubled on a File

Black to play Hakki – Elgabry Cairo 1999 It is Black to play and it would be hard to find a clearer demonstration of two rooks exploiting their combined strength. 1...Qxa3+! 0-1 2 bxa3 Rxb1+ 3 Ka2 R8b2#.

Black to play Portisch – Hübner Bugojno 1978 The white king is exposed to all the storms of the board. With

one enemy rook situated on the same file as the king and the other rook on h3, the omens for White’s survival are very unfavourable. 1...Ne4+! 2 fxe4 2 Ke1 Nxg3. 2...fxe4+ 3 Ke1 Qxg3+! 0-1 4 Rxg3 Rh1+ 5 Bf1 Rhxf1+ 6 Ke2 R7f2#.

Black to play Kluger – Szilagyi Hungarian Ch, Budapest 1965 The three black major pieces and the bishop are aiming straight at White’s castled position, weakened by the advance of the f- and h- pawns. That is too much artillery for there not to be a winning combination. 1...Rxf3! 1...Rxh3+! 2 gxh3 Qxf3+ is also strong. 2 Qxf2? 2 gxf3? Bxf3+ 3 Bg2 Rxh3#. 2 Nd5 is more resilient. 2...Rfxh3+! 0-1 Exploiting the pin that the bishop exerts on the g-pawn. White resigned in view of 3 Kg1 Rh1#.

White to play Olland – Rüster Correspondence 1932 At first sight one might think that Black has everything well defended and that, in the long run, he might be able to make his passed pawns on a6 and e4 count. But as soon as we look more closely, worrying elements emerge: the black bishop out of play, the menacing white knight, the g-file dominated by the white rooks (leaving the black king unable to move)... 1 Nf8! 1-0 An interference sacrifice and a double attack: a threat of mate on g8 and an attack on the black queen. Black resigned in view of: 1...Qf7 The only move, since 1...Qxf8 allows 2 Rg8+! Qxg8 3 Qf6+ and mate next move, while 1...Rxf8 2 Rg8+! Rxg8 3 Qxf6+ also leads to mate next move. 2 Qf6+! Now there is no defence. 2...Qxf6 3 Rg8# In all these variations we have been able to see the great power that a pair of rooks can generate if they manage to gain control of an open file.

White to play Znosko-Borovsky – NN Manchester 1934 The black bishop is pinned on the back rank and all the rest of White’s pieces are converging on one point: the black king. The following combination, which moves entirely along straight lines, is a good illustration of the attacking power of the major pieces, when well coordinated. 1 Bxh7+! A surprising sacrifice and one which demands that the reader calculate it. 1...Rxh7 The defence of someone resigned to his fate. But 1...Kh8 would also lose, to 2 Bg6+ Rh7 3 Rxf8+ Rxf8 4 Qxh7#. 2 Qg6+ Rhg7 Or: 2...Qg7 3 Rxf7; 2...Rfg7 3 Rfxf8#. 3 Rxf7! Rxg6 4 Raxf8#

11: Rook + Bishop The conjunction of geometrical forces such as those of the rook and the bishop, with their great mobility (and therefore attacking power) along different straight lines (ranks and files in one case; diagonals in the another) shows up most clearly in open positions. The distances separating these pieces from their targets does not matter, precisely because of their agility. 1 : Mate with the Rook 2 : Mate with the Bishop

1: Mate with the Rook

We subdivide the material further, as follows: Mate on the Back Rank Mating the Castled King Mate on the Edge of the Board

Mate on the Back Rank The motif of such mates is a king still stuck in the centre or not properly castled. This theme will be developed, more fully, in Part 4 , ‘Target: the Castled King’, but not with the clarity that we shall see here, where all the combinations end in a mate by the R+B tandem.

White to play Marciano – Prié French Ch, Narbonne 1997 In this case it is clear that the black king’s delay in leaving the centre might have dramatic consequences, and that is indeed the case. The finish is immediate and simple. 1 Qxc6+! 1-0 1...Rxc6 2 Rd8#. This is one of the most characteristic mates of the R+B tandem. A similar idea, associated with the devastating power of double check, can be seen in the following position.


White to play Maczuski – Von Kolisch Paris 1864 One move more and Black, after castling, would have consolidated his position. But his king has lagged behind in the centre while his pieces were hunting pawns and now the punishment is immediate. 1 Qd8+!! A typical combination, of which there are numerous cases in tournament practice: this is a decoy which leaves the black king without a future. 1...Kxd8 2 Bg5++! The lethal double check. 2...Ke8 3 Rd8# (1-0) A mating pattern which is worth memorizing and storing in a special mental file. Réti – Tartakower Vienna (offhand game) 1910 Caro-Kann Defence 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nf6 5 Qd3 e5 6 dxe5 Qa5+ 7 Bd2 Qxe5 8 0-0-0! Nxe4? (D)

White to play The only important difference from the previous position is that here Black has no pawn on c7 (which gives his king a potential escape-square). Here too Tartakower had given in to the temptation to grab

material on e4 (be suspicious of this!), naturally because he overlooked the possibility of the mate on d8. 9 Qd8+!! Kxd8 10 Bg5++ Now there are two possible mates: one with the rook (10...Ke8 11 Rd8#) and another with the bishop, even more spectacular: 10...Kc7 This extra flight-square turns out not to help. 11 Bd8# (1-0) Mates à la carte ! This variation with the bishop mate enriches the combination compared to the previous one. It is worth pointing out that both of the losing players in these last two games were reputable masters. How is that possible? The fact is that lack of concentration is a malady that affects us all equally, whether we are masters, strong amateurs or average club players.

White to play Morphy – Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard Paris 1859 This is the critical position of a famous consultation game played at the Paris Opera. It illustrates the mate by a rook in the centre of the board, following a combinative manoeuvre which is at the same time expeditious and elegant. 1 Rxd7! Rxd7 2 Rd1 Qe6 There is not a great deal of choice. 3 Bxd7+ Nxd7 4 Qb8+!! Very spectacular: the queen sacrifice deflects the knight,

opening the way for mate with the rook. 4...Nxb8 5 Rd8# (1-0)

White to play Tarrasch – Von Scheve Breslau 1879 From this position we shall see a mate similar to the previous one, but simpler in execution, in which the Praeceptor Germaniae , as Tarrasch was later to become known, exploited his enormous advantage in development, with great disregard for material. 1 Qxd7+! Rxd7 2 Rc8+ Rd8 3 Bb5# Played twenty years after Morphy’s game, this combination lacked some of the surprise value, but it should definitely stimulate us to memorize the pattern, in case the opportunity presents itself.

Black to play Larsen – Ljubojević Milan 1975 Black is a rook down and, as if this misfortune were not enough, he has two pieces under attack. However, he has something that White doesn’t have: it’s Black’s turn to move! 1...Qf2! 0-1 Suddenly White finds that he is defenceless, owing to the weakness of his back rank and the threat of mate on g2. 2 Rg1 is met by 2...Qxg2+! 3 Rxg2 Rc1+ and mate next move, and 2 Rxf2 Rc1+ is a simple back-rank mate.

White to play Gligorić – Rozenstein Chicago 1963 The disposition of Black’s pieces could scarcely be more unfortunate. You would say that each piece has moved just as and where it could: there is no coordination but a great deal of passivity. The rooks have still not come into play and the king is unable to castle. As if this weren’t enough, there is an enormous hole on e6, although as it happens White will not even need to make use of it. 1 Qxe7+!! An excellent sacrifice, which immediately breaks the enemy’s resistance. 1...Qxe7 2 Bd6 Deflection. 2...Qxd6 3 Re8# Definitely an elegant combination.

White to play Panfilov – Novochenin USSR 1975 Black has already managed to have two queens on the board, but at the same time his king is doomed. The sequence which follows is unstoppable. 1 Qh6+! gxh6 2 Rxf6+ Kg7 2...Kh5 3 Rxh6#. 3 Bxh6+ Kg8 4 Rf8#

White to play Richardson – Delmar New York 1887 Black’s king appears to be castled, but it is a mirage: the king’s rook still stands on its initial square. There is nothing protecting the back rank, because the lack of development of his queenside pieces sticks out like a sore thumb. White will highlight all of this with the combination that follows. 1 Nf6+! Not only forking the king and queen, but forcing Black to capture, since his king is unable to move. 1...gxf6 2 Qf8+!! A spectacular queen sacrifice, preparing mate in two: 2...Kxf8 3 Bh6+ Kg8 4 Re8#

Black to play Seitz – Rellstab Bad Pyrmont 1933 Black’s position seems, at first sight, desperate: how can he prevent the mate on g7? But the combination foreseen by Black was surely based on imagining that if the rook were on d1 instead of the bishop, it would be mate. From there, ingenuity did the rest. 1...Qh1+!! An excellent decoy sacrifice, drawing the white king into a lethal check. 2 Kxh1 Bf3+ 3 Kg1 Rd1+ and mate next move.

White to play Kurajica – Zelčić Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999 Bojan Kurajica was crowned World Junior Champion in Barcelona (1965) and 34 years later it was clear that he hadn’t forgotten how to play or make combinations. We knew this grandmaster as a Yugoslav player, until the dismemberment of his country made us aware that he was a Bosnian. He studied philology and at one time combined chess with weightlifting. 1 Bxg5 is not decisive, in view of 1...Bxg5 2 Qxg5+ Kf8. Although it might seem a rather abstract notion at the moment, the key square in this position is e7, as we shall see. 1 Re5! The threat could not be more direct: 2 Rxg5+ Bxg5 3 Qxg5# or 2 Qxg5+ Bxg5 3 Rxg5#. 1...Bd3 To block on g6. It was not possible to play 1...Bxe5, because of 2 Qxg5+ and mate next move. 2 Qxg5+!! 1-0 A big surprise. 2...Bxg5 3 Rxg5+ Bg6 4 Ne7+! (the key deflection) 4...Qxe7 5 Rxc8+ and mate.

Black to play Bungan – Crowl Sydney 1933 The white king is caught in a mating-net. Black’s plan is very simple: ...Rxh2 and ...Rh1#. Well now, after (or before?) imagination and fantasy comes the factor of concentration. If Black were to give in to his first impulse and play 1...Rxh2??, he would be met with White’s nasty reply 2 Qxf8+! Kxf8 3 Re8#. 1...Qc4+!! After the bishop is deflected from the e8-square, White’s counter-mate will no longer be possible. 2 Bxc4 Now Black can carry out his plan. 2...Rxh2 0-1 There is no defence against 3...Rh1#. As a curiosity, it is worth noting that in this final position there is a sort of ‘help-mate’ (a type of chess problem) by sacrificing the queen: 3 Qxf8+??! Kxf8 4 Be7+, and if Black thinks that anything will do and plays 4...Ke8??, then comes 5 Bb5#. Naturally, Black should play 4...Kg8 and the sacrifice of the queen would then have been in vain.

White to play G. Kuzmin – Eingorn Berlin 1997 At first sight the black position looks good, with his major pieces dominating the second rank. Nevertheless, White has conquered a lot of ground and exerts strong pressure on the f7-square. How can this be turned into something concrete? 1 Nxf7! Nxf7 Or 1...Rxf7 2 Qxd8+ Bxd8 3 Rxd8+ Rf8 4 Rdxf8#. This variation is indicative of the danger that threatens Black. 2 Rxf7! 1-0 2...Rxf7 3 Qd8+! Bxd8 4 Rxd8+ Rf8 5 Bd5+ (a piece that appeared to be unavailable makes the decisive contribution to the attack) 5...Kh8 6 Rxf8#.

Mating the Castled King

White to play Oral – Dworakowska Koszalin 1999 Both kings are exposed, but the white pieces are better coordinated and ready for decisive action. Notice that the pawn on f6 creates a focus of danger, although in the combination that follows it plays no part. 1 Qxf8+! 1-0 1...Kxf8 2 Bh6+ Kg8 3 Re8#.

White to play Duras – Olland

Karlsbad 1907 Great danger haunts the black king, in view of the shortage of defensive pieces available. 1 Bf8+! It is surprising that the great master Duras did not play this discovered check, as it forces mate in elegant style. He instead chose 1 Nf4 and won in simple fashion. 1...Bh5 Ah, did Black have this defence? 2 Qxh5+! gxh5 3 Rh6#

White to play Santasiere – Adams USA 1926 A case of the kingside weakened by doubled isolated pawns on the f-file, depriving the black king of the protection of his g-pawn. The presence of white major pieces in the neighbourhood prophesies a rapid armed intervention. 1 Qxh7+!! Eliminating the black king’s only cover on the h-file. 1...Kxh7 2 Rh5+ Kg7 3 Bh6+! 1-0 The bishop comes into play and it is certainly not a token appearance. Black’s king is forced to return to the fatal file, where it will perish. After 3...Kh7 or 3...Kh8, White plays 4 Bf8#. This combination juggles with the same theme as the previous example, Duras-Olland.

White to play Bloemhard – Wolbers Dieren 1999 When a bishop commands the long diagonal that ends in the opponent’s kingside castled position (g7-h8 for Black, g2-h1 for White), events can take a dramatic turn and the defender will need to take the utmost care not to allow an opposing major piece to attack him along the h-file. Such is the case here, where White can allow himself the luxury of concluding the game using only the three pieces he has in play. 1 Qh5!! The threat could not be more direct: mate on h7. The queen is taboo, since 1...gxh5 2 Rg3+ leads to mate next move. 1...Bh4 The desperate and only move, trying to confuse the opponent. 2 Qxh7+! But not 2 Rxh4?? because of 2...gxh5. Logically, 2 Qxh4 would also suffice, winning a piece. 1-0 Black resigned in view of 2...Kxh7 3 Rxh4+ Kg8 4 Rh8#.

White to play Ravinsky – Petriaev USSR 1962 A bishop’s command of the long diagonal is, as in the previous case, the factor which motivates this combination. From the attacker’s point of view there are two negative elements: the white queen is menaced by the bishop on e7 and the long diagonal is obstructed by the rook on e5, and one positive (the white bishop on d3, which allows a key move). 1 Qxh7+! Kxh7 2 Rh5+! The rook’s impunity is guaranteed by the bishop on d3. 2...Kg8 3 Rh8#

White to play Schweber – Quinteros Buenos Aires 1968 This position presents different aspects of the theme of mate on the long diagonal. As in other cases, the lack of a black pawn on the h-file proves crucial, but the combinative sequence contains two original elements. 1 Nd5! This clears c3 for the bishop with gain of time, since the knight threatens a deadly check on e7. 1...exd5 Forced in view of 1...Rfe8 2 Rh3 and 1...Bxd5 2 Rh3 Bxa2+ 3 Kxa2 Qg7 4 Bc3 e5 5 Bxe5. 2 Rh3! Qg7 3 Bc3! The unexpected and original element: White can allow the exchange of queens, since in that case mate would still be unavoidable. 3...d4 4 Bxd4 1-0 Matem habemus .

Black to play Grishchuk – Cherniaev Biel 1999 White’s prospects are looking good, with his attack on the queen appearing to grant him a decisive gain of material. But the position reveals that the white king is exposed: there are half-open files in front of his castled position and only the rook

in defence. What did Black come up with here? 1...Qxg3!! 0-1 White resigned immediately since 2 hxg3 is met by an important preparatory move, 2...Be3!, when the mate on the h-file is unavoidable. Or if 2 Qxd2, Black starts up his attacking machinery, with an extra rook: 2...Rh8 3 h3 Nf6, etc.

Black to play Cevallos – Möhring Tel-Aviv Olympiad 1964 We have the same idea in this position, in which Black sacrifices a rook to create a precise mating-net. 1...Rh1+! 0-1 Deflection (and decoy) of the king. 2 Kxh1 allows the extremely strong capture 2...Bxf2, when the threat of mate on the h-file is unstoppable.

White to play Rõtov – Malevinsky USSR 1969 An open h-file controlled by White’s major pieces: surely the sentence is about to be announced. Yet how exactly does White win? It proves significant that the bishop on b3 is aiming at f7 along an empty diagonal. 1 Bf6! 1-0 The bishop is immune from capture, because of 1...Bxf6 2 Qh7+ Kf8 3 Qxf7# (by moving from g7, the bishop opened a path for the white queen to reach f7). So, what to do? The prospects are dismal: 1...Rf8 2 Qh8+! (X-ray) 2...Bxh8 3 Rxh8# or 1...Bh6 2 Qxh6! Nxh6 3 Rxh6, with mate on h8. So Black resigned.

White to play K. Richter – NN Berlin 1934 White’s four pieces are giving the enemy king black looks and, contrary to appearances (threat of mate on d1, pieces reasonably well coordinated), what is certain is that, for the umpteenth time, the fundamental factor is the weakened position of the black king, which does not have a single square it can move to. 1 Ng6+! Nxg6 1...Qxg6 2 Qxd8+ and mate. 2 Qxh7+! The purpose of the knight sacrifice was merely to obstruct the sixth rank. 2...Kxh7 3 Rh5# On this occasion it was the a2-g8 diagonal (a favourite path for attacking players) that proved decisive.

White to play Krylov – Tarasov Leningrad 1961 This position features the same theme as the two previous examples. White succeeds in creating a mating pattern around the black king by means of two spectacular decoy sacrifices. Studying the particular features of the position, we can see that the black king has no safe squares, while the white queen controls the whole empty a2-g8 diagonal and the rooks command the h-file. 1 Qxg8+!! The first and surprising decoy. 1...Kxg8 2 Rh8+!! The second decoy and this time decisive. 2...Kxh8 3 Bf7# Now we have reproduced the mating pattern of the previous positions, with the bishop covering the escape-square g8.

White to play Chigorin – NN 1874 Two spectacular clearance sacrifices open the way for a spectacular R+B mate. 1 Bc4+! Clearance. 1...Qxc4 2 Qe8+! Clearance, deflection of the knight: a sacrifice similar to Morphy’s in his game at the Paris Opera. 2...Nxe8 3 Rf8#

White to play Rossolimo – Livingstone New York 1961 Why was Grandmaster Rossolimo regarded with so much suspicion? In any situation he was capable of conjuring up danger. This is a case in point. It is not so easy to see the winning combination, but it is there... 1 f8Q! 1-0 Simple, isn’t it? How to continue? In reality, Rossolimo didn’t have to demonstrate anything, because Black resigned here. 1...Rxf8 allows 2 Bb7#, while 1...Bxf8 is met by 2 Bb7+! (more sacrifices!) 2...Rxb7 3 Rd8+! Qxd8 4 Rxd8+ Rb8 5 Rxb8#.

Mate on the Edge of the Board

White to play Høi – Gulko Thessaloniki Olympiad 1988 White is a rook and minor piece down, but in return he has managed to place the black king in a position of red alert. The previous sacrifices have served up on a plate a very pretty checkmate and now White sacrifices even more material! 1 Qh7+!! 1-0 1...Nxh7 2 Rg6#.

Black to play Sultan Khan – Bogoljubow Prague Olympiad 1931 The white knight is the king’s chief bodyguard. For instance, at the moment it is preventing mate by 1...Bd7+ 2 Kh4 Rh2+ 3 Rh3 Rxh3#. The idea of deflecting this defensive piece is obvious in that case. Can it be done? 1...Re4+! This forces mate: 2 Kh3 Bf1+ or 2 Nxe4 Bd7+ 3 Kh4 Rh2+ 4 Rh3 Rxh3#, i.e. the mate noted earlier. Once the mating pattern is spotted, the way to achieve it is easy to discover. However, Black missed this idea, and played 1...Bc4?. The game was later drawn.

Black to play Belenky – Pirogov Moscow 1957 Here is a fine example of the linear capabilities of the pieces. The many open lines and the lack of pawns protecting the castled position place the white king squarely in Black’s sights: its position is extremely vulnerable. 1...Re1!! 0-1 The best way to highlight this. The white king’s defence relies entirely on his pieces, but these are ‘at full stretch’, as it were. The queen must protect h5, while the rook has to guard g2. These tasks are the justification of Black’s deflection sacrifice, since both the possible captures lose: 2 Rxe1 Qg2# or 2 Qxe1 Qh5#. And after 2 Qg4 Black wins by exploiting the X-ray effect: 2...Qh1+! 3 Rxh1 Rxh1#. Another of our truisms is: whenever there are squares attacked by enemy pieces in the vicinity of the king, there is the possibility of mate . In this case, as well as the squares controlled by the bishop (g2 and h1), h3 and h2 were on a file exposed to the four winds.

White to play Alekhine – Supico Lisbon (simul.) 1941 The invasion of the enemy camp by the white pieces and the instant availability of the rook on c3 have conjured up in Alekhine’s mind a simple mating pattern. 1 Qg6!! 1-0 1...hxg6 2 Rh3# is Anastasia’s Mate, while 1...fxg6 2 Nxg6+ hxg6 3 Rh3+ leads to mate next move (3...Qh4 4 Rxh4#). This combination is closely related to the one played by Rossolimo in his game against Reissmann (San Juan 1967), although the latter presented greater difficulty.

White to play Aleksandrov – A. Zaitsev USSR 1973 White is threatened with mate in one, but he is about to pull off a splendid combination, involving a series of spectacular shots. The reader should try to imagine how a mate might arise in this position and then in his analysis work backwards from the mating position. 1 Qxc7+!! A fantastic sacrifice, to take the black king on a walk... 1...Kxc7 2 Nb5++ Kb8 3 Rd8+ A deflection sacrifice, to prevent the black knight from being able to block (on e5) the bishop check (from f4). 3...Rxd8 4 Bf4+ Ka8 5 Nc7+ Kb8 6 Nxa6++ Ka8 7 Nc7+ Kb8 8 Nd5+ Ka8 9 Nb6+! Notice the skill with which White has manoeuvred his knight to be able to deliver the decisive check on b6, forcing open the a-file. 9...axb6 10 Ra1# A mate on the edge of the board that is well worth remembering.

2: Mate with the Bishop

White to play Anand – Karpov Frankfurt rapidplay 1999 Here it is enough to eliminate the key defender to achieve the mate. 1 Qxh5! 1-0 1...Qxh5 2 Bg7#.

Black to play

McKim – Crisan Canadian Ch, Brantford 1999 Black’s Q+B on the long diagonal and the presence of the black rooks on the f- and g-files are very bad omens for White, who thought he had spiked the enemy’s guns by putting his bishop on e4. 1...Qxe4! 2 Qxe4 Rf1+! 0-1 An important deflection, which forces resignation. 3 Rxf1 Bxe4+ and mate next move.

White to play Lamparter – M. Green Victorian Ch, Melbourne 1938 White has a big positional advantage here, since all his pieces occupy active squares (who could possibly describe the b1-bishop as inactive, even though it has no moves?) and in addition the black king is exposed to the fire of the enemy pieces. The fact that his white counterpart is still in the centre has not the slightest importance, because the black pieces do not have any possibility of threatening it. It will prove especially dangerous for the black king to be on the same (g-) file as the enemy rook, although for the moment there are two pieces in the way. 1 Nc6!! A dynamic (since it attacks the black queen) clearance move, vacating the e5-square for the bishop, which in turn will eventually open the g-file.

1...Nxc6 2 Qh7+!! 1-0 The queen makes her own small contribution, in drastic fashion, to the clearance of the g-file. Now 2...Kf6 allows 3 Qh6#, while 2...Nxh7 3 Be5++ is a terrifying double check by bishop and rook. Mate follows after 3...Kh6 4 Bg7#. A spectacular combination, in which White exploited the latent dynamism of his line-moving pieces.

12: Rook + Knight Rook and knight form, in the event of optimal activity by both pieces, a good tandem. Their capability to attack the enemy king can be seen in technical mating patterns which have acquired an almost mythical character, such as the Arabian Mate or Anastasia’s Mate. The chapter is divided into: 1 : Mate with the Rook 2 : Mate with the Knight

1: Mate with the Rook

The examples are divided into these categories: Mate on the Back Rank Mate in the Corner Squares Other Mates with the Rook But first a position that is hard to classify:

White to play P. Romanovsky Composed position (1950) This illustrative position, composed by the master Piotr Romanovsky, allows us to see a spectacular manoeuvre which leaves Black the choice between a mate with the rook or a mate with the knight! 1 Qf8+!! Black’s options are obvious: either capture with the rook or the king. The queen sacrifice forces the deflection of one of the two pieces, allowing the two mates: 1...Kxf8 2 Rh8# or 1...Rxf8 2 Ne7#.

Mate on the Back Rank Here we shall study mates arising from the weakness of the defender’s back rank, with the knight controlling the possible flight-squares. We shall not include in this section mates on the squares g8 and b8, forming the pattern of the Arabian Mate (which is covered in the next section), nor any mates delivered by a rook on the seventh rank against a king on the back rank, i.e. mates which are not as a consequence of the weakness of the back rank are excluded.

Black to play Paleček – Kantorik Slovakian Ch, Nove Zamky 1999 The three black pieces are able to create a geometrical spider’s web. 1...Qh1+!! 0-1 Deflection of the king from f1 and decoy to the fatal square: 2 Kxh1 Rxf1#.

Black to play NN – Dadian of Mingrelia Paris 1898

Prince Dadian of Mingrelia was a unique case in the history of chess: a consummate dilettante and possessor of a considerable fortune, it is said that he used to pay opponents to ‘throw’ games against him, in his desire to go down in posterity. He achieved this to some extent, because positions attributed to him, usually with a brilliant finish, occasionally appear in obscure corners of books. This is one of them. It is Black to play and all that is required for checkmate is a rook and a knight. As he has two of each, there is no problem. 1...Ng3+! Deflecting the white rook from the f-file. 2 Rxg3 Rxg1+! In this case, we are not dealing with a decoy, because on h1 the king would also be mated, but with a removal of a guard. 3 Kxg1 Re1#

White to play Bronstein – M. Gurevich Brussels rapidplay 1993 Black has just played ...Ne6, attacking the white queen and at the same time protecting the g7-square, but White will demonstrate that it is not in vain that all his pieces are occupying attacking positions. The continuation was: 1 h6! Rg8 1...Nxg5 allows instant mate by 2 hxg7#. 2 hxg7+ Nxg7 3 Qxg7+!

There is a shorter mate with 3 Ng6+! hxg6 4 Qh6#, although the one executed by Bronstein is more spectacular. 1-0 3...Rxg7 4 Rf8+ Rg8 5 Rxg8#.

White to play Bondarevsky – Ufimtsev Leningrad 1936 The initial reasoning for solving this position stems from the idea that, if only the white king could defend the knight, mate with the rook on f8 would be inevitable. However, this idea is not viable, since if 1 Kg5, then 1...Nxe4+. On the other hand, attacking the black king is really White’s only option, since he is two pawns down. So we need to keep working at it. 1 Be8+!! This brilliant deflection sacrifice smoothes the path for the mate. 1...Nxe8 2 Kg5! 1-0 Black cannot prevent the mate with the rook on f8.

White to play Pollock – Consultation partners Buffalo 1893 The white major pieces are using the central files as an artillery practice range, and it is noticeable that the black king’s life is hanging by a thread. Let’s see how the Champion of the USA finished off the game. 1 Qd7+!! One’s first idea, 1 Nxf6+ (with the point 1...Qxf6 2 Qd7#) allows Black to avoid mate (though not loss of the game) by 1...Kf7. 1...Bxd7 2 Nd6++! The fearsome double check. 2...Kd8 3 Nf7+ Kc8 4 Re8+! Bxe8 5 Rd8# Too many rooks!

Mate in the Corner Squares

White to play Daskalov – Padevsky Sofia 1970 White exploits the power of his three attacking pieces and the remote location of the enemy queen to terminate the struggle. 1 Qg6! 1-0 Decisive. White makes use of the powerful position of his knight, realizing that although it is attacked twice, in reality it is immune from capture: 1...Rxf6 2 Qxg7# or 1...gxf6 2 Qg8#. Black resigned, since 1...hxg6 allows 2 Rh3#, while the decoy attempt 1...Nf3+ fails to 2 Kh1! (but not 2 Rxf3?, allowing 2...Rxf6) and now if 2...Ng5, protecting the h7-square, then 3 Qxg5! wins (but not 3 Rxg5??, when Black can safely take the queen with 3...hxg6, since the mating square is protected for one tempo, giving Black just the time he needs to escape mate). We now look at some examples of Anastasia’s Mate, where the king normally succumbs on h7, with the knight covering the two diagonal squares g6 and g8 while the rook delivers mate along the h-file.

White to play Olson – Jacobson Denmark 1913 This is an example typical of a series of similar mates, although other patterns exist. The mechanism is very simple. 1 Ne7+ Kh8 2 Qxh7+!! The problem, when the h-file is not open, is how to eliminate the pawn that protects the king. 2...Kxh7 3 Rh4# This type of mate (known as Anastasia’s Mate) can also occur the other way round, i.e. the rook is situated on the file and it is the knight that concludes the mating manoeuvre.

White to play Salter – Marco Vienna 1900 In this case we have a combination on the same theme, with a preparatory move of some quality. 1 Bb5! It is necessary to deflect the black queen from e7 and this is the perfect way. The brutal 1 Rh1! h6 2 Nf6+ is also highly effective. 1...Qxb5 The black queen has no squares: the knight attacks c7 and e7. 2 Ne7+ Kh8 Now the position is ready for the mate. 3 Qxh7+! Kxh7 4 Rh1#

Black to play Oll – Hodgson PCA Qualifier, Groningen 1993 From the moment when there is contact between the pawns, the castled position is threatened. The situation of the white king is dangerous, because, in addition, the rook has unwisely left the back rank. 1...Nc3! 2 axb4 Or 2 bxc3 Qxa3+ 3 Qa2 Rf1+, mating. 2...Qa2+!! A spectacular deflection, to allow the winning check by the rook on the back rank.

3 Qxa2 Rf1+ 0-1 Mate is forced.

White to play Krüger – Iskov Dortmund 1978 It is difficult to imagine a priori that this middlegame position contains the seed of a tactical finish. Black is threatening ...Nxd3+ and ...Bxc4, and his position looks solid, proof against sudden shocks. But this is not the case. The presence of the knight on f5 and a hint of a possible invasion on g5 are enough to light the spark. 1 Bg5! hxg5 Forced. Not 1...Qg6? 2 Ne7+. 2 hxg5 Qxg5 3 Qh5! A devastating move, threatening mate on h7 and h8. 3...Nxd3+ 3...Qxh5 4 Ne7+ Kh7 5 Rxh5#. 4 Kf1 Qxg2+ In the light of the previous variation this is Black’s last chance. 5 Kxg2 Nf4+ 6 Kf3 1-0 If 6...Nxh5, there is an identical mate to the one in the note to move 3, but with White capturing the knight on h5 instead of the queen: 7 Ne7+ Kh7 (or 7...Kh8) 8 Rxh5#.

White to play Post – Flamberg Mannheim 1914 The Mannheim tournament was a landmark in the history of 20th century chess, because of the participation of some outstanding masters (such as Alekhine and Bogoljubow, among others) and also because, after several rounds, play was suspended owing to the start of the First World War. But matters did not stop there, because some of the players from countries hostile to the German cause were arrested and interned for a time. But let us not stray too far from the topic of our study. In this position we can see a typical mate, in which a preparatory sacrifice is the master key for the Arabian Mate. 1 Qxh7+! 1-0 1...Rxh7 2 Rxg8#. The question arises: who was leading the tournament at the moment of its suspension? We shall not reveal the answer here, because no book can answer every question. A player should investigate anything and everything that interests him for himself. This is our modest contribution towards stimulating a spirit of enquiry in the chess student.

White to play J. Polgar – Doroslev Teteven 1988 The constellation of white pieces has the appropriate shape to conclude matters without further ceremony. Here is how: 1 Nf6+ Kh8 2 Qxh6+! gxh6 3 Rg8# A typical pattern for the mate we are studying.

White to play Winter – Colle Scarborough 1930 White resigned here. The black knight is embedded in


white position and the dominant position of the g6-rook and the queen’s availability suggest an effective direct attack. For example: 1 d5 Qh4 2 h3 Or 2 gxf3 Qg5 and mate on g1 or g2. 2...Qxh3+ 3 gxh3 Rg1# The Arabian Mate.

White to play Shipov – Mirzoev Hastings 1997/8 Black’s queen and bishop command the long h1-a8 diagonal, but the rooks facing each other on the d-file, as well as the balanced pawns on each wing, without any particular weaknesses, would seem to suggest that the position is heading for a draw. But it is White to move and he can win by a knockout... 1 Qxg7+!! Rxg7 2 Nf6+ and Black resigned. Mate is forced: 2...Kh8 3 Rd8+ Rg8 4 Rxg8#.

Black to play Casper – Yusupov Bundesliga 1998/9 Against Black’s pressure on the seventh rank, White can boast only a passed pawn on the b-file. This provides little counter-weight, since Black’s three pieces (four, if we include the pawn on h4, covering the escape-square g3) attacking the white king make up a considerable offensive force, especially when two of them are major pieces. The combination was latent in the position: 1...Rxf3! Eliminating this important defensive piece without any loss of time, simultaneously opening the second rank for the other rook. 2 gxf3 Nd4+! A precise check, creating an Arabian mating-net. 3 Kh1 Nxf3 0-1 Mate on h2 cannot be prevented: 4 Rg2 Rd1+ 5 Rg1 Rxg1#. The mate has been transferred to the g1-square, but the pattern is just the same.

White to play Kupreichik – Radulov Plovdiv 1980 Here the circumstances are in place for White to be thinking about a mating attack (Black’s weakened castled position, White’s active knight, rook on the half-open f-file, queen on h6), but he is a piece down, so his attack will have to be very accurate. 1 Rf5!! The obvious 1 Nxf6 is less strong, because of 1...Qxc2, protecting h7 and giving the black queen the possibility of quickly coming to the defence of the king. With the text-move, the b1-h7 diagonal is blocked, multiplying the effectiveness of Nxf6. Remember: “The threat is stronger than its execution” (Nimzowitsch). 1...Rg8 White was also threatening 2 Rh5. 2 Nxf6 Rg7 3 Rg5! 1-0 3...Rdg8 4 Qxh7+! Rxh7 5 Rxg8#.

Black to play Porral – Bulgarat Santa Fe 1945 Black’s pressure on the white king is becoming unbearable, while White’s pieces lack even the minimum coordination necessary to offer resistance. 1...Nc3! Threatening 2...Nc2#. 2 Rc1 2 bxc3 Nc2+ 3 Ka2 Qxa3#. 2...Qxa3+!! A brilliant sacrifice, characteristic, however, of these positions in which the attacker’s rook confines the king on the edge of the board. 3 bxa3 Nc2+! 4 Rxc2 Rb1# A mate of identical construction to the previous one.

White to play Rossolimo – Reissmann San Juan 1967 We are about to witness a marvellous combination, which is reminiscent to some extent of Marshall’s effort against Levitsky in Breslau 1912. Rossolimo the magician has deployed all his pieces very well and now executes a direct attack with the implacable instinct of a bounty hunter and the inspiration of a Renaissance artist. 1 Bxd5! Eliminating a good defensive piece, one which protects f6. 1...cxd5 2 Nf6+ Kh8 3 Qg6!! (Clash of cymbals.) This is the move which recalls the great Marshall. 3...Qc2 Defending the h7-square. The white queen is taboo: if 3...hxg6, 4 Rh3#. 4 Rh3!! 1-0 Rossolimo keeps pulling them out of his sleeve. Now there is no defence: 4...fxg6 5 Rxh7# or 4...Qxg6 5 Nxg6+ fxg6 6 Rxh7#. If the spectators scattered gold pieces on Marshall’s board, Rossolimo’s should have been showered in diamonds. A further point is that Marshall played his combination when he was already a piece up, which is not the case here.

Other Mates with the Rook

White to play Toshev – Voinov Bulgaria 1937 This is an example which could not be more characteristic. The knight attacks two vital squares in the vicinity of the black king (e7 and d8) and the rook blocks f8. The position is ripe for a simple but effective finish. 1 Qxe6+! To clear the seventh rank. 1...fxe6 2 Re7#

White to play A. Bellincini Osservazioni teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli scacchi , 1763 Here we have a pretty example of Anastasia’s Mate: 1 Qb3+ Ka5 2 Qxb5+! axb5 3 Ra8# As we can see, all the elements were in place for the weaving of this mating-net. The queen sacrifice forced the pawn to act as a self-blocker, on the square in front of its king, while the knight controlled the diagonal flight-squares (b4 and b6), and finally then to complete the picture the rook swept down the edge of the board.

White to play Rusakov – Kalinkin Russian Ch 1963 The black pieces are well placed and compact, but the kingside is heating up and the black king is not what you might call under cover. The white bishop has captured the pawn on h7, simultaneously controlling the g8-square. The knight is available to intervene and action on the f-file is imminent. 1 Ng6+ Ke8 2 Qxf7+! But this explosion took Black by surprise (the f7-square is also protected by the knight on d6!). White’s queen is sacrificed in the cause of opening lines decisively for its comrades in arms. 2...Nxf7 3 Rxf7! Threatening mate on f8.

3...Kxf7 3...Qd6 fails to 4 Ref1!. 4 Rf1+ Ke8 5 Rf8#

White to play E. Sokolov – Rushnikov USSR Correspondence Ch 1965-6 White has queen for rook and two pawns, but his three pieces are all en prise and, in addition, the b2-pawn threatens to queen, followed by mate. However, temporarily though it might be, White has in his favour that his rook is on the seventh rank and the black king is exposed. 1 Qg5!! A difficult move. The threat is 2 Rxg7+ Ke8 3 Qe7#. 1...h6 Or: 1...b1Q+ 2 Re1+ Rf6 3 Rxb1 cxd4 4 Re1; 1...Rf6 2 Re1 cxd4 3 Rb1. In both cases White has a decisive advantage. 2 Rxb7+! 1-0 2...hxg5 3 Nc6+ Ke8 4 Re7#. A surprising and effective combination.

2: Mate with the Knight

Normally the stronger piece is the one charged with delivering the mate, but there are also cases in which the knight is the executioner. Mate in the Corner Mate on Other Squares

Mate in the Corner A typical manoeuvre consists of sacrificing a rook to imprison the king in a corner, leaving it to the knight to execute the mate.

White to Gipslis – Yugoslavia-USSR, This trick is a very representative 1 Rg8+! 1-0 1...Rxg8 2 Nf7#.

play Čirić Budva 1967 example.

Sometimes the piece sacrificed to deflect the key enemy piece can be the attacker’s queen, as in the following examples.

Black to play Fordan – Kiss Budapest 1999

Everything is ready. It is all over for White. 1...Qxh2+! 0-1 2 Bxh2 Nf2#.

Black to play Balanel – Pytlakowski Marianske Lazne Zonal 1951 Black’s advantage is so overwhelming that he can afford to ignore the attack on his bishop. 1...Rg6! Pressing the attack against g2. 2 gxh3 Qg1+! 0-1 A sacrificial manoeuvre based on the same idea as in the previous position: 3 Rxg1 Nxf2# – a mating pattern that is worth memorizing.

Black to play Niener – Weissinger Karlsruhe 1944 The strength of the knight on e4 and the bishop on c7 give Black the idea for a pretty combination, based on a discovered check. Imagined, calculated and carried out... 1...Qxe3! A decoy sacrifice, to clear the g3-square as a springboard for the knight. 2 fxe3 Ng3+ 3 Kh2 Nxf1++ 4 Kh1 Ng3+ 5 Kh2 All these moves are forced, as can easily be verified. 5...Ne4+ 6 g3 6 Kh1 Nf2#. 6...Rf2+ 7 Kh1 Nxg3#

Mate on Other Squares

White to play Korchnoi – Petersons USSR Ch, Kiev 1964/5 Korchnoi has sacrificed a piece on the kingside, drawing the black king out of his hideout. Now everything is in place for the big finish. 1 Qg7+ Ke8 2 Qxe7+!! 1-0 2...Kxe7 3 Rg7+ Ke8 4 Nf6# is a pretty checkmate. The king has been on a return journey, finally perishing on the square where he started. Korchnoi would go on to win the Championship, something he had already achieved in 1960 and 1963.

Black to play Yakovich – Azmaiparashvili New York 1994 A combination similar to the previous one (although without the spectacle of a queen sacrifice) was carried out by GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili here: 1...Rxc2+! 2 Kxc2 Ra2+ 0-1 3 Kc1 Nb3#. Notice the decisive role of the self-blocking pieces (the d1-rook and the b1-knight), as well as the part played by the black pawn on c4, controlling b3 and d3, compelling the white king to retreat to the edge of the board after 2...Ra2+.

13: Rook + Pawn Mates with rook and pawn are normally associated with positions in which the defender’s king is on the edge of the board and, as usual, with the involuntary assistance of self-blocking pieces. But basically they tend to arise as a consequence of the weakness of the back rank. 1 : Mate with the Rook 2 : Mate with the Pawn

1: Mate with the Rook

White to play Grosar – A. Janković Nova Gorica 1999 Here we have one of the mating patterns characteristic of this particular tandem. 1 Qxh7+! 1-0 1...Kxh7 2 Rh3#.

White to play Duong Thanh Nha – Campbell Canadian Ch, Brantford 1999 Black’s passed pawns would win if – and here is the heart of

the matter – his king were not seriously threatened. 1 Qxh6+! 1-0 1...Kxh6 2 Rh8#. The f4-pawn covers the escape-square g5.

Black to play Bruned – Bakus Saint Quentin 1999 In this position we have a variation of the previous example, also featuring a queen sacrifice. 1...g3+ 2 Kh1 Qxh3+! 0-1 Clearance of the seventh rank for the rook: 3 gxh3 Rh2#. In the position which follows we shall see a similar mate, with another variation on the same theme.

Black to play Shipachev – Gervits Kislovodsk 1989 The pressure of Black’s pieces on the enemy king is unbearable and now Black brings the struggle to an end with a spectacular sacrificial manoeuvre. 1...Qg3+!! 0-1 2 fxg3 fxg3+ 3 Kxg2 Rf2+ 4 Kh1 Rh2#.

Black to play Opočensky – Alekhine Paris 1925

Despite White’s occupation of the only open file, it is Black who is ready to bring off a finish, thanks to the pawn on h3, that not only creates mating possibilities on g2 but also means that White’s back rank is vulnerable. 1...Re8!! 0-1 There is no response possible to this powerful deflection: 2 Qxe8 Qxf3+ 3 Kg1 Qg2# or 2 Qd1 Qxf3+! 3 Qxf3 Rxe1#.

Black to play Balla – Balogh Koloszvar 1947 Such fierce pressure on Black’s part, and in conditions of material equality, can lead only to mate. The sole question is how to achieve it. 1...Qxh3+!! 2 Rxh3 Nh2+! 3 Rxh2 Rg1+! 4 Kxg1 Rxe1# There are various themes underlying this combination: removing the guard, line-clearance, deflection... In the game Black announced mate in five: 1...Nh2+! 2 Rxh2 Rg1+! 3 Kxg1 Rxe1+ 4 Bf1 Qg4+ 5 Rg2 (5 Kh1 Rxf1#) 5...Qxg2#.

White to play Külaots – Huber Chemnitz 1998 White concluded matters here with a neat manoeuvre. 1 Qh8+ Rg8 2 Qh5! Threatening mate on f7. 2...Rg7 Only move. 3 Qe8+! 1-0 3...Kxe8 4 Rh8+ and mate next move.

White to play

Levenfish – Riumin Moscow 1936 White commands the open file with his major pieces and his knight on h5 has aggressive possibilities, while Black has not even completed his development yet. However, the following drastic manoeuvre still comes as a surprise: 1 Nf6+! gxf6 2 exf6 With absolute calm! The key to the combination is that with the opening of the g-file onto Black’s castled position and the installation of the e-pawn on f6 White, as if by magic, has created a double threat of mate: 3 Qg3+ Kh8 4 Qg7# and 3 Qxf8+! Kxf8 4 Rd8#. This final threat is what justifies the inclusion of this example here, since it could also form part of the chapter on Q+P. In the game, White missed his chance, playing 1 Ng3? and the game later ended in a draw.

White to play Bronstein – Keres Budapest Candidates 1950 This position contains the seeds of a violent finish by the R+P team: pawn wedge on f6, weakened black king position, white queen and rooks all active. 1 Qh6! White has no time to play, for example, 1 Rbf1?, since Black could respond with 1...Qd2!, seizing the critical c1-h6 diagonal, when 2 Qh6 could be answered calmly with 2...Rg8.

1-0 Black resigned since now 1...Qxb1+ 2 Kh2 Rg8 loses to the typical combination 3 Qxh7+! Kxh7 4 Rh4#.

White to play Alekhine – Reshevsky Kemeri 1937 A total classic. What we have here is a pretty combination, produced in one of the most important tournaments of the first half of the 20th century. The activity of Black’s three major pieces is deceptive, because it is not enough to solve the problems of his king, which is walking a tight-rope: a white pawn on the sixth, a rook pinning the knight, a weak back rank... 1 Rxb8+! Decoy. 1...Kxb8 2 Qxe5+! 1-0 A decisive line-clearance: 2...fxe5 3 Rf8+ leads to mate.

White to play Duras – NN Prague 1910 Another very interesting classic position. Both kings are in danger but, as usually happens, the side to move can count on an enormous advantage. 1 Rc1+ Kb8 2 Qb4+ Ka8 3 Bf3+! Deflecting the rook from the control of the e4-square. 3...Rxf3 4 Qe4+! 1-0 To take (the queen) or be taken – that is the question. Now the role of the little pawn on a6 can be seen. If 4...Qxe4, 5 Rc8#.

White to play Nunn – Murshed Commonwealth Ch, London 1985 GM John Nunn, as well as being an excellent player, is an expert on endings and studies and a notable author. Here he finishes the game with the brilliance of an endgame study. 1 Be5!! The threat against b2 was no joke. 1...Rxf2 The bishop turns out to be immune from capture: 1...Qxe5 allows 2 Rg8#, while 1...Bxe5 is met with 2 Rg8+! Qxg8 3 Qxe5+, followed by mate. 2 Re4 There are several ways to win now, e.g. 2 Bxf6+ Rxf6 3 Qc3. 2...Bxe5 3 Qg7+!! 1-0 The bomb. Black resigned in view of 3...Bxg7 4 Rxe8+ Bf8 5 Rxf8#.

Black to play Keres – Petrosian Bled/Zagreb/Belgrade Candidates 1959 Black undoubtedly exerts strong pressure along the g-file and also the pawn on e4 helps to cramp White’s position, as if in a straitjacket. But now it seems that White is going to free his position with the b4 advance. 1...Rg3!! A rook sacrifice to wedge a black pawn on g3, which will allow

Black to create mating threats. 2 hxg3 hxg3 3 Rfd2? White should offer to return the material with 3 Rf3 Qh4 4 Be2. 3...Qh4 4 Be2 Vacating the f1-square for the king. 4...Rh7 Now the threat of mate is renewed. 5 Kf1? 5 Bh5 Rxh5 6 Kf1 is more resilient, but unpleasant for White. With this king move, White counts on being able to block on g1 with the queen, but... 5...Qxf4+! 0-1 A decisive deflection sacrifice: 6 Qxf4 Rh1#.

White to play Zukertort – NN Berlin 1874 White has sacrificed two pieces in order to carry out a ferocious attack against the enemy king and now he is about to reap the harvest. However, his queen is attacked and the combinative sequence needs to be exact. The masterly hand of Johannes Zukertort will leave no loose ends. 1 gxf6!! Nxg6 2 hxg6+ Kg8 3 Rh8+!! Instead, 3 f7+ Kf8 4 Rh8+ Ke7 5 f8Q+ Kd7 6 Qf7+ would also win, in the long run, but this sacrifice effectively terminates the struggle.

3...Kxh8 4 f7 1-0 There is no way to prevent, simultaneously, the mate on the h-file (5 Rh1+) and the promotion of the pawn, also followed by mate. For example, 4...Qh4 5 fxe8Q+ or 4...Bh2 5 f8Q#.

2: Mate with the Pawn

These mates are, naturally, quite rare, but in the following game, between two grandmasters, we have a good example.

Black to play Garcia Ilundain – Shirov Villarrobledo rapidplay 1997 Black decisively exploited the weakened position of White’s king: 1...Rxh4+! 2 gxh4 Qg4+! 0-1

An exchange of queens, very pertinent in this case: 3 fxg4#.


14: Bishop + Bishop The mate with the two bishops is unusual in practice, but the possibility of it arising facilitates numerous other tactical possibilities; and when it does arise it tends to be truly spectacular. On adjacent diagonals the bishops can create an impenetrable barrier for the king and when aimed at the castled king along open diagonals they are especially dangerous. 1 : Boden’s Mate 2 : Mate on Adjacent Diagonals

1: Boden’s Mate We have already seen Boden’s Mate in Chapter 3 , together with the game that gave this mate its name. It is distinguished by the crossfire of the two bishops.

White to play Kofman – Filatov Kiev 1962 Black’s king is unable to move (the bishop on a3 controls e7 and f8) and furthermore weaknesses have been created by the advance of his g- and h-pawns. White can immediately highlight all this. 1 Nxc6! 1-0 1...bxc6 2 Qxe6+! fxe6 3 Bg6#.

White to play Horwitz – Popert

Hamburg 1844 Black had set a trap by moving his bishop to b8, into which White fell by taking a pawn on d5 with his rook. However, Black failed to spring the trap correctly. After ...c6? (...Qxh2+! would have won) we have the position in the diagram. The rook on d5 is under attack and Black threatens to mate in two, starting with ...Qxh2+. But now came a surprise: 1 Rh5!! Of course, this parries the mate threat and attacks the queen but it also opens a path towards the black king. 1...Qxh5? 1...Qg7? would also be met by 2 Qxc6+! bxc6 3 Bxa6#. 1...Bxh2 2 Rxh6 Rxh6 is the only way to fight on, though it will be a grim defence. 2 Qxc6+! bxc6 3 Bxa6# A precursor to Boden’s Mate.

White to play Canal – NN Budapest (simul.) 1934 This position allows the execution of Boden’s Mate by means of a preparatory sacrifice which might seem spectacular, but which was probably child’s play for a master of the standard of the Hispano-Peruvian Esteban Canal (1896-1981). 1 axb4!! White sacrifices both his rooks. 1...Qxa1+ 2 Kd2 Qxh1

Too greedy, but there was no way back: White controls all the squares of the a-file, and 2...Qxb2 solves nothing. 3 Qxc6+! bxc6 4 Ba6# Canal was an interesting figure. In the 1920s he moved to Europe, residing in various countries, such as Germany and especially Italy. At the start of the 1930s he settled in Hungary and it was there that he soon obtained his best results: 3rd in Kecskemet and 1st in Budapest, ahead of Lilienthal and the Steiner brothers. He played in the Dubrovnik Olympiad (1950), representing Peru, and FIDE retrospectively awarded him the title of grandmaster in 1977. He had wide cultural interests and rubbed shoulders with well-known intellectuals of the day, such as Stefan Zweig, Thomas Mann and Pitigrilli, among others. He was also a notable chess journalist and author, with an interesting book to his name: ‘Avant-garde Strategy’. For Canal, chess was “a combination of discipline, literature and life.”

Black to play Ivanov – Kutuev 1964 It is Black to play. We have here a crystal-clear version of the mate that we are studying. All it takes to spot the mate is to consider the features of the position and discover the one that will prove conclusive... 1...Bxg4! 2 Qxf6 Bh3#

White to play Vaccaroni – Mazocchi Rome 1891 Black is threatening mate on a1 and, although the build-up of White’s major pieces is slightly worrying, the bishop on e6 controls the g4-square and it seems that Black has nothing to fear. But what is the black king doing so far forward? Perhaps he’s already thinking about the endgame? 1 Qg4+!! How is this possible? Is it not a typographical error? 1...Bxg4 2 Rxh6+! gxh6 Both captures were forced, as can easily be verified. 3 Bf7# The wonderful queen sacrifice forced a line-clearance (the a2-g8 diagonal for the bishop to deliver mate), at the same time as forcing Black to block the g4-square. Then the rook cleared the other diagonal (h5-e8), at the same time as shifting the g7-pawn to the h-file. We know nothing about these players, but of course they did the chess world a very good turn by creating this excellent combination.

2: Mates on Adjacent Diagonals

White to play Četković – Molerović Belgrade 1951 In this position, Black will not be able to realize his two extra pawns. White, to move, has his finger on the trigger. 1 Bh7! Discovering an attack on the black queen and at the same time threatening mate. 1-0 1...Qxe2 allows 2 Bxh6#. A curious mating-net has been created. Milivoje Molerović had the honour of founding (jointly with GM Aleksandar Matanović) Informator , the famous publication that introduced, for the first time, a universal chess language, breaking down all linguistic barriers. Informator was born in Belgrade in 1966 and since then has never ceased publication, despite all the vicissitudes and calamities of war suffered by Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

15: Bishop + Knight Bishop and knight work together, normally controlling different-coloured squares. Given the peculiar nature of the knight’s move, this piece must of necessity engage the enemy king at close quarters, while the bishop can operate from a distance, with no reduction in fire-power. 1 : Mate with the Bishop 2 : Mate with the Knight

1: Mate with the Bishop

Many of the combinations in which the B+N tandem delivers checkmate are based on a previous queen sacrifice. Let’s see a few examples of this.

Black to play Platzack – Van Baarle Büsum 1967 This position could well be headed: ‘whoever is to move delivers mate’. In fact it is Black to play. The crude 1...Bxh6+ is winning, but after 2 Rxh6 Ne5 3 Rdh1 Black needs to play a few defensive moves. Instead, there is a quick finish available: 1...Qxb2+! 0-1 Exploiting the latent power of the bishop, by means of the X-ray effect: 2 Bxb2 Bxb2#. In this instance the knight both supports the mate on b2 and covers the escape-square on d2, i.e., both the bishop and the knight control dark squares. It is more common for each piece

to cover different-coloured squares.

White to play Perenyi – Eperjesi Budapest 1974 A king still in the centre is almost always a bad sign, often with dramatic consequences, especially when the opponent has deployed his troops effectively. Here everything is ready for the verdict... 1 Nc6 Controlling the squares d8 and e7. 1...Qc7 2 Qxe6+! 1-0 2...fxe6 3 Bg6#.

Black to play Šubarić – Trifunović Yugoslav Ch, Zagreb 1946 White’s uncastled king is the basis for the ensuing combination. The underlying factor is that the white king is situated on the same (half-open) file as the enemy rook. 1...Qxd4! 0-1 An unexpected sacrifice: at first sight it is surprising that the position allows such a luxury. White resigned in view of: 2 Bxd4 Nf3+! The key to the manoeuvre: the active knight is a vital element. 3 Kf1 There is no alternative: the knight also attacks h2. 3...Bb5+ We were forgetting the bishop, which will now deliver mate next move (4 Qc4 Bxc4#). Balance sheet of the joint work: the knight attacked dark squares (e1 and g1) and the bishop light (e2 and f1). Trifunović was an interesting personality. After the Second World War, GM Petar Trifunović (1910-80) was, with the exception of Pirc, the leading figure in Yugoslav chess, winning the national championship in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1952 and 1961 and representing his country in seven Olympiads. In 1950 he drew an interesting match with Najdorf (1-1 and 10 draws). He was a tenacious grandmaster with a heightened instinct for survival. A high-ranking civil servant in the Justice Ministry, he managed to stay in his post under three different political

regimes, which is somewhat reminiscent of the political skill exhibited by Fouché during the French Revolution and era of Napoleon.

Black to play E. del Rio Quoted by Ponziani This is one of those marvellous positions bequeathed to us by Ercole del Rio, one of the most representative writers of the School of Modena . Rubric: ‘Black plays and gives mate in eight.’ 1...Qh1+ 2 Kb2 Qg2+ 3 Kb1 Qg1+ 4 Kb2 Qf2+ 5 Kb1 Na3+ 6 Ka1 Rc1+! 7 Nxc1 Qxd4+ 8 Bxd4 Bxd4# Truly brilliant.

White to play Taimanov – Kuzminykh USSR 1950 Most of White’s forces are exerting pressure on various squares close to the black king, whose defences are lacking the h-pawn. In contrast, Black’s rooks are badly placed and the e6-square is crying out to be attacked. 1 Ng6! Threatening mate on h8. The knight cannot be captured on account of 1...fxg6 2 Bxe6+, winning the queen. 1...Nh7 2 Rxe6! fxe6 3 Qxd8+!! Deflecting the black queen away from the e6-square. Black resigned since 3...Qxd8 is met by 4 Bxe6#. A spectacular mate by the B+N team.

White to play Geller – Anikaev USSR Ch, Minsk 1979 Grandmaster Geller reached this explosive position in one of the best tournaments of his career. That day, as he himself admitted, he was in an aggressive mood and a Sicilian Defence gave rise to a kingside attack which is now about to enter its final phase. 1 Nd5! With this sacrifice White wants to prevent Black from advancing with ...e5, to block a bishop check on the long diagonal. 1...exd5 2 Nh6+ Kg7 3 Qf7+!! A brilliant finish. 3...Rxf7 4 Rxf7+ Kh8 5 Bd4+ Bf6 6 Rxf6! 1-0 Black had seen enough. If 6...Nxf6, 7 Bxf6#. This game earned Efim Geller the brilliancy prize, and added one more pleasant souvenir of his impressive triumph in that tournament, in which he gained the title of Champion of the USSR for the second time. But this occasion held another significance for Geller, because he was 54 years old (!) at the time, an age at which many masters are already in retirement or, if not, they are finding that their younger opponents are trying hard to make retirement appear an attractive prospect! Incidentally, Geller’s first victory in the USSR Championship was in 1955.

2: Mate with the Knight Among mates with the B+N team, it is a curious fact that it is rather more frequent for the mate to be delivered by the knight. In the following patterns we shall see the range of typical possibilities. Among mates with the B+N team, it is a curious fact that it is rather more frequent for the mate to be delivered by the knight. In the following patterns we shall see the range of typical possibilities.

White to play Borik – Novak Čihak 1969 The mating manoeuvre which arises from this position is similar to one we have seen when studying the (smothered) mate with a knight. 1 Nd6++ In this type of situation, the discovered check by the knight needs to be very precise: concretely, it must move to control the square on which we plan to sacrifice the queen. 1 Bc7 is also an efficient path to mate. 1-0 Black resigned in view of: 1...Kd8 1...Kf8 2 Qf7#. 2 Qe8+!

This idea occurs quite frequently: the queen is sacrificed on the square where its capture would block the enemy king’s escape-square. 2...Nxe8 2...Kc7 3 Qxc8+ Kb6 4 Qxb7+ Ka5 5 b4#. 3 Nf7# In positions of this type, in the case of the smothered mate the c7-square would be blocked by one of the defender’s own pieces, whereas here it is attacked by the bishop.

White to play M. Vilar – N. Regan Women’s Zonal, Saint Vincent 1999 Here we see a manoeuvre similar to the previous example, played by the Spanish player Monica Vilar, in which the bishop on f5 controls the flight-squares of the black king, compelling it to go back to e8, where it receives a lethal double check. 1 Nf7+ Ke8 2 Nd6++ Kd8 3 Qe8+! The whole secret of combinations based on this type of smothered mate lies in the fact that the square on which the queen is to be sacrificed must be controlled, at the same time, by the knight, so that the defender cannot capture the queen with his king but must use a piece instead. 3...Nxe8 The defensive piece capturing the queen blocks the key escape-square. 4 Nf7# (1-0)

Black to play Hjartarson – G. Georgadze Tilburg 1993 Despite being the exchange down, Black’s advantage is clear, with his strong passed pawn on e3 protecting the knight, which has invaded the seventh rank. Black’s command of the light-squared diagonals also proves to be vital for the finish that follows: 1...Qxg2+! 0-1 White resigned in view of the line 2 Kxg2 Be4+ 3 Kg1 Nh3#.

Black to play Field – Tenner New York 1923 Black is a piece down and none of the captures on g2 are of any use. But so much attacking force concentrated against a castled position must be convertible into something concrete, and that is the case here. 1...Qh3!! 0-1 Black has all three of his attacking pieces en prise but, according to the golden rule of Mikhail Tal, “they can only be taken one at a time”, which leaves the other two still in play. That’s enough. What can White play? 2 gxh3 Nxh3#; 2 gxf3 Qg2#; 2 Bxf4 Qxg2#.

Black to play B. Lengyel – V. Mikhalevski Budapest 1993 The rook on e1 shuts in the other rook and the presence of Black’s minor pieces attacking or controlling points close to White’s king sets the scene for the combination which follows, in which the availability of the black queen is crucial. 1...Bf3! 2 Re3 The bishop was immune from capture: if 2 gxf3, 2...Qh3, with mate on g2. Other possibilities were: 2 Nf5 Bxg2 3 Re7 Qc6, threatening 4...Nh3#; and 2 Be6 (to block the queen’s route to h3) 2...fxe6 3 gxf3 Qd5, with a decisive advantage. 2...Qh3!! 0-1

Black’s attacking pieces have taken up exactly the same positions as in the previous example. None of them can safely be captured and therefore mate is inevitable: 3 gxf3 Qg2# or 3 gxh3 Nxh3#. As is logical, this position could also have been included in the chapter on mates with Q+B. Even more direct is the following mate:

Black to play Benko – C. Hartman Gausdal 1984 1...Qxg2+! 0-1 2 Kxg2 Bf3+ 3 Kg1 Nh3#. This example, in which White loses even though he has an extra piece, is especially instructive and here I should like to call your attention once again to a very common danger, one that can arise when calculating the variations arising from an exchange of pieces. A player often takes for granted that a capture forces the recapture of the piece in question. But this is not always the case and the danger that awaits is the possible existence of a zwischenzug . In chess, and it is appropriate to keep repeating this ad nauseam , there is no worse disease than that of ‘assuming’ or ‘taking for granted’. Even a grandmaster as experienced as Pal Benko can succumb to this temptation, as was the case here, when he assumed that next move Black would recapture on g6.

Black to play Robatsch – Bisguier Hastings 1961/2 So many black pieces in the vicinity of the white king does not bode well for White. In fact here Black is presented with the mate on a plate. All he has to do is see it and execute it. 1...Qg1+! 0-1 2 Rxg1 is forced, since the knight also attacks this square, just as in smothered mate, but then comes 2...Nf2#. This differs from smothered mate only in that here the h2-square is not occupied by one of White’s own pieces but instead is controlled by an enemy piece. As we can see, the bishop controls a dark square and the knight gives mate by attacking a light square.

Black to play Dyce – McDonald British League (4NCL) 1997/8 A similar mating manoeuvre appears in this game, starting from the diagram position. 1...Nf1++! The correct discovered check: the knight needs to attack the h2-square. 2 Kh1 Qh2+! 0-1 And here is why: because Black must force White to capture the queen with his knight, in order to block the h2-square. After 3 Nxh2 Ng3#, the mating pieces once again share out the colours: g1 (dark) for the bishop; h1 (light) for the knight.

White to play Sveshnikov – Scherbakov USSR Ch, Moscow 1991 We have already had the opportunity to study mates with Q+B, and in particular those based on a bishop commanding the long diagonal. Does this position not tell you anything? Castled position weakened on the dark squares... Finish the game like this: 1 Qg7+!! 1-0 Exploiting the explosive power of the bishop on the long diagonal. After 1...Kxg7 2 Nf5++! Kg8, White can choose between two mates, 3 Ne7# and 3 Nh6#.

White to play Vishnikov – Owen Nizhny Novgorod 1904 In this position it is White to move and he can force a spectacular finish, which, considering the active position of his queen, bishop and the pair of knights, should come as no great surprise. 1 Qg8+!! Kxg8 1...Rxg8 2 Nf7#. 2 Ne7++! The correct discovery; the knight must control the g6-square. Generally this means that it must be a double check , rather than a mere discovered check. 2...Kf8 2...Kh8 3 Nf7#. 3 N5g6+! hxg6 4 Nxg6# This combination is given as “Vishnikov-Owen” in some sources and “Owen-Vishnikov” in others, with differences also as to the location. The only thing agreed on is the year. I confess that I have been unable to decipher the enigma and I urge readers to try to do so themselves. I have included the references of the source that seems to me to be the most trustworthy.

White to play Podzerov – Kunstowicz Poland 1970 Anyone seeing the previous combination is unlikely to forget it:

the peculiar arrangement of the knights, the queen and the bishop on the same a2-g8 diagonal... The position that arose in this game shares the same basic elements as the previous one, enabling White to mate using the same combination. 1 Qg8+!! Kxg8 1...Rxg8 2 Nf7#. 2 Ne7++! Kf8 2...Kh8 3 Nf7#. 3 N5g6+! hxg6 4 Nxg6#

White to play Jeroström – Bergman Ljusdal 1950 White has seriously weakened the black king, which is unable to move, but unless he finds a decisive attack, the initiative could pass to Black, thanks to the pin by the queen on the c4-bishop. 1 Nxg6+! Clearing the a2-g8 diagonal. 1...fxg6 2 Qg8+!! This decoy sacrifice prepares a mating mechanism that should already be familiar to us. 2...Kxg8 3 Ne7++ In this move we can see the tremendous power of a double check. 3...Kf8 4 Nxg6#

White to play Wikström – B. Wood Correspondence 1947 Black has just happily taken an enemy pawn on e3. Let’s focus for a moment on the black knight and notice the sensation of strangeness that we feel at the presence of a solitary enemy piece, so far from his camp. Of course, Black was expecting to get rid of the knight immediately by winning the exchange, but there is a something amiss, a false note, a discord... and this allows a quick finish. 1 Bh7+! Kf8 1...Kh8 2 Nxf7#. 2 Qe2 Nf5 Rather late in the day, Black realizes his mistake. 2...Nxf1 loses to 3 Qh5 Be6 4 f5. 3 Qh5 Nd6 4 Qxf7+!! Nxf7 5 Ng6# (1-0)

White to play Boleslavsky – Mosionzhik USSR Spartakiad, Moscow 1967 There is a great deal of tension here, but what is immediately apparent is the build-up of white pieces against Black’s kingside, which is certainly very weakened. There are three black pieces out of play (the c8-bishop and the knights on a6 and c7) and two white (the a1-rook and the c1-bishop). White’s c1-bishop can come into play via e3 and even admitting that the black knight on c7 can do likewise (via d5 or e8), the pressure of the white pieces is accentuated by the strength of the e5-pawn. In any case, White found the way to launch an effective direct attack. 1 Ngxf5! The b1-h7 diagonal is opened to decisive effect. 1...exf5 2 e6! Now the latent dynamism of the advancing pawn is evident. 2...Qf6 2...Bxe6 loses to 3 Rxe6!. 3 Qxf5+! 1-0 Even exchanging queens in the middle of an attack! Black resigned in view of 3...Qxf5 (3...Kh8 4 Qh7#) 4 Bxf5+ Kh8 5 Ng6+ Kh7 6 Ne5+! Kh8 7 Nf7#. A pretty combinative display from GM Isaak Boleslavsky.

Black to play Vaganian – Planinc Hastings 1974/5 Black has embarked upon an extraordinary combination. It is now his move. There is symmetry in each side’s undeveloped pieces: Black’s rook and bishop are at rest on the queenside, as are their white counterparts on the kingside. Queen and knight are in play for each side, but the key difference is that the black king has some pawn-cover and White’s clearly doesn’t. The continuation was: 1...Bf5!! 2 Qxa8 Or 2 Qe5 Bg6, with the threat of 3...Na1. 2...Qd6+ 3 Kc1 Na1!! It is rare in chess for a knight in the corner to play the main role in an attacking sequence. 4 Qxb7? White’s only survival chance lay in 4 Bc4 Qc5 5 Nc3 (5 b3? Nxb3+) 5...Qxc4 6 Qd8. 4...Qc7+!! 0-1 Deflection pure and simple. White must resign, since 5 Qxc7 allows 5...Nb3#. A jewel of a game. The Yugoslav player Albin Planinc (1944-2008, grandmaster 1972) is one of the unusual cases in chess. Very imaginative, exceptionally gifted in the field of attacking play and combinations, Planinc won several international tournaments (for example, Amsterdam 1973, tied with Petrosian, ahead of

Spassky), only to disappear from the scene. As consolation for his fans, his most inspired creations live on in the annals of chess.

16: Knight + Knight The mating patterns created by two knights are very spectacular, precisely for their rarity, since they require several self-blocking enemy pieces. For this reason, most mates with two knights are produced on one of the edges of the board, since the defender’s king has less mobility there, and so there are fewer flight-squares that require blocking. 1 : Mate on the Edge 2 : Mates on Other Squares

1: Mate on the Edge Let us begin with a medieval position, used by the hustlers of the time to fool their victims at fairs and markets.

White to play Manuscript Civis Bononiae c. 1400 Notice that there is no white king. The hustler (generally, a professional chess-player) would pose the question as to whether it was possible to checkmate in two moves. Solution: 1 Rf2+! Nxf2 2 Ng3# If the victim said ‘no’, the hustler would show the solution and pocket the wager. But if the ‘mark’ was wise to it and said ‘yes’, then, before any of the pieces could be moved, the hustler would quickly place the white king on g4 or d3, pretending that he had forgotten to put it on. This trick would allow him to retract or invalidate the wager and so the hustler always came out on top. In any case, it is a pretty mate with all four knights in a square.

White to play Clemenz – Eisenschmidt Dorpat 1862 In this position, in which the queen and both white knights are so commanding, Black’s material advantage is irrelevant, since his king is dramatically exposed. 1 Qe6! Nd8 2 Qf7+!! Blocking the f7-square and deflecting the black knight from controlling e6. 2...Nxf7 3 Ne6# A pretty mate with the four knights all together. A similar finish presented itself to Blackburne in the following position.

Black to play NN – Blackburne 1902 This game is given in some sources as played in Norwich in 1872 but once again it has proved difficult to track it down, especially when it was not played in a particular tournament but was possibly part of an simultaneous exhibition. 1...Qg2+!! 2 Rxg2 Black has forced the self-blocking of the g2-square, which leaves the black knights with only four squares to cover. 2...Nh3# The knight on g3 controls the light squares f1 and h1, and the one on h3 the dark squares f2 and g1.

Black to play Daly – Rochev Bunratty 1999 It is Black to move in this position and therefore he has the opportunity to checkmate in three moves. In the game he restricted himself to winning the exchange with the routine 1...Bh4. If he had known Blackburne’s game of course he would not have overlooked the mate. But isn’t this what technique consists of – the precise knowledge of how to do something well? 1...Ng3+! 2 Kg1 Qg2+! 3 Rxg2 Nh3#

White to play It is important to know this type of position, in which White, by exploiting the enormous power of the double check, can terminate the struggle by mating with two knights. 1 Qh7+!! Kxh7 2 Nf6++ The simultaneous check by bishop and knight forces the black king to move. 2...Kh8 3 Ng6#

Black to play Tot – Asztalos Ljubljana 1938 Four of White’s own pieces are blocking squares that would otherwise be accessible to the white king, so that a single check would be mate. Black finds the way to deliver that final check, thanks to the imposing presence of his knights in that sector. 1...Qxh3+!! Deflecting the white knight from protecting the key f3-square. 2 Nxh3 Nxf3# (0-1)

Black to play Yanushpolsky – Rovner USSR Team Ch, Odessa 1929 Black ignores the attack on his queen and, based on the pressure to which he has subjected the white king, he plays... 1...Nc5! 0-1 Threatening 2...Nd3#, and if 2 Nf4, 2...Nc2#.

White to play Wiese-Jozwiak – Muresan Hungary 1979 White’s queen and two knights are attacking numerous squares

in Black’s castled position, with the latent collaboration of the rook on f1. However, it seems that the threats are contained (for example, the e7-square), and that the knight on f5 will be forced to retreat. But White has a bright idea: 1 Ne6!! Threatening to mate on f8 with the queen. 1...Nf6 The knight cannot be captured: 1...fxe6 2 Ne7+! Nxe7 3 Rxf8#. Equally futile is 1...Nc7, owing to 2 Qxf8+! Rxf8 3 Nh6#. 2 Qxf8+! 1-0 2...Rxf8 3 Nh6#.

White to play Novikov – Bisguier Philadelphia 1999 White is in complete control of the game, with all his pieces optimally situated and ready for the decisive attack. The queen and bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal prove especially fearsome. 1 Rxe6! Deflecting the knight, which is overworked trying to defend both e6 and h7. 1...Nxe6 1...Qc7 2 Ne5. 2 Nxh6+! A sacrifice that was crying out to be played. 2...Kf8 Or 2...gxh6 3 Qh7+ Kf8 4 Qh8+ Kf7 5 Ne5#.

3 Qg6 Nd8 3...gxh6 4 Qxh6+ Kg8 5 Qh7+ Kf8 6 Qh8+ Kf7 7 Ne5#. 4 Ne5 Threatening 5 Nd7#. 4...Ra7 5 Qf7+! Nxf7 6 Ng6# (1-0) The following position constitutes the apotheosis of this type of mate on the edge.

White to play Erdös – Lichtner Munich 1922 Apart from the queen’s rook, all White’s pieces are in play. And not only that, they are threatening the enemy king, whose position has been seriously weakened and who lacks the protection of friendly pieces. White concluded the struggle in an inspired manner: 1 Nf6! Threatening 2 Qg6. 1...Ne7 Or: 1...Qxf6 2 Qe8+ and mate; 1...hxg5 2 Qh5#; 1...Nd5 2 Qg6! (or 2 Bxd5!); 1...Ng4 2 Qg6 Nxf6 3 Nf7+. 2 Qg6!! Qg8 The queen cannot be captured: 2...Nxg6 3 Nf7#. The queen move has cleared the f7-square. 3 Qh7+!! A brutal and devastating sacrifice. 3...Qxh7 4 Nf7#

2: Mates on Other Squares

White to play Speyer – Couvée Amsterdam 1902 Black has just played ...g5, attacking both queen and knight. Is White losing a piece? On the contrary, White is about to present his opponent with a big surprise. 1 Qxh7+! Removing the guard, i.e. the pawn defending g6. As simple as one and one is two! 1...Rxh7 2 Ng6#

White to play Holmsten – Mitnitski Koszalin 1999 The reader should notice how the black pieces are all boxed in on the queenside, in contrast to the freedom enjoyed by his opponent. The concluding manoeuvre is simple and serves to typify a mate that is not often seen. 1 Rxd6! 1-0 1...cxd6 2 Ne7+ Kc7 3 Ncd5#. In the final mating position Black’s own pieces block five of the eight squares otherwise available to his king! This means that White only needed to control four: the first knight attacks c8 and c6, and the one delivering mate, b6 and c7.

White to play I. Zaitsev – Skotorenko USSR 1970 The positional relationships between White’s pieces and Black’s are somewhat chaotic. Black is a piece and two pawns up, but this is irrelevant, because White can regain the piece immediately and, especially, because the situation of the black king is nothing to boast about. This final factor is ultimately the motif for the finish. 1 Qa4+ Na5 2 Qb5+! A spectacular sacrifice to block this square, which will give rise to a beautiful mate. 2...Nxb5 3 Nb4+ Kb6 4 Na4# Another exceptional case of four knights in a square. Black’s king is not on the edge of the board, but as the four pawns on his second rank create a barrier in a straight line, in effect it is as if the mate were on the edge.

17: King + Piece In this chapter we shall include examples of mating combinations in which the king lends decisive support to one of the pieces. Thus, more than ever, the mates here will have a schematic character and, precisely for that reason, will be all the more instructive, since they will be reducible to patterns or, at least, to recognizable situations, from which the most significant features can be extracted. 1 : King + Queen 2 : King + Rook 3 : King + Bishop 4 : King + Knight 5 : King + Pawn

1: King + Queen

Black to play Batuev – Simagin USSR Team Ch, Riga 1954 This game had a tragicomic outcome. With the black pieces, Simagin saw nothing more natural (since his king was occupying the queening square) than to advance his pawn to its seventh rank, heading for the queening square. But much to his surprise, he was horrified to discover that he had placed himself in a mating-net.

1...e2?? 2 Qg1+ Kd2 3 Qc1+ Kd3 4 Qc3# (1-0) Tip of the day: always mistrust ‘natural’ moves.

Black to play Gausel – Østenstad Norwegian Ch, Gausdal 1999 In this position both kings are exposed. White is threatening 1 Qf4+ Kh5 2 Qh4#, but it is Black’s turn to move, and he uncorks a surprising shot: 1...Bh3+! 0-1 White resigned in view of 2 Kxh3 Qf1# and 2 Kf3 Qxd3#. The collaboration of the king proved decisive, controlling the flight-squares f4, g4 and h4.

Black to play Buksa – Kovacs Budapest 1964 The white king is in such peril (a king on the fourth rank, with enemy major pieces on the board, almost always is) that if the black king could support a queen check on h5 it would be mate. But the black king can’t advance at the moment, in view of the check on e6. However, a slight adjustment to the position is all it takes for the solution to jump out. 1...Bf6+! An interference sacrifice, to block the sixth rank. 2 exf6 Kg6! Threatening the aforementioned mate on h5, and if 3 g4, then 3...Qe1+ 4 Bf2 Qxf2#.

White to play B. Lasker Deutsches Wochenschach , 1890 In this brilliant study White achieves a queen mate by releasing the expansive force of his f5-pawn. How is this possible? 1 Bg8! Rxg8 Forced, because of the threat of mate on h7. 2 Kf7!! Ignoring the threat against the queen. 2...Rxg6 Again the only move. 3 fxg6 c1Q An ephemeral promotion. 4 g7+ Kh7 5 g8Q# This manoeuvre recalls Nimzowitsch’s brilliant insight: “The passed pawn has a soul, unexpressed desires which struggle to see the light”. Perhaps the pawn which is not yet passed, as in this case the one on f5, has in its soul the aspiration to become passed...

2: King + Rook

White to play F. Saavedra (correcting G. Barbier ) Weekly Citizen (Glasgow), 1895 This well-known study serves to illustrate some tactical possibilities of the K+R tandem, in certain circumstances, especially when the defender’s king is situated on the edge of the board. It is White to play. 1 c7 Rd6+ The only move, as is obvious. 2 Kb5 The white king must not tread on the seventh rank, since 2 Kb7? would allow 2...Rd7 and 3...Rxc7, nor can it go onto the c-file, since then the black rook would base its defence on moving to d1, and if the pawn queens, then ...Rc1+. 2...Rd5+ 3 Kb4 Rd4+ There is no other defence. 4 Kb3 Rd3+ 5 Kc2 Now it seems that the black king has achieved its objective, since it attacks the rook and also covers the d1-square. However, White still has a last resource. 5...Rd4! With the idea of answering 6 c8Q? with 6...Rc4+! 7 Qxc4, stalemate! 6 c8R! Now the check on c4 is pointless and, in addition, White is threatening mate on a8. 6...Ra4

The only move. 7 Kb3! The decisive double attack, attacking the rook and threatening mate on c1. Black is lost.

3: King + Bishop

White to play Deschapelles – de la Bourdonnais Paris, date unknown Although this position is quoted as having arisen in a friendly game between de la Bourdonnais and his teacher, Deschapelles, it seems certain that it is a composed position, in view of the random nature of the way the pieces are distributed on the board. Advanced and connected passed pawns were a motif in some other compositions by de la Bourdonnais, who was a great fan of their power, following a spectacular combination of his against McDonnell. 1 Nxh6+! gxh6 2 Qh8+!! Kxh8 3 Kf7! Threatening 4 Bf6#. 3...e1Q Nothing helps now. If 3...Rf8+, 4 Kxf8, with the same threat. 4 Bf6#

White to play A. Troitsky Novoe Vremia , 1895 In this splendid composition by Alexei Troitsky we shall see the attacking power of the K+B team. 1 Bh6+ Kg8 2 g7 The purpose of this manoeuvre appears obvious: White must keep his pawn if he is to win... 2...Kf7 2...e6+ is no use, because of 3 Kd6! (not, of course, 3 Kxe6?? stalemate) 3...e5 (3...Kf7 4 Ke5 Kg8 5 Kf6 e5 6 Bg5) 4 Ke7 e4 5 Kf6, and Black is in zugzwang. 3 g8Q+!! But what is this? How can White win without his pawn? Instead, 3 Ke5?, with the black king on f7, leads to a draw: 3...e6 4 Kd6 e5. 3...Kxg8 4 Ke6 Kh8 5 Kf7 The point is that with this attacking manoeuvre, the black king will be mated in the corner. 5...e5 6 Bg7#

4: King + Knight

White to play Tomović – S. Sokolov Belgrade 1961 This is a curious case in which a mating-net, using very little material, draws ever tighter around White, without him being able to do anything to prevent it. The other strange thing is that White is up by two strong pawns which are connected and passed and his pieces are theoretically active. Furthermore it is White’s move. However, the web woven by the black pieces is indestructible. 1 Re8 Rh1+! This threat was unstoppable. 2 Bxh1 Nf1# A very instructive mate, in which each of Black’s pieces fulfils a function.

White to play L. Kubbel (end of a study) 150 Endspielstudien , 1925 In this position something incredible is about to happen. It is White to play and, despite being two pawns down, he has reached a winning position, which he is now going to conclude in a way that looks natural yet is, at the same time, extraordinary. 1 Qb2+ Nb3 The only move, since 1...Ka5 allows 2 Nc4+ Ka6 3 Qb6#. 2 Qa3+!! Kxa3 2...Kb5 avoids mate, but costs Black his queen. 3 Nc2# An astonishing mate. Wouldn’t you just love to be able to hand in a score-sheet with this finish? The diagram position appears perfectly normal yet contains an amazing possibility; the moral is that you should be on the lookout for extraordinary ideas in any position.

5: King + Pawn It is difficult to find this type of mate in practice, because, naturally, it constitutes an exception, but in any case it is worth illustrating this possibility with a few studies and problems. The first is a typical position, less exceptional than it might appear.

White to play From the principles of the basic endings we know that when the attacker’s king stands in opposition to the defender’s king, which is confined to the edge of the board, this facilitates a rook checkmate. This gives us a clue about the strength of the white king’s position. Furthermore, were it not for Black’s g4-pawn, White could checkmate with Rh3#. Second thoughts: if Black’s g4-pawn were on h3 instead, then White could checkmate the black king with g3#, which at the moment would not work, because Black would have the escape-square h3. 1 Rh3+! Forcing the g-pawn to move to h3, and thus creating a decisive self-block. 1...gxh3 2 g3#

White to play P. Morphy New York Clipper , 1856 This is a very well-known problem, which we have probably all been shown by some grizzled veteran when we began to visit a chess club. White wins with an elegant move: 1 Rh6! Now there are only are two possibilities: a) take the rook; b) move the bishop. If the rook is captured with 1...gxh6, then 2 g7#, and if the bishop moves, then 2 Rxh7#.

White to play

J. Fritz Svobodne Slovo , 1950 In this composed ending, White forces Black to make a series of ‘only moves’, and the play is self-explanatory. 1 b6 Rb7 2 Kc6 Ng6 3 Rxb7 Nxe5+ 4 Kc7 Nc6 5 Ra7+ Nxa7 6 b7#

White to play V. Kalandadze Soplis Tskhovreba , 1975 1 Rh5! Rxh5 2 a7 Rg5+ 3 Kf7 Rf5+ 4 Ke7 Re5+ 5 Kd7 Rd5+ 6 Kc7 Rc5+ 7 Kb7 Rb5+ 8 Kc6 Rb6+ 9 Kc5 Ra6 10 b4#

White to play A. Kakovin Tourney dedicated to the 3rd Moscow International Tournament , 1936 Despite the relatively abundant material on the board, White is able to keep harassing the enemy king, thanks to which it remains stuck on the fifth rank, and out of the eight squares to which the king could move, in theory, four are self-blocked and two are under attack, which leaves it with only two notional escape-squares. 1 f4+ Kd5 2 f5! Bxf5 The bishop is forced to block one of the two flight-squares. 3 Nf4+ Ke5 4 Rd1 Threatening mate on d5. 4...c6 5 Rd5+! Anyway. 5...cxd5 White has forced another square to be blocked. 6 Nd3+!! The final and decisive finesse. The knight is sacrificed to deflect the e4-pawn, the last obstacle. 6...exd3 7 f4#! A single pawn, with the support of its king, has delivered checkmate. But what force had to be sacrificed first, to prepare the path to glory!

18: Minor Piece + Pawn Since mate with minor piece + pawn is a really quite exceptional occurrence, its study is much less important than, say, the theme of Q+P or R+P, so I have lumped it all into this one chapter. I have also included a few examples of the mate with pawn + pawn, inevitably even rarer in practice. The material is organized as follows: 1 : Mate with Bishop + Pawn 2 : Mate with Knight + Pawn 3 : Mate with Pawn + Pawn

1: Mate with Bishop + Pawn The mate with bishop and pawn usually occurs with the bishop situated on one of the long diagonals and the pawn on the sixth rank, such that the advance of the pawn discovers the lethal check by the bishop.

Black to play Naumov – Petrusansky USSR 1978 The four black pieces have open lines and the presence of the queen on h3, together with the powerful pawn on f3, suggests that White’s prospects here are rather dismal. 1...Rxe3! Initiating a plan to attack the white king along the long h1-a8

diagonal. 2 fxe3 Be4 3 Rf2 The only move to prevent the advance ...f2+. 3...Rxa2! Deflection, to unblock the f2-square, in connection with the aforementioned threat. 4 Rgf1 Qxf1+!! White felt forced to resign, since if 5 Rxf1, then 5...f2#. The bishop and the pawn, like good friends, share the work of controlling the vital light and dark squares: the bishop g2 and h1, and the pawn g1.

White to play Denker – Gonzalez Detroit 1945 We quickly notice Black’s weakened kingside, with the dangerous white pawn on f6 controlling the g7-square. White’s queen and three minor pieces are all very active, while Black has an additional problem: his undeveloped queenside pieces. 1 Nxf7+!! A masterly conception. Denker’s idea is to free the f6-pawn to advance and for this he needs to remove all the obstacles currently standing in the way. We should note that White had a wide range of ways to win this overwhelming position, but this is certainly the prettiest. 1...Nxf7 Or 1...Rxf7 2 Bxf7 Nxf7 3 Qh6!! Qg8 (3...Nxh6 4 f7+) 4 Re1,

with the unstoppable threat of 5 Re8!. 2 Qh6!! Black resigned in view of 2...Nxh6 3 f7+, mating, and 2...Rg8 3 Bxf7 Qf8 4 Bd5, with the devastating threat of 5 f7+, followed by mate.

Black to play NN – Kostrovitsky St Petersburg 1893? For his deficit of two pieces, Black has four pawns, but his three pieces and the pawn on f3 contain enormous latent expansive power. With his first move Black regains a piece. 1...Qxf6! 2 Qc1 The only move. 2 Qxf6 is met by 2...Re1+ 3 Rf1 (3 Bf1 Rxf1+! 4 Rxf1 f2#) 3...f2+ 4 Be4 Bxe4#. 2...Qb2!? A double deflection (of queen and rook). Objectively, one might prefer 2...Be4! 3 Bxe4 Rxe4, winning comfortably. 3 Qf1? If the queen is captured, one of the above mates appears. But 3 Nxd6+ Kb8 4 Rxb2 f2+ 5 Ne4 Rxe4 6 Kg2 will leave Black to win a highly favourable ending. 3...Qxf2!! The destructive capacity of the black queen is absolute. 4 Qxf2 Re1+! 0-1 It’s curtains: 5 Qxe1 f2+ 6 Be4 Bxe4+ 7 Qxe4 f1Q#. The combined power of bishop and f-pawn were what drove the


2: Mate with Knight + Pawn

White to play This position will teach us the strength of the manoeuvre involving a rook sacrifice to achieve a smothered mate. 1 Qh6 Nh5 2 Qxh5!! gxh5 3 Rg1+ Kh8 4 Nh6 The threat is 5 Rg8+! (to deprive the black king of the escape-square g8) 5...Rxg8 6 Nxf7#. The f-pawn is important, since it controls the g7-square. The idea is similar to the mating positions with R+N in which the defender’s king is smothered-mated with the help of a sacrifice on g8.

White to play Danielian – Landa Cappelle la Grande 1996 Once the idea of the previous position has been assimilated, it should not be difficult to find the solution here. 1 Ng5! 1-0 The queen threatens mate on h7, and 1...Qxh6 allows 2 Nxf7#. The following is a spectacular exhibition of modern master play, between two strong grandmasters.

Black to play Ftačnik – Cvitan

Bundesliga 1997/8 Black concluded the struggle in a surprising and spectacular fashion: 1...Bxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Qh3+!! Decoying the white king into a decisive mating pattern. 3 Kxh3 3 Kh1 g2#. 3...Ng5+ 4 Kg2 Nh4+ 0-1 5 Kh1 g2#. Although both knights took part (and bishop and queen too), only one participated in the mating pattern.

White to play A. Troitsky HM, Työväen Shakki , 1935 1 Qc3+ Kxf5 1...Kxd5 2 Qd4+ Kc6 (2...Ke6 3 Ng7+) 3 Qxc4+ Nc5 4 Qb5+!! Kxb5 5 Nd4#. 2 Qxf3+ Kg6 3 Qg4+ Ng5 4 Qh5+!! Kxh5 5 Nf4#

Black to play C. Foisor – Chiburdanidze Women’s Candidates, Tilburg 1994 The superiority of Black’s forces is so overwhelming that they are able to conjure up an absolutely unexpected and, of course, spectacular finish. 1...Qxh2+! 0-1 By eliminating the pawn on h2 (removing the guard of g3), Black makes the fatal square available for her knight: 2 Rxh2 Ng3#. One knight and one pawn were the only units that took part in the checkmate.

3: Mate with Pawn + Pawn If the mates of B+P and N+P are rare, mate with two pawns is rarer still, and the reader will have few opportunities to checkmate with this duo, since as an attacking force they are very limited. It is appropriate, however, to learn a few patterns which make this unusual finish possible.

White to play It is obvious that if 1 f7+? the black king escapes via e7, but if White could block that square, the f-pawn, supported by its colleague on g6, could mate. No sooner said than done. 1 Re7+! Bxe7 Self-blocking. 2 f7# The same idea had been shown in medieval manuscripts.

White to play Bonus Socius manuscript, c. 1300 1 Ra7+!

A sacrifice of the rook to force self-blocking. We should note that at that time 1 b7+ Ka7 2 bxc8Q+ would not have been an alternative win since the ‘queen’ lacked its modern powers. 1...Nxa7 2 b7#

Training Positions: First Set These positions are a suggested practical exercise for the reader, who can try to solve them with or without a time-limit. They are grouped into three levels of difficulty. If you find the first section to be too easy, you may wish to go straight to the harder positions. If you manage to solve them easily too, you are surely a master, doing us the honour of training by using this book.

Easiest Positions

1) White to play solution

2) White to play solution

3) White to play solution

4) White to play solution

5) Black to play solution

6) Black to play solution

7) Black to play solution

8) White to play solution

9) White to play solution

10) White to play solution

11) White to play solution

12) Black to play: mate in 2 solution

13) Black to play solution

14) White to play solution

15) White to play solution

16) White to play solution

17) White to play solution

18) White to play solution

19) White to play solution

20) White to play solution

21) White to play solution

22) White to play solution

23) Black to play solution

24) Black to play solution

25) Black to play solution

26) White to play solution

27) White to play solution

28) White to play solution

29) White to play solution

30) Black to play: mate in 5 solution

31) White to play solution

32) Black to play solution

33) White to play solution

34) White to play solution

35) Black to play solution

36) White to play solution

37) White to play solution

38) White to play solution

39) White to play solution

40) White to play solution

41) White to play solution

42) White to play solution

43) Black to play solution

44) White to play solution

45) White to play solution

46) Black to play solution

47) Black to play solution

48) Black to play solution

49) White to play solution

50) Black to play solution

51) Black to play solution

Medium Difficulty

52) White to play solution

53) White to play solution

54) Black to play solution

55) White to play solution

56) Black to play solution

57) White to play solution

58) White to play solution

59) White to play solution

60) White to play solution

61) White to play solution

62) White to play solution

63) White to play solution

64) Black to play solution

65) Black to play solution

66) White to play solution

67) White to play solution

68) White to play solution

69) White to play solution

70) White to play solution

71) White to play solution

72) White to play solution

73) White to play solution

74) Black to play solution

75) Black to play solution

76) Black to play solution

77) White to play solution

78) White to play solution

79) White to play solution

80) White to play solution

81) Black to play solution

82) White to play solution

83) White to play solution

84) Black to play solution

85) White to play solution

86) White to play solution

87) Black to play solution

88) White to play solution

89) White to play solution

90) White to play solution

91) Black to play solution

92) Black to play solution

93) Black to play solution

94) Black to play solution

95) White to play solution

96) White to play solution

97) White to play solution

98) White to play solution

99) Black to play solution

100) White to play solution

101) White to play solution

102) Black to play solution

103) Black to play solution

104) Black to play solution

105) White to play solution

106) Black to play solution

107) White to play solution

108) Black to play solution

109) White to play solution

110) Black to play solution

111) Black to play solution

112) White to play solution

113) White to play solution

114) Black to play solution

115) White to play solution

116) White to play solution

117) White to play solution

118) White to play solution

Difficult Positions

119) White to play solution

120) White to play; mate in 3 solution

121) White to play solution

122) White to play solution

123) White to play solution

124) White to play solution

125) White to play solution

126) White to play solution

127) Black to play solution

128) White to play solution

129) Black to play solution

130) Black to play solution

131) White to play solution

132) Black to play solution

133) White to play solution

134) White to play solution

135) Black to play solution

136) White to play solution

137) White to play solution

138) White to play solution

Part 3: Target: The King in the Centre Just as in Part 4 (‘Target: The Castled King’), there are certain difficulties in classifying the combinations into categories. To start with, an attack on a king which is on its initial square is not the same as if the king is situated, say, on the fourth or fifth rank, i.e., the geometrical centre of the board. Thus for king in the centre we mean on one of the central files, but excluding the fourth and fifth ranks, since such attacks or combinations are unusual and, in any case, when a king is so exposed there should not be major difficulties in delivering mate. This part of the book will be divided into three chapters, according to the position of the defender’s king. 19 : King on its Back Rank 20 : King on its Second Rank 21 : King on its Third Rank In the following diagram we have marked with a star all the positions that we are classifying here as ‘king in the centre’.

The king on c8 or c1 poses difficulties for our classification, since these squares can correspond to a king castled on the queenside. We have therefore only included such positions here when it is clear that the king is not on these squares as a consequence of queenside castling, but through the vicissitudes of the game.

Similarly, the placing of the king on c2 or c7 is a situation which, generally speaking, would correspond to a king that has castled queenside. However, the king’s location on such a square presupposes first of all a weaknesses in the castled position, since the c-pawn has been advanced and, secondly, the king has moved to occupy that square on its second rank, where it is more exposed, for which reason it could, possibly, be considered under the category ‘king in the centre’. Therefore when considering this type of position we shall decide according to the merits of the specific case whether to include it in this section or in Part 4 , which discusses attacks on castled kings.

19: King on its Back Rank In this chapter we study positions in which the exposed king is situated on one of the squares e8, d8, f8 and c8, divided into the following sections: 1 : Knight Sacrifices 2 : Bishop Sacrifices 3 : Rook Sacrifices 4 : Queen Sacrifices 5 : Multiple Sacrifices

1: Knight Sacrifices Sacrifices of a knight against an uncastled king take place usually on e6 and f7, although, of course, there are innumerable alternative possibilities, not counting possible passive sacrifices, i.e., sacrifices that occur when one side has a piece that is attacked, but declines to defend it or retreat it.

White to play Ničevski – Grigorov Pernik 1977 The position seems to cry out for a knight sacrifice on e6. However, it is vital to see how to continue the attack effectively after the capture on g6. 1 Nxe6! fxe6 2 Qxg6+ Kf8 3 f5! It is essential to activate the bishop, which now threatens to

take on h6. 3...Bg5 3...exf5 is met by 4 e6. But now the black bishop abandoned an important diagonal... 4 Bc5+! 1-0 After 4...Qxc5 5 Rd7 Be7 6 f6 White wins easily.


Black to play Holmsten – Couso Stockholm 1998/9 Both kings are still on their initial squares, but White has numerous weaknesses in the vicinity of his king (the g1-a7 diagonal, for example). Black, on the other hand, has an advantage in development and is attacking the pawn on f3. 1...Nxf3+ 2 Kf2 Qc5+! Sacrificing the knight to launch a full-scale attack on the white king. 3 Kxf3 Bd5+ 4 Kg4 Bf6!? 5 Bb5+ Ke7 Both kings are exposed, but White’s has already reached the fourth rank: a black mark against his royal career. 6 Qa4 h5+ 7 Kh3 Qf2! 0-1 There is now no defence against the two threatened mates: 8...Be6# and 8...Qg2#.

White to play K. Richter – Brinckmann German Ch, Aachen 1935 Black is just about to castle, but here ‘just about’ = ‘too late’, allowing Kurt Richter to launch one of his famous attacks. 1 Ne6! A fairly obvious knight sacrifice, exploiting the pin on the black knight. International Master Rudolf Teschner commented: “Black had not foreseen this tremendous jump of the knight, a magical piece whose survival he is unable to permit. In any case, Black is already lost.” 1...fxe6 2 dxe6 0-0 3 Qxd7 Qg5+ 4 Kb1 Rae8 5 Qxc7 Re7 6 Rd7 Qxg2 7 Rc1 Rc8 8 Rd8+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 8...Kh7 9 Qxe7 and 8...Rxd8 9 Qxd8+ Kh7 10 Qxe7.

White to play Tukmakov – Hulak Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999 White has mobilized all his pieces, unlike Black, whose king is also still in the centre. In such a situation, the extra pawn is unimportant and White now demonstrates the superiority of his position. 1 Nxe6! fxe6 1...Bxe6? allows 2 Qxd8+ Qxd8 3 Rxd8#, while 1...Nxe6? is met by 2 Bxd5 hxg5 3 Bc6+ Ke7 4 Qd6#. 2 Qg6+ Nf7? Here 2...Kd7 is better, but after 3 Bxd8 Kxd8 4 Bxd5 exd5 5 Rxd5+ Kc7, White can continue with 6 Qf7+ or 6 Qe6, in both cases with a winning position. 3 Bxd5 Even better was 3 Qxe6+! Bxe6 4 Bc6+. 3...Be7 4 Bxe6 1-0

White to play Beliaev – Silaev Correspondence 1975-6 White has sacrificed a piece for two pawns in order to obtain this dominant position. But the two pawns are not his only compensation: the two undeveloped black pieces on the queenside are another significant factor in the struggle. 1 Nxe6! fxe6 The capture is forced, in view of the threat of mate on f8. 2 Rxd5! Qd8 2...exd5 allows 3 Qe7#. 3 Rf5!! Rxf5 4 Qg8+ 1-0 4...Rf8 5 Qxe6+ and mate.

White to play Zinser – Lombardy Zagreb 1969 The position is explosive, but what is clear is that Black is very cramped and White has an overwhelming space advantage. This, added to the fact that the four white pieces are all very active, proves decisive. 1 f6+ In the game White played 1 exd6+?, squandering much of his advantage. 1...gxf6 2 gxf6+ Ke8 3 Nxe6!! Qg1+ Naturally, 3...Qxb4 loses to 4 Nc7# or 4 Rxf8#, while 3...fxe6 is met by 4 Qg4, threatening both 5 Qxe6# and 5 Qg6#. 4 Ka2 Now the queen covers g4, but if 4...fxe6, then 5 Qxd6, winning.

Black to play Kotov – Bondarevsky USSR Ch, Moscow 1945 Black’s command of the g1-a7 diagonal proves decisive in this case, and the presence of the black rook on the e-file is also important, since the white king remains on its original square. 1...Bh3! 2 Kf1 Obviously the bishop is taboo because of the fork on f3: 2 gxh3? Nxf3+ 3 Kf1 Nxd2+. 2...Nxf3! Neither of the two black pieces can be taken. 3 Qf4 3 Qc3 Re3. 3...Ng4!? Here is the knight sacrifice. 4 Qxf3 Ne3+ 5 Ke1 Bxg2 6 Qf2 Bxh1 White resigned a few moves later.

White to play V. Milov – Kelečević Lenk 1996 The situation of a king on one of the central files cries out for the opening of lines, the motif that inspires the majority of sacrifices. In this case, White already has his artillery occupying ideal posts, but he has sacrificed a pawn and must employ urgent methods to speed up his attack on the enemy king. 1 d5!! The opening of the d-file is a necessity and furthermore it proves decisive. 1...Nxc5 Or: 1...bxc5 2 dxc6; 1...cxd5 2 Ne6+ Bxe6 3 Qxe6 Qf6 4 Qxd5 Rc8 5 Nc5; 1...Bxd5 2 Ne6+ Bxe6 3 Qxe6 Qf6 4 Nc5! Qxe6 5 Nxe6+ Kc8 6 Nxf8 Nxf8 7 Re8+ Kb7 8 Rxa8 Kxa8 9 Rd8+ Kb7 10 Rxf8. 2 Nxc5 Bxd5 Or 2...bxc5 3 dxc6+ Kc7 (3...Kc8 4 Qa6+ Kc7 5 Qb7#) 4 Qa6, threatening both 5 Qb7# and 5 Rd7+. 3 Qe6 Threatening mate on d7, and 3...bxc5 is met by 4 Qxc6, threatening both 5 Rxd5# and 5 Qxa8+. 1-0

White to play Lalić – Hulak Croatia Cup, Pula 1996 The pawn duo f7+e6 is self-supporting, but is vulnerable since, as is well known, the squares f7 and f2 are the weakest on the board and the black king still has not castled. 1 Nxf7! A manoeuvre to draw out the black king. 1...Kxf7 2 Ng5+ Kg6? This loses, though the reason isn’t very obvious. 2...Ke7?? 3 Qxe6+ Kf8 4 Qf7#, 2...Kg8?? 3 Qxe6+ Kf8 4 Qf7# and 2...Kf8?? 3 Bxb7 (intending Nxe6+) are all clearly hopeless for Black. The best defence was 2...Ke8 3 Nxe6 Bxg2 4 Nxd8 Kxd8 5 Rg1 Bd5, when all is not lost. 3 Bxb7 Rxb7 4 d4 Threatening 5 Qd3+. 4...e5 5 Qf7+ Kf5 When the king reaches its fourth rank, it is usually all over. 6 e4+ 1-0 6...Kg4 7 f3#.

White to play Nezhmetdinov – Kamyshev Russian Ch, Gorky 1950 There is no great mystery about White’s advantage here; all his pieces are developed and Black’s are not. To achieve this, and also to detain the enemy king in the centre, White has invested a pawn. 1 Bxf6 1 cxd5 is a very strong alternative. 1...gxf6 2 Nxf7?! A typical sacrifice in such positions, when the white forces are ready to create serious problems for the king in the centre. That said, once again 2 cxd5! is a clearer way to continue the attack on the king. 2...Kxf7 3 Qh5+ Ke7 4 cxd5 e5 5 f4! Qxd5? In reality, this struggle is less about material than position. With this capture of the d5-pawn, all Black does is open more lines of attack against his own king. There are a number of better defensive tries, such as 5...Rd8 6 fxe5 Kd7 and 5...Qb6+ 6 Kh1 Bg7. 6 fxe5 f5 7 e6 Threatening 8 Qf7+ and the black king is unable to go to the d-file because of Rad1. 7...Kf6 8 h4! Threatening 9 Qg5# and 9 Qf7#, now that the escape-square g5 is covered. 8...Bc5+ 9 Kh1 Qxe6 10 Qh6+ 1-0

After 10...Kf7 (or 10...Ke7) 11 Qxe6+, it will soon be mate.

White to play B. Lawson – Hervieux New York State Ch, New York 1999 As in the previous case, poor development is here the main motif of the combination that follows. White has sacrificed two pawns to create direct threats against a king which has remained in the centre. Note that Black still has four pieces to bring into play, as well as the queen. 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 fxg6++ Kg7 2...Kg8 3 Qf3 Qe7 4 g7! Qxg7 (4...Kxg7 5 Qg3+; 4...Bxg7 5 Bg5) 5 Bf7+. 3 Rf7+ Kg8 4 Qg4 Bg7 4...h6 5 g7!. 5 Rxg7+! 1-0 5...Kxg7 6 gxh7+ Kf8 (6...Kxh7 7 Qg6#) 7 Bh6+ Ke7 8 Qg7#.

White to play Adams – Serper New York 1996 There is too much pressure on the points e6 and f5, and although Black has already mobilized his queenside pawns, the struggle between these two grandmasters is clearly tilting in White’s favour. Adams conducts the attack in model fashion. 1 Nxe6+! This opens invasion routes along the light-square diagonals dominated by White’s bishop and queen. 1...fxe6 2 Qg6 Qc7 Or 2...Qd8 3 Bxe6, with the possible continuation 3...Qe8 4 Qxf5+ Kg7 5 Rhg1+ Kh6 6 Rd3 intending Rh3+. 3 Qxe6 Ke8 4 Rhg1 4 Bb5+ Kd8 (or 4...Bc6 5 e5!) 5 e5 is a little more forceful. 4...Bxe4 5 Rg7 White keeps extending his tentacles. 5...Kd8 Or: 5...Rc8 6 Bb5+; 5...Rb8 6 Rdg1 Rf8 7 Rg8; 5...Qd7 6 Bb5!. 6 Rxe7! Qxe7 7 Rxd6+ Qxd6 7...Ke8 8 Qg6+ Kf8 9 Rf6+. 8 Qxd6+ Ke8 8...Kc8 9 Ba6+ Rxa6 (9...Bb7 10 Qc6+) 10 Qxa6+. 9 Qe5+ 1-0 9...Kd7 10 Bb5+ Bc6 11 Qd5+ is the end.

White to play Kasparov – Hjartarson Tilburg 1989 White wants to exploit the fact that the black king is still in the centre but he cannot fall back on routine moves here, since if, for example, 1 Qa3, then 1...Qc5, and Black repairs his position. Faithful to his dynamic style, Kasparov carries out a knight sacrifice, which sounds the charge for a direct attack. 1 Nf5! exf5 The knight must be accepted. 1...Nc6? is met by 2 Ng7+ Kd8 3 Qa3. 2 Qxf6 0-0? The structure has changed: now we are speaking of an attack on the castled king – and a decisive one. A better try is 2...Rg8 3 exf5 Qc6 (3...Qf4?! 4 Bf1! Qxf5 5 Re1+ Kf8 6 Qd6+ Kg7 7 Bd3! offers White some advantage) 4 Qe5+ Kf8 5 Bf3! Qc7 (5...Qxf3?? loses to 6 Qd6+: 6...Kg7 7 gxf3 or 6...Ke8 7 Qxd7+, etc.) 6 Qe3 Bxf5 7 Rbc1 Nc4 (or 7...Qe7). 3 Rd3 f4 4 Rd5 h6 5 Qxh6 f5 6 Rb6 Bc6 7 Rxa5 Qh7 It was not possible to play 7...Qxb6?, owing to 8 Qg6+ Kh8 9 Ra3, followed by mate on h3. 8 Qxf4 1-0 Black resigned in view of 8...Bxe4 9 Qg5+ Qg7 10 Rg6 Rc1+ 11 Bf1.

2: Bishop Sacrifices

White to play We are still in the opening and White already has a winning position. 1 Bf7+!! Kxf7 2 Ne5++! Ke6 3 Qf7+ Kd6 3...Kxe5 4 Qd5#. 4 Nc4+ Kc5 4...Kc6 5 Qd5#. 5 Qd5+ Kb4 6 a3+ Ka4 7 b3# There were also two other possible mates: 7 Nc3# and 7 Qa5#.

White to play

A. Zakharov – Litvinov Minsk 1978 The splendid array of the white pieces is much more menacing than it appears at first sight. Black’s king is in serious danger and various pins will make their appearance to highlight his fragility. 1 Bb6! 1-0 A move which threatens mate in one, but which in reality is a line-clearance, namely, the e-file for his rook. Black felt forced to resign on the spot, since after 1...Rxb6 2 Rxe6+! neither capture is possible. Other lines: 1...Qf6 2 Rxe6+!; 1...Ke7 2 Bc5+ d6 3 Bxd6+.

White to play According to some sources this position occurred in Nimzowitsch-Tartakower, Karlsbad 1911, but if so, it was not a tournament game. The greater freedom of action of White’s pieces (and his superior development) tilts the positional balance in his favour, but the continuation seems almost implausible for its simplicity and, at the same time, its spectacular quality. 1 Qf6! Rg8 Naturally, 1...Bxh6? allows 2 Qxh8#. 2 Bxg7+ Rxg7 3 Bxf7! An incredible (since unexpected) sacrifice, based on decoy and deflection. There are three black pieces protecting the f7-square yet it is not possible for any of them to take the bishop:

3...Rxf7 4 Qh8# or 3...Qxf7 4 Qd8+ Qe8 5 Qxe8#. At the same time, the threatened discovered check is deadly.

White to play Dückstein – Pachman Varna Olympiad 1962 A lot of air around the black king and a knight in trouble. The capture of the pawn on b2 was surely dubious and that tempo would have been better spent on castling instead. So it goes; now White can conclude the game. 1 Ba4! Deflecting the black queen from the defence of its king. 1...Qxa4 2 Qxe6+ Kd8 2...Kf8 3 Rxf6+! gxf6 4 Qxf6+ Kg8 5 Qg5+ Kf8 6 Rf1+. 3 Qd6+ Kc8 4 Rf5! 1-0 The invasion on c5 will prove decisive.

White to play Marshall – Burn Ostend 1905 The possibility of further weakening the position of the uncastled black king suggests to Marshall that it would be appropriate to launch a direct attack, which he executes in inspired fashion. 1 Bxg6 hxg5 2 Ne5! fxg6 The pressure on f7 makes this move forced. 3 Nxg6+ Kf7 4 Rxe7+! Kxg6 5 Qd3+ Kh6 6 h4! Very strong: Black cannot allow the opening of the h-file. 6...g4 6...Qxe7 7 hxg5++ Kxg5 8 Nf3+ Kg4 9 Qg6+ Kf4 10 g3+! Kxf3 11 Qf5#. 7 h5! Nxh5 8 Qf5! 1-0 This threatens the pinned knight and now there is no satisfactory defence: 8...g6 9 Rxh5+! gxh5 10 Qf6#.

White to play Rouleau – Privman Washington 1999 In this variation of the Pirc Defence Black has played very aggressively, attacking the bishop on c4 with ...b5. This would be fine, if it were not for his king still being in the centre. With his last move (dxe5, which was met by ...Nxe5) White opened the d-file and he now makes good use of it. 1 Qxd6! bxc4 Or: 1...Nxc4 2 Qxc6+; 1...Nfd7 2 Bg5 f6 3 Qe6+ Kd8 (3...Kf8 4 Rxd7) 4 Qxe5!. 2 Bc5 Threatening mate on e7. 2...Ng8 The only move. 3 f6 1-0 Black resigned since there is no defence against the numerous mating threats: 3...Bxf6 4 Qf8# or 3...Bh6+ 4 Kb1.

Black to play Witt – Donner Dutch Ch, Leeuwarden 1976 Black is in command of the situation: he has the pair of bishops and good diagonals for them, plus his rooks are doubled on the important open e-file. There is an additional factor that facilitates the combination which follows: the rook on e1 and the bishop on e2 hem in the white king, which Black might be able to exploit, if only he can penetrate to h2 with his queen... 1...Bd2!! Threatening the aforementioned queen invasion. 2 f3 Or 2 Rxd2 Qh2 3 f3 Rg6!. 2...Bxe1 Here 2...Be3!? 3 fxe4 Qg3 was also winning. 3 fxe4 Bc3 4 Na4 Bxe4 5 Qb5 Qg3 0-1 Now the threat against g2 is decisive. Jan Hein Donner (1927-88) was the strongest Dutch player after the Max Euwe era and before the rise of Jan Timman. He won the championship of his country in 1954, 1957 and 1958, as well as various international tournaments and he participated in twelve Olympiads between 1950 and 1978. A man with wide cultural interests outside chess, he had an ironic attitude to life. An example of his black humour: “Would you play against a computer?” “Yes, as long as I have a good mallet.” While in hospital following a stroke, he wrote an

autobiographical book, Written After My Death , for which he was awarded a major literary prize.

White to play Morović – Veingold Spanish Team Ch 1993 Here we can see some classic factors for considering a central sacrifice: the black king is still on e8, there is great pressure from the white pieces on the e6-square and the attacker’s rooks are well placed. 1 Bxe6! Bxe6 2 Nxe6 fxe6 3 Qxe6+ Be7 4 Bxf6 gxf6 In an instant the position has changed beyond recognition: five pieces and two pawns have disappeared. 5 Rg8+ Rxg8 6 Qxg8+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 6...Bf8 7 Re1+ Kd8 (7...Kd7 8 Qe6+ Kd8 9 Qe8#) 8 Qxf8+ Kd7 9 Re7+ Kd6 10 Qxf6+. The cosmopolitanism and nomadic tendencies of chess-players are well known. This is the only possible explanation for how two professional players, from countries so far apart as Ivan Morović (Chile) and Alexander Veingold (Estonia) come to be competing a Spanish team championship.

White to play Janowski – Schallopp Nuremberg 1896 The black queen is attacking the rook on h1 as well as protecting c6, and meanwhile has captured two pawns on the way here. But this skirmish has left Black with a worrying lack of kingside development, which Janowski will now exploit, demonstrating that he is the one in command of the play. 1 Bd5!! Defence and attack – a pretty interference, since it blocks the black queen’s defence of the c6-square as well as providing an X-ray defence of the h1-rook. 1...exd5 2 Qxc6+ Kd8 Or 2...Ke7 3 Nxd5+. 3 Qxa8+ Kd7 Once again 3...Ke7 is met by 4 Nxd5+. 4 Qb7+ Ke6 5 Qc6+ Bd6 6 Bf4! 1-0 A brilliant finishing touch to the combination: White sacrifices both rooks. But Black preferred to resign, since after 6...Qxh1+ 7 Kd2 Qxa1, he is mated with 8 Qxd6+ Kf5 9 Qe5+ Kg6 10 Qg5#. Boto – Bertok Zagreb 1982 Zeljko Boto is a highly regarded openings expert, very well known in Serbia and Croatia, and perhaps the reader would be interested to know how the next position was reached before

witnessing a small marvel. The game went like this: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 Nbd7 7 f4 b5 8 Bxf6 Nxf6 9 e5 b4 10 Na4 dxe5 11 fxe5 Ng4? 11...Nd5 is preferable. 12 Qf3! Bd7 12...Qxd4 is met by 13 Qc6+! Qd7 14 Qxa8. 13 e6! fxe6 14 Qxg4 Bxa4 15 Nxe6 Qd6 16 Rd1 Qe5+ 17 Be2 Bb5 (D)

White to play Now White decided to cast the black king in the role of defender, by opting to castle: 18 0-0! Bxe2 19 Qe4!? 19 Nxg7+ followed by 20 Qd7# is a quicker mate. 1-0 Now 19...Qxe4 loses to 20 Nc7#, but Black’s queen and a8-rook are both attacked, and the defences to prevent the mate (19...Bxf1 or 19...Qf6) are obviously very unpleasant. So Black resigned. The next position could have occurred in Alekhine-Euwe, World Ch (19th game), Zeist 1935, and Alekhine had indicated the right way forward in his notes.

White to play Veresov – Alatortsev Moscow 1944 White could check on c8, but after 1 Rc8+? Kd7 Black’s position has improved (it is not possible to take the rook on h8 because the white queen is attacked). However, there is a way to exploit the dynamic possibilities offered by the position: 1 Bb5+! A sacrifice involving deflection (if Black takes with the queen) and interference (if he takes with the bishop). White needs the c5-square, as we shall soon see. 1...Bxb5 1...Qxb5 2 Rc8+ Ke7 3 Qc7+ Nd7 4 Qd6#. 2 Rc8+ Kd7 Or 2...Ke7 3 Qc5+. 3 Rxh8 Now the queen is no longer attacked, and White is winning since 3...Bxf1 allows 4 Qc8+ Ke7 5 Re8#.

3: Rook Sacrifices

White to play O. Rodriguez – Miyasaki Skopje Olympiad 1972 Another case in which Black has serious weaknesses on the dark squares, as well as a drastic lag in development. White will highlight all this as follows: 1 Rxe6+! fxe6 1...Bxe6 2 Bxb5+ Bd7 3 Re1+ Kd8 4 Qc7#. 2 Bxg6+ Kd8 3 Qf8+ 1-0 It’s mate next move.

White to play

Darga – Donner Beverwijk 1964 We have, by definition, a king in the centre, and the white pieces stand ready to launch their assault. One tempo (just to castle) would suffice for Black to save himself. But he will not be given that tempo. 1 Rxe6+! fxe6 2 Rxe6+ Kf7 After 2...Kd8 3 Rd6 the knight on d7 cannot be defended. 3 Qf3+ Kg8 4 Rxg6 White obtains a third pawn for the rook, but the material is the least important thing here; the priority is to open more lines against the black king. 4...Qd8 4...Nde5 5 Rxg7+! Kxg7 6 Qf6+ Kg8 7 Be6+ and mate next move. 5 Be6+ 1-0 5...Kh7 6 Rxg7+! Kxg7 7 Qf7#.

White to play Liuboshits – Shagalovich Minsk 1956 Black’s king is exposed and his forces are lagging in development, but he is two pawns up and has a mass of infantry in the centre that he can threaten to advance at an opportune moment. Therefore it is essential for White to act quickly. 1 Rxg7! Kxg7

Forced, in view of the threat of mate on f7. 2 Bh6+ Kg8 Now 3 Qg4+ Kf7 4 Qg7+ Ke8 5 Qxh8+ Nf8 is of no use, except to regain some material. However, after... 3 Bg6! 1-0 ...White is ‘calmly’ threatening mate on f7, which cannot be defended, and if 3...hxg6, then naturally 4 Qxg6#.

White to play Boleslavsky – L. Steiner Saltsjöbaden Interzonal 1948 Black has difficulties because of the weaknesses in his kingside and, especially, because his king remains in the centre. White, in contrast, has a very active pair of knights and has deployed his rooks perfectly on the e- and f-files, with the queen aiming ominously at the e6-square. 1 Rxf7! Highlighting the weakest point in the black position. 1...Qd5 The sacrifice was practically unacceptable. 1...Kxf7 loses to 2 Qxe6+ Kf8 (2...Ke8 3 Nd6+ Kd8 4 Nxb7+) 3 Rf1+ Kg7 4 Qxe7+. 2 Rxe7+! The coup de grâce . Now Black simply must take the rook. 2...Kxe7 3 Qh4+ Kf7 3...Kf8 4 Rf1+ Kg8 5 Qe7 Rf8 6 Rxf8+ Nxf8 7 Nf6#. 4 Nd6+ Kg7

4...Kg8 5 Qe7 Rf8 6 Nxe6 Qxe5 7 Qxf8+ Nxf8 8 Rxe5. 5 Qe7+ Kh6 6 Re3 1-0 Threatening mate with 7 Rh3#, so Black resigned. The Ukrainian GM Isaak Boleslavsky (1919-77) was one of the most outstanding masters of the 1940s and 1950s. In the Interzonal in which this game was played, Boleslavsky finished in third place, behind only Bronstein and Szabo. Two years later, he shared first place in the Candidates tournament, losing the tie-break match by a narrow margin against Bronstein, his most direct rival and friend. An excellent theoretician, with numerous contributions in openings such as the Ruy Lopez and the King’s Indian, with the years his play gradually lost its aggressive edge, but in any event his career testifies to his being a marvellous player.

White to play Karpov – Korchnoi World Ch (8th game), Baguio City 1978 Three white pieces are aiming at the f7-square, an unmistakable target, and with his following move Karpov turns up the pressure in the boiler... 1 Rd7! Rb8 It was not possible to play 1...Bxd7 because of 2 Qxf7+! Rxf7 3 Rxf7#, with a R+N mate. 2 Nxf7 Bxd7 3 Nd8+ 1-0 Black resigned, since 3...Ke7 and 3...Kg8 are both met by 4 Qf8#.

White to play Fahnenschmidt – Stohl Bundesliga 1992/3 If he could castle, the worst would be over for Black, who could hope to exploit his queenside pawn-majority later. But, once again, the needed tempo is lacking. Time is very precious in chess, as in life, and White is now about to exploit the dynamism of all his pieces. 1 Rxe5+! fxe5 Or: 1...Kf7 2 Be6+ Ke8 3 Bb3+! fxe5 4 Qd8+ Qxd8 5 Rxd8#; 1...Qxe5 2 Bf4 Qc5 (2...Qe7 3 Re1) 3 Qd8+ Kf7 4 Rd7+! Nxd7 5 Qxd7+ Qe7 (the only move; 5...Kg8 6 Be6+; 5...Kf8 6 Bd6+, winning the queen) 6 Be6+ Kf8 7 Bd6. 2 Bd8 Qf7 The only move. 3 Qd6! Threatening 4 Bg5 and 4 Be6. 3...b6 4 Bg5 1-0 There is no defence against the mate: 4...Na6 5 Qd8+! Rxd8 6 Rxd8#.

White to play Najdorf – Portisch Varna Olympiad 1962 A combat between two giants of chess, in no less an event than the Olympiad in Varna, on the coast of the Black Sea. Both kings are still in the centre and Najdorf will exploit this small factor to instil the game with dynamism. 1 Bb5+! Ke7 After 1...Bd7 2 Bxd7+ Kxd7 3 Qa4+ and 4 Qxb4, White wins a piece. 1...Kf8 is arguably a better try, though still very difficult for Black. 2 0-0! Now only the black king is exposed. 2...Qxc3 3 Qe2! Threatening 4 Bb2 and 4 Bg5+. 3...Bd6 4 Bb2 Qa5 It is certain that Portisch won a pawn, but is no less certain that he has problems. 5 Rfd1 Rd8 6 Qh5! The threat is 7 Qg5+. 6...f6 7 Qxh7! Kf7 To accept the bishop would be a bad deal: 7...Qxb5? 8 Qxg7+ Ke8 9 Bxf6. 8 Be2! Qg5 9 Bc1 Bxh2+ 10 Kxh2 Qe5+ 11 f4 1-0 11...Qxe2 12 Rxd8 or 11...Qc7 12 Bh5+ Kf8 13 Qh8+ Ke7 14 Qxg7#.

4: Queen Sacrifices

White to play Vuković – Deutsch Yugoslavia 1920 The pressure of White’s major pieces on the d-file, together with the solitude of the black king on e8 (the queen is disconnected from the play in the centre) brings to light the possibility of a decisive sacrifice. 1 Qd8+!! We have already seen similar sacrifices in the second part of the book, in Chapter 11 . 1...Kxd8 1...Kf7 2 e6+ Bxe6 (2...Kxe6 3 Nf4+ Kf7 4 Ne5# or 2...Kg6 3 Nf4+ Kh6 4 Qh4#) 3 Ne5#. 2 Bg5++ Ke8 3 Rd8+ But here the black king has a way out, although he will be pursued by the enemy knights. 3...Kf7 4 e6+! Clearance of the e5-square. 4...Kxe6 4...Bxe6 5 Ne5#. 5 Nf4+ Kf7 6 Ne5#

White to play Gunsberg – Vitta Nice 1925 Black was relying on his last move (...c5) to force the exchange of queens (1 Bb5+? can be met by 1...Nc6!), but he failed to reckon with Gunsberg’s inspiration. 1 Nxe6! Qxd2 2 Nxg7+ Kd8 2...Kf8? allows mate: 3 Rxf7+ Kg8 4 Rf6+ Kxg7 5 Nh5#. 3 Rad1 Qd7 4 Bxf7 Bd6? 4...Bf6 is better. 5 Ne4 White is not interested in the material balance, but in the dynamic imbalance that leads to mate. 5...Rf8? 6 Nxd6 Qg4 6...Ke7 7 Ngf5+ Kf6 8 Be8 Rxe8 9 Nxe8+ Qxe8 10 Nd6+ and 11 Nxe8. 7 Ne6+ Ke7 8 Nxf8 Nc6 9 Be6 1-0 All the white pieces are hunting the enemy king and to prevent the threatened mate (10 Rf7+ Kd8 11 Rd7#), Black would have to enter a completely lost ending with 9...Qxd1 10 Rxd1 Rxf8 11 Nxb7! Kxe6 12 Rd6+, etc. Isidor Gunsberg (1844-1930) was born in Budapest, but moved when young to England, where he became a professional chess-player, an opportunity which was made possible by his being contracted as the operator of the ‘automaton’ Mephisto. In the 1880s, and following his victories in the tournaments of London and Hamburg in 1885, he came to be considered one

of the best players in the world. In 1889 he challenged Steinitz for the world title, and the match ended in a draw (9-9 with 5 draws). In 1890-1 Steinitz gave him a second opportunity, but this time Gunsberg lost (6-4 with 9 draws), and this defeat marked the end of all his possibilities of continuing to aspire to the world title.

White to play Nikolaevsky – Vasiukov Kiev 1957 Here White played 1 Be2?! and after 1...Nxe4! 2 Nxe4 Bf5, Black won an interesting game. But we are interested in another move for White: 1 Rc1?! The position is full of hidden tactics: the fact that the white king is still on the e1-a5 diagonal, the same diagonal as his queen; the overloaded knight on c3 (protecting both a2 and e4), the diagonals for his bishops and the half-open a-file. And there is a magic formula: 1...Nxa2! 2 Ra1 Why not? 2...Nxc3!! A fantastic concept: following the capture of the black queen, the black rook threatens a check on a1 and the pawn on e4 is also hanging. 3 Rxa5 Rxa5 4 bxc3? 4 Qxc3? Ra1+ 5 Ke2 Ba6+. 4 Qc1 is best, but still very bad

for White. 4...Ra1+ 5 Ke2 Ba6+ 6 Ke3 Or 6 Kf2 Nxe4+. 6...Ng4#

White to play Adorjan – I. Polgar Budapest 1973 The pawn on e6 (supported by the one on d5) exerts strong pressure on the black king’s position, allowing White to conceive the petite combinaison that follows: 1 Qg5!! This unexpected queen sacrifice leaves Black lost, owing to the threat against g6, which forces its acceptance. 1...Rxg5 2 hxg5 Nd7 Mate on h8 was threatened. 3 Rh8+ Nf8 4 Bg7 1-0 Mate cannot be averted. Don’t bother doing the sums because it won’t work. The ‘I’ is for Istvan, and definitely not a latinization of the ‘J’ in Judit, because Judit Polgar had not been born when this position arose!

White to play Bonch-Osmolovsky – Baranov Moscow 1953 Black has rushed into a search for counterplay, sacrificing the exchange on c3. However, the position is not yet ripe for this sort of luxury, since the black king remains in the centre and the kingside pieces are still undeveloped. The refutation: 1 Qd8+!! Fatal attraction! 1...Kxd8 2 Nxe6++ The fearsome double check. 2...Ke7 Or: 2...Kc8 3 Rd8#; 2...Ke8 3 Nxg7+ is the key to the combination, setting up another lethal discovery: 3...Bxg7 is met with 4 Bg5+, followed by 5 Rd8#. A very refined mate with R+B. 3 Bg5+ f6 4 Nd8+! 1-0 It’s mate in two.

Black to play Reinhardt – Panno Buenos Aires 1965 Here Black played 1...Qa4 and went on to lose after 2 Bh5+ Kd7. But what happens if Black pins the white queen? 1...Bb4 Thanks to the pin, Black hopes to escape the threats unscathed by exchanging queens, but the reality is a great deal gloomier. 2 Qxb4! Nxb4 3 Rd8+ Kf7 4 0-0+ Kg6 5 h4! h6 The h7-square is the only possible escape-route. 6 Rxh8 hxg5 7 h5#

White to play Steinitz – Pilhal Vienna 1862 Wilhelm Steinitz, who would later be crowned as the first World Champion and would become famous especially for his contributions to chess strategy and his defensive concepts, is here about to demonstrate for us how to set about attacking a king in the centre in an open position. 1 e5! dxe5? 1...Ne4 is better. 2 Qb3 Qd7 3 Re1 Qf5 4 Bb5! Nd7 5 Qd5! Bb6 6 Nxe5 Ne7 7 Nxd7! Qxd5 7...Bxd7 allows 8 Qxf5, thanks to the double pin of bishop and knight. 8 Nf6++ Kd8 8...Kf8 9 Bxe7#. 9 Bxe7# (1-0)

White to play Kotek – Blazkova Pardubice 1997 White’s advantage is of decisive proportions, but it is based on dynamic (tactical) factors and therefore temporary ones, rather than structural (strategic) features. Thus if White wants to tilt the balance permanently in his favour he will have to display great energy to exploit Black’s lagging development and his king still in the centre.

1 Rc3!! A queen sacrifice in exchange for an unclear-looking attack. Black cannot really refuse the offer. 1...Qxe4 With 1...Qa8 Black could have opted for a clearly inferior endgame: 2 Qd4 (or 2 Qxa8 Rxa8 3 Rc7, threatening to double rooks on the seventh rank, although Black has possibilities of a long and tenacious defence) 2...Rd8 3 Qxd8+ Qxd8 4 Rxd8+ Kxd8 5 Rc6, winning the pawn on a6. 2 Rxc8+ Ke7 3 Na5!! 3 Rdd8?? is met by 3...Qxe5. 3...f6 Or: 3...Qxe5 4 Nc6+; 3...f5 4 Rc7+ Ke8 5 Nc6 Qe3+ 6 Kb1 Qg5 7 g3!! Be7 8 h4 Bd8 9 Rb7, and Black is lost; 3...Qd5 4 Rxd5 exd5 5 Ra8, with a clear advantage. 4 Rc7+ Ke8 5 Nc6 Threatening 6 Rd8#. 5...Bd6 5...Qd5 6 Rxd5 exd5 7 e6. 6 exd6 Qe3+ 7 Kb1 Qe2 8 d7+ Kf7 9 d8Q+ Kg6 1-0 From having just a rook for the queen, White is now a rook and knight up and will mate in a few moves.

5: Multiple Sacrifices In this section I have included examples with the sacrifice of at least two pieces.

White to play Gyimesi – Palac Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999 The problem here is the usual one in this section: not only is the black king still in the centre, but there are five white pieces in very active positions, with an offensive capability far superior to the defensive possibilities of the side under attack. 1 Nc7+! To deflect the knight from covering the f7-square. 1...Nxc7 2 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2...Ke7 3 Qg5+ Kxf7 4 Qxg7+ transposes to the game continuation. 3 Qxg7+! 1-0 This is the key to the combination. 3...Ke6 4 Qf6# or 3...Ke8 4 Qxh8+ Kf7 5 Qf6+ Kg8 6 Rxd8+.

White to play Blackburne – NN Manchester 1894 Black has just played ...Bb4, pinning the queen, and after 1 dxc8Q++?? Kxc8 the white queen is lost. But Blackburne had foreseen a winning combination. 1 Ne6+!! Clearing the c7-square for the bishop. 1...fxe6 2 Bc7+! Now the black king is forced to evacuate d8. 2...Kxc7 3 d8Q+ Kc6 4 Qd6+! Bxd6 5 Qxd6#

White to play Mackenzie – NN London 1891 Here Black’s king is in an awkward position and, although the pawn on d6 seems to be firmly supporting the one on e5, several black pieces are out of play, while all of White’s are concentrated against the principal target. 1 Rxe5+! dxe5 2 Qxe5+! Removing the guard: now the floodgates are open. 2...Qxe5 Or 2...Be7 3 Qxh8+ Bf8 4 Qf6, threatening 5 Bc6+. 3 Bc6+ Rxc6 4 Rd8# An exemplary mate with rook and bishop.

White to play Alekhine – Levenfish St Petersburg 1912 The white pawn on e6 splits in two the black position, which is already awkward because neither of his bishops has yet come into play. White’s lead in development, along with the strength of the e6-pawn, are the elements that Alekhine employs to launch a decisive attack. 1 Nb5! A sacrifice of both rooks, a manoeuvre that some writers have named the immortal sacrifice in memory of the famous game Anderssen-Kieseritzky. 1...Qxa1+ 1...axb5 2 Bxb5+ Kd8 3 Rd1+. 2 Kf2 Qxh1 Normally, when the first rook has been taken, there is no going back, as in this case. 3 Nc7+ Kd8 4 Qd2+ Bd7 5 exd7 1-0 5...e5 6 Ne6+ Ke7 7 d8Q+ Rxd8 8 Qxd8+ Kf7 9 Nxf8+ Kg7 10 Qe7#.

White to play Tal – Tringov Amsterdam Interzonal 1964 Black’s development lag has surely not escaped Tal’s attention; he immediately decides to launch an attack on the enemy king, which is still in the centre. 1 dxe5 dxe5 2 Qd6! Qxc3 2...exf4 3 Nd5! cxd5 4 exd5+, etc. 3 Red1 Threatening mate on d8. 3...Nd7 4 Bxf7+! A fresh and decisive sacrifice, designed to eliminate the defence of the e6-square. 4...Kxf7 5 Ng5+ Ke8 6 Qe6+ 1-0 6...Ne7 7 Qf7+ Kd8 8 Ne6# or 6...Kd8 7 Nf7+ Kc7 8 Qd6#. That makes two potential mates with the Q+N tandem, with the curious fact that in one case the mating piece is the queen and in the other the knight.

White to play Am. Rodriguez – I. Herrera Havana 1990 The white pieces have maximum activity and the black king remains stuck in the centre. It just remains to find the appropriate mechanism for launching the winning combination. 1 Nb5! axb5 2 Rxf7!! Kxf7 2...Qxf7? allows 3 Rd8# (or 3 Qd8#), while 2...g5? runs into 3 Rxc7 gxh4 4 Bh5+ Kf8 5 Rd8#. 3 Bh5+ Now the decisive reinforcements enter the fray. 3...g6 4 Qf6+ Ke8 5 Bxg6+ Rxg6 6 Qh8+! Kf7 6...Ke7 7 Qh7+ Ke8 8 Qxc7 Nd7 9 Rxd7!. 7 Rf1+ Ke7 8 Qf8+ 1-0 8...Kd7 9 Rf7+ Kc6 10 Rxc7+ Kxc7 11 Qd6#.

Black to play Serper – Korchnoi New York 1996 The position of the white king arises from earlier castling, but, faithful to our classification system, we have included it here in the category of ‘king in the centre’. Korchnoi does not want to give his opponent any breathing space and so spurns the knight on b6, instead committing himself to a combination involving multiple sacrifices. 1...Nxg3+! 2 fxg3 Bh3! 3 Bxh3 Forced, in view of 3 Bc3 Qh1+ 4 Ke2 Qxg2+ 5 Kd1 Bg4+ 6 Re2 Rh2. 3...Qxh3+ 4 Kf2 Qf5+ 0-1 5 Kg2 Rh2+! (a typical manoeuvre to deflect the king, one which we have already seen on other occasions: the queen can now come to f2, while the other rook will take charge of the mate) 6 Kxh2 Qf2+ 7 Kh3 (7 Kh1 Rh8#) 7...Rh8+ 8 Kg4 Qf5#.

White to play Savchenko – Altman USSR 1979 Black’s king is exposed to the crossfire of all the white pieces, especially taking into account his undeveloped queenside. He can scarcely consider kingside castling because that would be suicidal. Now White hits the nail squarely on the head. 1 Ne5! Qc7 1...Nxe5? allows 2 Bxb5! axb5 3 Rd8#. 2 Nxf7! Now the hostilities are getting serious. 2...Kxf7 3 Rhf1+ Ke8 4 Qh5+ g6 5 Nd6+! Clearing the b1-h7 diagonal. 5...Qxd6 6 Qxg6+! 1-0 6...hxg6 7 Bxg6#.

White to play L. Bronstein – Aparicio Argentine Ch, Buenos Aires 1984 This position is similar to the previous one, with the black king on e8 and the white pieces ready to finish him off. The variations are important here. 1 Nxe6! Another dramatic way to smash through is 1 Rxe6+! fxe6 2 Qxh7!, the key point still being 2...Rxh7 3 Bxg6#. 1...fxe6 1...Be5 2 Ng7+! Kf8 3 Bd8 Qd6 (3...Qc6 4 Qe7+ Kxg7 5 Rxf7+ Kh6 6 Qh4#) 4 Bc7! Qc6 (4...Qxc7 5 Ne6+ and 6 Nxc7) 5 Be4 Qc4 6 Bxe5 Nxe5 7 Qf6 Nbd7 8 Ne6+ Ke8 9 Qxh8+. 2 Qxh7! 1-0 2...Rxh7 3 Bxg6#. Otherwise mate can only be delayed.

White to play Pinski – Kania Warsaw 1994 Black has difficulties in completing his development. We can also point to some negative structural factors, such as the doubled c-pawns and the presence of the strongly supported white pawn on h6. Finally, but no less important: it is White to move. 1 Nxe5! dxe5 2 Qd7+ Kf7 3 Rh3 The threat is 4 Rf3+ Kg8 5 Qe6#. 3...Bc4 The only move: the black bishop covers the a2-g8 diagonal. 4 Rf3+ Kg8 5 Nd5! An interference sacrifice on the thematic diagonal. 5...Bxd5 6 Rxd5 1-0 With the unstoppable threat of 7 Qe6#.

White to play Hüber – Lemke Essen 1936 The loose black bishop on h5 and the location of his own light-squared bishop, commanding the a2-g8 diagonal, give White the idea for a mating sequence. 1 Nxe5!! Bxd1 2 Bxf7+ Ke7 3 Bg5+ Kd6 4 Ne4+!! White is not content with merely regaining the material. 4...Kxe5 After 4...Kc7 White would have had to opt for the variation 5 Bxd8+ Rxd8 6 Nxc6 Kxc6 7 Raxd1, with two extra pawns. 5 f4+ Kd4 5...Kf5 6 Ng3#. 6 Raxd1! Threatening 7 c3+ Ke3 8 Rfe1#. 6...Ke3 7 Rf3+ Ke2 8 Rd2+ Ke1 9 Rf1# (1-0)

White to play Kaila – Kivi Helsinki 1949 Black was hoping that the white bishop would retreat to b3, when he could continue with ...Bxd6 and ...0-0, but threatening the bishop was unwise, because now White can launch an attack leading to a forced mate: 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qb3+ Kg6 Or: 2...Ke8 3 Nxe5; 2...Be6 3 Nxe5+, etc. 3 Nxe5+ Kh5 4 Ne2! Threatening 5 Nf4+ or 5 Ng3+. 4...Qe8 4...g5 5 Ng3+ Kh6 (5...Kh4 6 Nf3+ Kg4 7 h3#) 6 h4. 5 Qf3+ Bg4 6 Qxg4+!! Eliminating the last obstacle. 6...Nxg4 7 Ng3+ Kh4 8 Nf3# (1-0) The knight returns home with mate!

White to play De Wit – Piket Holland 1983 The control the white pieces exert over the whole board is obvious: the rook has already occupied the seventh rank and the knight on b5 is itching to enter on d6. As if this were not enough, queen and bishop are menacing placed on the b1-h7 diagonal. Meanwhile, the black king is surrounded by all its pieces (apart from the queen, which is at some distance from the main theatre of action), but not necessarily protected . 1 Rxe7+! It is hard to give up such a strong rook, but this sacrifice eliminates Black’s best defensive piece. 1...Kxe7 1...Nxe7 2 Nd6+ Kd8 3 Nxb7+ Ke8 4 Bg6+ Nxg6 (or 4...Rf7 5 Bxf7+ Kxf7 6 Qh7+ Kf8 7 Bh6+ Ke8 8 Qh8+ Kf7 9 Qg7+ Ke8 10 Qf8#) 5 Qxg6+ Rf7 6 Ng5. 2 Bg5+ Kf7 3 Qh2 Rh8 4 Nd6+ Kg8 5 Qxh8+! Kxh8 6 Bf6+ Kg8 7 Rh1 1-0

White to play Bellon – Antunes Platja d’Aro 1994 Black’s king is living a precarious existence and his extra piece is irrelevant, since the white forces have encircled the black king and are now in a position to conclude the struggle immediately. 1 Rxa6!! A double deflection. 1...Rxg2+ A resource to prevent the variation 1...Rxa6 2 exf7+ Ke7 3 fxg8N#. 1...Qxa6 allows 2 Qd8#. 2 Kxg2 Rxa6 3 Bxf7+ Ke7 4 Qd7+! 1-0 4...Nxd7 5 Rxd7#. A pretty combination.

White to play Gyurkovics – Cserna Wolfsberg 1986 Black’s king remains on its initial square and cannot hope to castle. Furthermore, the network of pawns covering it is rather flimsy. It’s all a question of diagonals here, so one should pause now and consider how to break down the enemy’s defensive screen. 1 Rxe6! fxe6 2 Qh5+ Kf8 3 Bh6+ Kg8 All very fine. White has driven the enemy king to g8, but now what? 4 Qxf5!! Nf8 The only move. 4...exf5 allows 5 Bc4#. 5 Bc4 Qe8 6 Re1 Now it’s a matter of putting pressure on the weak point to prepare the invasion along the diagonal. 6...Qg6 7 Rxe6! 1-0 7...Qxf5 8 Rg6#.

White to play Adeler – Choinatzky Berlin 1936 What more could one ask, than to have a position like this? To which a possible answer is: as long as we have the white pieces! The position of each of the white pieces could scarcely be improved, except for the bishop. But not even that is required for White to finish the game brilliantly. 1 Nxf5! exf5 2 Nf6+! Qxf6 Both knights have disappeared and the d8-square has been undermined. 3 Qd8+!! 1-0 Based on the tremendous effectiveness of the double check. Black resigned in view of 3...Bxd8 4 Bb5#.

White to play Kotov – Kalmanok Moscow Ch 1936 Here White has his pieces magnificently deployed, ready to start the final offensive. The weakness of the squares e6 and f7, as well as the black queen being unfortunately situated on the same file as the d1-rook, are also arguments in favour of starting an attack on the black king. 1 d5!! The strength of this advance and the weakness of the black position are highlighted in the variation 1...exd5 2 Nf6#, which means that the black king is in serious danger. 1...cxd5 After 1...fxe4 2 dxe6 White wins easily. 2 Bb5+ Nd7 3 Ne5 Bc8 In the game Black played 3...Qc7 and lost quickly. 4 Qg7 Rf8 5 Rxd5!? exd5 6 Nf6+ Bxf6 7 Ng6+ Be7 8 Qxf8#

White to play Bellon – S. Kovačević Lugano 1981 White has all his pieces in active positions, while three black pieces are still undeveloped and the area round his king has been weakened by the disappearance of the g-pawn. Demolition was not long in coming, since his tactical skill allows a grandmaster like Juan Manuel Bellon to move in these positions like a fish in water. 1 Ne6! An aperitif: take it or leave it? At the moment, the black king has been left without any squares... 1...Qa5 Acceptance was suicidal: 1...fxe6 2 Qh5+ Kf8 3 Bh6+ Kg8 4 fxe6, etc. 2 b4 A very common deflection. 2...Qa3 3 Nd5! Threatening 4 Ndc7#. 3...fxe6 Or: 3...Bxd5 4 Rc8+ Bd8 5 Nc7+! Ke7 6 Nxd5+ Ke8 7 Qh4! Nc6 8 Nc7+ Kf8 9 Bh6+ Kg8 10 Qg5#; 3...Nf6 4 Ndc7+ Kd7 5 Nxa8 Bxa8 6 Rc7+ Ke8 7 Rc8+. 4 Nc7+ 1-0 4...Kf7 5 fxe6+, with mate soon, or 4...Kd8 5 Nxe6+ Ke8 6 Qh5#. A pretty attacking exhibition.

White to play Liublinsky – Buriakin Moscow 1962 The black king is in the centre and will have to remain there for a long time, since castling is not possible. In addition, White has a tremendous knight, a pawn-wedge on the sixth rank and three other active pieces (queen, bishop and e1-rook). All that Black can boast is an extra pawn; scant compensation for so many negative factors. 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Bxg6+! Kxg6 In two moves (admittedly at the cost of two pieces), White has dragged the black king out to its third rank, where it is seriously exposed. If 2...Kg8, 3 Qg5! (but not 3 Qh6? Rc7!, covering Black’s second rank) 3...Rc7 4 Rxe6 and the attack plays itself. 3 Qg5+ Kf7 4 Qg7+ Ke8 5 f7+ Kd7 6 f8N++ Kd8 7 Nxe6+ 1-0 Black resigned since 7...Qxe6 8 Rxe6 leads to a quick mate. For example: 8...Rc7 9 Qf8+ Kd7 10 Rd6#.

White to play Morphy – Allies New Orleans (simul.) 1858 In this position Morphy is about to carry out an attack similar to the Fegatello (Fried Liver) Attack in the Two Knights Defence (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5?! 6 Nxf7!?), but in a very superior version, because the e-file is already open. Let’s see how he does it. 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Qf3+ Ke6 3 Nc3!? To speed up his development and to open more lines. 3...dxc3 4 Re1+ Ne5 5 Bf4 Both knights are pinned and the threats against the black king are intensifying. 5...Bf6 6 Bxe5 Bxe5 7 Rxe5+! Kxe5 8 Re1+ Kd4 9 Bxd5 Re8 9...Qxd5? 10 Rd1+. 10 Qd3+ Kc5 11 b4+ Kxb4 Another possibility was 11...Kb6, with the continuation 12 Qd4+ Ka6 13 Qc4+ b5 (13...Kb6 14 Qc5+ Ka6 15 Qa5#) 14 Qc6#. 12 Qd4+ Ka5 13 Qxc3+ Ka4 14 Qb3+ Ka5 15 Qa3+ Kb6 16 Rb1# (1-0)

White to play Nimzowitsch – Alapin St Petersburg 1913 This is one of the most famous classic positions featuring an attack on a king in the centre. Contrary to appearances, the immediate check 1 Rhe1+ does not win right away and, although everything looks ripe for a quick finish, it is essential to be precise, paying great attention to detail, as Nimzowitsch did here. 1 Bf6!! Threatening mate on d8 in two moves. 1...Qxf6 1...gxf6 fails to 2 Bxc6+ and mate next move, while 1...Be7 is answered with 2 Bxc6+ bxc6 3 Qd8+! Bxd8 4 Rxd8#. 2 Rhe1+ The three white artillery pieces command the two open central files. 2...Be7 2...Be6 3 Qd7#. 3 Bxc6+ Kf8 3...bxc6 4 Qd8#. 4 Qd8+! Bxd8 5 Re8# (1-0) The mates on d8 and e8 hang over the black king all the time, like spectres. Finally, the glory of the mate went to the last piece to come into play.

Black to play Øgaard – Tisdall Gausdal 1987 The black pawn on d3 places obvious pressure on the white king, but at first sight it is not easy to see in what way (if there is one) Black can manage to penetrate the enemy camp with his remaining pieces. In addition, Black is faced with a decision with respect to the a-file. 1...Nxd5!! Ignoring the attack on the rook, to open the decisive lines. 2 exd5 Or 2 Rxa8 Rxa8 3 Qxa8 Ne3+ 4 Kg1 Nd1 5 Bh4 Be3+ 6 Kh1 Bf2! (not 6...Bxd4? 7 Qd5!) 7 Bxf2 Nxf2+ 8 Kg1 Nd1! 9 Rxd1 Qxd1+ 10 Kf2 d2 and Black will soon have a second queen. 2...Rac8!! Threatening to invade along the c-file. Suddenly, both black rooks command the open files. 3 Be1 3 Nc6 Re2. 3...Rxe1+! 4 Rxe1 Be3 5 Qa2 Qxe1+! 0-1 6 Kxe1 Rc1#.

20: King on its Second Rank Similarly to the previous chapter, the material is divided into the following sections: 1 : Knight Sacrifices 2 : Bishop Sacrifices 3 : Rook Sacrifices 4 : Queen Sacrifices 5 : Multiple Sacrifices

1: Knight Sacrifices

White to play Akopian – S. Ivanov St Petersburg 1993 After 1 Qxh7+ Kd8 there is a latent double attack on the black knight and if White could check while at the same time maintaining the queen’s attack, the game would be over. But such an attack does not exist, because the capture on b7 would allow the rook to defend d7. However, White can prevent the black king from escaping towards the queenside, and that is the best solution. 1 Nf5+! exf5 2 Qg7+ Ke8 3 Bh5+ 1-0 3...Kd8 is met by 4 Qxd7#.

Black to play Osterman – Todorović Pula 1988 All the black pieces are focusing on the e-file in general and the e3-square in particular. However, the final spark will not be produced in the centre. Pause here to consider the strong and weak points of the position and then make your diagnosis. 1...Nxg3! 2 Kxg3 Rg6+ 3 Kf2 3 Kh4 Qg5+ 4 Kh3 Qh5#. 3...Be3+ 4 Nxe3 4 Kf1 Qh5!! 5 Nf2 (5 Nxe3 Qxh1+ 6 Kf2 dxe3#) 5...Qxh1+! 6 Nxh1 Rg1#. 4...dxe3+ 5 Kf1 Qg5 0-1 Mate is unstoppable.

White to play Illescas – Miles Linares Zonal 1995 White has his eyes firmly fixed on the enemy king, and he rejects a routine simplification such as 1 Nxb8?! Rxd3 2 Nxc6+ Kd6 3 Rxd3+ Kxc6, which would leave him a pawn up, but with a somewhat unclear endgame. 1 Nf5+! gxf5 2 Qa3+ Ke6 Or 2...c5 3 Qxc5+ Ke6 4 Qc6+ Ke7 5 gxf5, with a winning attack. 3 gxf5+ Kxf5 4 Qf3+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 4...Ke6 5 Qf6#, 4...Kg5 5 Qg4# and 4...Kg6 5 Rg1+ Bg5 6 Qf6+ Kh5 7 Qxg5#.

White to play Andersson – Portisch Skopje Olympiad 1972 From the moment his king moved to e7, Black must have been well aware of the danger he was in. However, the knight on e8 has asked a very direct question to his counterpart on d6 and now White will have to make some decisions. 1 Nxb7! A good solution, because it allows lines (notably the a3-f8 diagonal) to be opened against the black king, without giving up any material. 1 Nf5+! is also very strong, as is the simple 1 Nxe8 Kxe8 2 b5, with Bd6 ideas. 1...Qxb7 2 b5+ Kf6 3 bxc6 Qc7 Defending the e5-square. 4 Nxe5! 1-0 Nevertheless! Black resigned due to 4...Qxe5 5 Qf3+ Bf5 6 exf5 Qxf5 7 Be7# and 4...Kxe5 5 f4+ Kxf4 6 Qd2+ Ke5 7 Qc3+ Kf4 8 Bc1#.

Black to play Krylov – Lukin USSR 1973 The e3-square is the weak point in White’s position, and with his king situated on d2, there is good reason to be anxious. In addition, it is Black to move. He now demonstrates the motif of his combination. 1...Nxe3! 2 Kxe3 Ng4+! 3 Kd2 The second knight cannot be taken: 3 Bxg4 Qf4+ 4 Ke2 Qf2#. 3...Qf4+ 4 Ke1 Ne3 The other knight occupies e3, attacking the queen and threatening mate on g2. White resigned.

Black to play Steinitz – Anderssen Baden-Baden 1870 A clash between two giants of the 19th century! Black has already invested material to draw the enemy king out into the open and now embarks on the final stage of his attack. 1...Rb2+ A rook invasion of the seventh rank is often synonymous with a decisive attack. 2 Ke3 Qa5 Threatening 3...Qd2# and the bishop on c5. 3 Rd1 Qxc5+ 4 d4 exd4+ 5 Kf4 h6 6 Nh3 Re8 Now Black is threatening 7...Qe5#. 7 Qd3 g5+ 8 Kf3 g4+ 9 Kg3 Rxe4 10 Qf1 10 Nxh6+ Kf8. 10...Qe5+ 11 Kh4 gxh3+ 12 Kxh3 Rb3+ 13 g3 Rf4 Black is winning; e.g., 14 Qc4 Rxf5 15 Qxb3 (15 Bxf5 Qxf5+ 16 Kg2 Rb2+) 15...Rh5+ 16 Kg2 Qe2+ 17 Kg1 Qxh2+ 18 Kf1 Qh1+.

2: Bishop Sacrifices

White to play Hodgson – Van Wely Moscow Olympiad 1994 Given the situation of the black king, the e6-square should be emitting alarm signals. But White has no more forces available

to attack it and it seems that before long exchanges will take place, as Black is threatening ...Nc4 and has ...Bc5 ideas. 1 Bc7! But a deflection is available! White is now on the right track. 1...Qxc7 2 Qxe6+ Ke8 3 Qg6+ Rf7 4 Ne6 The e6-square has become fitted out as an important base of operations for the knight. 4...Qb6 5 Nxg7+ Kf8 6 Ne6+ Ke8 7 Qg8+ Rf8 1-0 Black resigned before White could play 8 Ng7#.

White to play V. Milov – Anastasian Moscow Olympiad 1994 White commands more space and his pieces have greater mobility, but if Black can stabilize the position he might even gain the advantage, due to his better pawn-structure. White must do a scan of the position and try to detect some weak square or other. 1 Bxd6+! He has found it; d6 is the vulnerable square. 1...Rxd6 2 Qf7+! Rd7 3 d6+ Kc8 4 Rg8+ 1-0 Black is mated after 4...Rd8 5 Qc7# or 4...Kb7 5 Qxd7#, while 4...Qd8 also fails to save Black, and does not even prolong the game after 5 Rxd8+ Kxd8 (or 5...Rxd8 6 Qc7#) 6 Qf8#. The passed d-pawn has been the true hero of the game, the motor that drove the game to its final outcome.

White to play Tal – NN USSR 1964 White’s pieces have the black king in a deadly trap. He just needs something to tip the balance decisively in his favour. The attack on the white rook on c8 gives Black the mirage of saving himself in lines like 1 Qh4+ Rf6, since White needs to take care of his own rook before piling up on the pinned f6-rook. In any event, Tal found the most elegant and expeditious winning method. 1 Bb6!! An interference and deflection sacrifice. 1...Qxb6 Now the bishop on b4 is loose, but if 1...axb6 instead, the pawn blocks the defence of the d8-square and White delivers mate with 2 Qd8#. 2 Qh4+ Rf6 2...f6 3 Qh7+ Rg7 4 Qxg7#. 3 Qxb4+ and mate next move.

White to play Pugachev – Nakonechny USSR 1989 The harmonious array of the white pieces contrasts with the incoherent ‘order’ of Black’s position, whose king has had to move forward to his second rank and whose development is clearly lagging. But of course, as compensation for his sufferings he is a piece up. 1 Bb6!! Another piece sacrifice, to clear some lines. 1...Qc6 Or 1...Nxb6 2 Qf4 (the objective of the invasion is f7) 2...Nd5 (2...Nf6 3 exf6+ gxf6 4 Qxc7+) 3 Qf7+ Kd8 4 Qe8#. 2 Qf4! Threatening 3 Qb4+. Inferior was 2 Nd5+ because of 2...exd5 3 Qb4+ Nc5 4 Bxc5+ Kd8 and although White has some advantage, Black can still resist. 2...Ndxe5 3 Rxe5 Nxe5 4 Qh4# The avenues of attack made available by the bishop move were inexhaustible: the f-file, the squares b4 and h4... The white queen became omnipotent and, after flirting with both diagonals, decided finally on the one that begins on h4 and ends on d8.

White to play The black pieces are passive and there is an unpleasant invader: the white rook which dominates the back rank. The sacrifice that follows is a difficult one. 1 Ba6! A clearance sacrifice, granting the queen access to the eighth rank, if accepted, and simultaneously an attack on b7. 1...Kd6 Of course the offer could not be accepted: 1...bxa6 2 Qb8+ Kd7 3 Qd8# or 1...b5 2 Bxb5 Rg7 3 Ra8 cxb5 4 Qxb5 and White wins. 2 Qb6! Rc7 If 2...bxa6, then 3 Qb8+ Rc7 4 Rc8!. 3 Bxb7 Kd7 4 Qa7! Threatening 5 Bc8+ Kd6 6 Qc5#. 4...Qxf4 The manoeuvres of White’s queen and bishop have borne fruit. Now 5 Bc8+ Ke7 6 Qc5+ Qd6 7 Re8+ Kxe8 8 Qxd6 Rxc8 9 Qxe6+ wins easily.

3: Rook Sacrifices

White to play Ang. Martin – Tarjan Torremolinos 1974 A quick analysis of the situation tells us that Black has three pawns for a piece. A more nuanced analysis reveals that Black must confront two negative factors: an out-of-play bishop and a relatively exposed king. Faced with that state of affairs, the Spanish International Master Angel Martin concludes that he must finish Black off quickly. 1 Rxe7+! Kxe7 2 Qg7+ Ke6 3 Qxg6+ Kd7 3...Ke7 4 Nd5+. 4 Qf7+ Black is the exchange up, but in practice it is White who is playing with two extra pieces, since neither the black rook nor the black bishop is able to come to the king’s aid. 4...Kc6 5 Qd5+ 1-0 5...Kb6 6 Qb5#.

White to play Hazai – Györkos Hungary 1984 White has sacrificed a piece for two pawns and an attack against the black king, which is in the centre of the board. But Black does not lack counterplay, since in only two moves he can create a threat of mate (...Qa5-a3). The problem is that his own king is vulnerable right now. 1 Rxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qh7+ Ke8 3 Bg6+ Kd8 Now Black’s bishop on d5 protects his king, but... 4 Rxd5+!! exd5 5 Qg8+ Ke7 5...Kd7 6 Qxd5+ Ke7 7 Qf7+ Kd8 8 Qe8#. 6 Qf7+ 1-0 Mate follows: 6...Kd8 7 Qe8#.

White to play Morales – Sotolongo Cuba 1996 Another king on its second rank, which Black is trying to alleviate with the exchange of bishops on f4, but White knows that he needs to win quickly and that the situation of the black king is seriously weak, which he will immediately try to highlight. 1 Rxe6+! fxe6 1...Kd8 allows 2 Re8+ Rxe8 3 Qxe8#. 1...Kf8 has several good answers including 2 Rxb6!?, 2 Re8+ and even 2 Rf6!, setting up a devastating double check: 2...Bxh6 (2...N7xf6 3 Ne6++ Ke7 4 Nxf4+ Kd8 5 Nxd5) 3 Ne6+ Ke7 4 Rxh6. 2 Qxe6+ Kd8 Not 2...Kf8? 3 Qxd7, threatening 4 Ne6++. 3 Qf7!! Threatening 4 Ne6#, but sacrificing the rook on c1, with whose capture the mate is prevented. 3 Qxd5 also wins, according to the computer. 3...Bxc1 If 3...Nc7, 4 Bxf4. 4 Ne6+ Kc8 5 Ba6+ Qb7 6 Bxb7+ Kxb7 7 Qxd7+ Ka6 8 Bxc1 The threat is 9 Qc6 (though this can be played immediately: 8 Qc6! Ka5 9 Bxc1, forcing mate). Black resigned, as 8...Rac8 is met by 9 Bg5.

White to play Yakovich – G. Georgadze Erevan open 1996 White has managed to force the enemy king to move, but now his bishop on g5 is attacked and it appears that he will have to acquiesce to an exchange of queens. The question is how to begin the attack, assuming that there is a sound sequence for such an enterprise. 1 Rxe6+! This rook sacrifice sets the attacking machine in motion, but White must continue with great accuracy. 1...Kxe6 2 Qg4+ Kd6 2...Kf7 3 Bc4+ Kg7 4 Bf4+ Qg6 5 Qxd7+ Qf7 6 Qxf7#. 3 Qxd4+ Kc7 3...Kc6 is met by 4 Rc1+. 4 Rc1+ Kb8 5 Bf4+ Ne5 6 Nb6 Ra7 7 Nd7+ Ka8 8 Be3 1-0 There’s no good way to prevent the mate on a7. If 8...Nc6, then obviously 9 Rxc6.

White to play Sturua – Kutirov Erevan Olympiad 1996 Black’s king is relatively secure against the imminent dangers, or at least so it seems. However, the neat array of White’s pieces and the fact that he can operate in conditions of material equality, with a space advantage and considerably greater freedom of movement, means that his prospects are very favourable. Translating this into concrete moves brings us to the continuation of the game. 1 Rxe6!! Qxe6 2 Re1! Now we can understand that the rook sacrifice has removed the support of the knight on d5, and any check on the a2-g8 diagonal would be lethal. 2...Qd6 2...Qxg4? allows 3 Bxd5+ Qe6 4 Bxe6#, while after 2...f5 3 Rxe6 fxg4 4 Bxd5 Red8 5 Rxc6+ Rxd5 6 Rxc8 gxf3 7 gxf3 Rxd4 8 Rc7, White has a decisive advantage. 3 Bf4! Qd8? Black blunders, although none of the alternatives would have saved the game: 3...f5 4 Qh3 Qxf4 5 Qxh7+ Kf6 6 Bxd5 Nd8 7 Ne5, or 3...h5 4 Qxc8! Rxc8 5 Bxd6 Bxd6 6 Bxd5+, winning in both cases. 4 Qe6+ Kg7 5 Bxd5 g5 6 Qf7+ 1-0 After 6...Kh8 7 Be4, mate follows on h7.

Black to play Yakovich – Nadyrkhanov Smolensk 1997 White has two minor pieces for a rook and two pawns, but considering that the pawn on g2 is ‘doomed’, that would reduce it to just one pawn. However, the queen infiltration and the uncomfortable situation of the white king on f2 (in precarious surroundings, with the f-file half-opened in Black’s favour) hints at the possibility of an attacking sequence. 1...g1Q+!! This detail is the trigger. 2 Qxg1 2 Kxg1 Qxe2. 2...Rxf3+! Black has detected the weakest square in the white position. 3 Kxf3 Rf8+ 4 Kg3 Qxe2 Once the floodgates are open, the attack develops in a completely natural fashion. 5 Nc3 Or 5 Qg2 Qe3+ 6 Kh2 (otherwise the king must advance to the fourth rank, where it will be mated) 6...Qh6+ 7 Kg3 Rf4, when Black wins. 5...Rf3+ 0-1 6 Kh4 Rf4+ 7 Kh3 Qf3+ 8 Qg3 Rh4+! 9 Kxh4 Qh5#.

4: Queen Sacrifices

White to play Terzić – Nurkić Bosnia 1994 If ever you are asked to pose the easiest puzzle in the world, be in no doubt: this one requires nothing more than a knowledge of the rules of chess. White wins with a wave of his (white) magic wand, suitable for all audiences. 1 Qxe5+!! Yes, White has sacrificed the queen. But this is rather a trivial sacrifice: 1...dxe5 2 Bc5# or 1...fxe5 2 Bg5#. The sacrifice of the queen opens for the bishop one of two diagonals which are the sides of a diamond (e3-c5-e7-g5-e3), which endows the move with beauty and harmony. We must not forget the role of the d5-pawn, which is essential for completing the mating-net.

White to play Matsukevich – Bodyshko Tula 1958 Black’s king has advanced to its second rank, but its abundant pawn-cover seems to shelter it from any possible mishap. However, his pieces on the back rank are in a jam and will not be of any assistance. 1 Qxe6+!! A tremendously effective decoy sacrifice. 1...Kxe6 2 Bc4+ Kf5 3 Nh4+ Ke4 3...Kg4 4 Be2+ Kxh4 5 h3!, followed by 6 g3#. 4 Ke2! 1-0 With the unstoppable threat of mate with 5 f3#.

Black to play Shaposhnikov – Lapin Correspondence 1953 If White had castled at some point, there is no trace of it left, and the white king on c2 must be considered as a king in the centre, relatively well protected by his pieces. In this instance two black major pieces have already entered the enemy camp, and this gives rise to serious worries. Because, in addition, it is Black to move... 1...Qxb3+!! White resigned on the spot (in a manner of speaking, since this game was played by correspondence). What is certain is that White could diligently analyse the variation 2 Kxb3 Ba4+ 3 Kc4 Rc8+ 4 Kd5 Bc6+ 5 Kc4 d5+ 6 Qxd5 Bb5++ 7 Kb3 Ba4#.

Black to play S. Scherbakov – Yavorovsky Ukraine 1991 Undoubtedly, Black’s pieces are better coordinated and, in addition, the white king is situated on d2, with very little protection. So it should come as no surprise that Black can unleash a mating attack. 1...Qxc2+!! 2 Kxc2 Nd3!! An unexpectedly quiet move following the queen sacrifice. To the surprise of the public, White resigned. Let’s see how the game might have continued: a) 3 Ne2 Rb2+ 4 Kd1 Rxb1+ 5 Kd2 Rb2+ 6 Ke3 (6 Kd1 Nxd5!) 6...Rxe4+ 7 Qxe4 Rxe2+ 8 Kd4 Rxe4#. b) 3 Rf3 Rb2+ 4 Kd1 Rxg2, winning. c) 3 Kd2 Nxd5! 4 Rc1 Rb2+ 5 Rc2 Rxc2+ 6 Kxc2 Rb8 7 Qe2 Rb2+ 8 Kd1 Ne3#.

5: Multiple Sacrifices

White to play Patty – Frankle USA 1973 Black’s king is very uncomfortable on d7 and his pieces are not exactly a model of coordination. Let us observe the activity of the white pieces (with the exception of the rook on a1 and the bishop on d3, although this could be activated via c2-a4), including the strong passed d5-pawn. White only has to find the path that leads to the enemy king. 1 Nxh6! White sacrifices a piece to invade the seventh rank with his rook. 1...gxh6 2 Rxf7+ Kd6 3 Qh5 White wants to command the sixth and seventh ranks, dispensing with the rest of the board. 3...Bd7 3...Rg5 4 Qxh6+. 4 Qxe5+! Surprise! 4...Kxe5 5 Bf4#

White to play V. Shulman – Feldman Riga 1986 Black’s king is in a weak position on f7 and there are too many open lines for his comfort. The combination that follows is highly spectacular. 1 Nxe6! Kxe6 1...Qa5 2 Ng5+. 2 Qd5+!! As the Russians say, “once you say A, you have to say B”, which is a way of saying that one should be consistent. So, a further investment to be able to continue the chase. 2...Nxd5 3 Bg4+ Ke5 4 Rf5+ Kd4 5 Rxd5+ Kc4 6 Be2+ Kb4 7 a3# (1-0)

White to play Leiser – Buscaglia Geneva 1957 Black’s lack of development is awkward and White is in complete command of the situation. The weak point in the black camp is e6. 1 Nxe6! Kxe6 2 Qxd5+!! Kxd5 3 Rd1+ Ke4 3...Ke6 4 Bc4#. 4 Rc4+ Kf3 4...Ke3 5 Rd3#. 5 Rd3+ Kg4 6 Be2+ Kxh4 7 Rcc3! Mate on h3 cannot be prevented. Black resigned.

Black to play Letelier – Fischer Leipzig Olympiad 1960 This combination, exploiting a king in the centre, is well-known but so spectacular that I was unable to resist the temptation to include it in the book. 1...Rxe3! 2 Rxe3 Rxe3 3 Kxe3 The question is: how to continue now? Bobby Fischer’s response: 3...Qxf4+!! 0-1 White resigned in view of 4 Kxf4 Bh6# and 4 Kf2 Ng4+ 5 Kg2 Ne3+ 6 Kf2 Nd4 7 Qh1 Ng4+ 8 Kf1 Nxf3.

White to play Nikitin – Kuznetsov USSR 1975 Black’s king is in a precarious situation on c7, made even more serious by the annoying presence of the bishop on a6, as well as the rook on c1, commanding the half-open file on which the black king sits. 1 Rxc6+! Kxc6 2 Rc1+ Kd6 Or: 2...Kd7 3 Bb5+ Kd6 4 Qe5+! fxe5 5 dxe5#; 2...Nc3+ 3 Rxc3+ Kd6 4 Qb5 Rc8 5 Ne5! Rxc3 6 Qb4+ Kd5 7 Qxe7. 3 Qe5+! fxe5 4 dxe5+ Kd7 5 Bb5#

White to play Kotov – Yudovich USSR Ch, Leningrad 1939 Alexander Kotov, one of the most outstanding Russian players of the 1940s and 1950s, gives us a lesson here on how to deal with a king that has strayed into the centre, with an economy of means and a brilliance of moves. 1 Rf5!! exf5 In the event of 1...Qd6 White plays 2 Rxf7+! Bxf7 3 Nf5+ exf5 4 Qxd6+. 2 Nxf5+ Kf6 2...Qxf5 3 Qd6#. 3 Rd6+ Kxf5 3...Re6 4 Qg7+ Kxf5 5 Bc2+ Kf4 6 Qg3#. 4 Qf3+ Rf4 Or 4...Kg5 5 Qf6+ Kh5 6 Bd1+ Rg4 7 Qh6#. 5 Qh5+ Ke4 6 Bc2+ Ke3 7 Rd3+ 1-0 7...Kf2 8 Rd2+ Ke3 9 Qe2#.

White to play Khait – Gorelov Moscow 1997 king on f7, with a position similar to previous weak square in this case is again the same, e6, f-file is an important launch-pad for an attack. cases, White begins a chain of sacrifices on e6

Another black examples. The and the open As in previous and d5. 1 Nxe6! Kxe6 2 Qd5+!! Nxd5 3 exd5+ Ke5 4 Bf4+ Kf6 4...Kd4 5 Rfd1+ Kc4 (5...Kc5 6 Na2 Rxh5 7 Be3+ Kc4 8 b3#) 6 Be2+ Kb4 7 Rd4+ Qc4 8 Rxc4+ Ka5 9 b4#. 5 Bh6+ A precise check, to take away the g7-square. 5...Ke5 6 Rae1+ Kd4 7 Rf4+ 1-0 7...Kc5 8 b4#.

White to play Mason – Winawer Vienna 1882 This is one of the greatest combinations from the late-19th century. First, by means of a rook sacrifice (for just a pawn!), White opens a breach on the wing opposite to where the enemy king is situated. Two surprising blows then suppress the enemy’s resistance. 1 Rxg5! It is difficult, on first examination, to evaluate the strength of this move. How important is the queen check on h7? The response is in the following lines. 1...hxg5 2 Qh7+ Nd7 2...Kd8 3 Qh8+ Ke7 4 Qg7+ Rf7 5 f6+ Kd8 6 Qg8+ Kc7 7 Qxf7+ Kd8 8 Qe7#. 3 Bxd7 Qg8 3...Qxd7 loses to 4 Rc4+ Kd8 5 Qh8+ Ke7 6 Qxb8, with the threat of 7 Rc7. 4 Rb7+!! An extraordinary move, which produces an impact both psychological and real. 4...Kxb7 If 4...Rxb7, then naturally 5 Qxg8. 5 Bc8++! A double check, based on interference. White wins since after 5...Kxc8 6 Qxg8+, Black loses the f6-rook too.

21: King on its Third Rank When the defender’s king is situated on its fourth rank, the attacker’s task is usually an easy one, because such a king must be very exposed, surrounded by hostile pieces, and a good number of classic examples testify to this. Thus here we shall only include examples featuring a king on its fourth rank in the set of training positions, since if the reader has studied the examples included in this and the preceding chapter(s), he ought to be well equipped to solve such extreme cases. In the case of combinations against a king on its third rank, these normally form part of an attack which is already in progress. But, be that as it may, we have considered it appropriate to include here a few examples which might widen the student’s horizons. The combinative manoeuvres include queen sacrifices in every case.

White to play Fuchs – NN East Germany 1955 Black is three pawns up, but the material balance tells us little about such a position, where one of the kings is as endangered as Black’s is here. Black has already decided to offer his knight, to try to gain some respite. Meanwhile Black’s bishop has no squares – and neither has his king. 1 Qxc6+!

The e7-square is protected by two black pieces, so White promptly proceeds to deflect them both. 1...Qxc6 2 Nd4+! 1-0 A second deflection, this time of the knight, which will prove decisive. Black resigned due to 2...Nxd4 3 Re7#.

Black to play Kotov – Bondarevsky Leningrad 1936 The white king has already advanced to the third rank and its movements are severely restricted by its own pieces. On the other hand, the three vacant squares in its radius of action are under Black’s control, two of them (f2 and f4) even by two black pieces. The position is explosive and it only requires the fuse to be lit. Notice that two black pieces on the queenside have still not come into the game. 1...f4+! To deflect the knight from the defence of f2. 2 Nxf4 Qf2+ 3 Kd3 Qxd4+!! Kings on their fourth rank are no more than live bait... 4 Kxd4 Bc5+! 5 Kd3 Ne5# The white king has returned to its previous position, but has not found safety, in the end succumbing to the aggression of the black pieces.

Black to play Seirawan – Browne Lone Pine 1979 Yasser Seirawan was notable, from his very first appearances on the international scene, for a certain inclination to make original moves with his king, right in the opening. However, it seems that in this case his hand must have slipped, because the white king is in dire straits here, even though Black still has three undeveloped pieces, which confirms the primacy of the exposed king factor, even when the attacker has fewer pieces in play. 1...Qxc4+!! A queen sacrifice which, as the Soviet masters used to say, “accords with the spirit of the position”. 2 Kxc4 Ba6+ 3 Nb5 3 Kc5 allows 3...d6#. 3...Nxb5! 0-1 It’s mate after 4 Nd4 Nxd4+ 5 Kc3 Ne2++ 6 Kd2 Rxb2+ 7 Ke1 Bc3+ 8 Kf2 Nf4+ 9 Kg1 Rxg2# or 4 Qa4 Na3++ 5 Kc5 d6+ 6 Kc6 Ne7#. The exposure to the sun produces serious burns.

Black to play Polugaevsky – Nezhmetdinov Russian Ch, Sochi 1958 A position of greater tension than this would be impossible to find. White is a pawn up and appears set to win a piece. Of course, with his king situated on the third rank, White has no grounds for complacency. However, how can it be attacked? If 1...Qg2, White could calmly capture the bishop on h6. The problem is that the black queen has no intention of meekly moving aside. 1...Rxf4!! Line-clearance, removing the guard, deflection... Many combinative themes can be seen in this sacrifice! 2 Rxh2 Both 2 gxf4 Bxf4+! 3 Nxf4 Qg3+ and 2 Nxf4 Qxg3+ 3 Ke2 Qf3+ 4 Kd2 Bxf4+ give Black a decisive attack. Now another combinative theme appears: double check. 2...Rf3++ 3 Kd4 Bg7!? 4 a4 c5+! 5 dxc6 bxc6 Calmly renewing the threat of mate with 6...c5#. 6 Bd3 White considers that the time has come to give back some material, since, after all, he is a queen up. 6...Nexd3+ 7 Kc4 The king continues on its way towards the queenside... 7...d5+ 8 exd5 cxd5+ 9 Kb5 Rb8+ Activating the last piece. 10 Ka5 Nc6+ 0-1

White laid down his arms. After 11 Ka6 Black has three possible mates: 11...Ndb4#, 11...Nc5# and 11...Rb6#. If, after seeing this marvellous combination, you would like to know more about Rashid Nezhmetdinov, I can tell you that he was born in 1912. This Tatar was endowed with an incredible talent for the game, with a brilliant combinative style, also in the game of draughts (checkers). He had several major successes under his belt, such as winning the championship of the Russian Federation on various occasions, as well as gaining second place in the international tournaments of Bucharest (1953) and Rostov (1961). He was also the author of the first chess book published in the Tatar language. He beat Tal several times in the World Champion’s own style, with sacrifices galore. He died in 1974, in the historic city of Kazan.

Training Positions: Second Set Easiest Positions

139) White to play solution

140) White to play solution

141) White to play solution

142) Black to play solution

143) Black to play solution

144) White to play solution

145) White to play solution

146) White to play solution

147) White to play solution

148) White to play solution

149) White to play solution

150) Black to play solution

151) White to play solution

Medium Difficulty

152) White to play solution

153) Black to play solution

154) White to play solution

155) White to play solution

156) Black to play solution

157) White to play solution

158) White to play solution

159) Black to play solution

160) White to play solution

161) White to play solution

162) White to play solution

163) White to play solution

164) White to play solution

165) White to play solution

166) Black to play solution

167) Black to play solution

168) White to play solution

169) White to play solution

170) Black to play solution

171) White to play solution

172) White to play solution

173) White to play solution

174) White to play solution

175) White to play solution

176) Black to play solution

177) White to play solution

178) White to play solution

179) White to play solution

180) White to play solution

181) Black to play solution

182) White to play solution

183) White to play solution

184) White to play solution

185) White to play solution

186) White to play solution

187) White to play solution

188) Black to play solution

189) White to play solution

190) Black to play solution

191) White to play solution

192) White to play solution

Difficult Positions

193) White to play solution

194) White to play solution

195) White to play solution

196) White to play solution

197) White to play solution

198) White to play solution

199) White to play solution

200) White to play solution

201) White to play solution

202) White to play solution

203) White to play solution

204) Black to play solution

Part 4: Target: The Castled King An attack cannot arise from nothing, just at the simple whim of the player. For an attack to be effective, there must exist in the position a series of preconditions that suggest it and favour its development. In the case of an attack on the castled king, such preconditions might be: A concentration of attacking pieces in that sector Weaknesses in the pawn-structure of the castled position A relative shortage of defensive pieces. The first and third points above are self-explanatory. As regards weaknesses in the protective pawn-barrier, these can originate from any of these causes: Disappearance of one of the pawns One or more pawns have advanced Presence of doubled pawns If the concentration of attacking troops is very superior in numbers, it can happen that the attack succeeds by means of the simple creation of a chain of threats, without needing to make any investment of material. But normally the attacking side will have to exploit the weaknesses in the defender’s castled position by sacrificing one or more pieces. This type of sacrifice is the raison d’être of the combinations that we are about to study in this section of the book. So, we shall focus here on combinative operations that begin with the sacrifice of one or more piece(s), intended to breach the defender’s pawn-shield. Such sacrifices can be active , involving the capture of an enemy pawn or pawns, or passive , leaving an attacked piece en prise , which, if taken, will disrupt the structure of the castled position, the king’s pawn-shield. The various chapters in Part 4 will cover typical sacrifices, categorized by the piece sacrificed, followed by a chapter dealing with multiple sacrifices. Finally there will be a chapter in which we shall study some magnificent combinations which resist categorization. I have included these not because I intend the reader to retain ideas that are by definition unclassifiable, but rather to enjoy the sheer beauty of chess and to inspire the reader to draw his own conclusions, from which a host of

stimuli and fresh ideas should emerge. The classification of combinations presents some methodological difficulties. In this book I have not only classified combinations against the castled king according to the piece sacrificed, but also according to the square on which it is sacrificed. This is all very well – and I hope useful – but chess is too rich to be rigidly categorized. At some point the divisions blur, and in many cases a particular combination could legitimately belong to another category, or it may share common ideas with a combination that is formally classified in a completely different section. Likewise there are, e.g., knight sacrifices on f6 that have nothing in common with one another, either in their underlying themes or their immediate targets. There are numerous positions that resist such categorization entirely. For example: where should one include the combination carried out by White in the following example?

White to play Kasparov – Marjanović Malta Olympiad 1980 This position is not complicated, nor does it present unusually complex difficulties in classification, compared to many others. That is why I have chosen it as a representative example. The finish of the game was: 1 Nxh7! Qd4 1...Kxh7 2 Qh5+ will cost Black his queen. 2 Qh5 g6 3 Qh4 Bxa1 4 Nf6+ 1-0 4...Kg7 5 Nf5+! gxf5 6 Qh6#.

Should this be included in a section about ‘knight sacrifices on h7 ’? But there was also a rook sacrifice on the third move. So, should it be placed in the section ‘sacrifices of two pieces’? A doubt arises because in reality the first sacrifice is a pseudo-sacrifice . But where does the limit lie that establishes that one sacrifice is indeed a sacrifice and another only a pseudo-sacrifice? If a sacrifice cannot be accepted because of mate next move, then strictly speaking, one would also have to reject another one that leads by force to mate in, let’s say, 10 or 12 moves. Returning to this position, there is, in addition, a second knight sacrifice (5 Nf5+), although it did not appear on the board because Black resigned. So, should we consider including it in the section ‘sacrificial sequences’? This is just one example. There are infinite problems of this type. How to classify a sacrifice, even though it is thematic , to which the response is another sacrifice? Would it not be appropriate to differentiate sacrifices that are accepted from those which are declined? How to classify sacrifices that are produced in the centre of the board, but whose effects are felt by the castled king? Would it be necessary to create categories for each one of these cases and for each particularity within each case? Possibly, yes, from a theoretical or scientific point of view, but it is obvious that the task, as well as being a mammoth one, would be scarcely realistic and of limited real benefit. In classifying sacrifices in this part of the book according to the square on which they take place, we must be careful not to assume that what applies on the kingside also applies on the queenside, because of the particular position of the king in queenside castling. To give two examples: the sacrifice of a bishop on f7 is normally check and the square is usually defended by rook and king, if both pieces are still in the same position as when castling took place. A bishop sacrifice on c7 is not with check, if the black king is situated in the usual position of queenside castling (c8) and the c7-square is protected only by the king. In the case of the bishop sacrifice on h7, this is also with check and is one of the typical combinations which best lends itself to a thematic study. The corresponding sacrifice on a7 to start with is not usually even a sacrifice, and in the majority of cases threatens nothing, in which case it is a simple pawn capture, since the a7-square is usually not defended, unless

there is a knight on c6. So in this case, what applies to sacrifices on one wing is not, apart from a few exceptions, applicable to the other wing, and so separate study is required. This means that although in this part we shall include examples related to queenside castling, nevertheless the majority of the positions will concern kingside castling. The chapters that comprise this fourth part of the book are: 22 : Rook Sacrifices 23 : Bishop Sacrifices 24 : Knight Sacrifices 25 : Queen Sacrifices 26 : Multiple Sacrifices 27 : Exceptional Combinations On checking the order in the sacrifices have been listed, a seasoned reader will notice a certain inconsistency: in the previous sections of the book we began with the sacrifice of a knight, then bishop, etc., while here we are starting with the rook. The reason is that, with respect to the kingside attack, rook sacrifices are generally the easiest to execute and therefore to study, followed by bishop sacrifices and knight sacrifices. After that, our grading according to difficulty leads us to study queen sacrifices next, followed by multiple sacrifices in last place.

22: Rook Sacrifices As is well known, the rook’s mobility makes it ideal for operating at long distance (along ranks and open files). When attacking a castled king, the rook’s effectiveness is greatest when the pawn normally standing in front of it has disappeared from the board (i.e. the rook is operating on a half-open file) or, better still, when there are no pawns ahead of it (i.e. the rook is operating on an open file). In many cases a rook can also operate via a rook-lift on the third or fourth rank in front of its own pawns. This can be an effective way to attack a castled position, and one that is easily overlooked in the heat of battle. However the rook ends up targeting the enemy king, it can provide powerful support to other pieces, or can sacrifice itself in many ways to break open lines. We shall now begin the study of the topic of this chapter, in which we shall classify the most common rook sacrifices against the castled position: Sacrifices on h8 Sacrifices on g7 Sacrifices on h7 Sacrifices on f7 Sacrifices on g6 Sacrifices on Other Squares

Sacrifices on h8 The rook sacrifice on the h8-square, in connection with a queen mate on h7, supported by a pawn on g6, is one of the classic mating themes in the attack against the kingside castled position. In the position which follows we can see the typical pattern:

White to play White to play and mate in three: 1 Rh8+! Kxh8 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Qh7# Naturally, the queen must be directly available and Black must not have the slightest possibility of blocking the check on the open file. This pattern, with infinite variations but retaining the essential features, has been produced on numerous occasions. For the reader it should be sufficient to retain the basic idea, tackling each situation that arises at the board with his own acumen and analytical spirit.

White to play C. Bauer – Kinsman French Team Ch 1998 Here we have a variation on this mate, which is accomplished with... 1 Rh8+! Kxh8 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 g6 1-0 The key to the combination is that the black queen occupies the escape-square e7, so that the king is unable to escape the deadly trap by moving the rook from f8. For example: 3...Rfd8 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Qh8#. The following game between two German cities at the start of the 20th century seems to be the optimal version of this combination:

White to play Mannheim – Regensburg Correspondence 1911-12 We see the open h-file and also the pawn on g6, but we don’t see the availability of the white queen to deliver the mate. The ingenious Mannheim players found a winning manoeuvre. 1 Rh8+! Kxh8 2 Rh1+ Kg8 3 Rh8+! This was the idea: to sacrifice both rooks. Although this position should be included in the chapter on multiple sacrifices, it is included here on the grounds that it best illustrates the theme of the mate that we are studying. 3...Kxh8 4 Qh1+ Finally, the white queen reaches the desired file.

4...Kg8 5 Qh7# Black’s king has been bounced, like a rag doll, between g8 and h8, until being mated. A very effective manoeuvre, which is impressive the first time you see it, but which soon becomes just another one of those pieces of knowledge that go to make up what we call technique. In fact, a similar manoeuvre was to be found in a book by the Portuguese writer Pedro Damiano, from the beginning of the sixteenth century; accordingly, it is referred to as Damiano’s Mate . Damiano was a chemist in Odemira, who died in 1544.

White to play P. Damiano Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi et de le partite , 1512 As you can see, the white king is missing. This could perhaps have been because many of these spectacular positions were used in making wagers and the king of the winning side was an element that lent itself to palming and trickery. Notice the similarity with the previous diagram. If we ignore the pieces and pawns on the queenside and focus on the arrangement of White’s major pieces, we can see that the white queen is on d1 (normally the ideal square for this type of mate), although here, to accentuate the difficulty, the author has blocked the d1-h5 diagonal with a pawn on e2. The mating manoeuvre, however, is identical: 1 Rh8+! Kxh8 2 Rh1+ Kg8 3 Rh8+! Kxh8 4 Qh1+ Kg8

5 Qh7# Could anyone overlook such a possibility, if it should happen to come up in a game? This kind of schematic manoeuvre, no matter how brilliant, can be learned, just as one learns Pythagoras’ Theorem. Naturally, there are positions in which the possibility of reaching this mate is latent but which first require tactical difficulties to be overcome, and that is what the imagination of the player is for. There is a variation on this theme, which involves sacrificing the rook but following it up with a queen move to the h-file without check , but which leads to an identical finish. Let’s see this in practice.

White to play Netgame – Hamilton Australia 1961 A similar idea works here too: 1 Rh8+! But not 1 Qh5? because of 1...Rxf4, clearing the escape-square f8. 1...Bxh8 Naturally, if 1...Kxh8, the mate is easy: 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Qh7#. 2 Qh5 1-0 The threat is mate on h7, and 2...Rxf4 is met by 3 Qh7+ Kf8 4 Qxh8#. For this manoeuvre to be effective, the f6-square must be under the attacker’s control, so that Black cannot play

...Nf6. These positions have taught us that Damiano’s Mate is delivered with the queen on h7, supported by a pawn, and the sacrifice of the rook prepares the queen check without any loss of time, so as not to give the enemy a breathing space.

White to play Neibut – Kirillov Riga 1956 Black has the half-open b-file to attack the white king, but White has the open h-file, with both rooks aiming at the most distant objective. 1 Rh8+! Bxh8 2 Rxh8+! A second rook sacrifice, but since White took a bishop, in reality he has sacrificed a rook and an exchange. Now the black king is left completely at the mercy of the remaining white pieces, which will attack it on the dark squares. 2...Kxh8 3 Bf6+ Kh7 4 Qg5 White is threatening 5 Qh4+ and mate on the fatal square, h8. Not even heroic defence will work now, e.g. 4...Bxg4 5 fxg4 Nd3+ 6 Bxd3 Re5, because of 7 Qh4+ Rh5 8 gxh5 g5 9 Qxg5 Rg8 10 Qf5+.

Sacrifices on g7 Although queenside castling has some peculiarities that differentiate it from kingside castling (such as the fact that the

a-pawn is not initially protected by the king), in reality, the rook sacrifice on b7 is similar and based on the same themes as sacrifices on g7: breach the barrier of pawns and open the file against the defender’s king.

White to play White’s rook on g1 is ready to exploit its command of the file, given the availability of White’s other major pieces. 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 1...Kh8 2 Qh6 and mate on h7. 2 Qg5+ Kh8 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 Rg1+ and mate next move (4...Qg3 5 Rxg3#). A manoeuvre that is very easy to understand and very useful, when the second rook is also ready to occupy the g-file. A similar case can be seen in the following position, in which the minor pieces and the different locations of the two queens do not affect the result.

White to play 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 Or 1...Kh8 2 Qe5 (threatening 3 Rxf7+; 2 Qf6? Bf5! is far from clear) 2...Qd6 (2...f6 3 Rxh7+) 3 Rg8++ Kxg8 4 Qg5+ Kh8 5 Qf6+ Kg8 6 Rg1+, mating. 2 Qg5+ 2 Rg1+ is also good, but Black could interpose bishop and queen on the g-file, delaying the outcome. 2...Kh8 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 Rg1+ and mate next move (4...Bg4 5 Rxg4#).

White to play

Lustenberger – Mooser Switzerland 1992 The pressure of White’s major pieces on the g- and and the fact that the bishop commands the dangerous diagonal, permit an immediate finish. 1 Rxg7! Nxg7 2 Qg6! 1-0 The capture on g7 has cleared lines and now the white poses a double threat of mate on g7 and h7, which unstoppable in a single move. A simple case of a double

h-files, b1-h7 queen proves attack.

Let’s now look at some positions in which the sacrifice of the rook on g7 (or g2) initiates a more elaborate combination. First, a classic.

Black to play Hewitt – Steinitz London 1866 All Black’s pieces (including the bishop on d7) are aiming towards the white king’s abode, where, as if this were not enough, there is the menacing presence of the passed e-pawn on its seventh rank. Steinitz did not hesitate when the time came to launch the winning combination. 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Qh3+!! A pretty decoy sacrifice. 2...Rf2+! is also completely winning, in simpler fashion. 3 Kxh3 If 3 Kg1, then 3...Rf2!, threatening mate on g2, when 4 Bxf2 loses to 4...Qxh2#.

3...Ne3+ Discovered check: the bishop takes part in the hunt. 4 Kh4 Ng2+ 5 Kh5 Rf5+ 6 Kg4 h5+ Mate could also be achieved with 6...Rf4++ 7 Kh5 Be8+ 8 Kg5 h6#. 7 Kh3 Rf2# The other rook re-occupies the f2-square to deliver the decisive check. GM Yuri Averbakh defined the stages of this mating attack as follows: 1) destruction of the king’s fortress; 2) pursuit of the king; 3) construction of the mating mechanism. At times the final invasion takes place along the seventh rank instead of along the files facing the castled position, as in the following classic position.

Black to play Shumov – Von Kolisch Match (game 1), St Petersburg 1862 The finish here seems like child’s play, but the difficulty consists in calculating all the details accurately. 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Qe2+ 3 Kh1 After 3 Kh3 Rg8 Black threatens mate on g4 and h5. 3...Rd2! 0-1 A curious finish. 4 Rxd2 allows 4...Qxf1#, and otherwise White is unable to prevent mate on g2 or h2.

White to play Radulov – Söderborg Helsinki (team event) 1961 White has four pieces aiming at the enemy kingside, but he needs to find a way to break through to reach the black king. 1 Rxg7! A sacrifice that not only destroys Black’s pawn-shield but also decoys the black king to g7, so that the knight is now pinned. 1...Kxg7 2 Qg4+ 1-0 After 2...Kh8 3 Qh5 the mate is unstoppable: 3...Kg8 4 Bxf6 Rfe8 5 Qxh7+ Kf8 6 Qh8#. It is worth noting the impunity with which the white queen has moved to g4 and h5, which has only been possible owing to the pin on the knight, i.e., thanks to the power of the bishop on e5.

Black to play Nijboer – Tseshkovsky Wijk aan Zee 1988 Both kings are exposed, but Black’s pieces are better placed and he will demonstrate that he can win the game immediately. 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Ne3+! The decisive fork. 3 Kh2 3 Bxe3 Qxf1+ 4 Kh2 Qe2+ and mate in a few moves (see next note). 3...Qxf1 0-1 After 4 Bxe3 Qe2+ Black forces mate: 5 Kh1 (5 Kg1 Rf1#) 5...Rf1+ 6 Bg1 Qf3+ 7 Kh2 Qg3+ 8 Kh1 Rxg1# (or 8...Qxg1#).

White to play Palatnik – Geller Rostov-on-Don (team event) 1980 Despite his king being in the centre, White has nothing to fear. Furthermore, he is prepared to launch a combinative attack on the enemy king which will lead to victory. With just one move (...g6), Black could consolidate his position, but precisely that tempo is lacking. A few moves earlier, Geller had unwisely captured the pawn on g2, opening the g-file and now he will pay for the consequences of his temerity. 1 Rxg7+! 1-0 Black resigned on the spot. 1...Kh8 is mated by 2 Rxh7+ Kg8 3 Qg4#, while after 1...Kxg7 2 Qg4+ Kh8 3 Qf5 there is an unstoppable mate with Q+B on h7, because in addition Black’s f6-pawn encloses his king in a deadly trap (if it were not for that pawn, the black king would have the possibility of ...Kf6).

Black to play Vistaneckis – Salo Stockholm Olympiad 1937 Black’s attack has arrived first: he commands the b-file as a launching pad for his major pieces and he also has the pair of bishops, while White is far from being able to pose any threat to the enemy king. 1...Rxb2+! 2 Kxb2 Qa3+ 3 Kb1 Rb8+ 4 Nb3 White’s only hope is to block the file. 4...Rxb3+! A vain hope: with this fresh sacrifice White’s resistance is broken. 5 cxb3 Bf5+ 0-1 The bishop that was blocked by the d5-pawn comes into action with decisive effect: 6 Qd3 Qxb3+ 7 Ka1 Bxd3.

White to play Pasman – Zilber Israeli Ch, Beersheba 1978 With his last move (...Qd4, offering the exchange of queens and attacking the knight), Black thought that he was forcing simplification, with which he would have solved his problems on the kingside. But the reality is very different. 1 Rxg7! Kxg7 1...Qxh4? allows 2 Rh7#. 2 Qg5+ Kf8 3 Re1! Cutting off the black king’s escape-route via the e-file. 3...Be6 3...Qxf6 4 Qxf6 Rxd3 5 Qh8+ Bg8 6 f6 Ra7 7 Qh6+. 4 Qh6+ Black will be mated; e.g., 4...Kf7 5 Qg6+ Kf8 6 Nh7+ Ke7 7 Qxe6#.

White to play Allen – Sadler Correspondence 1957-8 White has all his pieces active, with his two bishops aiming at the enemy king along clear diagonals and the rook already involved on the kingside. The other white rook is, for the moment, passive, but if the b2-bishop moves, it will have the whole half-open b-file. Black has little protection for his king with which to oppose such a troop concentration. 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 2 Ng5! Threatening e6 and h7, exploiting the pin on the f6-pawn, but does this compensate for the sacrificed rook? Yes, of course. 2 Ng5! is a powerful attacking move, with which White initiates a chain of threats: 2...h6 (or 2...Rh8 3 Qh5 Rcf8 4 Bxh7 followed by mate) 3 Qh5 Be8 4 Nxe6+ Kh8 (4...Kg8 5 Qg4+ Kh8 6 Qg7#) 5 Qxh6+ Kg8 6 Qh7#. Consequently, Black resigned.

White to play Botvinnik – Keres The Hague/Moscow World Ch 1948 Black has just played ...Nbd7 and White considers that the position is now ripe for the final assault. It is obvious, for example, that the white rook is not on g5 to make friends. 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 The acceptance of the sacrifice is practically forced, in view of 1...Kh8 2 Rg5, with the threat of 3 Nh5, and 1...Kf8 2 Bh6, with great threats. 2 Nh5+ Kg6 Or 2...Kf8 3 Nxf6 Nxf6 4 Qxf6, threatening mate on h8, 5 Bh6+ (or 5 Bb2) and, at the same time, the rook on e7. 3 Qe3! 1-0 Once the black king has been drawn forward towards hostile territory, White poses unstoppable mating threats on g5 and h6. The world championship tournament of 1948 included the five best players of the day, in the judgement of the experts (a sixth, the American GM Reuben Fine, declined to take part): Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Paul Keres, Max Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky. Alekhine had taken his world title with him to the tomb in 1946 and the world lacked a Champion. In the end the Russian Botvinnik would deservedly win the world crown, ahead of Smyslov, in second place, three points behind.

White to play Rüfenacht – Mattheus Thessaloniki Olympiad 1984 It has been claimed that any piece that attacks a square in the castled position is liable to be sacrificed on that square . It’s an exaggeration of course, but it does contain a grain of truth. It is White to play. At first sight, one might think that the sacrifice on g7 doesn’t work. But the expression ‘at first sight’ is suspect and frivolous, because it means nothing. Examine, analyse, evaluate, decide. 1 Bxg7+! Bxg7 2 Rxg7! Kxg7 After these sacrifices on g7 it can be seen that what White has really sacrificed is a rook. Now we shall see why. 3 Qg4+ Kf6 The only realistic possibility: if 3...Kh8, 4 Rg1. 4 Qh4+ Kf5 Obviously, 4...Kg6 is met by 5 Rg1+. 5 Qxh7+ Kf4 5...Kf6 6 Qh4+ Kf5 7 Rg1. 6 Qh4+ Kf5 Or 6...Kf3 7 Qg3+ Ke2 (7...Ke4 8 Qg4#) 8 Qe3+ Kxd1 9 c3#. 7 Rg1! 1-0 There is no satisfactory defence against 8 Qg4+ Kf6 9 Qg5#.

White to play Ye Jiangchuan – Smirin Beijing 1991 Black has no queen, but we cannot talk of a material advantage here, since R+N+P are theoretically equal to a queen. White’s advantage is strategic in nature: the three white pieces are aiming unequivocally at the black king, which is protected only by its pawns, a factor that will soon be highlighted. 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 2 Qxh6+ Kg8 3 Bg5! Calm as you like: the weakness of the dark squares determines the fate of this game. There is no satisfactory defence against 4 Bf6, which threatens a mating attack on the squares g7 and h8. 3...Rg4 Or 3...f5 (or 3...f6) 4 Bf6 Rd7 (4...Re7 5 Bxe7 Nxe7 6 Qxe6+, etc.) 5 Qh8+ Kf7 6 Qg7#. 4 Bf6 1-0 Although not very famous, GM Ye Jiangchuan is not exactly an unknown either, since for years he was the top board for China and has scored numerous victories against top players.

Black to play Alburt – Dorfman USSR Ch, Leningrad 1977 At times it happens that the rook sacrifice deflects the king from the defence of a pinned piece, which allows the attacker to invade key squares or to take the pinned piece. Such is the case here. The area round the white king is seriously weakened and the four black pieces are very active, which places the white king’s survival in jeopardy. 1...Rxb2! 0-1 Black forces his opponent’s immediate resignation, although that decision probably came after deep calculation on the part of GM Lev Alburt. Let’s see what might have happened after 2 Kxb2 Qxd2+: a) 3 Kb3 Bc2+, winning the white queen. b) 3 Ka1 Qxc3+ 4 Ka2 Re2+ and mate next move. c) 3 Ka3 Qxc3+ 4 Qb3 Ra5+ 5 Ba4 Rxa4+! 6 Kxa4 Bc2, winning.

White to play Blackburne – Lipschütz New York 1889 This game constitutes one of the chess landmarks of the last years of the 19th century. Careful with that smirk. First reproduce the combination, study it and then tell me that it is commonplace and that the masters of the past were all rabbits ! The game has a nice story attached. In this position the game was adjourned and White had to seal his next move. So Blackburne (nicknamed The Black Death ) placed his next move in the appropriate envelope, as per the rules. After lunch the American players (Blackburne was English, from Manchester) all congratulated Lipschütz, thinking that he was obviously going to win, in view of the triumphal march of his queenside pawns. One of them went up to Blackburne and asked him if he didn’t think he perhaps ought to resign. Blackburne replied: “Not only do I not think so, but when I wrote down my sealed move I announced mate in seven.” After the inevitable murmurs of surprise, it was verified that Blackburne was not joking and that he really had announced the mate on his score-sheet. Let’s now see the marvellous combination that the old fox had kept secret: 1 g6! h6 The only move. 2 Rxg7+! Kxg7

Or 2...Kh8 3 Rh7+ Kg8 4 g7! Kxh7 (4...R8f6 5 Rh8+ Kf7 6 g8Q+; 4...Rd8 5 Qg6 and 6 Rh8#; 4...Kf7 5 gxf8Q++) 5 g8Q+ Rxg8 6 Qxg8#. 3 Nh5+! Another magnificent sacrifice, this time to open lines. 3...Rxh5 3...Kg8 is met by 4 Qc7 R5f7 5 gxf7++ Kh8 6 Qe5+ Kh7 7 Qg7#, and if 3...Kh8 then naturally 4 g7+. 4 Qc7+ Kf6 4...Kg8 5 Qh7#. 5 Qd6+ 1-0 5...Kg7 6 Qe7+ Kg8 7 Qh7# or 5...Be6 6 Qxf8+ Bf7 7 Qxf7#.

White to play Kanko – Kivipelto Helsinki 1975 The white pieces could not be better placed and the presence of the rook on g3, opposite the black king, could not be a more bothersome element. The black position looks solid, with only one odd factor: the solitary incursion of his queen onto the seventh rank, which is of little importance, although it attacks two points: the rook on d1 and the f2-square. 1 Rxg7+!! A magnificent rook sacrifice. 1...Kxg7 The only move, as can easily be verified: 1...Kh8 2 Nxf7+ Kxg7 3 Qxf6+ Kg8 (or 3...Kf8 4 Nh6#) 4 Qg7# or 1...Kf8 2 Nd7+!

Nxd7 3 Rxf7+! Kxf7 4 Qg7#. 2 Qg3+ Ng4 2...Kf8 3 Nd7+! Nxd7 4 Bg7+ Ke7 5 Qg5+ f6 6 Bxf6+ Nxf6 7 Qg7#. 3 Nxg4+ Kf8 Or: 3...Qxb2 4 Ne5+ Kf8 5 Nd7+ Ke7 6 Qg5+; 3...f6 4 Nh6+! Kxh6 5 Qh4+ Kg6 (5...Qh5 6 Qxf6+ Qg6 7 Qh4+ Qh5 8 Bg7+) 6 Qxf6+ Kh5 7 Qf7+. 4 Bg7+! Ke7 Or 4...Kxg7 5 Ne5+ Kf8 (5...Kh8 6 Nxf7#; 5...Kh6 6 Nxf7+ Kh5 7 Qg5#) 6 Nd7+ Ke7 7 Qg5+ f6 8 Qxf6#. 5 Qh4+ 1-0 Black accepted defeat in view of 5...f6 6 Qxf6#. A beautiful combination.

Black to play Thipsay – Murugan Indian Ch 1988 Both sides have deployed their usual attacks against the enemy’s castled position, but here the turn to move proves decisive (once again!). In fact it is Black to move here, and his main trump is his motorway – the b-file. Notice that the four black pieces are all aimed towards the white king and how the pawn on c4 constitutes an additional threat, all of which weighs much more heavily in the balance than White’s extra exchange. 1...Rxb2+!! An elegant sacrifice, which breaks up White’s castled position.

2 Kxb2 2 Nxb2 c3 gives Black a decisive advantage, owing to the double attack on the knight and the a2-square. 2...Qb4+ 3 Ka1 Qa3 Threatening mate on c1. 4 Nc3 The only move. 4 Ne3 is met by 4...c3. 4...Qxc3+ 5 Kb1 White is now two exchanges up. 5...Qb4+ 6 Ka1 Bd2 The bishop contributes the decisive reinforcement: the threat is 7...Bc3#. 7 Rg3 Again, the only move. 7...c3! Black breaks the communication of the rook with the queenside, at the same time threatening mate on b2 and, if necessary, on a2, now that the second bishop has an active role. 8 Rb1 Qa3 9 Rb8+ Kg7 10 h6+ Now the neatest way to win is 10...Kh7, when White has no good defence against the threat of mate in one. Now we shall see a spectacular position, a great classical legacy.

White to play Hartlaub – Testa Bremen 1912

White possesses important open lines (two diagonals and the g-file for direct attack), with the queen and bishop menacingly aligned on the long dark diagonal. Now White could win a piece with 1 f4?, but this would allow Black to consolidate his position with 1...Nbc6 2 Qc3 Rae8 3 fxe5 Nxe5, with five pawns for the piece and the threat of 4...Qc6+. The immediate sacrifice is a much better deal: 1 Rxg7+!! Kxg7 1...Kh8 2 Rxh7+! Kxh7 3 Qh4+ Kg6 4 Rg1+ Kf5 5 Qg5+ (or 5 Rg5+ Kf6 6 Rg4+ Kf5 7 Qg5#). 2 Rg1+ The only inactive white piece comes into action. 2...Kh8 Or: 2...Kh6 3 Qh4#; 2...Kf6 3 Qh4+ Kf5 4 Qg5+ (or 4 Rg5+), with the mates indicated above. 3 Qxe5+!! A sacrifice no less effective for being expected. The black position now collapses like a house of cards. 3...dxe5 4 Bxe5+ f6 This precarious defence looked for moment as if it might save Black’s skin, but now the position collapses. 5 Bxf6+ Rxf6 6 Rg8# A classic mate with R+B, despite Black’s enormous material superiority. Mind over matter.

Sacrifices on h7 In the majority of cases the sacrifice of the rook on h7 serves to open the file and make way for the second rook, which usually checkmates on h8, supported by the queen on the diagonal (queen on f6, rook on h8), as we have already seen in the chapter on mates with queen and rook. Often the sacrifice also serves to deflect the enemy king and thus allow the entrance of the attacker’s queen on f7, reserving the final kill for the second rook on the h-file. Given the particular nature of queenside castling, in which the a-pawn is situated two files away from the king, sacrifices on a7 or a2 tend to be of a different type. However, if the king has moved to b8 or b1, then there is scope for sacrifices on a7 or a2 that are analogous to those we are about to see.

White to play It is White to play and all the preconditions are in place for a simple finish: 1 Rxh7! Threatening mate on h8. 1...Kxh7 2 Rh1+ Kg8 3 Rh8# Or 3 Qh8#.

White to play Sakalauskas – Kiik Skellefteå 1999 Here we have a more recent example of how the command of

the h-file can be enough to decide the game, with some collaboration from the other attacking pieces. 1 Rh7+! 1-0 There follows 1...Kg8 2 Ne7+ Kxh7 3 Qh2+ Kg7 4 Qh6# or 1...Kxh7 2 Qh2+ Kg8 3 Ne7+ Kg7 4 Qh6# – the same as the previous variation, with a different move-order.

White to play I. Almasi – T. Horvath Austria 1996 The configuration of the white pieces casts an attacking net over the enemy kingside and, as so often, an important factor is that the black queen is situated too far away to help. 1 Rxh7!! 1-0 1...Kxh7 (1...fxe4 2 Qh5, or 1...g6 2 Rxd7) 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Ng5, threatening 4 Qh7#, and if the black bishop moves, then 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Qxg7# or 4 Qf7+ Kh8 5 Qxg7#.

Black to play Usnunc – Nadanian Armenia 1992 Black has deployed his forces menacingly, creating a network of attacking pieces against the white king. Black’s queen, in particular, is situated in an ideal position to support the coming combinative operation. 1...Nxa2! 2 Rxa2 Rxa2+ 3 Nxa2 Rxa2+! 4 Kxa2 Shouldn’t this position be included in a section on ‘knight sacrifices on a2’? No. What has really been sacrificed on a2 is a rook. 4...b4! More than strong, decisive. Wherever the white queen goes, it will not be able to prevent the king from being mated. 5 Qd4 5 Qe5 prevents a check on a5, but not on a7: 5...Qa7+ 6 Kb2 Qa3#. If 5 Qa1 then 5...Qa7+ 6 Kb2 Qf2+ 7 Kc1 Qc2#, a line in which the bishop has a role. 5...Qa5+ 0-1 6 Kb2 Qa3#.

White to play Kupper – Pomar Enschede Zonal 1964 The open h-file looks ominous, and in fact everything is ready for White to carry out a mating attack. 1 Rh7+! Deflecting the king away from f7. 1...Kxh7 2 Qxf7+ Kh6 The king must come out into the open. 2...Kh8 allows 3 Rh1+, mating. 3 Rh1+ Kg5 4 Qh7!? Threatening 5 Qh4#. 4...Kf6 5 Nd5+ Ke6 6 Nc7+ Kf6 7 Qh8+ 1-0 7...Kf7 8 Rh7+ or 7...Kg5 8 Qh4#.

Black to play Hemman – Brun Germany 1974 Both kings are exposed. White is threatening a devastating attack, starting with Qxd5+, but Black also has threats and the knight alone is unable to deny passage to the enemy major pieces, which have already seen an open road. 1...Rh2+! 2 Kxh2 2 Nxh2 Qg2#. 2...Qxb2+ White resigned in view of 3 Kh1 Qxc1+ 4 Kg2 (4 Kh2 Qg1#) 4...Qg1+ 5 Kf3 Qf1+ 6 Nf2 Qxf2#.

White to play Nguyen Anh Dung – Züger Moscow Olympiad 1994 The white king has lost its castling rights and that could be a cause for worry, but the truly unbalancing factor is the open h-file, controlled by White’s rook. However, White must act speedily if he wants to exploit the open file, because Black is ready to contest it with ...Rh8. 1 Rh7+!! Kxh7 2 Qh1+ Kg8 And now what? 3 Qh6 Threatening 4 Qxg6+ Kh8 5 Rh1#. Black’s king is caught in a deadly trap and the action of the bishop on b3, pinning the f7-pawn, proves decisive. 3...Nce5 4 Rh1 The invasion along the open file will decide the game. 4...Nxf3+ 5 Kd1 Nxb2+ 6 Kc1 Nd3+ 7 Kb1 1-0 White had calculated well and these checks were just Black’s swan song.

White to play Kacheishvili – Waitzkin New York 1999 The half-open h-file is a powerful medium of attack and the temptation to sacrifice is always present. Here it is more than a possibility: the invasion capability of the white major pieces and the dominant knight on e5 confirm the effectiveness of the

sacrifice. 1 Rxh7+! Kxh7 2 Rh1+ Kg8 3 Qh2 As we can see, in this case the sacrifice has, as its first objective, the doubling of queen and rook on the h-file: there is no need to say what is the second... 3...Nxe5 4 Qh7+ The attack plays itself. 4...Kf8 5 fxe5 Qd8 1-0 After playing his last move, Black resigned. The continuation would be 6 exf6 Bxf6 7 Rf1, with the decisive threat of 8 g5, and if 7...g5, 8 Nxd5! Qxd5 9 Rxf6+ Ke8 10 Qh8+ Ke7 11 Qg7+ Ke8 (or 11...Kd8) 12 Rf8#. Joshua Waitzkin is an American International Master whose life as a young chess-player was related in a book written by his father Fred, a sports journalist, which was later made into a film of the same name: Searching for Bobby Fischer .

Black to play Van Wely – Piket Wijk aan Zee 1994 This explosive position was reached from the Botvinnik System in the Semi-Slav, an opening line notorious for creating chaotic unbalanced positions. Both rook’s files are half-open and both sides have rooks situated there. White is threatening mate in one in two places (Qxa7# and Qxc8#), so only a drastic manoeuvre can save Black. 1...Rxh2+!

A deflection sacrifice which we have already seen on other occasions. 2 Kxh2 Qxf2+ 3 Kh3 Qf5+ 4 g4 Or 4 Kg2 Rc2+ and then mate. 4...Qf3+ 5 Kh4 The king is unable to retreat to the second rank, owing to the aforementioned rook check. 5...Qf2+ 6 Kh3 Qe3+ 7 Kh4 Qh6+ 8 Kg3 Bd6+! 0-1 After 9 Rxd6 Qe3+, if the king goes to the edge with 10 Kh4, the rook mates with 10...Rh8#, while if it retreats to the second rank with 10 Kg2 then the rook attacks from another angle with 10...Rc2+, and Black mates in two or three moves. An extraordinary example of the latent versatility of a piece.

Sacrifices on f7 The rook sacrifice on f7 is one of the most common methods for deflecting the king and allowing the queen to enter on h7, especially when the f-file is half-open and the second rook can use it for mating purposes. This type of sacrifice is symmetrical in the sense that it can take place on h7, with the same purpose. The first example illustrates this idea very clearly and shows the sacrifice on f7 in its simplest form.

White to play P. Taylor – Peray London 1999

The miserable situation of the black king is so acute (only two pawns protect it and even then there are weaknesses all around) that one’s hand almost makes the sacrifice automatically... 1 Rf7! Kxf7 Forced, in view of the mating threats on g7 and h7. 2 Qxh7+ Kf8 3 Rf1+ 1-0 There is no defence.

White to play Radchenko – Sarmabehuan USSR 1975 The two white bishops, as well as the queen, occupy very active positions, while Black’s castled position is weakened on the dark squares (f6, h6 and g7). The decisive manoeuvre does not keep us waiting long... 1 Rxf7!! This type of sacrifice is a common device to unblock the e5-pawn, which, in turn, will activate the bishop to the maximum on the long diagonal. 1...Bxf7 1...Rg7 is met by 2 Rxg7 Kxg7 3 Qh6+. 2 e6+ Bf6 3 Qh6! All the white pieces have been thrown into the assault. 3...Rg7 The rook cannot be taken, because of the mate with 3...gxh5 4 Qxh7#.

4 exf7 Rxf7 If 4...Bxd4 then 5 Bxg6, threatening mate in two. 5 Qxg6 1-0 With a triple attack on rook, bishop and the h7-square.

Black to play Malyshev – Kaidanov Bled 1989 This is a typical case: the f-file is half-open and the black queen can penetrate on h2 if the white king is deflected. Curiously, the advanced deployment of the rook on e4 is not favourable; it would be better (for Black) if his rook were on his first or second rank. 1...Rxf2! This sacrifice is all the stronger for its acceptance being forced. 2 Kxf2 Qh2+ 3 Kf1 Re7! The rook must retreat: if it were already situated further back, mate would be imminent. 4 Qf5 White has nothing better than to sacrifice his queen: 4 Re2 Qh1+ 5 Kf2 Rf7+ or 4 Rec1 Rf7+ 5 Ke1 Rf2! 6 Qf1 Rxb2!. 4...Rf7 5 Qf4 h5 0-1 The advance of the pawns is decisive. But there are also, logically, some other themes linked to the rook sacrifice on f7.

White to play Rogozenko – E. Ahmed Pardubice 1999 White is two pawns up, his king is securely sheltered and he has a rook on the seventh rank – an unquestionable material and positional advantage. However, nothing leads one to suppose that he can conclude the struggle immediately, other than that the black king is lacking the cover of the g-pawn, which is also the natural support of the knight. 1 Rxf7+! 1-0 Black resigned on the spot due to 1...Kxf7 2 Bh5+ Ke7 (or 2...Kg7 3 Qg6+ Kh8 4 Qxf6+ Kg8 5 Bf7+ and mate) 3 Re1+ Kd8 (the black king is assailed in the centre of the board and will soon succumb) 4 Qxf6+ Kc7 5 Qd6+ (even the pawn on c5 has its role) 5...Kb7 6 Qd7+ Kb8 7 Rxe8+. The white piece charged with delivering the mate is the only one that had not moved before the sacrifice.

White to play Hartston – Penrose London 1963 In this position the players agreed a draw. However, White could have won, although the combination is not easy to spot, because the black king is only slightly under-protected and there is no build-up of enemy pieces in its vicinity. 1 Rxf7! Kxf7 2 Bc4+ Kf8 Or 2...Rd5 (an attempt to block the d-file) 3 Bxd5+ Kf8 4 Nc5 Bxc5 5 Qf3+ Ke7 6 Qf7+ Kd8 7 Bxc6+ and White wins. 3 Rf1+ Bf6 4 Rxf6+! gxf6 5 Qg8+ Ke7 6 Qe6+ Kf8 7 Qxf6+ Black will be mated (7...Qf7 8 Qxf7#).

White to play Oney – Kalinaga Istanbul 1984 With material equality, White has gained a clear positional advantage, consisting of his rooks’ command of the open c-file, his strong grip on the c6-square and the fact that one of the rooks is already on the seventh rank. On the other hand, the area around the black king is weak and, as so often, the distant location of the defender’s queen, shut in the opposite corner of the board, proves decisive. 1 Rxf7+!! Even so, this dramatic sacrifice seems surprising. 1...Kxf7 2 Rc7+ Be7 Or: 2...Kf6 3 Qe4, with the threats of 4 Qe6+ and 4 Qf4+; 2...Ke8 3 Qxg6+ Kd8 4 Qf7. 3 Qe4 The main threat, naturally, is 4 Qxe7+, but there is also 4 Qe6+. 3...Re8 4 Qe6+ Kf8 4...Kg7 5 Be4 transfers the attack to the g6-square: 5...Rb7 6 Qxg6+ Kf8 7 Qh6+ Kg8 (7...Kf7 8 Bg6+) 8 Bh7+. 5 Be4 As in the previous variation, now the attack is focused on the light squares g6 and f7. 5...Rb7 6 Bxg6 Kg7 7 Qf7+ Kh6 7...Kh8 8 Qh7#. 8 Qh7+ Kg5 9 h4+ 1-0

9...Kg4 10 Qxh5+ Kh3 11 Bf5# (or 11 Qf5#).

Sacrifices on g6 The demolition of the pawn-barrier that protects the castled king is one of the greatest themes in chess and in practice it can take a thousand forms. In the first example we shall see the simplicity with which White demolished the black wall of pawns.

White to play Eley – Harman Hastings 1971/2 The black king’s position contains some holes and the invading knight bodes nothing good for Black. On the other hand, Black has the half-open h-file. Whom does this favour? 1 Rxg6+!! Kxg6 2 Rg3+ Kh7 3 Qf4! Black resigned, since the threat is 4 Qh4, followed by mate, and his king is trapped on the edge of the board.

White to play Kasparov – Short Novgorod 1997 The white pieces are very focused on their primary objective: the enemy king. For Black, the white pawn on h6 is a nuisance factor of the first degree, and something that the (then) World Champion knows how to exploit better than anyone else. 1 Rxg6+! 1-0 Short resigned in view of the forced variation 1...hxg6 2 h7+ Kh8 3 Qf6+ Kxh7 4 Qxf7+ Kh8 5 Qf6+ Kh7 6 Ng5+ Kh6 7 Ne4+ Kh7 8 Qf7+ Kh8 9 Nf6 Ng7 10 Bh6.

White to play G. Pfeiffer – M. Blau Switzerland-Germany, Lucerne 1952 The white pieces are focused on the enemy kingside and the position is already ripe for the sacrifice. 1 Rxg6+! fxg6 Or 1...Kf8 2 Rgh6. 2 Qxg6+ Bg7 2...Kf8 3 Bc5+ Be7 (3...Re7 4 Qxf6+) 4 Rh8#. 3 Rh8+! 1-0 Decoying the king to the fatal square: 3...Kxh8 4 Qh7#.

Black to play Dutreeuw – Malaniuk Forli 1991 In positions like this one the attacked king is doomed. The black pieces (queen, g8-rook, c5-bishop) are hyper-active and White has not yet been able to create any significant threats of his own. It is Black to play and this is how he finished off: 1...Rxg3+! 2 hxg3 Rg8! 0-1 There’s no good defence against 3...Rxg3#.

Black to play Seirawan – Christiansen USA Ch, Greenville 1980 In this game there were no true piece sacrifices, since the only one that took place (of the queen) can be considered as a pseudo-sacrifice. Why, then, its inclusion in this section? Because the latent threat of a sacrifice on g3 determined the outcome of the game. As we can see, White has a fairly solid position, but it is confronted by a more active one. 1...Ne4 2 Qxa5 Rf8 Notice the optimal grade of coordination among the black pieces at this moment: they all protect each other and they are all concentrated on the e-, f- and g-files against the white king. 3 Qa6 3 Bg2 Bxg2 4 Kxg2 Qb7! is crushing because as well as threats on the long diagonal (e.g., 5...Nxg3+), Black has the idea of trapping the white queen by 5...Ra8. 3...Qg6 4 Red1? f4! The decisive opening of lines: Black also needs to exploit the f-file. Of course, it was equally valid to play 4...Bxd1. 5 Rxd6 After 5 exf4, Black can try 5...Nxg3?!, but 6 fxg3 Rxg3+! 7 Kf2 Rg2+! 8 Kxf3 Qg4+ 9 Ke4 Qxf4+ 10 Kd5 is far from clear, so the wise option is 5...Bxd1 6 Rxd1 Rgxf4 7 Bd3 Rxf2!, with a decisive attack. 5...fxg3! 6 Bxg7+

Naturally, the queen cannot be captured: 6 Rxg6 gxf2# or 6 hxg3 Rxg3+!. 6...Kh7! 0-1 There is no defence. If 7 fxg3 (or 7 hxg3) then, as in so many other variations, 7...Rxg3+! wins. Larry Christiansen made a name for himself on the international scene round about the time of this game by sharing first place (with Karpov) in the Linares tournament of 1981. Later he would win the championship of his country on several occasions, becoming one of the strongest American players.

Sacrifices on Other Squares

White to play A. Vila – Yakovich Seville 1994 This position was reached following an explosive struggle, as a consequence of which White has emerged with an extra pawn and a degree of pressure against the black king. Actually more than a degree – the end is nigh. 1 Rxh6+! gxh6 2 Qxh6+ Kg8 Or 2...Qh7 3 Bxf6+ Kg8 (3...Rxf6 4 Qxf6+ Qg7 5 Qxd8+, etc.) 4 Rg5+. 3 Rg5+ 1-0 3...fxg5 4 Qh8#. This game received the Brilliancy Prize at the Seville

International Open, not only for this pretty finish, but also, as is logical, for all the preceding play. A moment of glory for an amateur player. Congratulations!

Black to play A. Schneider – Dvoretsky Frunze 1983 White’s king is on red alert. His queen has abandoned it and its only defender is the rook on f1. The pawns are protecting each other, but the black rooks on the h-file and the powerful knight on d5 pose concrete threats. 1...Rxh4!! The first step is to open lines for invasion. 2 gxh4 Rg8+ 3 Kh3 Alternatively: a) 3 Kf3 Qd4 4 Rg1 Qd3+ 5 Re3 Qf5+ 6 Ke2 Rxg1. b) 3 Kh2 Qd4 4 Re4 Qxe4 5 Qd7+ Kf6! (better than 5...Kxd7? 6 Nc5+ and 7 Nxe4, though even then Black is winning). c) 3 Kh1 Qd4 4 f4 Qd2 (or 4...Qd3, and if 5 Qd7+ then 5...Kf6!, as in the previous line) 5 Rg1 Rh8. 3...Qd4 4 Qd1 Or: 4 f4 Qd3+; 4 f3 Nf4+ 5 Kh2 Qd2+. 4...Nf4+ 5 Kh2 Qf6 0-1 The queen manoeuvre 3...Qd4/5...Qf6 was a triumphal march. The availability, or capability of quick movement, of a piece, is an important tactical concept. This is a perfect example of

optimal availability.

White to play Hébert – Abramović Hastings 1984/5 Black is behind in development (his three queenside pieces have not yet come into play) and the situation is very dangerous for him. Although his queen protects the sixth rank, it is insecure and the black king lacks sufficient defensive forces. 1 Rd6! An interference to cut off the black queen from the kingside. 1...Nc6 Or 1...Bxd6 2 Nf6+! (a typical sacrifice to eliminate the g-pawn, when there is a bishop pinning the f7-pawn and the attacker’s queen seeks to come to g6) 2...gxf6 3 Qg6+ Kh8 4 Qxh6+ Kg8 5 Qg6+ Kh8 6 Qxf6+ Kg8 7 Rxd6. 2 Rxh6!! With the same idea as in the previous variation, this time carried out by the rook. 2...Bf5 Again the sacrifice must be refused: if 2...gxh6, then 3 Neg5 hxg5 4 Nxg5!? Bxg5 5 Qg6+ Kh8 6 Qh5+ Kg7 7 Qxg5+ Kh7 (7...Kh8 8 Qh6+ Kg8 9 Bd3 f5 10 Bc4+ Rf7 11 Qg6+) 8 Rd6 f6 9 Bd3+. 3 Nf6+! Bxf6 4 Qxf5 gxh6 5 Qxf6 Na5 6 Rd6 If Black saves his queen, he will be mated by 7 Qg6+ Kh8 8

Qxh6+ Kg8 9 Rg6#.

White to play Bielicki – Evans Havana 1964 To neutralize the action of the white bishop, Black has weakened the light squares on the kingside, although he was hoping to mitigate that defect with his bishop. However, the black queen is very distant and also the knight is out of play, because the action is about to liven up on the kingside. 1 Rxh6+! gxh6 2 Qh5 Perhaps White was basing the rook sacrifice on this modest fork, of the bishop and the h6-pawn. 2...Nc7 Black lets the bishop go. If 2...Bh7, then 3 Qxh6 gives White sufficient threats; 2...Qb7 would also fail, to 3 Qxf5. 3 Qxh6+! Bielicki spurns the bishop and plays courageously. 3...Kg8 4 Bxf6 Ne6 4...Rxf6 5 Qxf6 Rf8 6 Qg5+ Kh8 7 Rh4+ Bh7 8 Qe5+ Kg8 9 Rg4+ Kf7 10 Rg7#. 5 Rg4+! Elegant and decisive. 5...Kf7 Or 5...Bxg4 6 Qg6+ and mate next move. 6 Rg7+ 1-0 6...Nxg7 (6...Ke8 7 Re7#) 7 Qxg7+ Ke8 8 Qe7#. The speed

with which the black position collapsed was surprising. But White exploited the structural weaknesses in the opponent’s castled position in dynamic fashion. The Argentinean Carlos Bielicki became World Junior Champion in 1959 but played very infrequently after that, eventually disappearing from the scene towards the end of the 1960s, a loss to the chess world. Bielicki had a solid style of play but, as we have seen, was also capable of weaving beautiful combinations. It should be taken into account that his opponent in this game was no less a player than Grandmaster Larry Evans, a former US Champion.

Black to play L.B. Hansen – Adams Wijk aan Zee 1995 There are three factors which give Black the advantage here: 1) the command of the open e-file; 2) the weakened white kingside; 3) the location of the white queen, a long distance from the kingside. Black’s two minor pieces are also out of play, but his plans are based on decisively activating one of them. 1...Rxh4! 2 gxh4 Bb8+ As if by magic, suddenly Black has a magnificent bishop. Of course, this has cost him a rook. 3 f4 3 Kg2 Qg4+ 4 Kh1 Qxh3+ 5 Kg1 Qh2#.

3...Re3 4 Ng1 Bxf4+ 0-1 The three black pieces (one of them the queen!) constitute sufficient attacking power to overcome White’s resistance: 5 Kh1 (5 Kg2 Rg3+ 6 Kh2 Rh3++ comes to the same thing) 5...Rh3+ 6 Nxh3 (or 6 Kg2 Rh2+ 7 Kf3 Be5+ 8 Ke3 Qe4#) 6...Qxh3+ 7 Kg1 Qh2#.

White to play Svidler – Kasimdzhanov Wijk aan Zee 1999 When the players castle on opposite sides, in 99% of cases this leads to an extremely sharp struggle, in which the tempo of the game becomes more intense. Here it seems that Black has seized the initiative with his central advance ...e4, which attacks the white bishop. In addition, his rook on d4 is active, as is his bishop, and the knight can join in the attack menacingly via b5. But it is White to move! 1 g6! The vital factor in sharp positions is the pace , the confluence of threats, all linked to the opening of lines for the attack. The Russian phenomenon Peter Svidler answers Black’s threat with a greater one. 1...fxg6 1...hxg6? allows 2 Qh8#, while if 1...exd3? 2 gxh7 the pawn queens with mate. 2 Qxh7 Now White is threatening mate in two.

2...gxf6 3 Rhg1 It is clear that Svidler is dictating the tempo. The threat could not be more direct: 4 Rxg6 and 5 Rg8#. 3...g5 4 Rxg5! The position is hanging by a thread... 4...fxg5 5 Rf1+ Ke8 6 Qg7! A quiet move, threatening 7 Rf8#. 6...Kd8 7 Rf8+ Ne8 8 Qxb7 White cannot generate any further serious threats at the moment, so in the meantime he regains some material. 8...Rc8 9 Qf7 1-0 A new threat of mate, to which this time there is no answer. The conduct of the attack was masterful.

23: Bishop Sacrifices We divide the material into the following sections: The Greek Gift Sacrifices on g7 Sacrifices on f7 Sacrifices on h6 Sacrifices on Other Squares

The Greek Gift The Greek Gift is one of the classic sacrifices against the castled position. White sacrifices his king’s bishop on h7 (or Black on h2) in order to set up a mating mechanism which usually involves queen and knight. This typical combination was mentioned by Gioachino Greco at the start of the seventeenth century.

White to play 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 1...Kh8 fails to 2 Bg6, threatening 3 Qh5+ and 4 Qh7#. 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 g6 Mate cannot be prevented: 3...Re8 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Qh8#. In this case the g-pawn is key, creating the necessary wedge to support the mate. However, in the most traditional form of this sacrifice, the white

knight is still situated on f3.

White to play This is one of the usual patterns, in which White wins by sacrificing the bishop on h7. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Ng5 Re8 At this point, 3...Qxg5 would be the only way to prevent the mate. 4 Qxf7+ Kh8 5 Qh5+ Kg8 6 Qh7+ Kf8 7 Qh8+ Ke7 8 Qxg7# When the white queen is on its initial square, or on e2, it is necessary to take into account that after the knight check on g5 the black king has the option of going to g6, as in the following example.

White to play 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Ng5+ Kg6 Now White has several possible attacking continuations, such as 3 Qd3+ or 3 Qg4, but the best seems be 3 h4 (with the threat of 4 h5+), which practically forces Black to give back the piece on e5 (3...Ndxe5), with complicated play favourable to White. Naturally, in the event of 2...Kg8 then after 3 Qh5, etc., we transpose to the previous example. In these positions each detail can radically modify the assessment of the position. When contemplating this typical combination it is essential that Black cannot protect the h7-square (for example, with ...Bf5), which would neutralize all the threats. Sometimes Black has a bishop on e7, which would prevent the knight check on g5. In that case, White can often prepare a ‘launch-pad’ for the knight by playing h4. Let’s look at a typical position.

White to play With the pawn on h4, the sacrifice can be made with a variation on the same theme: 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Ng5+ Bxg5 3 hxg5+ Kg8 Now 3...Kg6 is not possible on account of 4 Qh5+ Kf5 5 g6+ Ke4 6 Qf3#. 4 Qh5 f6 5 g6 The mate on h8 is unstoppable. The h-file, the rook and the rook’s pawn have taken on leading roles in this thematic combination. This combinative operation occasionally runs into another obstacle, the presence of a black pawn on f6. But that problem was already solved by the great Schlechter towards the end of the 19th century.

White to play Schlechter – H. Wolf Vienna 1894 By advancing his pawn to f6, Black wanted not only to attack the enemy centre but also to prevent the Greek Gift sacrifice. Nevertheless, White went in for the sacrifice. This concrete case involves the sacrifice of two more pieces. 1 Ng5!? White can sacrifice on h7 right away, but 1 Bxh7+?! Kxh7 2 Ng5+ Kg6! (2...fxg5?? transposes to the game) leaves White with no clear way to continue the attack. 1...fxg5?? Now the standard sacrifice wins. 1...h6!? keeps the game unclear. 2 Bxh7+! Kxh7 3 hxg5+ Black has won two pieces, but at the cost of opening the h-file to his own considerable disadvantage. 3...Kg8 3...Kg6 4 Qh5+ Kf5 5 Rh3 Bxg5 6 Rf3#. 4 Rh8+! Kf7 After 4...Kxh8 5 Qh5+ Kg8 White is able to set up a variation on Damiano’s Mate, since although the g-pawn has not yet reached g6, it now arrives in time to conclude the game: 6 g6 Re8 7 Qh7+ Kf8 8 Qh8#. 5 Qh5+ g6 6 Qh7+ Ke8 7 Qxg6# (1-0)

White to play K. Richter – Darga Berlin Ch 1950 Black has just played routinely with ...Qa5 and is now presented with the Greek Gift, despite the fact that this position does not seem to provide all the necessary preconditions. But it still works! This is in part because the pawn on e5 occupies its thematic position, which restricts Black’s defensive options. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 h4! Calmly played. Richter has seen the precise continuation of the attack. 3...Re8 4 Ng5 Bxg5+ 5 hxg5 Kf8 6 g6! With total simplicity, White carries out a mating attack. 6...fxg6 7 Qxg6 Bd7 This seems natural, since the rook on e8 is attacked. On the other hand, trying to flee with the king is a mirage: 7...Ke7 8 Nxd5+! exd5 (8...Kd8 9 Nf6+) 9 Qxg7+ Kd8 10 Qf6+! Re7 (if 10...Kd7 or 10...Kc7, 11 Qd6#) 11 Rh8+ Kd7 (or 11...Kc7) 12 Qd6#. 8 Rh7! More precise than 8 Rh8+?! Ke7 9 Qxg7+? Kd8, etc. 1-0 Black resigned since 8...Re7 loses to 9 Rh8#. The bishop sacrifice on h7 does not always follow the thematic lines of the Greek Gift. Variables in the position can either facilitate its success or present obstacles.

White to play Ferčec – Haldemann Arco 1999 A simple deflection is sometimes enough to complete the picture, so that the sacrifice works. In this case, the black queen is on the fifth rank, hindering the sacrifice. 1 b4! Qxb4 1...Qb6 2 Bxf6 gxf6 3 Bxh7+, etc. 2 Bxf6 gxf6 3 Bxh7+! Kxh7 4 Qh5+ Kg7 5 Qg4+ 1-0 The usual manoeuvre, to confine the king on the edge of the board. If now 5...Kh7 (or 5...Kh8), then 6 Rd3, with mate on h3.

White to play Bednarski – J. Adamski Slupak 1978 In this example the sacrifice of the bishop is a natural consequence of the splendid white position: both bishops are lined up on excellent attacking diagonals, the rooks are doubled on the f-file and the queen is directing operations from her private viewing platform on g3, opposite the black king. Black’s best bulwark is his knight, but on its own it cannot contain all the pressure exerted by the white pieces. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Rxf7 This move is more a simple capture than a further sacrifice, since now 2...Nxf7 would lose to 3 Qxg7#. 2...Rg8 Or 2...Rxf7 3 Rxf7 Rg8, and then as in the game. 3 Qh3+ Kg6 4 Qf5+ Kh6 5 Be3+ 1-0 5...g5 6 Rh7#. The possibility of bringing a rook to the h-file can be the decisive factor when it comes to evaluating the combination.

Black to play Boada – Hsu Moscow Olympiad 1994 Black’s bishops look intimidating, and the rook on c5, although attacked, is another argument in favour of the sacrifice. 1...Bxh2+! 2 Kxh2 Rh5+ 3 Kg3 The king must come out into the open; 3 Kg1 would lose to

3...Rh1+! 4 Kxh1 Qh3+ 5 Kg1 Qxg2#, a mate exploiting the pin on the bishop, one that we are already familiar with. 3...Rg5+ 0-1 White has no good answer to this check: 4 Kh4 Qg4#, 4 Kf4 Qg4# or 4 Kh2 Rxg2+ 5 Kh1 Qh3#.

White to play Aseev – Nevostruev St Petersburg 1994 In this case the sacrifice is based on a double attack. It involves a precise sequence of moves, in which Black balances on a precipice, trying to prevent a lethal check, until he can no longer keep his balance. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Ng6! This is the key to the combination: a double threat: an attack on the black queen and a threat of mate in two with 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Qh8#. 2...Bxf2+ The only move to cover both threats. If 2...Qc6, 3 Qh5+ followed by mate. 3 Rxf2 Qc5 The reason for the counter-sacrifice: the queen protects h5 along its fourth rank. 4 Be3 The materialistic sequence 4 Bd6 Qg5 5 Nxf8+ Nxf8 6 Rxf7 also wins. 4...Qa5 5 b4! 1-0

After 5...Qd5 6 c4 the black queen has no safe squares left on the fifth rank.

Black to play Spassky – Tal Montreal 1979 Two ex-world champions battle it out in a tournament that was strong enough to merit its billing as the ‘tournament of stars’. All the white pieces are well placed, but... his king is irremediably abandoned to its fate! Consequently, Black will demonstrate his vocation as an attacker. 1...Bxh2+! 2 Kxh2 Or 2 Kh1 Bb8, with the plan of ...Qc7, ...Rh5+ and ...Ng4. 2...Rh5+ 3 Kg1 3 Kg3 Ne4+ 4 Bxe4 Qh4+ 5 Kf3 Qxe4+ 6 Kg3 Qh4#. 3...Ng4 0-1 Black threatens 4...Rh1+! 5 Kxh1 Qh4+ 6 Kg1 Qh2+ 7 Kf1 Qh1#.

White to play Solleveld – Vink Dutch Junior Ch, Leiden 1999 Black is threatening to play ...f5, but exploiting the fact that the black knight is on d7, White forces matters with the bishop sacrifice on h7. 1 Bxh7+! 1-0 So strong is the sacrifice that Black resigned immediately. The lines are: 1...Kxh7 (1...Kh8 2 Be4 f5 3 d6) 2 Ng5+ Kg8 (2...Kg6 3 Ne6+ Kh6 4 Qxg7+ Kh5 5 Qh7+ Kg4 6 Qh3#; 2...Kh6 3 Qh4+ Kg6 4 Qh7+ Kxg5 5 Rf5+ Kg4 6 Qh5#) 3 Qh4 and there is no acceptable defence.

White to play Nadanian – Martirosian Armenia 1993 The sacrifice that we are studying has some more subtle aspects here. The players have castled on opposite sides and the set-up of the black pieces is freer than in previous examples. However, the black king lacks sufficient protection and I urge the reader to think about the theoretically most passive piece in White’s position: the knight on e2. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Ng5+ Kg6 The king must advance to its third rank, since 2...Kg8? fails to 3 Qh3. 3 f5+! A brilliant and unexpected advance, clearing the f4-square for the knight. This is the most effective continuation of the attack, since 3 Qh3? Rh8 and 3 Qg3? f5 are less successful. 3...exf5 If 3...Kxf5 then 4 Rhf1+ Kg6 5 Nf4+ Kh6 6 Qh3+ Kxg5 7 Qh5#. 4 Nf4+! Kxg5! Best, since 4...Kh6 is met by 5 Qg3!, threatening 6 Qh4#. 5 Qg3+! Stronger than 5 Nxd5+ Kg6 6 Nxe7+ Nxe7 7 Qg3+ Kh5. 5...Kh6 6 Qh3+ Kg5 7 Qh5+! Kxf4 Black’s king has been forced to enter the minefield. 8 Rhe1!! Controlling the e-file and threatening 9 g3#. 8...Ne4 The king wants to take the pawn on e5 and return to its camp. 9 Rxd5 Nxe5 10 Rf1+ Nf2 10...Ke3 11 Rf3+ Nxf3 12 Qxf3#. 11 Rxf2+ Ke4 12 Rd1 Threatening 13 Qe2#, with the three white major pieces occupying adjacent files. 12...Ng4 12...f4 13 Re2#. 13 Qxf5+ 1-0 13...Ke3 14 Rd3#.

Sacrifices on g7

The sacrifice of a bishop on g7 splits the castled position down the middle. A practical aspect is that the bishop generally attacks the rook on f8, which accentuates the impact of the sacrifice.

White to play Adams – Skripchenko French Team Ch 1998 White’s only tangible advantage here is the bishop-pair, although there are some other small factors that work in his favour: first of all, the availability of his queen, which can reach the kingside in a single move. Also we should evaluate in White’s favour the fact that the black queen is loose (yes, even queens can be loose!), which basically provides the key to the combination that Adams is about to unleash. 1 Bxg7! Kxg7 2 Bxd5 We already know that eliminating a good defensive piece is one of the little secrets of a successful attack. 2...exd5 After 2...Bxd5 3 Qg5+ Kh8 4 Qf6+ Kg8 5 Rxd5 we can see the effect of the black queen being undefended: the pawn is unable to recapture, because it is pinned. 3 Qg5+ Kh8 4 Qf6+ Kg8 5 Rxd5 Here once again the theme of the pin clearly appears. Black has only lost a pawn, but now the white rook joins in the attack with no loss of time. 5...Rfe8 Clearing the escape-square f8.

6 Rg5+ Kf8 7 Qd6+! 1-0 After 7...Re7 8 Rd1! (to cut off the king’s possible escape across the d-file) there is no defence against 9 Qh6+ and 10 Rg8#.

White to play Thipsay – Abhayankar Indian Ch 1991 Black seems to have a solid position, with no cracks in it. But in chess everything is relative: the relationship between the two sides’ positions is the key to the game. The important thing is not so much whether a position is good or bad; the truly important thing is whether it is better or worse than the enemy position. On one occasion, a master said of a good player: “[He] constructs very solid positions. The snag is that he allows his opponents to construct equally solid ones!” If we examine the position with greater care, we can see that the black pieces enjoy somewhat less space and the white bishops are aiming menacingly towards the enemy king, which lacks the necessary protection. 1 Bxg7! The demolition begins. 1...Kxg7 2 Nh5+ Kh8 2...Kh6 would lead to a queen mate: 3 Nf6 Qc8 (3...Bxf6? 4 Qxf6+ Kh5 5 Re5+ Nxe5 6 Rxe5+) 4 Qh5+ Kg7 5 Qxh7+ Kxf6 6 Qh6#, while 2...Kg8 is met by 3 Qg3+ Bg4 4 Rxe7 Rxe7 5 Rxe7, winning the bishop on g4 and with it the game.

3 Nf6! Bxf6 The knight has caused the f-pawn to be blocked and now comes the typical finish: 4 Qh5! 1-0 To prevent the mate, Black would have to sacrifice too much material.

Sacrifices on f7 Often the sacrifice on f7 is linked to the possibility of a queen check on the a2-g8 diagonal.

White to play Tal – Unzicker Stockholm 1960/1 Do the manuals not all teach us that f7 and f2 are the weakest points in the initial position of the game? And they continue to be so, if there is no other piece that reinforces them. The sacrifice which follows is, therefore, elementary for a champion of the attack such as Mikhail Tal. 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qb3+ 1-0 After 2...Kg6 (or 2...Kf8 3 Ng5, with the decisive threat of mate with 4 Qf7#) 3 Nh4+ Kh5 4 Qf3+! Kxh4 5 Kh2!, mate with 6 g3# is unpreventable.

White to play M. Golmayo – J. Corzo Havana 1896 1 Bxf7+! An unexpected and decisive bishop sacrifice. 1...Kxf7 Or: 1...Rxf7? 2 Qxd8+; 1...Kh8 2 Rh3! Bxf5 3 Rxh7+! Kxh7 4 Qh5#. 2 Re7+! Nxe7 3 Qxg7+ Ke6 4 Qxe7+ 1-0 Black will be mated after 4...Kxf5 5 Rd5+, etc. There is a story attached to this position. Juan Corzo (1873-1941) was the Cuban champion, whose defeat (4-3 with 6 draws) by a very young Jose Raul Capablanca was the latter’s first step towards fame. Manuel Golmayo, born in Havana in 1883, went on to become champion of Spain, whose colours he defended in the Olympiads in London (1927), Hamburg (1930) and Prague (1931). The game that concerns us was published in various newspapers and magazines with the players’ names reversed, i.e. that it was Corzo who beat Golmayo, and not the other way round. The Spanish chess historian Pablo Moran happened to discover the truth, when he was investigating unusual occurrences in the world of chess, and so we have named the players accordingly: the player with White was Manuel Golmayo.

White to play Ghitescu – Donner Beverwijk 1967 Here the black king is insufficiently protected and there are some weak dark squares around his king, accentuated by the presence of the white bishop on h6. 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qc4+ Kf6 There is no other square available, since the pieces on e8 and e7 are blocking the king’s retreat. 3 Ng5! 1-0 Black resigned in the face of the multiple mating threats. For example, 3...Bc5 4 Nxh7+! Qxh7 5 Qf4+ and 6 Rfe1+, mating, or 3...Bf8 4 Nxh7+ (to deflect the black queen from covering the f4-square) 4...Qxh7 5 Qf4+ Ke6 6 Rfe1+ and mate next move.

White to play Teichmann – Schlechter Karlsbad 1911 White has two minor pieces posted on the fifth rank, but with his last move (...Ne7) it seems that Black is going to be able to eliminate one of them, so that it is hard to see what tangible advantage White might have here. 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Ng5+ The tempo of the game, we stress, is very important in dynamic positions. With the sacrifice on f7 White has managed to deploy both his knights in a way that endangers the black king. 2...Kg8 Black already needs to exercise great care in choosing where to put his king. If, for example, 2...Kg6, then White can continue 3 Qg4 h5 4 Nxe7+ Rxe7 5 Qf5+ Kh6 6 Qh7+ Kxg5 7 h4+ Kxh4 8 Qg6!, with mate on g3. Or if 2...Kf6 then White has 3 Nxh7+ Kf7 4 Qh5+ g6 5 Ng5+ Kf6 6 Qh7! gxf5 7 Qf7+ Kxg5 8 Qg7+ and the black king is trapped in a mating-net. 3 Qh5 Nxf5 4 Qxh7+ Kf8 5 Qxf5+ Kg8 6 Qg6! Instead, 6 Re3 also wins, since if, for example, 6...g6, then 7 Qxg6+ Qg7 8 Qh5 and Black must lose his queen at least. 6...Qd7 Or: 6...Qe7 7 Qh7+ Kf8 8 Qh8#; 6...Ne7 7 Qf7+ Kh8 8 Ne6, attacking the queen and threatening mate on g7. 7 Re3! 1-0 The threat of 8 Rf3 is unstoppable, since 7...Rf8 allows 8


White to play Demuth – Mermagen Correspondence 1936-7 This combination is a little jewel, for its apparent simplicity of means and the precision with which the outcome is fashioned. In addition, the initial sacrifice is absolutely unexpected. As we can see, the black position looks solid and White has only two small factors in his favour: 1) the half-open f-file, and 2) the annoying element on the fifth rank: the pawn on e5. 1 Bxf7+!! Kxf7 1...Rxf7 loses to 2 e6!, since the rook has no good retreat-square: 2...Rff8 3 e7. 2 e6+!! Here we can appreciate that the presence of the e-pawn in the black camp introduces a disestablishing element. 2...Kxe6 If 2...Kg8, naturally, 3 e7, while 2...Ke8 is met by 3 Qc6+ Ke7 4 Qc7+ Kxe6 (4...Ke8 5 e7 Qxe7 6 Rfe1 Be6 7 Rxd8+ Qxd8 8 Rxe6+) 5 Rde1+ Kf6 6 Qc6+ Kf7 7 Qe6#. 3 Rde1+ Kd7 4 Rf4!! 1-0 Threatening a model mate on d4, and if 4...Qxf4 (deflection), 5 Re7#. There is no defence, and Black resigned the struggle.

Sacrifices on h6

White to play Kurajica – Zorman Ljubljana 1999 At times there are relatively simple aspects that we overlook, owing to a dangerous chess malady: routine. White has two pieces attacked and most probably you and I, in a quick game, would exchange rooks and then retreat the bishop without too much thought. But it appears that in chess it is necessary to think, and this is what Kurajica did. 1 Bh6! 1-0 Now White has three pieces en prise ... But let’s not forget that, with this move, White is threatening mate on g7. Black chose... to resign! Let’s see the possible variations: 1...d6 2 Rae1, with the threat of 3 R1e7, etc.; or 1...gxh6 2 Rxf8+ Kxf8 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 Re1, and Black is lost, since 4...Nc6 allows 5 Bxd5#.

White to play Berzinš – Jaracz Swidnica 1999 Black is hoping to consolidate his position with ...Bb7, but meanwhile both white bishops command open diagonals and, together with the major pieces on the f-file, they constitute a threat for the black king. 1 Bh6+! Kxh6 2 g5+! Forcing the black king out into the open. 2...Kxg5 There is no choice: 2...Kg7 3 gxf6+ Kh8 4 fxe7 and 2...fxg5 3 Qxf8+ Kh5 4 Bd1+ g4 5 hxg4+ Bxg4 6 Bxg4+ Kxg4 7 Qxa8 both give White a decisive advantage. 3 Qe3+ Kh4 3...Kh5 4 Bd1+. 4 Qh6+ Kg3 5 Rae1! 1-0

Black to play Hamelink – Remmel Hengelo (juniors) 1999 White does not seem to stand badly in this position, although Black commands the open h-file and has a very strong bishop controlling the b1-h7 diagonal. Black’s queen and knight are also all superior to their white counterparts. Finally, the dark-squared bishop can be sacrificed, since it is touching a square in the opponent’s castled position (something that neither of the white bishops can do). 1...Ba3! 0-1 Of course, the bishop is taboo: 2 bxa3 Qa1#. Or 2 Bc3 Qxc3 3 bxa3 Qa1+ 4 Kd2 Nxf4+ 5 Ke1 Qc3+ and Black wins, while 2 c3 is met by 2...Nxc3! 3 Bxc3 Qxc3+ 4 Bc2 Qxb2#. Yes, the knight was very active!

White to play Lukacs – Barczay Budapest 1998 With the following sequence, White exposes the only weakness in the opponent’s castled position. 1 Bxh6! As in the case of the rook or the knight, when a bishop is pinning the f7-pawn, this sacrifice to force the g-pawn to move allows the attacker’s queen to invade on g6 with check. 1...gxh6 2 Qg6+! Kh8 3 Qxf6+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 3...Kh7 4 Bc2+ or 3...Kg8 4 Qg6+ Kh8 5 Qxh6+ Kg8 6 Ng5, followed by mate.

White to play Vasiukov – Haba Eforie-Nord 1988 The position is winning for White, who has concentrated many pieces against Black’s king position (queen, g1-rook, both bishops and, less directly, the rook on e1). Admittedly the black king has a rook and a knight defending it, but this is not enough. The queen is too far away to come to the support of its king. Probably Black was expecting 1 Bxf7?, when 1...c5! (not 1...Bb7? 2 Re7!) suddenly creates serious counterplay on the long a8-h1 diagonal (White can bail out with a very precise sequence: 2 Re7 Ra7 3 Bxh6 gxh6 4 Qxg8+ Nxg8 5 Rxg8+ Kh7 6 f6! Rxe7 7 Rg7+ Kh8 8 Rg8+, with perpetual check). But the game went differently: 1 Bxh6!! 1-0 Immediate resignation by Black. Why? The analysis of the variations is the most interesting thing about this combination: a) 1...gxh6 2 Re8!!, winning: 2...Rxe8 3 Qg7# or 2...Nxe8 3 Qxg8#. b) 1...Bxf5 2 Bxg7+ Kh7 3 Qg5, threatening mate on h6. c) 1...g6 2 Qg5 Nh7 (2...Qd6 3 Re6! Bxe6 4 Qxf6+ Kh7 5 fxe6 Kxh6 6 Rg4) 3 Bg7+! Kxg7 (3...Rxg7 4 Re8+ Rg8 5 Qxg6!) 4 Qxg6+!! fxg6 5 Rxg6+ Kh8 6 Rxg8#. The bishop on b3 was definitely an important piece! Evgeny Vasiukov (born in 1933) was a brilliant and imaginative player, who introduced many opening novelties. He won several international tournaments in the 1960s and 1970s and had the unusual distinction of winning the championship of Moscow, his native city, on six occasions.

White to play Geller – Portisch Moscow 1967 In this position Geller knew that he had enough advantage to launch an attack on the enemy king, based on his aggressive array of queen, knight and two bishops. He is considering a bishop sacrifice on h6, but first manoeuvres to optimize the effectiveness of the sacrifice. 1 Bg5! Qd7 It is not possible to take the bishop: after 1...hxg5? 2 Ng6!, the mate on h8 cannot be prevented, while 1...Qxg5? allows 2 Qxf7+ Kh7 (or 2...Kh8) 3 Qg8#. 2 Rad1 Bd6 Geller has achieved his first objective: only now does he sacrifice the bishop, after displacing the black bishop from the f8-h6 diagonal. 3 Bxh6! gxh6 Or 3...Nxb3 4 Bxg7! Kxg7 5 Nf5+ Kg8 (5...Kf8 6 Qh8#) 6 Qg5+ Kf8 7 Qg7#. 4 Qg6+ Kf8 Or 4...Kh8 5 Qxh6+ Kg8 6 Ng6. 5 Qf6! Threatening mate with 6 Ng6+ Kg8 7 Qh8#. 5...Kg8 6 Re3 1-0 The entry of the rook on g3 is decisive. The combinations and attacks of GM Efim Geller could fill several books. The ‘artist from Odessa’ left his imprint on

numerous high-level productions, as well as contributions to theory and a great many valuable additions to our chess knowledge.

Sacrifices on Other Squares

White to play C. Balogh – Pham Minh Hoang Budapest 1999 Black’s castled position has been badly damaged, but his knight and bishop are holding it together for the moment. All White’s desires are centred on eliminating the knight that guards the f7-square. But 1 Bxe5? would fail to 1...Rxd5!. 1 Be6!! A very precise move. Now 2 Bxe5 is a real threat. Instead after 1 Bb3? Nc4 Black is still in the game. 1...Rxc2 A desperate attempt. 1...fxe6 is met by 2 Qe8+ Bf8 3 Rg1+. 2 Bxe5 fxe6 3 Qe8+ 1-0 Mate follows after both 3...Bf8 and 3...Kh7 in similar fashion to the variation in the note to Black’s first move.

White to play Fritz 6 – Adams Frankfurt rapidplay 1999 White has the advantage, based on his command of the h-file, the activity of his minor pieces and the pressure exerted by the pawn on g5. The simple doubling of rooks on the open file would surely win, but we should take into account that the white pieces are being controlled by an artificial creature , and that chess-playing programs do not like to leave any loose ends (let alone any loose pawns) and they like to force the play as much as possible. 1 Bxg6! fxg6 2 Rf1! 1-0 This is what you might call tightening the screw. The threat is 3 Rxg6+ Kh8 4 Rh1+ Rh7 5 Nf7#. Black resigned in view of the possible line 2...Ne7 (2...Kg8 is met by 3 Rfh1!, while 2...b4 is not possible on account of the aforementioned mate) 3 Rf7+ Kg8 4 Rhh7 Re8 5 Ng4. Mate on f6 or h6 cannot be prevented.

White to play Kasparov – Begun Minsk 1978 Here we are going to see the young giant in action in his first international tournament, where he surprised everyone. Evaluation: 1) Black’s castled position is very weakened; 2) White is going to lose the exchange; 3) the white minor pieces are very strong. 1 Bxg6! Nf6 The offer has to be declined. After 1...hxg6 2 Qe4! Bf8 3 Qxg6+ Ng7 4 Ng4 the threat of 5 Nf6+ is decisive. 2 Bxh7+! 1-0 The willingness to sacrifice a few pieces is praiseworthy. Black resigned in view of 2...Nxh7 (or 2...Kxh7 3 Qb1+ Kh8 {3...Kxh6 4 Qg6#} 4 Qg6, with the double threat of mate with 5 Qg7# or 5 Nf7#) 3 Qe4 followed by mate, with the entrance of the white queen on g6 or g4.

Black to play Partington – Kennaugh British League (4NCL) 1998/9 Black has a splendid position and he is presented with the opportunity to make an elementary bishop sacrifice, especially if he can incorporate a rook into the attack, which is the case. 1...Bxg3! 2 hxg3 Qxg3+ 3 Kh1 Rc5! After this move, everything is clear. 4 fxe4 4 f4 Ng4 5 Bxg4 Bxg4 6 f5 Rxf5. 4...Qh3+ 5 Kg1 Qxe3+ 6 Kh1 Qh3+ 7 Kg1 Rg5+ 8 Kf2 Nxe4# (0-1)

Black to play Barua – Gulko Biel Interzonal 1999 Despite this being almost an endgame (although many writers consider that it is incorrect to talk about an endgame if there are still exposed kings and mating threats), Black has sufficient positional advantage to start a... mating attack! 1...Bxf4! 2 gxf4 Nxf4 Threatening 3...Ne2# and the knight on e3 is unable to move on account of the mate on g2. 3 Be1 Ne2+ 4 Kf2 Qh2+ 5 Kf1 5 Kf3 Ng1#. 5...Nf4 Threatening 6...Qe2+ 7 Kg1 Qxe1+. 6 Bf2 Qh1+ 7 Bg1 Qf3+ 0-1 White resigned in view of 8 Bf2 Nd3 and 8 Ke1 Qe2#.

White to play Kapengut – Kholmov USSR 1969 The position is definitely favourable to White, who has better-placed pieces and a strong protected passed pawn on d5. As if this weren’t enough, Black’s castled position is weakened and the queen is lurking close by, ready to direct offensive operations. The only factor in Black’s favour is his passed pawn on a4, but White will not permit it to become a threat.

1 f4! exf4 1...Na5 2 d6 Qd8 3 Nxa5 Rxa5 4 Bc4+ Kh8 5 Rb7! Ra8 6 Be6!. 2 e5! A chain of pawn sacrifices to open lines. 2...fxe5 3 Bxg6! Bc8 Or 3...hxg6 4 Qxg6+ Kf8 5 Rb6, etc. Rooks can also penetrate along ranks! 4 Rb6! 1-0 Threatening 5 Bxh7+! Qxh7 6 Rg6+ Kh8 7 Qf8+, mating.

White to play Laketić – Marinelli Catania 1991 Identical material, but a notable space advantage to White. With his last move (...g5), Black wanted to claim some space, but this proves to be an error, as a logical sacrifice will prove. Instead, ...Nc7, to bring the knight to d5 or e6, would have been a more solid plan. 1 Bxg5! hxg5 2 Nxg5 Rfd8 3 e6! An incisive advance to box in the black king. 3...Qd5 3...fxe6 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Rfe1 (or 5 Qg6). 4 exf7+ Kf8 5 Qh7 e6 6 Qg8+ Ke7 7 f8Q+! Rxf8 7...Bxf8 allows 8 Qf7#. 8 Qxg7+ Ke8 9 Rfe1 1-0 A quiet move to conclude the struggle. The best that Black can

do is resign.

White to play Ma. Tseitlin – Ad. Salazar Groningen 1994 The positional comparisons are quite subtle here. White’s three major pieces are available : both of the doubled rooks can move quickly to the kingside. He also has the better bishop. Black’s queen and f8-rook are also active, but not the a8-rook, which has yet to move. White has two factors in his favour: 1) for the moment he is playing with two extra pieces (a dynamic factor and, therefore, temporary); and 2) the black king’s pawn-cover is minimal. 1 Bxg6! A demolition sacrifice, which will allow the white major pieces to sack the fortress. 1...Kxg6 2 Rg3+ Kh6 Other moves lose more simply: 2...Kh7 3 Rh5+ or 2...Kf7 3 Qxf4+. 3 Qe2 Rf5 4 Rxe6+! Rf6 4...Bxe6 5 Qxe6+ Rf6 (5...Kh7 6 Qg6+ Kh8 7 Qg7#) 6 Qh3+ and mate. 5 Rh3+ Kg7 6 Re7+ Rf7 7 Rxf7+ Qxf7 7...Kxf7 8 Rf3. 8 Qe5+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 8...Kg8 9 Rh8#, 8...Qf6 9 Rh7+ Kxh7 10 Qxf6, 8...Kf8 9 Rh8+ Qg8 10 Qf6+ Ke8 11 Rxg8# and

8...Kg6 9 Qh5+ Kf6 10 Rf3+.

White to play Tal – Solmanis Riga (blitz) 1971 Black has created considerable activity on the queenside and White seems to have in his favour little more than the command of the open e-file and the bishop-pair. However, since it is Tal, anything is possible. 1 Bxg6! bxa2? 1...fxg6? also loses: 2 Rxg7+! Kxg7 3 Qe7+ Kg8 4 Bxf6, followed by mate. 1...Qxc3! is necessary, when best play leads to a draw: 2 Qxc3 bxa2 3 Bxf6 Bxf6 4 Re8+! Rxe8 (or 4...Kg7 5 Qg3!) 5 Qxf6 and one way or another White will give perpetual check. 2 Bxf6! Ignoring the promotion of the black pawn, with check. 2...a1Q+ Or 2...Bxf6 3 Qh6, and White mates. 3 Kh2 Qaxc3 4 Bxf7+ Kh7 5 Bg6+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 5...Kxg6 6 Qg5+ Kh7 7 Qxg7# and 5...Kg8 (5...Kh8 6 Qh6+ Kg8 7 Qxg7#) 6 Rxg7+, with mate next move.

24: Knight Sacrifices We shall Sacrifices Sacrifices Sacrifices Sacrifices

examine the following topics: on g7 or b7 on f6 on f5 on Other Squares

Sacrifices on g7 or b7 In this specific case it seems justified to establish a symmetry between sacrifices made on g7, i.e., against a kingside-castled king, and those made on b7 vs a king on c8, because the situation of the king is similar. In both cases the defender’s king, if the sacrifice is accepted, will be situated between the rook’s and bishop’s pawns, and one file from the edge of the board. Also, in neither case is the sacrifice made with check. One of the motifs associated with the knight sacrifice on g7 is the appearance of a bishop on the corresponding long diagonal. Such is the case in our first example:

White to play Mikhalchishin – Kovalenko USSR 1992 In this race to attack (a common outcome when the players castle on opposite sides), Black is a long way behind. White, in contrast, considers that the moment has arrived to go all-in .

1 Nxg7! Kxg7 2 Bd4+ Kg8 Best; 2...f6 would allow White to open more lines of attack, which goes against all the rules of strategy. For example: 3 gxf6+ Bxf6 4 Rhg1+. 3 g6! A pretty pawn sacrifice. White needs more space to be able to finish Black off. 3...fxg6 3...hxg6 4 Qh8#. 4 Qe6+ 1-0 If 4...Kf8, 5 Rhf1+ decides. There is a type of knight sacrifice on g7, linked to an immediate bishop sacrifice on h6, which happens frequently when the attacker’s queen is situated on the f-file or can reach the f6-square with check, after the acceptance of the two sacrifices. I have included it here quite consciously, despite the double sacrifice, because I consider it highly characteristic of the knight sacrifice that is being studied in this section.

Black to play Glek – Chiburdanidze Minsk 1983 White’s kingside pawns have already made contact with Black’s kingside ramparts and his formation looks menacing, but Black has not been idle and can count on dynamic possibilities on the opposite wing. 1...Nxb2! 2 Kxb2 Ba3+!

This is the case we mentioned: one sacrifice is linked with another and if the first must almost always be accepted, the second is almost always a forbidden fruit, as here. 3 Kb1 3 Kxa3 Qc3+ 4 Nb3 axb3+ 5 Ra4 b2#. 3...Qc3 4 Nc4 Qxd4 0-1 Black has combined the threat against b2 with the weakness of the back rank and White must resign, since 5 Rxd4 is met by 5...Re1+ and mate.

White to play Gaprindashvili – Nikolac Wijk aan Zee 1979 Both white knights have infiltrated the enemy camp and queen and bishop are also attacking points in Black’s castled position. The situation is ready for the sacrifice. 1 Nxg7! Kxg7 2 Bxh6+! Kxh6 2...Kg8 is met by 3 Re3. 3 Nxf7+ Kxh5 4 g4+! Kh4 Or: 4...Nxg4 5 Qh7+; 4...Kxg4 5 Qg6+ Kh4 6 Kg2. 5 f3 Nxg4 5...Qc7 6 Re5!. 6 Re4 1-0

White to play Kasparov – A.N. Panchenko Daugavpils 1978 The white pieces are very mobile, have a lot of space and are attacking sensitive points in Black’s castled position. That is the sum of Kasparov’s advantage, but it is not insignificant. Now he initiates a very vigorous attack. 1 Nxg7!! An unexpected and difficult sacrifice. 1...Qxa2 1...Rxg7 2 Rxg7 Kxg7 3 Qg2+ Kh8 (3...Ng5 4 hxg5 fxg5 5 Qxg5+ Kh8 6 Rg1) 4 Rg1. 2 Qe7 Rg8 If 2...Qa1+, White wins by 3 Kd2 Rd8+ 4 Qxd8+ Nxd8 5 Rxa1. 3 Qxf6 Qa1+ 4 Kd2 Qa5+ 5 Ke2 Rgxg7 6 Rxg7 Rxg7 7 Rg1 1-0

White to play Kotov – Unzicker Saltsjöbaden Interzonal 1952 Black is equal on material and has a 2-1 pawn-majority on the queenside, which would be a positive factor in the endgame. But the game (between two of the strongest players of the decade) is still in the middlegame and White has concentrated all his pieces menacingly on the kingside, including his bishop, which is pointing at h6. The gaze of the reader, by now experienced in the weaving of mating attacks, will surely fall on the pressure that the white pieces are exerting on the g7- and h6-squares. 1 Nxg7! The initial sacrifice of a piece for two pawns. 1...Kxg7 2 Bxh6+ Kg8 Or 2...Kh8 3 Bg7+! Kxg7 4 Qxh7+ Kf8 5 Qh8+ Ke7 6 Rxf7+! Kxf7 7 Qxd8, threatening a quick mate. 3 Rg4+ Rg6 4 e6! 1-0 One of those tactical blows that terminates all resistance. Obviously, 4...Rxg4 would lose to 5 Qxg4+ Kh8 6 Qg7#, while 4...Nd6 is met by 5 exf7+ Rxf7 6 Rxg6+ Kh8 7 Rxf7 Nxf7 8 Bg7+ Kg8 9 Bf6+. Alexander Kotov would go on to win this tournament brilliantly, finishing 3 points ahead of Petrosian and Taimanov, who tied for second. This was a record that would stimulate the adrenaline of Bobby Fischer for years and which the American genius would finally break only in the Palma de Mallorca

Interzonal (1970), where he finished 3½ points ahead of his immediate pursuers: Larsen, Geller and Hübner.

White to play San Segundo – Romero Madrid 1992 There is latent pressure, on the part of the white pieces, along the a1-h8 diagonal, specifically on the points f6 and g7. In contrast, Black has still to complete his development. 1 Nxg7! Ne4 In reality, the sacrifice of the knight is only apparent, since it is not possible to capture it: 1...Kxg7 2 Rg4+ Kh8 3 Bxf6#. The true worth of the sacrifice must be seen in this variation: 1...Nc6 2 Nh5!! Nxd4 3 Nxf6+ Kg7 4 Qd3!, winning. If the d4-knight moves away, 5 Qh7# is mate, since the knight is protected, while 4...Kxf6 5 Bxd4+ costs Black his queen, while if the black queen moves from c5, then 5 Bxd4 wins easily. 2 Nf5! Re8 2...Ra6 3 Rxd5 exploits the fork on e7. 3 Nxh6+ Kh7 3...Kf8 4 Rxe4 Rxe4 5 Bb4! costs Black his queen. 4 Ng4 1-0 Black resigned in view of White’s many threats, such as 5 f3 and 5 Nf6+.

White to play Fedorov – Lanka European Team Ch, Pula 1997 White already has two major pieces on the h-file, which is a good reason for Black to be worried. To neutralize such pressure, Black has deployed a knight (behind the barrier of pawns, out of reach of the enemy pieces, as it should be) to protect the h7-square. On the other hand, two white pieces are under attack, although that problem could be easily solved with the corresponding exchanges. The rest of the white pieces also have free play and the defensive cover of the black king is lacking in numbers, which suggests a sacrifice. 1 Nxg7!! Bxd5 Or 1...Kxg7 2 Bd4+ Kg8 (2...e5? 3 Qxf7+) 3 Qh6 e5 4 Bxc5 dxc5 5 Bxb7 Qxb7 6 Nd5, threatening 7 Nf6+. 2 Qh6! e5 3 Nh5! Threatening mate on the square on which the knight was sacrificed. 3...Nce6 4 exd5 b4 5 dxe6 Nxe6 6 Nf6+ Bxf6 7 gxf6 1-0 There is no way to parry the mating threats (8 Qxh7+ Kf8 9 Qh8#) since 7...Nf8 allows 8 Qg7#.

Sacrifices on f6 These sacrifices are usually facilitated by a pawn on e5, which sometimes retakes on f6, creating mating patterns, or which, in

any case, prevents the access of a defensive piece to the f6-square. Note that sacrifices on c6 will only be included in this section when the enemy king is situated on b8, creating a symmetrical position matching the equivalent sacrifice on the kingside. First we shall look at a typical example:

White to play White wins quickly: 1 Nf6+! gxf6 If 1...Nxf6, naturally 2 exf6 is good enough, when there is no defence against the mating threats. 2 Qg4+ Instead, 2 Qh5?, threatening directly mate on h7, would fail to 2...f5. 2...Kh8 3 Qh4 A typical manoeuvre. Now the threat of mate on h7 is decisive, since the f-pawn is fixed on f6, pinned against the queen.

White to play Weindl – Schauwecker Swiss Team Ch 1994 The position is ripe for the knight sacrifice, helped by the active situation of the white queen, the availability of the rook on the open file and the c1-h6 diagonal free for the bishop. In addition, the black queen and the f8-rook fulfil the unpleasant role of involuntary blocking pieces. 1 Nf6! gxf6 2 Bxc6 bxc6 3 Qh3 h5 A futile move, because the white queen can give check on the g- and h-files at its discretion and move to any square White wants. 4 Qxh5+ Kg8 5 Qg4+ Kh7 6 Qh4+ 1-0 After 6...Kg8 7 exf6 Bxf6 8 Qxf6 White threatens 9 Rd4 and 9 Bh6, with mate on g7.

White to play Vasiukov – Barcza Moscow 1962 This position is rather chaotic, with the black queen on d1 and the white knight on d7, but what is clear is that Black’s king is in more danger than White’s, and in addition it is White to move. 1 Nf6+ Kh8 1...gxf6 loses to 2 Bh6! Qxa1 3 Rg4+ Kh8 4 Qxf7. 2 Bh6! This discovered attack on the queen completes the picture of aggression against the black king. 2...Qxa1 3 Qxf7 Rg8 4 Bxg7+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 4...Rxg7 5 Re8+ Rxe8 6 Qxe8+ and mate in two (6...Bf8 7 Qxf8+ Rg8 8 Qxg8#). A pretty combinative attack, executed with great naturalness and simplicity.

White to play Schipkov – G. Meszaros Kecskemet 1993 Black was relying on winning material with his last move, ...g5, and also relying on having no problems with his king, since it looks well protected by its pawns and the bishop on c5. However, the position is very dynamic and White has several pieces (the queen, both bishops and the b5-pawn) aiming at the black king. 1 b6!! Bxb6 Or 1...axb6 2 Nc6+! Kc8 (2...bxc6 3 Bxc6) 3 Na7+ Kb8 4 Nb5 gxf4 5 Bxb7! Kxb7 6 Qa7+ Kc6 7 Qxc7#. 2 Nc6+! Ka8 2...bxc6 3 Qxc6 Kc8 4 Bxc7!! Bxc7 5 Rab1!, with the threat of 6 Rb8+! and 7 Qb7#. 3 Bxc7! Qc5 4 Bxb6 Black resigned, since 4...Qxb6 5 Rab1 is winning for White.

White to play Hodgson – J. Hall Harplinge 1998 In strictly material terms, White’s extra exchange is not worrying: Black has a pawn for it and will surely be able to win the b5-pawn as well. Black’s real problem is the security of his king, which White is about to submit to a distressing hunt. 1 Qh7+! White not only leaves his knight to be taken, but forces its capture. 1...Kxf6 2 Qh8+ Bg7 Or: 2...Kg5 3 f4+ Kf5 4 Qe5+ Kg4 5 Kg2; 2...Kf5 3 Re5+ Kg4 4 h3+ Kf3 5 Re3#. 3 Qd8+ Kf5 4 Qd5+ Kg4 5 Qxf7 Qd4 5...Kg5 6 Qxg7. 6 Qxg6+ Kf3 7 Qh5+ Qg4 8 Re3# (1-0)

White to play Nasonov – Chistiakov USSR 1978 rook is situated opposite a castled king, the open the file, by any means, is often justified. case here, where the rook on g1 powerfully g7-square.

Whenever a inclination to Such is the threatens the 1 Nf6+! Kf8 1...gxf6 2 Kh1+ Kf8 3 Qd6+ Re7 (3...Ne7 4 Bh6#) 4 Bh6+ Ke8 5 Rg8#. 2 Qd6+ Ne7 3 Bh6!? 3 Kh1! (intending Bh6) is a more accurate version of this idea. 3...Red8? Or: 3...gxh6? 4 Kh1, with unstoppable mate on g8; 3...Ne4? 4 Kf1 Nxf6 5 Bxg7+ Kg8 6 Bxf6+ Ng6 7 Rxg6+ fxg6 8 Qd7. 3...Qc3 is the most resilient. 4 Kh1! Threatening 5 Bxg7#, and if 4...gxh6, 5 Rg8#. The rook saw all his desires fulfilled.

White to play Dely – Donner Budapest 1961 It is clear that White is in complete control of this position, even from the material point of view (a pawn up): very active rooks, a strong centralized knight and a passed pawn on d5. In addition, Black’s castled position is very weakened and it looks as though White can leave the black king completely exposed with 1 Nc6+ Bxc6 2 Rxc6 (but not 2 dxc6?, in view of 2...Bc5+!, winning the queen). 1 Nc6+! The exclamation mark is not for the actual move, but for the continuation that White has planned. 1...Bxc6 2 Rxa6! White renounces the capture on c6, because that would be a blunder: 2 Rxc6? Qxc6! 3 dxc6 Bc5+! and Black wins. 2...Bxd5 2...Bb7 3 Rxd6! Qxd6? 4 Bf4. 3 Rb6+ Bb7 3...Ka7 4 Be3. 4 Qxd6+! Qxd6 5 Rxb7+ Ka8 6 Rb4+! Obstructing the a3-f8 diagonal, to prevent Black from sacrificing his queen for the white rook on a3. 6...Ka7 7 Ra3+ Qa6 8 Rb7+ Ka8 9 Rxa6# (1-0)

White to play Kasparov – Illescas Linares 1992 Despite being protected by the g7-pawn, the f6-square is really under White’s control. The position almost cries out for a sacrifice on such a square, considering the splendid deployment of the rest of White’s pieces, their flexible availability, and the zero possibility of intervention on the part of the black queen. 1 Nf6+! gxf6 Now Black’s castled position is permanently damaged. 2 gxf6 Bc5 3 Be4 Rfb8 4 Kxh4 The simplest way to allow the queen passage to the g-file. 4...Kf8 5 Rg2 Qxc4 5...Ke8 6 Rg8+ Bf8 7 Qg3 threatens mate in three: 8 Rxf8+! Kxf8 9 Qg7+ Ke8 10 Qg8#. 6 Qxc4 Bxc4 7 Bh7 Bf2+ After 7...Ke8 8 Rg8+ Bf8 9 Rxf8+! Kxf8 10 Rg3 Black cannot prevent the mate on g8. 8 Kh5 1-0 If 8...Be2+, the white king continues its triumphal march with 9 Kh6.

Sacrifices on f5

Black to play Hulak – Movsesian Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999 The four black pieces are very active and the f4-square seems to ‘invite’ invasion, since Black’s queen and rook could both attack h3, if the third rank were clear. So... 1...Nf4+! 0-1 White resigned on the spot in view of: a) 2 Kh1 Qh3+ 3 Kg1 Qg2#. b) 2 Kf1 Rb1+ 3 Re1 Qh3+ 4 Kg1 Qg2#. c) 2 Kg1 Rb1+ 3 Kh2 (3 Re1 Rxe1+ 4 Kh2 Qh3#) 3...Qh3#. d) 2 gxf4 Qh3+ 3 Kg1 Rb1+ 4 Re1 Rxe1#. Often the purpose of a sacrifice on f5 is to open the g-file or the blocked c1-h6 diagonal when the knight jumps, for example, from the e3-square.

White to play Hort – Schöne German Ch, Bad Neuenahr 1991 Once more, the material balance here is perfectly equal. It is the positional factors that grant a clear advantage to White. To begin with, the h1-rook commands the open h-file and the a3-rook is ready to join in via the third rank. The white queen is also available and the knight which has invaded on d6 attacks three squares in the vicinity of the black king: e8, f7 and f5. 1 Ngf5! gxf5 2 exf5 Calmly played. White is now threatening 3 Rg3. 2...Rf7 3 Rg3 Qxg3 4 fxg3 Rh7 It is essential to prevent 5 Qh6. 5 Rxh7 Kxh7 6 Nf7 Be8 7 Qh6+ Kg8 8 Qh8+!! Sacrificing the second knight to enclose the king in a mating-net. 8...Kxf7 9 d6 1-0 Now that the escape-square (e7) has been brought under White’s control, the previously dormant bishop has two mating squares available: c4 and h5.

Sacrifices on Other Squares

White to play Arkhipkin – Prodanov Albena 1977 The configuration of the white pieces is so favourable for the attack (including the pawn on f5, supported by the rook) that the combinative operation is simple: 1 f6! hxg5 The acceptance of the passive sacrifice was forced, since mate on h7 was threatened. 2 Qg6 1-0 A typical queen penetration when the bishop pins the f7-pawn. To prevent mate, Black would have to give up his queen.

White to play R. Garcia – Westerinen Buenos Aires 1968 Too much activity on the part of the white pieces: with the queen and bishop aligned on the b1-h7 diagonal and two splendid knights, a combination is imminent. 1 Ne7+! Kf8 If 1...Bxe7, the escape-square is blocked: 2 Qh7+ Kf8 3 Qh8#. 2 Nd7+! The knights give check with impunity in the heart of the black camp. 2...Qxd7 3 Qh7 Threatening mate on g8 and if the second knight is captured, White has 4 Qh8#.

White to play Leko – Turzo World Under-16 Ch, Szeged 1994 White has conquered a huge amount of space and his pieces are as free as the wind. In contrast with the black queen and the rook on e8, which are limited to subordinate roles, the white queen and rooks enjoy great mobility, which will be accentuated by the opening of the f-file. 1 fxg6 hxg6 2 Ne6! It really hurts to sacrifice such a good knight! 2...fxe6 Forced, in view of the fork of the queen and the c5-rook.

3 Qxe6+ Kh7 4 Rd4 Rc4 White was threatening 5 Rh4+. 5 Rxc4 Nxc4 6 Rf4 1-0 Renewing the threat and also attacking the knight. Mate will soon follow. Peter Leko (born in 1979) gained the title of grandmaster the same year as this game, at the age of fifteen, beating by a few months the previous record of the youngest GM in history, held by Bobby Fischer and later by Judit Polgar, also from Hungary. The position arose in the World Under-16 Championship, won in his home town by Leko himself, with 8 points from 9 games!

White to play Sutovsky – Z. Varga European Clubs Cup, Budapest 1999 Black has just played ...Bf6, without noticing that White was preparing a sacrifice. What can justify such a sacrifice? Control of the open file, a knight on g5, which therefore attacks squares in the enemy castled position. Let’s recall what was said earlier about: “any piece that attacks a square in the castled position...” Let’s also observe the hidden action of White’s queen’s bishop on c1, providing support for the queen. 1 Nxh7! Kxh7 2 Qh6+ The sacrifice of the knight is, in part, a line-clearance, since it gives the queen access to the h6-square. 2...Kg8 3 Qxg6+ Bg7 4 Bg5! 1-0

The black queen has no good flight-square, since 4...Qc7 or 4...Qb6 would be answered with 5 Re7. Now we can certainly appreciate the importance of controlling the open file.

White to play Portisch – B. Berger Amsterdam Interzonal 1964 Once again we have before us a weakened castled position and a concentration of enemy pieces targeting it. The combination that follows is a simple one: 1 Nxh7! Opening an invasion route. 1...Kxh7 2 Rh5+ Kg7 2...Kg8? allows 3 Qxg6#. 3 Be5+ f6 4 Rg5! 1-0 Decisive. In the event of 4...Qa1+ (4...Kh8 loses to 5 Qxg6) 5 Kd2 Bf5 6 Qxf5 Qb2+ 7 Kd3, it’s all over.

Black to play Lukey – Art. Minasian Moscow Olympiad 1994 In almost completely blocked positions, such as this one, the only way to penetrate the enemy camp is by means of a piece sacrifice, given that there are no valid pawn-breaks. Despite the blockage, it is clear that Black has the advantage here, since he has a rook on his sixth rank and two pawns on his fifth (f4 and h4), giving him absolute control of the g3-square. 1...Nxh3! 2 gxh3 Qg7 Black has sacrificed his knight to carry out a plan of invasion along the g-file. The second step is to triple his major pieces. 3 Bf1 Protecting g2, which is now attacked three times. 3...Rg1 0-1 The rook clears the g3-square for his queen, a penetration which cannot be prevented even by returning the piece with interest. For example: 4 Rg2 Qxg2+! 5 Bxg2 R8xg2#, a mate with two rooks. The Armenian grandmaster Artashes Minasian had the honour of winning the very last Championship of the USSR (held in 1991), although since then his performances have not lived up to the expectations aroused by that victory.

White to play Smejkal – Medina Amsterdam 1971 White has numerous possible invasion routes available but the most direct way is to sacrifice on the h5-square. In this case we have a perfect example of how effective it can be to exchange pieces as part of an attacking combination, when the exchange eliminates the key defensive pieces. 1 Nxh5! gxh5 2 Bxh7+ Kxh7 3 Bxg7 Kxg7 These exchanging operations have been beneficial to White because they have left the black king open to the elements. 4 Qg5+ Kh7 5 Qxh5+ Kg7 6 Ng5! 1-0 There is no defence against the mate. If 6...Rh8, 7 Rxf7+ Kg8 8 Qg6#.

Black to play Pavlović – Čabrilo Čačak 1991 Black’s king is still in the centre, but he can castle in one move and is well protected by his pieces. The white king is castled, but does not have a single square he can move to, since the fearsome enemy bishop on f5 controls the b1- and c2-squares. If the b3-square were not protected, Black could checkmate in one move with ...Nb3#. This means that the black pieces are in ‘close contact’ with the white king. 1...Nb3+!! A masterly sacrifice. In reality, what we have here is an example of removing the guard: Black has eliminated the pawn that was protecting b3. 2 axb3 Nc5 Threatening mate in one, which White can only parry by giving up his queen. 3 Bd3 Bxd3 4 Nxd3 Nxb3+ 5 Kc2 Nxd2 and Black won. The threat of mate forced the outcome.

White to play Tunik – Poniakov USSR 1979 The advance of the g-pawn has considerably weakened Black’s castled position, especially taking into account that the bishop on b2 is the lord and master of the long dark-squared diagonal. With the rest of his pieces magnificently placed, the knight sacrifice on e6 or f7 suggests itself as more than just a possibility. 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Qxe6+ Kg7 3 Bxg6! The key to the combination. Time and space are mysteriously related here: this sacrifice is possible because White is simultaneously threatening 4 Rxd7, but if Black exchanges rooks, as in the game, then the queen can invade on f7. It’s just the right moment. 3...Rxd1 4 Qf7+ Kh6 The only move. 4...Kh8? allows 5 Qxh7#. 5 Nf5+ Kg5 6 h4+ Kf4 7 g3+ Kf3 Black’s king is now lost in the depths of the white jungle... 8 Bh5+ ...from where he will not emerge alive. If 8...Nxh5, 9 Qxh5#.

White to play Alekhine – Hoelscher Amstelveen (simul.) 1933 The World Champion has already gained a decisive strategic trump: the command of the open h-file. However, he needs to terminate the struggle with an overwhelming combination. The immediate sequence 1 g6? Qxg6 2 Qc4+ d5 3 Rh8+ Kf7 4 Ne5+ Kf6 5 Nxg6 Rxh8! is good for Black. The key to the position lies in controlling the escape-square f7. 1 Ne5!! dxe5 Forced, owing to the threat of mate on h8. 2 g6! 1-0 Now this is strong, since the capture of the knight has displaced the d6-pawn and now in response to the queen check on c4 Black has nothing to interpose on the d-file: 2...Qxg6 3 Qc4+ Rf7 4 Rh8#.

White to play Waldmann – Dallas Berlin 1987 Black seems to have won an important tempo with ...Nd5 (attacking the annoying bishop on f4), since if 1 Bxd5? Qxd5 Black threatens mate on g2, but White saw much further and was able to calculate a win. 1 Ng6! Nxf4 1...Qb6 2 Nxf8 Nxf4 3 Nfxe6 Nxg2 4 Ng5 Nxe1 5 Qh5 is winning for White. 2 Nf5!! The key to the combination. 2...Ne2+ This check, returning the piece, saves Black’s bacon, but only for the time being. It is not possible to play 2...Qxd1 because of 3 Nfxe7#, while 2...exf5 3 Nxe7+ costs Black his queen. 3 Rxe2 Qxd1+ 4 Rxd1 hxg6 Or 4...exf5 5 Nxe7+ Kh8 6 Nxf5, with a winning position for White. 5 Nxe7+ Kh7 6 Rd3 Kh6 The king, as in many other combinations, is enclosed in the straitjacket of its own pawns, so he tries to flee forward. 7 f4 Kh5 8 c3! Opening the d1-a4 diagonal for the bishop. 8...Ra7 9 Bd1 Bf3 10 Rxf3 Black could resign now with a clear conscience, but he plays on for a few more moves...

10...Kg4 11 Re5 Rd7 12 Rg5+ Kh4 13 Rh3#

White to play Hübner – Siegel Germany 1994 Here GM Robert Hübner has seen sufficient arguments to carry out a passive knight sacrifice. Black is relying on his bishop-pair and extra pawn, but the white pieces are more active. In addition, Black is unable to develop his queenside pieces. 1 Rh3! fxe5 1...g6 is strongly met by 2 Nxg6 (the knight is determined to give itself up at any cost!) 2...hxg6 3 Qxg6+ Qg7 4 Qh5 Bd7 5 Rg3. 2 Qxh7+ Kf7 3 Qh5+ g6 Or 3...Kg8 4 Be4 Rxf4 5 Bh7+ Kf8 6 Bg6, followed by mate. 4 Qxe5 Ke8 5 Rh7+ was threatened. 5 Be4 Qf6 6 Qc7 This prevents Black from developing, keeps the queen tied to the defence of d8 and threatens 7 Rh7. 6...Bxf2+ 7 Kg2 Rg8 White also was threatening 8 Bxg6+. 8 Rh7 1-0 Black is practically in zugzwang. 8...Ba7 allows 9 Rd8+! Qxd8 10 Qf7#, while 8...Rf8 is met by 9 Rd8+ Qxd8 10 Bxg6+ Rf7 11 Qxf7#.

White to play Anand – Svidler Linares 1999 The mastery (we can no longer merely say the talent) of Viswanathan Anand is beyond all doubt. His marvellous games, overflowing with fantasy, have made him one of the best players in the world, and it was no accident that he conquered the highest title and retained it for years. In this position the white major pieces, doubled on the h-file, are casting a shadow over the future of the black king. Anand detected the weak square. 1 Ne6! Qa5+ Or 1...Nxe6 2 Bxc4! (vacating f1 for the rook) 2...Qa5+ (2...bxc4 3 Qh7+ Kf7 4 0-0+ Ke8 5 Qxg6#) 3 Bd2 Qxd2+ 4 Kxd2 Rxd4+ 5 Ke3 bxc4 6 Qh7+ Kf7 7 Raf1+. 2 Bd2 Nxe5! This sequence is a good illustration of the intensity of present-day chess: complex blows and counter-blows, full of subtle details. 3 Be2 Not: 3 Bxa5? Nf3+ 4 Ke2 Nxh2; 3 dxe5? Rxd2, etc. 3...c3 4 Bxc3 Better, according to Anand, was 4 bxc3!. 4...b4 5 Nxg7 bxc3? An error. After 5...Nf7! 6 Bd2 Kxg7, White has the advantage, but it is still a fight.

6 Qh8+ Kf7 7 0-0+ 1-0 Black resigned since he can only prevent the mate by loss of material.


25: Queen Sacrifices A queen sacrifice has all the magic that emanates from the strongest piece on the board and the grandeur associated with parting with it. However, the combinative sequence of a queen sacrifice is usually quite clear-cut, based on precise calculation and only a limited number of moves, and there is no reason at all why it should prove any more difficult than any other type of sacrifice or combination. Naturally, the exact form in which a queen sacrifice presents itself in the game can vary enormously, so that for each one it is factors such as the position, the motive and all the other circumstances, which together constitute the difficulty and the beauty of the sacrifice. Although these sacrifices are classified in the section on attacking the castled king, that does not mean that they must take place on a square of the defender’s castled position but they must, of course, impinge on it directly. The first examples in each section will, as usual, be the simplest, gradually increasing in difficulty. We shall classify the combinations in this chapter according to the rank on which the queen sacrifice takes place: On the Eighth Rank On the Seventh Rank On the Sixth Rank On Other Squares

On the Eighth Rank

Black to play Ziegler – Brynell Skellefteå 1999 The white king’s lack of defenders is as obvious as Black’s overwhelming positional superiority. With a simple deflection (which can also be considered a decoy), Black penetrates to the back rank. 1...Qg1+! 0-1 2 Kxg1 Re1+ 3 Rxe1 Rxe1#. Since the black bishop covers h2 and the h3-pawn covers g2, in effect it is just as if there were two white pawns on g2 and h2 and the king was subjected to a back-rank mate.

White to play Bitansky – Haznedaroglu European Under-18 Ch, Litohoro 1999 Let’s see how the young stars do it. White can penetrate on f7, winning a pawn. But the important thing is the way in which he brings off the finish. A small detail proves critical. 1 Qxf7+ Kh8 2 Qf6+! The key point. The immediate 2 Qf8+? does not work, on account of 2...Nxf8 3 Rxf8+ Rg8. 2...Kg8 3 Qf8+! 1-0 3...Nxf8 4 Rxf8+ Kg7 5 R1f7+ Kh6 6 Rxh7#.

White to play Petraki – Alagiannis Glyfada 1999 Here we have another case in which material equality is meaningless. Black even has a passed pawn on c4. But the most significant factors are the weaknesses of Black’s castled position, aggravated by the presence of the knight on f6 and White’s command of the open d-file. 1 Qd8+! 1-0 1...Bxd8 2 Rxd8+ Kg7 3 Rg8+ Kh6 4 f5+ (the decisive discovered check) 4...g5 5 Bxg5#. The following position occurred in the prestigious Lloyds Bank Masters in London. The player conducting the black pieces was nine-year old Luke McShane and his opponent was hardly an

unknown, since Josh Manion had just finished in third place in the strong Junior Championship of the USA.

Black to play J. Manion – McShane London 1993 Black is three pawns down, but has assembled an enormous concentration of forces against the enemy kingside. The finish was not long in coming. 1...Qf1+! 2 Rxf1 Rxf1+ 3 Kh2 Bg1+ 4 Kh1 Bf2+ 0-1 5 Kh2 is met by 5...Bg3#.

White to play

Atalik – Blehm Cappelle la Grande 1999 White has invaded the d-file and the black pieces are not at all well coordinated to resist the threats that confront them. Atalik imbues his attack with an intense spirit of aggression. 1 e5! Qxa3 Or 1...Rxd8 2 Rxd8+ Bf8 3 Rxf8+ Kg7 4 exf6+!! Kxf8 5 Bc5+ Ke8 6 f7+. 2 exf6 Rxd8 3 Rxd8+ Bf8 4 Bd4 h5 5 Re1 Kh7 6 Re7+! 1-0 A truly unexpected check. Black resigned in view of 6...Bxe7 (or 6...Kh6 7 Rxf8 Qc1+ 8 Bf1) 7 fxe7 Qxe7 8 Rh8#. The opening of the long diagonal was the key. Suat Atalik was the first Turkish grandmaster and after becoming a professional has been very active on the international scene, with a high rating in the Elo list.

On the Seventh Rank

White to play Zelić – Videković Croatian Women’s Team Ch, Pula 1999 Here the finish could not be much simpler: White has maximum activity and Black’s castled position is seriously damaged. 1 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 2 Rh5+ Kg7 3 Bh6+ Kh8 4 Bf8# (1-0) Black’s king has fallen victim to the direct fire of the white


Black to play Arnold – Chigorin St Petersburg 1885 Black considered that his position was far superior and that it was time to bring the game to a close. 1...Qxg2+!! The black queen opens lines to enable the minor pieces to take charge of executing the enemy king. 2 Kxg2 Bf3+ 0-1 White resigned in view of 3 Kf1 Nh2# and 3 Kg3 Bf2#. An impeccable finish.

Black to play Vahtera – Suominen Helsinki 1998 Black’s four pieces are all aimed unmistakably towards the white king (the major pieces command the half-open b- and c-files, the bishop the long open a1-h8 diagonal). To neutralize all that attacking power, White is relying on his bishop on b3, which is certainly blocking the files effectively at the moment, but is a rather flimsy defence by any standards. All it takes to demolish it is some line-clearance. 1...Qxc2+! This allows the decisive entry of the b8-rook. 2 Bxc2 Rxb2+ 3 Ka1 3 Kc1 Rcxc2#. 3...Rb4+ 0-1 To control the d4-square. A fairly obvious sacrifice, but no less spectacular for that.

White to play Toran – O’Kelly Palma de Mallorca 1967 White has taken good advantage of the structural weaknesses in Black’s castled position. The knight, in particular, occupies the ideal position in this type of structure with doubled pawns. Now comes the coup de grâce . 1 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 2 Rh3+ Nh4 The only move. 3 Rxh4+ Kg6 4 Rh6+ Kg5 5 f4+ 1-0 Black resigned, since if 5...Kxg4, then 6 Ne3#. Can we talk of a ‘typical combination’ in this case? Definitely. With the squares g7 and h6 controlled by the knight and the rook on e3 ready to intervene, the mating pattern starts to take shape in the player’s head, which is teeming with memories of previous positions which conjure up associations of mental images.

White to play Kobaliya – Nalbandian Moscow 1999 White’s dominant position leaves no room for doubt as to who holds the advantage here, but the way in which he concludes the struggle makes a definite impression. 1 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 2 f6+ Kh6 If 2...Kh8, then 3 Rxg5 Rxe5 4 dxe5 Nxf6 5 exf6, winning without any great problems. 3 Rh4+! gxh4 4 Ne6+ Kh5 5 Bd1# (1-0) There was even another mate available: 5 Ng7#.

White to play Gamarra – G. Martinez Mar del Plata 1974 Black’s castled position is weakened and, although he still has his dark-squared bishop, Black has to face the menacing pressure of White’s major pieces. The strong centralized knight supports the pawn-break which initiates the combinative manoeuvre. 1 e6! Qf8 Or: 1...Bf8 2 Be5+ Bg7 3 Rh3; 1...f6 2 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 3 Rh3+ Kg7 4 Bh6+ Kh7 5 Bf8#. 2 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 3 Rh3+ 1-0 3...Kg7 4 Bh6+ Kf6 5 Rf3+ Ke5 6 Re1+ Kd6 7 Bf4#. All the white pieces have participated in the king-hunt, even including the e6-pawn, which covers the important escape-square on d7.

White to play J. Balogh – Gromer Prague Olympiad 1931 Black’s attack is very dangerous, because of his command of the h-file, but White in turn has the a- and b-files and furthermore the a-pawn is missing from Black’s castled position, which means that the balance of threats tilts in White’s favour. 1 Qa8+ Nb8 2 Qxb7+!! A spectacular sacrifice, which testifies to the power of the white position. 2...Kxb7 3 Bxd7+ 1-0

3...Ka8 4 Rxb8+! (eliminating the 4...Kxb8 5 Rb1+ Ka8 6 Bc6#.

last defensive


Black to play O’Kelly – Devos Belgian Ch playoff (1), Brussels 1937 White has just taken a pawn on d4 with his knight, in the hope of neutralizing the enemy pressure (1...exd4? 2 Qxd4 threatens mate on the long diagonal), but Black doesn’t have the slightest intention of conceding the initiative. 1...Qxf2+!! With this impressive sacrifice, the white king will be exposed to the crossfire of the black pieces. 2 Kxf2 Ng4+ 3 Kf3 Instead, 3 Kg1? allows 3...Be3#. 3...e4+! Clearing the e5-square for the second knight. 4 Kxe4 If 4 dxe4 or 4 Nxe4, 4...Nde5#. 4...Ndf6+ 5 Kf3 Ne5+ 6 Kf2 Nfg4+ 7 Kg1 The white king returns to its initial position, where it had been ‘comfortably’ castled... 7...Be3# (0-1)

Black to play Kugenek – Romanovsky St Petersburg 1911 The destructive power of rooks operating on open files is well known. When they also command open ranks, as in this case, their power is almost limitless. Here, in addition, Black is the exchange up, which allows him to finish off the game comfortably. 1...Qxf2+!! 2 Kxf2 If 2 Kh3, Black repeats the sacrifice and this time it has to be accepted: 2...Qxh2+! 3 Kxh2 R8e2+ 4 Kh3 Rh1+ 5 Kg4 Ne5+ 6 Kf4 Rf1+ 7 Kg5 h6+ 8 Kxh6 Rh2+ 9 Kg5 Rh5#. 2...R8e2+ 3 Kf3 Ne5+ Reinforcements. 4 Kf4 Rf1+ 5 Kg5 h6+! 6 Kxh6 Rxh2+ 7 Kg5 Rh5# A tenacious and effective pursuit.

White to play Ed. Lasker – Thomas London (casual game) 1912 Having reached this position, the strange idea of sacrificing his queen occurred to Lasker, perhaps because the friendly nature of the game was conducive to playing adventurously. But make no mistake: Lasker, an engineer by profession, had done his calculations. 1 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 2 Nxf6++ Observe, once again, the enormous power of the double check. 2...Kh6 Not 2...Kh8? 3 Ng6#. 3 Neg4+ Kg5 Black’s king has been forced out into the open and now meets a more than hostile reception. 4 h4+ Kf4 5 g3+ Kf3 6 Be2+ Kg2 7 Rh2+ Kg1 8 Kd2# (1-0) He could also have mated by 8 0-0-0#. It is most curious to castle and deliver mate at the same time! Naturally, this queen sacrifice on h7 became an instant classic. Next we have an example of a neat mating idea being used to hold together a desperate-looking position:

White to play Alekhine – Molina Buenos Aires (exhibition game) 1926 Black appears to be winning material, since the knight on b2 cannot be captured. However, Alekhine had prepared a strong reply, which leaves Black the one scrambling to survive. 1 Qxa7! Rxa7? 1...Rxd2? 2 Rxd2 Rxd2 3 Nxd2 leads to a winning endgame for White thanks to his passed pawn on a3. At a glance, 1...Nxd1! 2 Rxd7 Nxe3 3 fxe3 Rxd7 4 Qxd7 appears to lead to a similar outcome, but Black can hold on with 4...Qb1+ 5 Kh2 Qb8+; while White can avoid the immediate repetition, he cannot do so in a way that denies Black sufficient counterplay. 2 Rxd8+ Bf8 Naturally not 2...Bxd8? 3 Rxd8#. 3 Bxc5 h6 4 Rxf8+ Kh7 5 Rdd8 Qb1+ 6 Kh2 Rb7 7 Nh4! Controlling the escape-square on g6, so threatening mate on h8. 7...g6 7...g5 8 Rh8+ Kg7 9 Rdg8+ Kf6 10 Rxh6+ Ke5 11 Re8+ Kf4 12 g3#. 8 Bd4 f6 9 Bxf6 1-0 Black moved to the beat dictated by Alekhine.

Black to play Geller – Spassky Moscow Zonal 1964 White, who has many weaknesses on the kingside, has just played Rc7, hoping to enter on g7, but he is about to be met by Spassky on top form, i.e. with an unexpected reply. 1...Qxc7! 2 Bxc7 Be3+ 3 Kg2 Nxd2 Black has rook and knight for the queen, but his pieces are very well coordinated to start an assault on the white king. The capture with the knight is one of the keys to the combination, because now the rook on f1 is unable to remain on the file, which will open the way for a decisive invasion. 4 Rxf8+ Rxf8 5 Bxd5 Preventing 5...Be4+. 5...Rf2+ 6 Kg3 Nf1+ 7 Kh4 Spassky has forced the white king out of hiding. 7...h6 Threatening 8...Bg5#. 8 Bd8 The only move. 8...Rf8! 0-1 A double attack, threatening the bishop as well as mate on f2. This game was played in the USSR Zonal tournament in 1964, known as the zonal of the seven , which ranked almost as a Candidates Tournament for the World Championship. Spassky won the event, followed by Bronstein, Stein, Kholmov, Korchnoi, Suetin and a very distinguished back-marker: Geller!

On the Sixth Rank

White to play Janowski – Sämisch Marienbad 1925 The aggressive array of the white bishops, plus the availability of the h3-rook and the paucity of kingside defenders means that the following queen sacrifice is scarcely more than routine. What does it matter that the white king is still in the centre, if he can bring the game to a close right away? 1 Qh6! 1-0 Black resigned in view of: 1...Bxe5 2 Qh7#; 1...gxh6 2 Rg3#; or 1...f6 2 Rg3! Bxe5 3 Bc4+ and now 3...Qxc4, or any interposition on f7, is answered with 4 Qxg7#. In the first three decades of the 20th century, a great many international chess tournaments were held in high-class venues, spa towns or places with famous casinos, such as San Sebastian, Karlsbad, Bad Pistyan and Marienbad.

White to play Bronstein – Geller USSR Ch, Moscow 1961 White has a piece for two pawns, but his kingside is a complete mess and his bishop has not moved yet. During the game, the main question seemed to be whether Geller would be able to exploit the precarious position of the white rook on b7. This question would soon meet with a response. 1 Qg6!! 1-0 The queen lands on g6 to deliver the decisive blow. Black resigned in view of 1...fxg6 2 Rxg7+ Kf8 (or 2...Kh8) 3 Nxg6#. The situation of the rook was indeed exploited... but by Bronstein! This position provides a good illustration of the type of mate that the team of R+N+P can deliver.

White to play Siegfried – Hunnefeld Germany 1941 White has seized the h-file and the finish should not be long in coming. However, there are a few tactical problems to overcome (for instance, Rh7+, followed by doubling rooks, is not feasible here, since the knight on g5 will be en prise with check). White’s solution was as follows: 1 Qf6+!! 1 Rh7+! Kg8 2 Qf6!! is equally effective. 1...Bxf6 2 Rh7+! The winning zwischenzug . 2...Kg8 3 exf6 1-0 Black resigned in view of 3...Rd8 4 Rg7+ Kf8 5 Rxf7+ Kg8 6 Rg7+ Kf8 7 Rh1, with unavoidable mate on h8.

White to play Spielmann – L’Hermet Magdeburg 1927 In this situation, which we could catalogue as an ideal attacking position, there is surely more than one winning continuation, but Spielmann, as was his wont, opted for the most brilliant: 1 Qxh6!! Threatening two mates, one on g7 and another with 2 Qh7+ Kf8 3 Qh8#. 1 Bxg7! is also very strong. 1...gxh6 2 gxh6+ Kf8 3 Rg8+! 1-0 Not granting his opponent any breathing space. Black is mated after 3...Kxg8 4 h7+ Kf8 5 h8Q#. Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942) was dubbed ‘the knight of the attack’. It is said that he managed to take part in more than a hundred tournaments and fifty matches, definitely a record for the time, and all crammed into a relatively short life. Spielmann, a Viennese master, was one of the most outstanding professionals of the early years of the 20th century, and his unconditional fidelity to the King’s Gambit led to Tartakower giving him the nickname of the ‘last knight of the King’s Gambit’.

Black to play Stein – Vaisman USSR 1962 The black pieces have conquered the f3-square and are perfectly coordinated to launch the decisive attack against the enemy king. 1...Qxh3+!! Dragging the king out. 2 Kxh3 Rh6+ 3 Kg4 The white king must come out into the open in view of 3 Kg2 Rh2#. 3...Nh2+ 4 Kg5 Rh3! Giving up his seat for the h-pawn, with the unstoppable threat of 5...h6+ 6 Kg6 Rf6#.

White to play Petrosian – Pachman Bled 1961 Black’s pieces are poorly coordinated, in contrast with the solidity and harmony exhibited by the white position. The distance of the black queen from the kingside conjures up nasty thoughts... 1 Qxf6+!! Petrosian eliminates the black king’s best defender, at the same time drawing it towards the jungle. 1...Kxf6 2 Be5+ Kg5 Not 2...Kf5?, on account of 3 Rf4+ Kg5 4 Bf6+ Kh6 (or 4...Kh5) 5 Rh4#. 3 Bg7!! 1-0 Ruling out the key escape-square h6. A quiet move of domination, after sacrificing the queen! This says something about the temperament of Tigran Petrosian. Black resigned due to 3...Nf5 4 f4+ Kg4 5 Ne5+ Kh5 6 Bf3#. Tigran Petrosian (1929-84) was born in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, of Armenian parents. The premature death of his father meant that he had to work from a very young age. However, he was able to reconcile his hard existence with successes in chess and part-time study. He took a degree in Philosophy at Erevan University, where his thesis was precisely on the royal game: Logical Thinking in Chess . He was much influenced by Nimzowitsch and surely the harshness of his early life influenced his solid, rock-like style:

prophylaxis and over-protection of squares were his priorities and his strategy of playing to avoid loss enabled him to triumph in the 1962 Candidates tournament. The following year he won the World Championship by beating Botvinnik and he held the title until 1969.

White to play Mermagen – Kühne Correspondence 1966 Black has a serious weakness on the g6-square and the problem is that the white queen has already infiltrated the black camp and is attacking that square, as is the bishop lurking on b1. This will provide the motif of the combination which follows. 1 Qxg6+! The queen is sacrificed for a single pawn but once more the enemy king is drawn out, as if by a gigantic suction machine. 1...Kxg6 Or: 1...Kh8 2 Ne5 Nf8 3 Nf7+ Kg8 4 Nxh6+ Kh8 5 Qh5; after 1...Kg8 2 Nf5 White threatens mate on g7 as well as 3 Nxh6+. 2 Ne5++ Kf6 3 Rf2+! Ke7 3...Kxe5 is impossible because of 4 Rf5#. 4 Nc6+ Qxc6 Black returns some material, but... the knight check prepared a lethal double check. 5 Bg5#

Black to play Escalona – Durão Benidorm 1993 Black’s king is still on its initial square, but he is already attacking the enemy king and the gains he has made so far are not insignificant: queen and knight have invaded the enemy camp, the pawn on h4 is ready to participate and the bishop on b6 is keeping watch on the f2-square. Now comes a decisive sequence of moves. 1...Nxe5! 2 Nxe5 2 Kh1 Nxf3 3 fxg3 Nxd2 will leave White a pawn down with a weakened position. 2...Bxh3 3 Be4 Already there is no defence. 3...Bxg2!? The simple 3...dxe4 more or less forces mate. 4 Bf4 Bxe4+!! 5 Bxg3 hxg3 0-1 Faced with the threat of mate on h1, White resigned. The only way to prevent it would leave White a rook down: 6 Nf3 Bxf3 7 Qe2+ Bxe2 8 Rae1 gxf2+ 9 Rxf2 Bxf2+ 10 Kxf2. Durão’s grip was firm. The king’s bishop on b6 was the real hero of this game, but glory went to the other bishop and the rook, which combined to deliver the mate. The Portuguese International Master Joaquim Durão (1930-2015), as well as having been president of the Portuguese Chess Federation, won the championship of his

country on thirteen occasions. He represented Portugal in ten Olympiads and played chess in 55 different countries. Truly a lover of the royal game and a globetrotter of the chessboard!

White to play Mackenzie – Mason Paris 1878 One would think that Black has succeeded in strengthening his weak points on the kingside, albeit in a rather artificial manner. However, the concentration of troops against the black king is enormous and White will now demonstrate his overwhelming positional advantage. Black’s idea was to bring his king to the queenside in the event of, for example, 1 Nhf5+ Kf8 2 Qh6+ Ke8, etc., but his defences have been seriously weakened and in spite of appearances, his rooks are more hindrance than help. 1 Qh6+!! A decoy sacrifice that must be accepted: the black king has no squares. 1...Kxh6 2 Nhf5+ Bxf5 3 Nxf5+ Kh5 A king-hunt, the outcome of which leaves no room for doubt, but the finish is instructive nonetheless. 4 g4+! Kxg4 5 Rg3+ Kh5 6 Be2# (1-0) George Henry Mackenzie (1837-91) was one of the strongest players of the second half of the 19th century. Born in Scotland, in 1863 he moved to the USA, fighting for the South in the Civil War, in which he achieved the rank of captain.

After the war he settled in New York, becoming a chess professional. The combination we have just seen was one of his most famous.

White to play Vaisman – Stefanov Romania 1979 All White’s pieces are very active, but his awe-inspiring. Black, however, has placed extra pawn on c4, which is passed. But unleashed hostilities on the kingside. 1 Qxf6! gxf6 1...c3 2 Qf7 Bb4 3 Qg8+! Rxg8 4 Nf7#. 2 Bxf6+ Bg7 And now what? 3 Rd7! Calmly threatening 4 Bxg7#, since 3...Bxf6 while 3...Rg8 allows 4 Nf7#. 3...Qe5 4 Nf7+ 1-0 4...Kg8 5 Nxe5 Bxf6 6 Bxh7+ Kf8 7 Ng6#.

bishop-pair is truly his hopes on his White has already

loses to 4


Black to play Lorenz – Rogozenko Chemnitz 1998 Both sides have possibilities, but it is clear that the pair of black pawns on f2 and g3 place a tremendous restriction on the mobility of the white king, which tilts the balance in Black’s favour. 1...Qxh3! 2 Rxf2 After 2 gxh3 g2+ 3 Kxf2 g1Q+ 4 Kf3, there are three mates to choose from: 4...Qg3#, 4...Rg3# and 4...Ng5#. 2...Qh1+ 3 Ke2 gxf2 4 Rxf7 Qh5+ 5 Rf3 Forced, since the check also attacked the rook on f7. 5...Rxg2 6 Ke3 Bg5+ 0-1 7 Kd3 f1Q+ 8 Rxf1 Qe2#.

Black to play Lutikov – Stein USSR Ch, Kiev 1964/5 Black has a winning position, a pawn up and with his knight entrenched on d3, a very strong base of operations. The interest lies in the elegant way in which Stein brings the struggle to a conclusion. 1...Qxb6!! A positional sacrifice, since after the forced exchanges White will be unable to organize his pieces, which immediately allows a decisive attack. 2 Bxb6 Rxb6 3 Nc7 Rxa4! Going in for the kill. 4 Qxa4 Rb1+ 5 Kh2 Be5+ 6 g3 e3 Threatening mate on h1. 7 f3 Bxf3 8 Qe8+ The check of desperation. 8...Kg7 9 Ne6+ White is hoping for a perpetual. 9...Kf6 10 Rg2 Nf2 0-1 Now the mate is unstoppable. Leonid Stein, who died at the early age of 38, was one of most outstanding players in the world from 1960 until his death in 1973. And that is saying something, if we take into account that the 1960s were, in a way, a ‘miracle decade’ of chess, with the likes of Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Tal and Larsen all active. In that decade Stein won the Championship

of the USSR on three occasions: in 1963, 1965 and 1966/7.

On Other Squares

Black to play Grigoriev – Chistiakov Moscow Ch 1935 At times a position can be deceptive and the attacker sees mirages, because it can happen that his attack has evaporated and the enemy position is now superior. Such is the case here. Black’s king is not as exposed as White’s, far from it, and, despite being the exchange down, the black pieces are ready to weave a mating-net and do so right away. 1...Qxg5! Goodbye to White’s most active piece. 2 fxg5 Rh8+ 3 Rh3 Rxh3+ 4 gxh3 c5+ 0-1

White to play Kostić – D. Donaldson Colorado Springs 1915 In this position White not only has established a fearsome wedge of pawns (g7+h6) close to the black king, but he even has another pawn on e6. Of course Black is now attacking the white queen and the bishop on d5, but it is also a fact that he still has three pieces out of play on the queenside. Kostić concludes matters elegantly. 1 Ne4!! A fork of the g5-rook and the f6-square. Black sees no reason not to take the queen. 1...Rxg4 2 Nf6+! Preparing a terrifying discovered check. 2...Qxf6 3 e7+ Be6 4 e8Q+ 1-0 It is mate next move. Some experts have said that Boris Kostić (1887-1963) was the model for the character of Czentović in Stefan Zweig’s Schachnovelle (‘Chess Story’, also published in English as The Royal Game ). Czentović is a World Chess Champion, but also a coarse and ill-mannered personality, without any education whatsoever. Boris Kostić was not fortunate enough to have received any higher education, but that did not prevent him from speaking several languages, as well as being a sensitive individual and an extraordinary chess-player. From 1913 he lived in the USA, giving frequent simultaneous exhibitions. He excelled at blindfold chess and in 1916 he gained a sensational

result in New York, where he played blindfold against 20 opponents, winning 19 games and drawing the remaining game. And he did this while chatting amiably with the audience! An ill-timed match against Capablanca (Havana 1919) ruined his reputation, since he lost spectacularly, 5-0.

Black to play Mandolfo – Von Kolisch Paris 1859 In this position, with his king in the centre of the board, Black played a combination based on the coordination of his pieces against the white king, but essentially exploiting his command of the h-file. 1...Ne4!! This blocks the e-file and unpins the knight, at the cost of sacrificing the queen! 2 Bxd8 Or: 2 Qxe4 dxe4 3 Bxd8 Ne2#; after 2 dxe4 Qxg5 Black has unstoppable threats on the h-file. 2...Ng3!! A very clear-thinking and courageous move, considering the possible discoveries on the e-file. 3 Nc6+ Or 3 fxg3 Nf3#. 3...Nde2+ and mate next move.

White to play Van den Doel – Janssen Dutch Ch, Rotterdam 1999 White holds all the trumps: the three major pieces are lined up against the black king’s position and the pawn on f5 is ready to open lines. Last, but not least, it is White to move. 1 Bxg7! A passive queen sacrifice, if we are adhering to our own terminology. 1...gxh5 Or 1...Kxg7 2 f6+ Kh8 3 Qh6 Rg8 4 Qxh7+, with the mate of R+P that we are already familiar with: 4...Kxh7 5 Rh3#. 2 Be5+! The precise discovered check. 2...Kf8 3 Bxd6+ Re7 What would happen if Black blocks the check on e7 with his queen? After 3...Qe7, 4 fxe6! would still follow, with mate in four, which I shall leave the reader to work out as an exercise. 4 fxe6 1-0 Mate cannot be prevented.

Black to play NN – Rossolimo Paris 1944 There is ‘geometrical’ pressure (files, ranks and diagonals) on both kings. The dominant bishop on d5 matches Black’s strong bishop, but White’s pressure on the b-file... Is it possible that Black can win this position? Well, yes, for three reasons: a) because it is his turn to move; b) because he commands one more (half-)open file; and c) because Black is Rossolimo. 1...Rd1!! 2 Bxb7+ This interesting resource is a better try than 2 Rbxd1 Qxb2, 2 Qxb5 Bxf2+ 3 Kh1 (or 3 Kh2) 3...Rh8# or 2 Rfxd1 Bxf2+ 3 Kh1 (or 3 Kh2) 3...Rh8#. 2...Kb8 Black’s threats persist. 3 c4 With the intention of protecting f2 along the second rank. 3...Rxf2!! 4 Qxb5 Rfxf1++ 5 Kh2 Rh1# The activity of the black rooks and the latent power of the bishop on a7 were the keys to this combination. Simultaneous exhibitions were well suited to the dynamic style of the master Nicolas Rossolimo, and in many such sessions he pulled off brilliancies such as this.

White to play Alekhine – Prat Paris (simul.) 1913 Here we come back to a methodological problem. Is the black king castled or in the centre? Black has castled and the king has subsequently moved to f7, but in Part 3 , devoted to combinations against the king in the centre, we specified that a king on f7 is in the centre. Here we shall make an exception, since we consider that the array of the black pieces is more suggestive of a castled formation. The game was played in a simultaneous exhibition and Alekhine decided to conclude it elegantly. 1 Qh5+!! A queen for nothing! 1...Nxh5 2 fxe6++ Kg6 3 Bc2+ Kg5 4 Rf5+ Kg6 Or: 4...Kh4 5 Re4+; 4...Kg4 5 h3+ Kg3 6 Re3+ Kh4 7 Re4+ Kg3 8 Rg4#. 5 Rf6++ Kg5 6 Rg6+ Kh4 6...Kf4 7 Re4+ Kf5 8 Reg4#. 7 Re4+ Nf4 8 Rxf4+ Kh5 9 g3 1-0 Next comes 10 Rh4#.

26: Multiple Sacrifices This chapter concerns the study of typical, or relatively typical, combinations based on the sacrifice of more than one piece. The material has been organized thus: Double Bishop Sacrifice Double Rook Sacrifice Other Sacrifices of Two Pieces Sacrificial Sequences

Double Bishop Sacrifice The sacrifice of both bishops (on h7 and g7) to destroy the castled position is a combinative operation which in master practice was seen, for the first time, in the game Lasker-Bauer, we shall examine now, starting from the critical moment.

White to play Em. Lasker – J. Bauer Amsterdam 1889 At this moment Lasker calculated a winning combination, exploiting the active array of his pieces against the enemy kingside. 1 Nh5! Nxh5 Retreating with 1...Ne8 loses to 2 Bxg7 Nxg7 3 Qg4. 2 Bxh7+! Not 2 Qxh5? f5!, when Black survives.

2...Kxh7 3 Qxh5+ Kg8 4 Bxg7! Kxg7 After 4...f6 5 Rf3 Qe8 6 Qh8+ Kf7 7 Qh7 or 4...f5 5 Be5! Rf6 6 Rf3 followed by 7 Rg3(+), White will mate in a few moves. 5 Qg4+ Kh7 6 Rf3 The key to the combination: the incorporation of the rook allows an effective finish. 6...e5 The only move. 7 Rh3+ Qh6 8 Rxh6+ Kxh6 9 Qd7 Bf6 10 Qxb7 and White won in a few moves. Although this was not a mating combination as such, the threat of mate clearly decided the game. I have included it, furthermore, because it provides the template for the double bishop sacrifice against the castled king, and so is essential knowledge.

Black to play Nimzowitsch – Tarrasch St Petersburg 1914 1...d4! Black seeks the initiative, and he is successful; White’s reply is a blunder. 2 exd4? A more modest move such as 2 Rfe1 is necessary, when Black has a significant advantage, but no instant win. 2...Bxh2+! Tarrasch embarks on a combination similar to Lasker’s, but

with some differences that make it considerably more difficult to execute. It’s interesting that Black could also have won with a ‘Single Bishop Sacrifice’: 2...Bxg2! is strong, based on 3 Kxg2 Qg5+ 4 Kh1 (4 Kf3 Rfe8) 4...Qf4. 3 Kxh2 Qh4+ 4 Kg1 Bxg2! So far we can see that the idea is the same, even when the set-up of the pieces of one side or the other is different. 5 f3 Rfe8! This is already an original, non-routine move, since if 5...Rd5?, White could respond with 6 Qe4. 6 Ne4 Or: 6 dxc5 Re2; 6 Kxg2 Re2+ followed by mate. 6...Qh1+! 7 Kf2 Bxf1 8 d5 Instead, 8 Rxf1 loses to 8...Qh2+, winning the queen, so White seeks counterplay on the long a1-h8 diagonal. 8...f5! 9 Qc3 Here 9 Nf6+ would fail to 9...Kf7! 10 Nxe8 Rxe8, threatening mate on g2. 9...Qg2+ 10 Ke3 Now play acquires the character of an attack on the king in the centre. 10...Rxe4+! 11 fxe4 f4+! 12 Kxf4 Rf8+ 13 Ke5 Qh2+ 14 Ke6 Re8+ 15 Kd7 Bb5# (0-1) The three black pieces all participate in the execution of the mate. An exemplary king-hunt. This game has a story associated with it. Tarrasch was indignant (in my opinion, justifiably so) because the jury did not award him the first Brilliancy Prize for this game (it went instead to Capablanca, for his game against Bernstein). So, glass of champagne in hand, he went up to the World Champion, Emanuel Lasker, to ask his opinion of the judges’ verdict. Lasker replied: “As to the question of the prize I’m not going to say anything, because I don’t want to get into an argument with the judges, but your combination, doctor, is an authentic marvel, such as is only produced every twenty-five years.” A response that at first seems very flattering, but which might contain a note of sarcasm too, because Lasker’s game against Bauer dated from precisely 25 years earlier. Was Lasker’s praise genuine, or did he intend what he said to have a double meaning? There is no doubt that the technique of this combination was

discovered by Lasker, but even so Tarrasch’s combination is more complex, because, as Romanovsky wrote, “this combination is superior to Lasker’s. The final mate, so economical, the sacrifice of an exchange, in addition to that of the bishop-pair, the weakened position of his own king, all embellish Black’s play in this game.” These two games, each with its individual features, but with the guiding thread of the double bishop sacrifice for the opponent’s g- and h-pawns, have bequeathed to the chess community a very special combination. Today we are familiar with the technique of this sacrifice, but in those days it was original and surprising. Naturally, there are numerous variations on the same theme. In the end, a player’s imagination, his ability to calculate and analyse, are what will determine whether he will be able to judge accurately, in each situation, whether this type of combination is sound.

White to play Möhring – Finsh Mar del Plata 1960 Positional evaluation: the white bishops are much superior to their black counterparts and in addition are aiming at Black’s castled position. Black’s bishops, in contrast, are blocked by their own pawns on c6 and d4. The white queen is more active than the black one and is also aiming at the enemy king. The pawn on e5 is an unpleasant wedge controlling two

important squares in the black camp, f6 and d6. Finally, one of the white rooks is already in play, while neither of Black’s are. Is this enough advantage to be able to force an immediate win? Let’s see what the master playing White thought: 1 Bxh7+! 1 Bf6 is also good enough to win, but White will need to overcome greater resistance after 1...g6 2 Qg5 (threatening 3 Qh6) 2...Rfe8, planning to answer Qh6 with ...Bf8, a characteristic defence in this type of position. 1...Kxh7 2 Bf6! This was harder to foresee. 2...gxf6 Or: 2...g6 3 Qh4+ Kg8 4 Qh8#; 2...Rg8 3 Qh4+ Kg6 4 Qg5+ Kh7 5 Qh5#. 3 Qh4+ Kg8 4 Qg3+ 1-0 Here 4 exf6 also worked, with unstoppable mate. In any case, Black resigned, since after 4...Kh7 (or 4...Kh8) 5 Re4, mate follows on h4.

White to play Taimanov – Shashin USSR 1978 White cannot reckon on being able to bring a rook into the attack, so that in order to sacrifice both bishops the g5-pawn takes on a significant role. Let’s see how Taimanov handled it. 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 1...Kh8 2 Qh5.

2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Bxg7! Kxg7 Declining the second bishop would not help Black’s cause. If, for example, 3...f5, White could play 4 Qh8+ Kf7 5 g6+!. 4 Qh6+ One of the key ideas: the queen is supported by the g5-pawn. 4...Kg8 5 g6 To open lines: now mate on h7 is threatened. 5...Nf6 6 Rg1! More pressure. 6 g7? would fail to 6...Nh7, when Black wins. 6...Qxd5 7 g7 1-0 Now mate on h8 cannot be prevented. It is clear that the sacrifice of the two bishops took a completely different turn from the combinations by Lasker and Tarrasch, the established precedents for the double bishop sacrifice.

White to play Negyesy – Berta Correspondence 1970-1 An explosive position, with equal material, but in which White has the use of the half-open b-file, while Black has the ‘misfortune’ that his pawn on g4 obstructs the corresponding file for his rook. White also has the favourable factor of the bishop-pair, which at times can seem rather abstract. That will not be the case here though, since White is about to sacrifice both bishops. 1 Bf4! A rather strong aperitif. Naturally, its acceptance is forced.

1...Qxf4 2 Bxb7! Rd6 Black declines the second bishop sacrifice, in view of the following lines of play, after 2...Bxb7 3 Rxb7+!: a) 3...Kxb7 4 Rb1+ Ka6 (4...Ka8 5 Qc6#) 5 Qa3#. b) 3...Ka8 4 Qc6 Rd6 5 Rb8++! Kxb8 6 Rb1#. 3 Bc6+! A precise discovered check, to prevent the rook from blocking on b6. 3...Kc8 4 Bxe4+ Kd8 5 Rb8+ Kd7 6 Rb7+ Ke8 As is evident, the black king is trying to reach the kingside and take refuge via f8-g7. 6...Kd8 allows 7 Qc7+ Ke8 8 Qe7#. 7 Qc8+ Rd8 8 Bd5+ Ne4 9 Bxf7+ 1-0 9...Qxf7 10 Rxe4+, followed by mate.

Double Rook Sacrifice

White to play Brinck-Claussen – S. Johannessen Oslo 1978 All the white pieces are eyeing the enemy king, which represents too much pressure for his insufficient defending troops. Consequently, Black’s material advantage and the position of the white king in the centre have little significance here, because, in addition, it is White to play. 1 Rxh7+! Kxh7 2 Rxg7+! Eliminating the key defender: the pawn on g7, guarding the h6-square.

2...Nxg7 2...Kh8 3 Qh6#. 3 Qh6+ Kg8 4 Qxg7#

White to play Buturin – Kozakov Lvov 1996 The opening of the h-file is a clear danger signal for the black king, but furthermore White’s queen and bishop are menacingly aligned on the b1-h7 diagonal and the other bishop is splendidly placed on the long dark-squared diagonal. The finish is immediate: 1 Bxg6! Opening the floodgates. 1...fxg6 2 Qxg6+ Bg7 3 Rh8+! A sacrifice to decoy the king to the fatal file. 3...Kxh8 4 Qf7! We have already seen similar cases of this deployment of the queen, with or without check, which prepares for the lethal check on the h-file. 4...Rg8 5 Rh1+ 1-0 5...Nh7 6 Qg6.

White to play Bulat – Smederevac Kranj 1958 White’s valuable extra pawn is creating unpleasant pressure on the black position, and how about his rooks on the half-open files against the castled position? White is ready to dynamite the black defences. 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 2 Qg2+ Kf8 2...Kh8 allows 3 Nf7#. 3 Rxh7! Removing the guard: the black pawn controlling the g6-square. 3...Nxh7 4 Nd7+! 1-0 The white knight claims the starring role. 4...Kf7 5 Qg7#.

White to play Martius – Darga West Germany 1959 The pawn on g2 was too tempting a prize for the bishop, since by taking it the bishop then forked both rooks. But by this capture Black flouted one of the unquestionable commandments of chess strategy: thou shalt not open lines against thy own castled position . Now a whole chain of punishments will be meted out to Black. 1 Rg3! Bxh1 Now White can force mate. To fight on, Black needed to choose 1...Qxc3 2 Rxc3 Bxh1, but his task then is far from pleasant. 2 Rxg7+! A brilliant sacrifice which has no refutation. 2...Kh8 Or 2...Kxg7 3 Qg4+ Kf6 (3...Kh8 4 Nxf7#; 3...Kh6 4 Bd2+ Bg5 5 Qxg5#) 4 Nd7#. 3 Rg8+!! 1-0 Another masterly rook sacrifice. 3...Kxg8 (3...Rxg8 4 Nxf7#) 4 Qg4+ Kh8 5 Nxf7#.

White to play Barcza – Tatar Debrecen 1951 White’s minor pieces are very active and he has the half-open f-file as a base of operations. In addition, his queen can enter the attack in a single move (Qh5). All this means that a dangerous attack is looming against Black’s castled position. 1 Ng6! This move wins the exchange, since 1...fxg6 loses to 2 Ne7++ Kh8 3 Nxg6#. 1...Re8 1...Be6 is a better try, digging in for a long siege, though Black should of course lose in the long run. 2 Rxf7! The f7-square is leaking water. 2...Kxf7 3 Qh5!? Now the black king is vulnerable to two discovered checks, on the a2-g8 and h5-e8 diagonals. But 3 Qf3+! is even more convincing, as after the text-move, 3...Re6 denies White an instant win. 3...Be6?! 4 Nge7+ Kf8 5 Rf1+ Nf6 6 Rxf6+! gxf6 7 Qxh6+ Kf7 8 Qxf6# In reality, here we saw a rook sacrifice followed by an exchange sacrifice, but we gave ourselves permission to include this position here, in view of its difficulty of classification.

White to play Filip – Uhlmann Prague Zonal 1954 Black’s castled position is rather ‘airy’ and the knight is working overtime to hold it together. The protection of the white king is hardly excessive either, but the difference is that it isn’t under threat and it is unlikely to be so in the near future. The h-file and a piece embedded on e6, as well as an active white queen, are worrying elements for Black and his queenside play is not a sufficient counter-weight. 1 Rxh6! Nxh6 2 Rh1!! A quiet move after sacrificing a rook. Of course with three pieces attacking the black king (including the queen) it is unlikely to survive, especially taking into account that his queen is cut off from the kingside. If 2 Qxh6, Black could have played 2...Kf7. 2...Rxb3 The only move. If 2...Nf7 White can play 3 Qh4 or even better 3 Rh7!, which leads to mate in four (an additional exercise for the reader). 3 axb3 Qxb3 4 Nd1! A prophylactic move, before the final assault. 4...Nf7 5 Rh7! 1-0 5...Kxh7 6 Qxf7+ Kh6 7 Qg7+ Kh5 8 Qh7#.

White to play Geller – Liebert European Team Ch, Kapfenberg 1970 White has the freer position, thanks to the pressure that both his rooks are exerting along the f-file, and the good positions of his queen and bishop, on open diagonals. However, that does not look enough for White to be able to conclude the game right away... 1 R4f5! gxf5 After 1...Bb7 2 Rxh5+! gxh5 3 Qd2 the queen reaches h6 with decisive effect, considering the pin on the bishop, which makes the g6-square vulnerable. 2 Rh6+! An impressive sacrifice of both rooks. 2...Kxh6 3 Qh8+ Kg6 4 exf5+ 1-0 4...Kxf5 5 Qxh5+ Kf6 6 Qg5#.

White to play Komliakov – Gadjily Nikolaev Zonal 1993 Black’s castled position is weakened and the white pieces show an irresistible tendency to sacrifice themselves. 1 Bxh6! gxh6 2 Rxh6+! Nxh6 3 Qxh6+ White has sacrificed a whole rook. 3...Kg8 4 Bc4! The attacked piece becomes an attacker! White is now threatening mate in one. 4...Ne6 Or: 4...Kf7 5 Nc7+ Ne6 6 Qh7#; 4...Rf7 5 Nxf6+ Bxf6 6 Rxf6. 5 Qg6+ Kh8 6 Rf3 Ng5 7 Rh3+! 1-0 A predictable sacrifice of the second rook. 7...Nxh3 8 Qh6+ Kg8 9 Nxf6#.

Black to play L. Schmid – Rossolimo Heidelberg 1949 Here the material equality is absolute, with bishops of opposite colour (the black one blocked by its own pawn on e4). But an attentive player will observe the menacing presence of the three black major pieces on the kingside, each one of which occupies a dangerous file. Another factor that should attract your attention is that the white queen is at some distance from and even cut off from the kingside. That being the case, the magician Rossolimo pulls a surprising rabbit out of his hat. 1...Rxg2+!! Decoying the white king to the g2-square; we shall soon see why. 2 Kxg2 Rxf2+! 0-1 The second rook sacrifice, a consequence of the previous one, and it persuaded White to resign on the spot. If 3 Bxf2 (otherwise, it is mate in two), 3...e3+ (this is the key to the combination: the tremendous power of this discovered check, hitting both the king and the f2-square; furthermore, this move clears the long diagonal, enabling the bishop to dominate the board) 4 Rd5 (4 Kh2 and 4 Kg1 both allow 4...Qxf2#) 4...Qxf2+ 5 Kh1 e2, and if tempted to play 6 Rd8+ it is necessary to remember that the rook is still pinned. Rossolimo – just like a character in a novel! This brilliant artist of the attack, called in his day the last Romantic , was born in Ukraine (1910), son of a Russian mother and a Greek

father. As a young man he travelled throughout Europe, working at a wide variety of jobs, including as a stevedore in the ports of Istanbul and Marseilles. Later he lived in Paris and finally emigrated to the USA and became a taxi driver in New York, playing chess all this time. He was an expert in judo (black belt) and in many other things, and only gained the title of chess grandmaster in his maturity, when his style had become more solid, and more consistent in defence. A journalist once asked him why his style had become more solid, after so many years of sacrifices and dazzling attacks. Rossolimo replied: “You see, when I’m struggling in a game, I grit my teeth, I look at my opponent and I say to myself: this guy wants me to go back to the docks!”. In the final years of his life he ran his own chess school and he died following a domestic accident, falling down stairs in his own house, in 1975.

Black to play Prasad – Kouatly Kolhapur 1987 The game Dutreeuw-Malaniuk is a reference for understanding this one. Here there is no bishop on b6 pinning the f2-pawn, but there is a strong knight on f4, as well as other aggressive elements (black queen on h4, rook on the g-file). The theme of the attack is the same. 1...Rxg3+! 2 hxg3 Not 2 Qxg3 Ne2+.

2...Rg8 Remember the earlier combination? 3 g4 Rxg4+! Here we now have a variation on the same theme, with a second rook sacrifice. 4 fxg4 Qxg4+ 5 Kf2 d4!! 0-1 A splendid move, opening the diagonal for the deadly b7-bishop. Now 6 Be4 allows 6...Nh3#, while 6 Qxe5 (evacuating e1 as an escape-square) is met by 6...Qh4+ 7 Kg1 Qg3#, and 6 Qe4 with 6...Bxe4 7 Bxe4 Qh4+ 8 Kg1 Ne2+ 9 Kg2 Qg3+ 10 Kh1 Qh3#. A brilliant combination.

Other Sacrifices of Two Pieces In this section we shall include examples of combinative attacks in which two pieces are sacrificed, but excluding double bishop or double rook sacrifices, which we covered earlier.

Black to play Ki. Georgiev – Rogers Biel Interzonal 1993 The open lines against the white king’s position create an invasion route that the Australian GM Ian Rogers exploits immediately. 1...Bxg2+! 0-1 After 2 Kxg2 comes 2...Rxf2+, the second and decisive sacrifice, which eliminates the last obstacle: 3 Rxf2 (3 Kxf2 Qg3#) 3...Qg3+ 4 Kf1 (or 4 Kh1) 4...Qg1#.

White to play Holaszek – Schwarzbach Vienna 1964 The good layout of White’s pieces and, especially, his command of the h-file, allow him to destroy the enemy kingside with a combinative manoeuvre with which we should already be familiar. 1 Nxg7! Kxg7 2 Rxh7+! Deflection of the king to allow the white queen to invade on f7. 2...Kxh7 3 Qxf7+ Kh8 4 Bg5 1-0 White threatens 5 Rh1+ and mate, while 4...Nh4+ is met by 5 Bxh4 Rf8 6 Bf6+! Qxf6 7 Rh1+.

White to play V. Morales – Estrella Cuba 1997 Black’s castled position is very weakened and White has four pieces available for an immediate attack on enemy king. The sequence which follows is, nevertheless, very instructive. 1 Rh3!! Such are the marvels of availability : the rook joins in the attack, creating tremendous threats. 1...Rxc1 Or 1...Bf8 2 Bxf8 Kxf8 3 Qg5 (threatening 4 Rh8+ Kg7 5 Qh6#) 3...Ke8 4 Qf6 Rxc1 5 Rh8+ Kd7 6 Qxf7+ Kc6 7 Rh7, with the double threat of mate on d7 and e6. 2 Bg7! g5 3 Qd3 1-0 The mate on h7 is unstoppable.

White to play L.B. Hansen – Vescovi Copenhagen 1995 Black’s pieces are very well deployed and coordinated, except for one small detail: he has left his king at the mercy of the enemy pieces. Now the Danish grandmaster Lars Bo Hansen will explain to his younger opponent, the Brazilian GM Vescovi, why that interpretation of the chess struggle is faulty. 1 Bxg6! fxg6 1...hxg6 2 Qh6 f5 3 Qh8+ Kf7 4 Rh7#. 2 Qxe6+ Kg7 Of the four pawns that originally protected Black’s kingside, two have disappeared and, at the cost of a piece, White has exposed the black king. 3 Rxh7+! 1-0 The final demolition. 3...Kxh7 4 Ng5+ Kh8 5 Qh3+ Kg7 6 Qh7+ Kf6 (or 6...Kf8 7 Qf7#) 7 Qf7#.

White to play Larsen – Matanović Zagreb 1965 Larsen found a defect in the black position and began a little combination. 1 Nxe6! Rxc4 1...fxe6 2 Qc3 creates a double attack on g7 (mate) and c8 (the rook). 2 Nh6+! 1-0 Now 2...Kh8 allows 3 Bxg7#, while 2...gxh6 3 Qxh6 leaves Black with no satisfactory defence against the mate. The check on c2 solves nothing (3...Rc2+ 4 Kh3).

White to play Gretarsson – Haldorsson Kopavogur 1994 In this battle, where the players have castled on opposite sides, Black has reinforced his kingside with the knight on f8 and furthermore has his queenside pawns already poised to make contact with White’s castled position. However, White’s piece set-up is more aggressive (rook on the g-file, knight on e5, Q+B lined up on the b1-h7 diagonal) and this allows him to launch a quick mating attack. 1 Bxh7+! Nxh7 2 g6! f5 It was not possible to play 2...fxg6, because after 3 Qxg6 White is threatening mate on g7 and attacking the loose rook on e8. 3 gxh7+ Kxh7 4 Qe2 Be6 5 Qh5+ Kg8 6 Rxg7+! 1-0 The final collapse. 6...Kxg7 7 Rg1+ Kf8 8 Qf7+!? (or 8 Qh8+, mating more brutally) 8...Bxf7 9 Nd7#.

White to play Begovac – P. Kupper Swiss Team Ch, Zurich 1999 Black’s castled position could not be any more fragile, with his h-pawn missing and a distinct lack of defensive pieces. White will need to exploit these factors with speed and energy, without allowing any undesirable piece exchanges. 1 Bxg6! Two piece sacrifices in one move! 1...exd2

Or 1...fxg6 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 (2...Kf8 3 f5!) 3 Qh6+ Kg8 4 Qxe6+ Kf8 5 Qh6+ Kg8 6 Qg6+ Kh8 (6...Kf8 7 e6) 7 Nf3 e2 8 e6+ Bf6 9 Kf2! followed by mate on the h-file. 2 Bxf7++! A bishop with a definite vocation for being sacrificed. 2...Kxf7 3 f5 This pawn-break opens the decisive route to the black king. 3...exf5 4 e6+! Kxe6 5 Qxf5+ Kd6 6 Rxd2+ Bd5 7 Qxd5# (1-0) Black’s king began castled and ended up in the centre of the board, which is not all that unusual.

White to play Yasseem – Lobron Dubai 1983 The German grandmaster Eric Lobron has played the opening riskily. He is hoping to consolidate his position after White either retreats his bishop or else captures the knight on c6. However, he is in for a surprise. His opponent is about to initiate an inspired attacking sequence. 1 Ng5!? This is what we call a passive sacrifice of the bishop on e4. However, it is possible that the mundane 1 Bc2! is a better move objectively, as White’s threats include Rd1 and Bg5. 1...fxe4? 1...e6? is also bad, due to 2 Bxc6 Qxc6 3 Nd6. But Black had a radical solution to his problems in 1...Nxe5! 2 Bxf5 Qxf5 3

Rxf5 Bxf5, with more or less enough for the queen, while suddenly White’s pieces are looking less well coordinated. 2 Qh5 The typical threat against f7 and h7. 2...Nxe5 3 Qxh7+ Kf8 4 Nxf7! Very accurate: now if 4...Nxf7, White has 5 Bh6!, threatening mate on g7 and h8. 4...Nf3+ An inadequate resource. 5 gxf3 exf3 6 Nh6 Qd5 Mate on g8 was threatened. 7 Rxf3+! The black queen is overloaded. 7...Ke8 7...Qxf3 allows 8 Qg8#. 8 Nc7+ 1-0 The queen is lost. The United Arab Emirates promoted chess quite considerably in the 1980s, notably their brilliant organization (in 1986) of the Olympiad in their capital, Dubai.

Black to play Pietzsch – Golz Copenhagen 1960 White has ideas like Nxb6 or axb6, but it is obvious that the threats against his own king are rather more serious. It takes only a glance to appreciate the sheer number of black pieces

targeting the white king. It is Black to play and he this: 1...Nh3+! 2 gxh3 2 Kh1 Nxf2+. 2...Rxg3+! Where there was once a castled position, now there ruin. 3 hxg3 3 Bg2 loses to 3...Rxg2+ 4 Kxg2 Rd1+. 3...Qxg3+ 4 Bg2 4 Kh1 Rd1+. 4...Rd1! 0-1 A decisive double attack: the rook threatens (and queen and at the same time the b7-bishop’s diagonal so that there is also a threat of mate on g2.

wins like

is only a

pins) the is cleared,

White to play Rogers – Muljadi Noosa 1997 Black has still not completed his development and White already has two magnificent centralized knights, a bishop with good prospects on the b1-h7 diagonal and a pawn on e5 that controls vital squares in the enemy camp. Now the Australian grandmaster Ian Rogers undertakes a relatively conventional attack, although, of course, the brilliance and precision with which he carries it out are admirable. By ‘conventional’, we mean any part of a combinative manoeuvre which already

forms part of our ‘technical heritage’. 1 Nf6+! For example, who nowadays could be surprised by this typical knight sacrifice? 1...gxf6 Or: 1...Kh8 2 Nxh7; 1...Nxf6 2 exf6 Qc7 (2...Bxf3 3 fxe7) 3 Bxh7+! Kxh7 4 Qh5+ Kg8 5 Qg5 g6 6 Qh6. 2 Bxh7+! A second sacrifice, something which is the privilege of the best. But in this case, one sacrifice leads to the next and we have already seen numerous combinations based on confining the defender’s king to the two edge files. 2...Kxh7 2...Kh8 is met by 3 Qh5 Kg7 4 Qg4+ Kh8 5 Rd3. 3 Qh5+ Kg7 4 Qg4+ Kh7 5 Rd3 The basic idea is the same in many cases as in the double bishop sacrifice: corner the king on the edge, for a rook to deliver the coup de grâce . 5...Nf4 Delaying the end. 6 Qxf4 Bxg2 7 Qh4+ 1-0 Any king move is met with 8 Rg3#. Naturally, to carry out a combination like that it is necessary to acquire the discipline of precise calculation and to be able to distinguish which features of the position differentiate it from other, similar, positions.

White to play Hector – Plachetka Gausdal 1989 Black is trying to exchange pieces, to reduce White’s available firepower against the kingside. It is not possible for White to win a piece on c5, because after the double exchange on a6 the black queen would be attacking the loose rook on f1. The reader should notice one fact: the five white pieces have clear files, ranks and diagonals towards Black’s castled position, where the pawn-barrier is still intact but the only defensive piece is the rook on f8. 1 Bxh7+! The pawn-barrier is no longer intact. Also good was 1 Bh6! f6 (or 1...gxh6 2 Rg4#) 2 Qg3 Rf7 3 Rxf6, with a decisive advantage. 1...Kxh7 2 Rg4! f6 The only move. 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Rxg7+! The final destruction of the pawn-barrier. 4...Kxg7 5 Bh6+ 1-0 5...Kh7 6 Bxf8+ Kg8 7 Rxf6 Bxf8 8 Qf7+ Kh8 9 Rg6. The Swedish grandmaster Jonny Hector is a resolute attacking player and given a choice he usually chooses the most aggressive option.

White to play Gligorić – Prins

Saltsjöbaden Interzonal 1952 The weaknesses of Black’s castled position would not be serious were it not for two important factors. First, the contact that the white bishop has with h6 (a possible sacrifice on the horizon) and secondly the availability of the rook on d1 and the knight to come quickly into action. 1 Bxh6! gxh6 2 Qxh6+ Kg8 3 Rd3! Bh4 The bishop controls g3 and if White forces it away by playing g3, then the white rook’s access to the kingside will be obstructed. However... 4 Rg3+!! Just as important as the penetration by the rook is the deflection of this bishop. 4...Bxg3 Or 4...Kf7 5 Rg7+ Ke8 6 Qg6+ Kd8 7 Rg8 Rxg8 8 Qxg8+ Ke7 9 Qg7+, followed by 10 h6. 5 Qg6+ Kh8 6 Ng5 1-0 After 6...Nf6 7 h6 White forces mate.

Black to play Abonyi – Hromadka Prague 1908 Still in the opening, Black decided to go ‘all-in’, after concluding that by disrupting the pawn-barrier in front of the white king his mating attack would be unstoppable. 1...Nf3+!! 2 gxf3 The sacrifice could not be declined, since the queen was

attacked too. 2...Bxf3 Black’s plan could not be simpler or more direct: the threat is 3...Qd7 and 4...Qg4#. 3 e5 Or 3 Nxc5 Qc8, with the threat of ...Qg4#. 3...0-0! 4 exd6 4 exf6 Qc8 gives Black decisive mating threats. 4...Ng4! 5 Qe7 Bxd6! 0-1 White resigned in view of 6 Qxd8 Bxh2#.

Black to play Churm – McMahon British Ch, Scarborough 1999 Black has sacrificed the exchange for a strong attack, but does he have enough compensation? His decision appears justified by the active positions of his pieces, White’s lagging queenside development and the weaknesses in the white castled position. 1...Nxh2! Underlining the weakness of the white king. 2 Rxe3 Not: 2 g4? Nxg4; 2 Kh1? Ng4. 2...Qxe3+ 3 Kg2?? After 3 Kxh2 Qf2+ 4 Kh1 Qxg3 5 Qe2 Qh4+, it is not clear if Black has anything more than a draw. 3...Bh3+! More sacrifices: “the pieces can only be taken one at a time”

(Mikhail Tal). 4 Kxh3 Ng4! The knight is set on dying for the cause. In the game Black chose an equally effective but slightly more complex way to win: 4...Qf2!? 5 f4 Nf1 6 Qd3 g5! 7 Nd2 (or: 7 Bd5 Ne3; 7 Qf3 Qh2+ 8 Kg4 Nxg3!) 7...Qh2+ 8 Kg4 h5+! 9 Kxg5 Qh3 10 Re1 Qg4+ 11 Kf6 Qg7+ 12 Kf5 Qg6# (0-1). 5 Qd2 The threat was 5...Nf2+ and, naturally, the knight could not be taken with the pawn on account of 5 fxg4 Qxg3#, while 5 Kxg4 is met by 5...Qe6+ 6 Kg5 h6+ 7 Kh4 Be7+ 8 Kh5 Qg6#. 5...Qg1 This threatens 6...Qxg3# among other things. 6 f4 Nf2+ 7 Kh4 Be7+ 8 Kh5 Qh2#

White to play Stein – Portisch Stockholm Interzonal 1962 White has open lines for his bishops, active rooks (one on the open d-file and the other on the half-open f-file), and a knight on f5. Knights on the fifth rank are always a sacrificial threat, because they are usually attacking at least one vital square in the opponent’s castled position. Back on the fourth rank, even the most actively-placed knight could only be sacrificed against Black’s castled position if one of the pawns had been advanced, or as a passive sacrifice (i.e. it is attacked but does

not retreat). This leads us to formulate a tactical principle: “ any piece that attacks a square in the castled position is liable to be sacrificed on that square ”, which contains a larger grain of truth than you might think. In this position there is some tension: the white bishop on c4 is attacked twice and Stein, a great champion, was not satisfied with any of the obvious solutions. (That can be the point in the game suitable for flogging one’s own ingenuity into action: dissatisfaction.) 1 Nxg7!! Here the sacrifice is of a very high class indeed, since the bishop on c4 is also sacrificed, passively , allowing an attack on the queen and a rook. 1...Bxc4 Or 1...Kxg7 2 Bf6+ Kg6 (2...Kg8 3 Qh5 Be3 4 Rf3, with an unstoppable attack) 3 Rd3, and White wins. 2 Bf6!! Threatening mate with 3 Nf5+ Kg8 4 Nh6#, which would follow in the event of 2...Bxe2. 2...Be7 This seems to be the only move. 3 Qf3 Renewing the threat, in the event of 3...Bxf6 4 Qxf6, and in any case threatening 4 Ne6+. 1-0 If, for example, 3...Kg8, then 4 Nf5 Rfb8 (4...Bxf6 5 Nh6+ Kh8 6 Qxf6#) 5 Qg3+ Kf8 6 Qg7+ Ke8 7 Qg8+ Bf8 8 Ng7#. One of the ironies of the game: the knight would mate on the very square on which it was initially sacrificed!

Black to play Vukić – Velimirović Yugoslav Ch, Borovo 1981 White has embarked on a dubious manoeuvre to win a pawn and which has resulted in his queen being left totally disconnected, not only from the kingside, but also from the game in general. Black, in the skilful hands of Grandmaster Velimirović, now finds the path to victory, exploiting the unstable situation of the white king. 1...Nxd5! Opening lines (the e-file). 2 exd5 Nxg4+! 3 fxg4 Be5+ 4 Rf4 Or 4 Bf4 Bxf4+ 5 Rxf4 Re2+ 6 Rf2 Rxf2+ 7 Nxf2 Qxf2+ 8 Kh1 Re8, with a winning position. 4...Bxf4+ 5 Bxf4 Re2+ 6 Kg1 Qxh3 7 Ne3 The only move. 7...Rxe3 8 Kf2 8 Bxe3 Qxe3+ 9 Kg2 (9 Kf1 Qd3+) 9...Qe2+ 10 Kg3 (10 Kg1 Qd1+) 10...Re8. 8...Rbe8 0-1 The e-file, plus the active deployment of the queen, was all that Black needed to conclude the game. Dragoljub Velimirović (1942-2014) was a player with a markedly combinative style and an inclination towards fierce attacking play, often involving numerous piece sacrifices. He was the Champion of Yugoslavia in 1970 and 1975, and during the 1970s and 1980s won many international tournaments. In those

days he was nicknamed the ‘Yugoslav Tal’. His mastery seems have been inherited, since his mother, Jovanka Velimirović (1910-72) was the first women’s champion of Yugoslavia.

Black to play Belotti – Cvitan Forli 1993 White has chosen the queenside for his operations, as is usually the case in the King’s Indian Defence, but his king has barricaded itself in the corner, with numerous black pieces hovering in that sector, which in this opening is also quite normal. In this type of position, what counts is the precision of each side’s manoeuvres and the concrete (tactical, ultimately) situation. 1...Ng3+!? This is Black’s thematic sacrifice to break through to the white king in this structure, but here it would have been even more effective to prepare it with 1...Qg5!. Then there is no good answer to the threat of 2...Ng3+ 3 hxg3 Qh5+ 4 Bh2 fxg3, and Black wins in rather straightforward fashion. 2 hxg3 fxg3 2...Nh5 is another tempting and thematic possibility. 3 Be3 Here is the problem: White establishes control over some dark squares while freeing an escape-route for his king without having to give away this bishop. He is still in dire trouble, however.

3...Qf7! Threatening mate in two with 4...Qh5+ 5 Kg1 Qh2#. 4 Kg1 Qh5 5 Rfe1 Bg4!? Black offers both his bishops. However, 5...Bxe3+! 6 Rxe3 (6 Qxe3? Ng4!) 6...Qh2+ 7 Kf1 Nh5 is better, though still not wholly clear after 8 Qd3. 6 Bxh6 Not 6 fxg4? Nxg4 7 Bxh6 Raf8 8 Bxf8 Rxf8, but 6 Kf1 is a reasonable defensive try. 6...Qh2+ 7 Kf1 Bxf3! 8 Be3? Now it is over. 8 gxf3 g2+ 9 Ke2 g1Q+ 10 Kd1 is a confusing position, but far from clearly lost for White. 8...Qh1+ 9 Bg1 Ng4! 0-1 With the threat of 10...Nh2#, and if 10 gxf3, 10...Qxf3+ 11 Bf2 Nh2+ 12 Kg1 gxf2++ 13 Kxh2 Qg2#.

White to play Chigorin – Schiffers St Petersburg 1895 The black knight has gone on an expedition and in fact has managed to win a pawn. White, however, cannot take the pawn on e5, in view of the pin ...Bd6, but observe how Chigorin has deployed his whole army in battle order to attack on the kingside. 1 Nhxg5! Bxg5 2 Nxg5 hxg5 3 Rh7+ Kf6 So far, there has been no discussion possible. 4 Bxg5+!

Now White carries out a decisive tour de force . 4...Kxg5 5 R1h6! Threatening 6 Qd2# by cutting off the king’s retreat, so the reply is forced. 5...Nxh6 6 Qd2+ Kf6 7 Qxh6+ Ke7 8 Qe6# A pretty mate, with Black’s three major pieces standing as simple spectators of the action.

White to play Karpov – Ki. Georgiev Tilburg 1994 White has lined up his forces (Q+B and R+R) menacingly on the a2-g8 diagonal and the e-file. Also both his knights occupy good positions. In compensation, the black bishops command the two long diagonals, but there it ends. The rest of his team is passive and the passed d-pawn cuts his camp in two. 1 Bxf7+! Rxf7 2 Neg5! hxg5 3 Nxg5 With the double piece sacrifice Karpov has disrupted Black’s defensive organization. 3...Rf8 4 Re8 Qxd6 There is no real choice: 4...Rxe8 is met by 5 Qxf7+ Kh8 6 Rxe8+. 5 Qxf7+ Kh8 6 Ne6! 1-0 White threatens mate on g7, to which there is no satisfactory defence. The only way to prevent mate is to sacrifice the queen with 6...Qxe6, but that would only serve to delay the inevitable outcome, since after 7 R1xe6 there are simply too

many threats.

White to play Kr. Georgiev – Arduman Athens 1981 The white rook could capture on g6 if it were not for the zwischenzug 1...Nxb3, eliminating the piece that is pinning f7. Despite everything, White went ahead. 1 Rxg6! Nxb3 2 Nf6+ Kh8 3 Rxg7! Kxg7 Forced, since otherwise it is mate on h7. 4 Bxh6+! Eliminating the last obstacle. 4...Kh8 Accepting either of the pieces leads to mate: 4...Kxh6 5 Qe3+ Kg7 6 Qg5+ Kh8 7 Qh6# or 4...Kxf6 5 Qe5+ Kg6 6 Qg5+ Kh7 7 Qg7#. 5 Qe4 1-0 Black resigned since he cannot prevent the mate on h7.

White to play Tal – Gedevanishvili Poti 1970 The white pieces have a vocation for attack, and have thus set their sights on the black king. Meanwhile, Black has helped himself to a pawn, but two of his queenside pieces remain undeveloped, and his queen is a long way from the kingside, which, as we have remarked before, is often a bad omen for the defence. The Magician of Riga, Mikhail Tal, will not spurn the opportunity offered. 1 Nf6+! The presence of the e5-pawn favours this thematic sacrifice. 1...gxf6 2 Bxh7+! Kh8 This second sacrifice cannot be accepted: 2...Kxh7 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Rbf1 Ng6 5 exf6 and if 5...Nxf4, 6 Qh6, which in any case is a threat. 3 Rh4 Kg7 4 Qc1! Notice White’s skilful manoeuvring; he has to cope with the burden of his b1-rook being attacked by the black queen, so on c1 the white queen is juggling two jobs at once. The more routine 4 Qg4+ Ng6 5 Rf1 should also win, but not 4 Rb3? Rh8!, when Black holds. 4...Ng8 5 Bxg8! 1-0 5...Rxg8 6 Qh6# or 5...Kxg8 6 Rg4+ Kh7 7 Rb3!, with the decisive threat of mate on h3. As in the case of so many other direct attacks, the black king has been trapped by the barrier formed by his own pieces, namely the rook on f8 and

the pawns on f7 and f6.

White to play Liogky – Summerscale French Team Ch 1997 Black has unwisely advanced his kingside pawns and now White is going to respond energetically to the latest advance (...g5). All the white pieces are actively deployed and ready to take part in a direct attack. 1 h4!! A passive sacrifice of the bishop, but how dynamic! 1...gxf4 2 Qxf4 Bg7 Black cannot deprive himself of his king’s only defender; after 2...Bxe5? 3 Rxe5 Rc6 4 Qxh6 the rest is simple. 3 Rg3 Kf8 4 Nxf7! A fresh sacrifice that reduces the black king’s protection to a minimum. 4...Bxf7 Notice that at this moment White has his three major pieces and the bishop all directed against the enemy king’s position, while Black can only count on the direct defence of his two bishops and the hope that his major pieces can defend along their second rank. 5 Qd6+ Kg8 6 Qxh6 Bg6 The only move, in view of the threatened mate on g7. 7 Qxg6 Rc7 8 Rf3! 1-0 First, White prevents the king from fleeing to the f-file. Now

Black cannot prevent the mate on h7 without incurring serious loss of material.

White to play Alexander – E. Marshall Cambridge 1928 We immediately see the strength of White’s queen and bishop. Also it is quickly apparent that if the g-file were open (or if White could bring a rook to this file) Black would soon be mated. But this is not so simple to achieve. Nevertheless, White had at his disposal a brilliant way to solve the problem: 1 Na4!! bxa4 2 Rf4!! Now we see the point of the knight sacrifice. 2...exf4 3 gxf4 The g-file is opened for the rook on a1, and the threat of 4 Rg1+, followed by mate, is unstoppable, while if 3...Kh8 White plays 4 Qxf6+ Kg8 5 Rg1#. In the game White missed his chance by playing the sacrifices in the wrong order: 1 Rf4? exf4 2 Na4 (not 2 gxf4? dxc3, when Black’s bishop and queen control g1) and after 2...f3+! the game was later drawn. It is worth mentioning that White could also have won with the mundane 1 Qxf6!, intending Ng6, while even 1 Ng6 is strong since 1...hxg6? (1...dxc3 2 Nxe5! is messier, but good for White) 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 Qxf6+ followed soon by f6 leads to mate.

White to play Gulko – Hummel Stratton Mountain 1999 The white position is a picture of harmony and his pieces are all magnificently placed, while Black has handled this ‘hedgehog’ position more passively than usual (the knight on e8, and the queen on b8 is a long way from the kingside). Now Gulko launches a masterly attack, starting with a sacrifice in the centre. 1 Nd5! exd5 2 Bxh7+! Kxh7 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Nf5 White’s position is so good that, after the preceding sacrifices, he can link together a series of strong threats. 4...Bd8 4...g6 5 Nxe7+ Kg7 6 Qg4. 5 Re3 Nc5 Or: 5...g6 6 Qh6; 5...f6 6 Rg3 Nxe5 7 fxe5 dxe5 8 Nh6+ Kh8 9 Nf7++ Kg8 10 Rh3! f5 11 Qxf5. 6 Rh3 f6 7 Qg6! 1-0 Preparing the unstoppable threat of 8 Nh6+ Kh8 9 Nf7++ Kg8 10 Rh8#. It was not the queen but the rook that was charged with the task of delivering the mate!

White to play Kallai – Radulescu Hungary 1980 White has deployed his pieces aggressively, with both bishops aiming down diagonals towards Black’s castled position and a rook that has already penetrated to the seventh rank. However, if White’s attacked knight retreats, Black can begin to consolidate his position – but the knight has no intention of retreating. 1 Nxf7!! A brilliant and unexpected sacrifice, which weakens the black king’s defences. 1...Kxf7 2 Bxf6! Qxc7 2...gxf6 3 Qh5+ Kf8 4 Qxh6+ is the same as the game, while 2...Kxf6 is met by 3 Qf3+ Kg5 4 Qg3+, and now 4...Kh5 5 Bg6# or 4...Kf6 5 Qf4# (or 5 Qg6#). 3 Qh5+ Kf8 3...Kxf6? allows 4 Qg6#. 4 Bxg7+! This fresh sacrifice opens the decisive breach. 4...Kxg7 4...Kg8 5 Qg6. 5 Qg6+ Kf8 6 Qxh6+ Kf7 6...Kg8 7 Bh7+ leads to the familiar mating mechanism: 7...Kh8 8 Bg6+ Kg8 9 Qh7+ Kf8 10 Qf7#. 7 Bg6+ Kf6 7...Kg8 8 Qh7+ Kf8 9 Qf7#.

8 Bh5+ Kf5 9 Qg6+ Kf4 10 Qg4#

Black to play Slonim – Riumin Moscow Ch 1931 There would be nothing amiss with White’s position, were it not for the half-open b-file, which Black is well placed to exploit, considering the good set-up of his pieces (especially the rook on b8, queen on e7 and bishop on b4). Black now plays with great energy. 1...Ba3! The mere fact that this move is playable highlights the problems of White’s castled king. 2 Na4 2 bxa3? allows 2...Qxa3#, while after 2 Qxe7 Bxb2+ 3 Kb1 Bxc3+ 4 Kc1 Bb2+ 5 Kb1 Ba3+ 6 Bb4 Rxb4+ 7 Ka1 Rb1+ 8 Rxb1 Bxe7 9 dxc6, although material is equal, Black has a huge advantage based on the greater activity of his pieces. 2...Bxb2+! 3 Nxb2 Qa3 4 Qe5 Re8 5 Qd4 c5 6 Qc3 Qxa2 Threatening mate on a1. 7 Be1 Re2!! A magnificent deflection, renewing the threat of mate. 8 Bxe2 Ne4! 0-1 Controlling the escape-square on d2 without any loss of time, since the knight attacks the enemy queen. Mate is inevitable. Nikolai Riumin (1908-42) looked to be destined for chess

stardom, but a serious illness which led to his early demise prevented him from fulfilling the hopes that he had aroused in the 1930s, when he won the championship of Moscow three times (1931, 1934 and 1935). He finished second in both the 1931 USSR Championship and the Leningrad international tournament in 1934. His play was characterized by its brilliance and dynamism, but from 1936 he gradually withdrew from competition because of his precarious health.

White to play Kasparov – Gavrikov USSR Ch, Frunze 1981 The position is certainly explosive: White has abundant open lines, including the command of the c-file, but Black does not seem to be badly placed either and he has the bishop-pair. His only problem is that on the kingside there are no troops to protect his king. 1 Bxg6! A brilliant sacrifice to breach the kingside pawn-structure; there appears to be no clear win at this stage, i.e. the sacrifice is more positional in character. 1...hxg6 2 Rxg6+ Kf8 3 Rh6! Ke7 Or: 3...Kg7 4 Rh7+! Kxh7 5 Qxf7+ Kh8 (5...Kh6 6 Qg6#) 6 Ng6#; 3...Qd7 4 Rcc6 Bc7 (4...d3 5 Ng6+) 5 Ng6+ fxg6 6 Rf6+ Ke7 (naturally not 6...Kg7 7 Rhxg6+ Kh8 8 Qg8#) 7 Qg8!, with decisive threats. 4 Rcc6! Rf5

It is essential to defend the f7-square. 5 Qf3! Bc7 5...Re5 fails to 6 Ng6+! fxg6 7 Qf6+ Kd7 8 Rh7+. 6 Qe4+ Re5 7 Ng6+!! fxg6 8 Rh7+ Kf8 9 Qxg6 1-0 The three white pieces have taken possession of the sixth and seventh ranks, and Black can do nothing to prevent mate.

White to play Plachetka – Planinc Hartberg 1991 A typical situation in which the players have castled on opposite sides, but in which Black still has not started his attack, whereas White is about to launch a sharp offensive manoeuvre. Main factors: Black’s weakened castled position, a white rook on the same file as the enemy king, the key d5-square, weakened by the advance ...e5. 1 Nf5! gxf5 1...Bc5 is met with 2 g5 followed by Nd5. 2 gxf5+ Kh8 3 Nd5!! 3 Bh6 Rg8 4 Nd5 Qd6! is less clear-cut. 3...Nxd5 3...Qd6 loses to 4 Nxe7!? Qxe7 5 Bg5 Rg8 6 Qe3 with various threats, including Qc5. 4 Bh6! Bf6 5 Qg2 Nf4 The only move. 6 Bg7+ Kg8 7 Bxf6+ Ng6 7...Nxg2 allows 8 Rxg2#.

8 Qg5 Threatening 9 Qh6, mating. 8...Qb6 9 Bxe5! f6 10 Qh6 fxe5 11 fxg6 1-0 The mate is unstoppable.

White to play Savchenko – Smagin Moscow 1992 We have already seen, in the chapter devoted to sacrifices, that when White has a pawn on e5, Black’s position can experience problems following the invasion white bishop on f6. (Of course, this can also occur with reversed, with Black having a pawn on e4, etc.) 1 Bf6! Rfc8 1...gxf6 2 Qxh6 f5 3 Ng5 Rfc8 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Qxf7#. 2 Qg4 g6 3 Qf4 g5 3...Kh7 loses to 4 Ng5+! Kg8 5 Nxe6! fxe6 6 Qxh6. 4 Nxg5! Bxa4 5 Nxe6! Qc2+ Or 5...fxe6 6 Bxe6+ Kf8 7 Be7++ Kxe7 8 Qf7#. 6 Bxc2 Bxc2+ 7 Ka2 Kh7 8 Ng5+ Kg8 8...hxg5 9 Qxg5 Rg8 10 Qh5#. 9 Ne4 1-0 9...Rc4 10 Qg4+ Kf8 11 Qg7+ Ke8 12 Qg8#.

bishop castled of the colours

Sacrificial Sequences In this section we shall examine combinations which


sacrifices of more than two pieces, or an investment of material even greater than in the previous sections.

White to play Sherzer – H. Olafsson Philadelphia 1991 Black has played rather passively and White has been allowed too much space and too many active possibilities. The attack on the knight is irrelevant, because the combinative dynamic has already been set in motion and White has accurately calculated the sequence which follows. 1 Bh5!! hxg5 1...g6 is met by 2 Nxf7!. 2 fxg5 g6 3 Bxg6! fxg6 4 Rxf8+! White has sacrificed two pieces and the exchange. 4...Kxf8 5 Qf3+ Kg8 If 5...Ke7 then still 6 Rf1. 6 Rf1 Nf6 7 Qxf6 e5 8 Qxg6+ 1-0 8...Kh8 9 Rf7. The basic theme of the combination was to open the f-file. Notice the inability of the black pieces to come to the defence of their king.

White to play Khalifman – Romanishin World Team Ch, Lucerne 1997 The weakness of Black’s castled position, which is distinctly ‘draughty’ on the h-file, persuades White to carry out an all-out invasion of the f6-square, which will be a springboard for the decisive assault. 1 Bd4! Nxd3 Or 1...Rxe4 2 Bxg7! f6 (2...Kxg7 3 Qc3+ Re5 4 fxe5, etc.) 3 Qc3!, threatening 4 Rh8+! Kxg7 5 Qxf6#. 2 Nf6+ Bxf6 3 Bxf6 1-0 The only possible way to continue still ends in disaster: 3...Nh7 4 Rxh7 Kxh7 5 Rh1+ Kg8 6 Rh8#. Someone once wrote words to the effect that “All ills arrive with a letter”. But here they arrived along the h-file.

White to play Kholmov – Bannik Minsk (team event) 1962 The position of the black king has been weakened and now the f7-pawn is carrying most of the burden of supporting the e6- and g6-squares, but the task is really too much for it, considering the forces that White is concentrating on the kingside. 1 Be6! Kg7 Naturally 1...fxe6? is met by 2 Qxg6+, mating quickly. 2 Bh6+! A new sacrifice that cannot be declined, since 2...Kh7 3 Bxf7 simply brings any resistance to an end. 2...Kxh6 3 Nf5+! And another! The pawn-barrier is smashed. 3...gxf5 4 Qd2+ Bg5 If 4...Kg6 or 4...Kg7, 5 Rg3+ wins. 5 Rh3+ Kg6 6 Bxf5+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 6...Kg7 7 Qxg5+ or 6...Kf6 7 Bxd7+, etc. Once again, the defender’s queen was too far away from his king.

White to play Rossetto – Cardoso Portorož Interzonal 1958 Black’s rooks have seized the a-file, but on the other wing his king finds itself rather short of protection and White’s extra pawn is controlling important squares in his vicinity (f6 and h6). For White the problem is how to penetrate with his rooks on the e-file and utilize the potential of his fianchettoed bishop. 1 Bd5 A bishop sacrifice, inviting Black to open the gate of his fragile fortress. Objectively though, White might do better with the calm 1 Kh2 d5+ 2 Rg3, when Black’s weakened kingside will become important before too long. 1...exd5? This loses. Black had to play 1...Ne5!, when a way forward for White is not apparent. 2 Qxg7+! Not content with a mere rook incursion, White plays his strongest card: a spectacular queen sacrifice. That said, 2 Re7 is also strong. 2...Kxg7 3 Nf5+ Kg6 3...Kg8 4 Nh6+. 4 Re6+ Nf6 Or: 4...Kxg5 5 h4#; 4...Kf7 5 Re7+ Kf8 6 Re8+ Kf7 7 R1e7+ Kg6 8 Rg7#. 5 Rxf6+ Kxg5 With the sacrifice of the knight, Black gains a tempo by

attacking the rook. 6 Ree6 Threatening 7 h4#. 6...Rg2+ 7 Kxg2 Qd8 Now White is unable to mate with 8 h4+, and if the king approaches with 8 Kg3, then Black can play 8...Qxf6. 8 Ne7! 1-0 Another spectacular move which proves decisive. Black resigned since if 8...Rxe7 (or 8...Qxe7) then White mates with 9 Rf5+ Kh4 10 Rh5#.

Black to play NN – Stoner USA 1929 This is an exceptional position, in which we shall see a great carousel of sacrifices, in a sequence in which, curiously, the black king (right in the centre of the board and without any pawn-cover!) will not undergo the slightest hardship. 1...Rxh2+!! 2 Bxh2 2 Kxh2 Qh8+ and mate in two moves. 2...Ng3+!! Purely to gain a tempo for the coming check. 3 Bxg3 Qh8+ 4 Bh2 Qxh2+! An expeditious destruction of the defender. 5 Kxh2 Rh8+ A pretty mate with R+B, preceded by a firework display. However, we cannot say that this combination was excessively

difficult. It is spectacular, agreed, but everything is clear when one knows the elements which govern the mechanism of the mate.

Black to play Manov – Khairabedian Bulgaria 1962 If, instead of a pawn on g6 (or g3), we have a bishop, the position still allows a version of Damiano’s Mate. In the combination that we are about to see, there is no bishop on g3 (in this case it is going to be Black who carries out the combination) but there is one on d6, which controls the h2-square just as well. First it will be necessary to clear the h-file (of the bishop on h5), but if we study the basic details of the position closely, we can see that everything is already in place for Damiano’s Mate . 1...Be2!! If the black queen could reach h2, it would be mate. So, all we need to do is dispose of the bishop on h5 and the two rooks. Black can also play his moves in reverse order, i.e. 1...Rh8!, with a deadly discovered check to follow, and meeting 2 Kg1 with 2...Bh2+ 3 Kxh2 Bf3+! 4 Kg1 Rh1+! 5 Kxh1 Qh3+ 6 Kg1 Qxg2#. 2 Nxe2 Nothing changes with 2 Qxe2. 2...Rh8+ 3 Kg1 Rh1+! 4 Kxh1 Rh8+ 5 Kg1 Rh1+!

The only purpose of the double rook sacrifice is to make way for the queen. 6 Kxh1 Qh8+ 7 Kg1 Qh2# It was all in Damiano. And now it’s all in our heads, for ever.

White to play Hellers – Dukić Malmö 1989 White has numerous factors in his favour here: 1) the rook on the h-file; 2) the second rook commanding the open d-file; 3) the B+Q bearing down the long diagonal; 4) most importantly: the powerful wedge formed by the f6+g5 pawns. Together, these factors grant White a great positional superiority, which he can now exploit with an elegant combination. 1 Nd5! exd5 Or 1...Qf7 2 Nxb4 Nxb4 3 Bxb7. 2 Bxd5+ Kh8 3 f7! Hitting the nail on the head: White is now threatening 4 Qf6#. 3...Qd6 3...Be7 4 Rxh7+! Nxh7 5 Rh1 Bxg5 6 Bxg5 Kg7 7 Rxh7+! Kxh7 8 Qh3+ Kg7 9 Qh6#. 4 Rxh7+!! Nxh7 4...Kxh7 5 Qh3+ Kg7 6 Qh6#. 5 Rh1 Kg7 6 Rxh7+! Kf8 Or 6...Kxh7 7 Qh3+ Kg7 8 Qh6#, as before. 7 Qf6!! Threatening mate on h8, and if the queens are exchanged, the

g5-pawn, on recapturing on f6, will open a path for dark-squared bishop to threaten mate on h6, covering escape-square e7.

the the

White to play Ruban – Lalić Jyväskylä 1991 Castling on opposite sides is synonymous with an intense struggle, because in an attacking race every tempo counts and the value of each move increases considerably. Here Black has posed the threat of 1...b4, followed by an invasion by his major pieces along the a-file. On the other hand, it is not so clear how strong White’s pressure will prove: admittedly he has a menacing line-up on the b1-h7 diagonal, a strong knight on e5 and the g-pawn advanced to the fifth rank. But is that enough? 1 Bxh7+!? Nxh7 2 g6! A dramatic pawn-break on the g-file. 2...fxg6 2...Ng5? 3 h4 f6 4 hxg5 fxg5 5 Qf5 is winning for White. 3 Qxg6 Nf8? Now White’s attack proves decisive. 3...Kh8! is essential, when White can clearly take a draw if he wishes, but it is not clear how he might fight for more than that. 4 Qf7+ Kh8 5 Rdg1 Bf6 The cards are on the table: what is going to happen next? 6 Rxg7!!

A fresh sacrifice and a convincing response from White. 6...Bxg7 7 Rg1 By means of the sequence we have just witnessed, White has been able to concentrate an enormous surplus of material in the vicinity of the enemy king. 7...Ne6 8 Rg6! Rf8 White’s threat was 9 Rh6+! Bxh6 10 Ng6#, as would happen, for example, after 8...Qc7. Instead 8...Kh7 fails to prevent 9 Rh6+! Kxh6 10 Qg6#, and 8...Rg8 is met by 9 Rxe6!. 9 Rh6+ 1-0

White to play Beliaev – N. Pavlov Russia 1992 Black has grabbed two pawns, to the detriment of his development. Now we shall see White, with his bishops deployed along the optimal attacking diagonals, carry out a splendid combination that involves the theme of the double bishop sacrifice. The fact that the black queen is tied to the defence of his bishop on a3 is less important than the underdevelopment of his queenside pieces. 1 Rxa3! Qxa3 1...f6? 2 Bd6! provides an indirect defence of the rook on a3 (2...Qxd6? 3 Bxh7+) and a very direct attack on the black queen and rook. 2 Bxh7+! Kxh7 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Bxg7! So, now we have the typical sacrifice of both bishops against

the castled king, although in this case the technical realization of the attack presents greater complexity. 4...Kxg7 4...f5 5 Qg6! Rf7 6 Bh6+. 5 Qg5+ Kh8 If 5...Kh7, then as in the game. 6 Re4 Qa1+ 7 Kh2 Qb1 The only defence. 8 Qh6+! Not 8 Rh4+? Qh7. 8...Kg8 9 Rh4! Forcing Black to weaken g6. Not immediately 9 Rg4+? Qg6!, when White has no more than a draw. The black queen’s control of the b1-h7 diagonal is what adds to the difficulty of this combination. 9...f6 10 Rg4+! Kf7 11 Rg7+ Ke8 12 Qh5+ Kd8 13 Qc5! A triple attack, threatening two mates in one, on f8 and e7, as well as a mate in two, starting with a check on c7. 13...Bd7 14 Qxf8+ Kc7 15 Qc5+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 15...Kb8 16 Rg8+ Bc8 17 Rxc8# and 15...Kd8 16 Rg8+ Be8 17 Qd6+! Kc8 18 Rxe8#.

White to play Stanishevsky – Sirinsky Russia 1996 Here one might expect a comment such as: “Black has a solid but cramped position.” But how can a position that collapses in

a few moves really be solid? The problem is usually one of language, for instance, the use of the word ‘solid’, instead of the phrase ‘apparently solid’, or, a further refinement, ‘with no weaknesses in the pawn-structure’. Here we shall see a cascade of sacrifices that deserves to be seriously questioned. 1 Nxd6? Bxd6 2 Nb5? axb5 These two sacrifices have been for the sole purpose of clearing the diagonals a1-h8 and b1-h7, so that White can launch his bishops against Black’s defences, like two powerful, albeit ephemeral, missiles. 3 Bxh7+ Three consecutive piece sacrifices. 3...Kxh7 4 Qh5+ Kg8 5 Bxg7 Does all this seem a bit familiar? 5...Kxg7?? 6 Qg5+ Kh8 7 Rf3 1-0 White sacrificed his four minor pieces one after the other, but once one knows the technique of the double bishop sacrifice, the combination can appear to a player in a flash. The two knight sacrifices were merely functional, the quickest method to open the way for the bishops. The double bishop sacrifice then destroyed the black king’s cover and White’s queen and rook then used the g- and h-files to deliver checkmate. All very well, but in fact this is one of those cases of ‘what might have been’ because instead of 5...Kxg7??, with 5...f5! Black could not only have defended himself, but even reached a winning position. It turns out that combination was unsound. In the diagram position, White should pursue his kingside ambitious by more methodical means, such as 1 f5.

White to play Daudžvardis – G. Bogdanovich USSR 1989 The fact that White has two kingside pawns missing facilitates his attack on the enemy king, as does the fact that Black’s h-pawn is also missing. In addition, the black queen is a long way from his king and the king’s rook is not well placed, since it has abandoned its natural post on f8, which now enables White to launch a sequence of sacrifices like a cascade. 1 Nxg7! Kxg7 2 Rxf7+! We have already seen this idea of sacrificing the rook to allow the entry of the queen, although this time it was preceded by the knight sacrifice. 2...Kxf7 3 Qh7+ Kf6 3...Kf8? allows 4 Bh6#. 4 e5+!! This move functions: a) as a clearance sacrifice, vacating the e4-square for the white knight; b) as a sacrifice to induce self-blocking, if the pawn is captured by the pawn or the knight; and finally c) as a decoy, if Black captures with the king, as in the game. 4...Kxe5 4...Kf5 5 Qf7+. 5 Bf4+!! An extraordinary move, making way for the a1-rook. 5...Kxf4 Or: 5...Kd4 6 Qxg6 Rg8 7 Ne2#; 5...Nxf4 6 Re1+ Kd4 (6...Kf6

7 Ne4+ Ke5 8 Qg7+ Kf5 9 Ng3#) 7 Qe4#. 6 Rf1+ Kg4 Or: 6...Ke5 7 Qg7+ and mate; 6...Kg5 7 Ne4+ Kg4 8 Qxg6+ Kh3 9 Qh5+ Bh4 10 Ng5#; 6...Ke3 7 Qh3+ Kd4 8 Ne2+ Ke5 9 Qe3#. 7 h3+ 1-0 7...Kg5 and 7...Kg3 are both mated by 8 Ne4#. A marvellous king-hunt.

White to play Bologan – Dao Thien Hai Moscow Olympiad 1994 In this episode from the Moscow Olympiad, the Moldavian grandmaster Viktor Bologan faced the young Vietnamese phenomenon Dao Thien Hai, just sixteen years old. The position is complicated, and both sides have threats, but the presence of the pawns advanced to the sixth rank gives White the advantage, as he will demonstrate in the sequence that follows. 1 Bxf5! 1 Rxf5! is also strong. 1...exd3 1...Rxf5? 2 Rxf5 exd3 loses to 3 Qe6+, mating. 2 Be6+! Kh8 3 Bxc8! Rxc8 4 d7 Rg8 5 Qxd3 White is threatening both 6 Bg5 and 6 Bxh6. 5...Be7 6 Bxh6!! gxh6 7 Qe3 Rg7 7...Bg5? 8 Qe5+.

8 Rf7! 8 Qxh6+ Kg8. 8...Rxg6 8...Rxf7 loses to 9 gxf7. 9 Rxe7 Rf6 10 Re8+ Kg7 11 Qg3+ Rg6 12 Qe5+ 1-0 It’s mate after 12...Kh7 13 Rh8# or 12...Kf7 13 Qe7#. The immediate 2 Bxc8? would have failed to 2...dxe2 3 Be6+ Rf7!!, whereas in the game the preparatory check 2 Be6+! meant that 2...Kh8 3 Bxc8! dxe2? would allow mate in one.

Black to play Schiffers – Chigorin Match (game 13), St Petersburg 1897 In this curious position, Black has only a bishop (and a doubled pawn!) for the enemy queen, but if he is suffering from an unpleasant material inferiority, in return all his pieces enjoy powerful positions. Notice, for example, the impressive range of both bishops, as well as the open files commanded by the rooks. The knight, which seems to occupy a modest position, should also have its say, as we shall learn in due course. However, it is difficult to believe the events that could have unfolded on the board, before one has played through them two or three times: 1...Rh1+!! With so few troops, Black sacrifices a rook! In the game, Black missed his chance, playing 1...b6? and the game was drawn

after further errors by both sides. 2 Nxh1 Bh2+!! And now a bishop. What is this: manna from heaven, or perhaps hara-kiri? In fact Black wants to draw the white king onto the h-file and this is the only way to do it. 3 Kxh2 Rh8+ 4 Kg3 The king must go forward: if 4 Kg1, 4...Rxh1#. 4...Nf5+ Here is the ‘modest’ contribution of the taciturn knight. 5 Kf4 If 5 Kg4, the answer is the same. 5...Rh4# Black has been able to optimize his three remaining pieces, and with the skeleton of pawns on the kingside has created a spider’s web for the white king. The position which follows constitutes the optimal version Damiano’s Mate, with multiple piece sacrifices.


Black to play NN – Mason USA (simul.) 1878 At times masters also conceded the white pieces in simultaneous exhibitions. Here we shall see a marvel, from a position with absolute equality of material. 1...Bb5! Not 1...Bxa4? 2 Rxf5 Ng3+ 3 hxg3 hxg3+ 4 Kg1 Qxf5 5 Nxg3, with an unclear outcome.

2 axb5 Nhg3+! 3 Nxg3 Nxg3+ 4 hxg3 hxg3+ 5 Kg1 Rh1+!! The thematic sacrifice, initiating the final manoeuvre. 6 Kxh1 Rh8+ 7 Kg1 Bc5+! 8 Nxc5 Rh1+! The second rook sacrifice, making way for the entry of the queen. 9 Kxh1 Qh8+ 10 Kg1 Qh2# This combination is a veritable gem, of the sort that should be kept in a velvet case, although always close at hand, ready to be brought out and exhibited to real lovers of the game of chess. James Mason (1849-1905) was of Irish stock and adopted that name (his real name is unknown) when his family emigrated to the USA in 1861. He learned to play chess in a Hungarian cafe in New York, where he worked as a shoe-shine boy. Between 1880 and 1890 he was ranked among the ten best players in the world. He never managed to fulfil the expectations that he raised, but, as well as rubbing shoulders with the best players, he wrote several notable books on chess, including The Art of Chess (1895), which ran to numerous editions.

27: Exceptional Combinations We have included here various combinations against the castled king which, on account of their exceptional and brilliant qualities, have escaped classification among the previous chapters. They might contain more or fewer sacrifices than those in ‘Sacrificial Sequences’ (the final section of Chapter 26), but in any case we are dealing here with more complicated combinations and moves which are more difficult to find and execute successfully.

White to play Karpov – Shirov Biel 1992 Anatoly Karpov, who held the title of World Champion for so many years, understood the serious weakness that Black has on his light squares and he conceived a plan to exploit this, in combination with another weakness: that of the back rank. His attack on the light squares is exemplary, although untypical. 1 Qg4! Qc6 The rook cannot be taken: 1...Rxa7? 2 Qe6+ Kh8 3 Qe8#. 2 Rxb7! An exchange sacrifice at the other side of the board, which not only has repercussions on Black’s castled position, but which also makes a great deal of sense, since it eliminates the light-squared bishop.

2...Qxb7 3 Qe6+ Kh8 3...Kf8 4 Bh7 is winning for White. 4 Be4! 1-0 Black resigned in view of the variations 4...Qa6 5 Ng6+ Kh7 6 Ne5+ Kh8 7 Nf7+ Kg8 8 Nxh6++ Kh8 9 Qg8+ Rxg8 10 Nf7# and 4...Ra1+ 5 Kh2 Qb8+ 6 f4 f5 7 Ng6+ Kh7 8 Qxf5 Qg8 9 Ne7+ g6 10 Qg4.

White to play E. Vladimirov – Donchev Hallsberg (Under-18) 1975 In this complicated position, with three queens on the board (two black ones), White exhibits great precision in the calculation of an extraordinary sequence of play. 1 Rxh7+! Kg8 2 Qc4+ Rd5 Not 2...Kf8? 3 Qf7#. 3 Qc8+!! The key to the combination. Not 3 Bxd5+? Kf8 4 Qc8+ Qe8 5 Qf5+ Ke7 6 Qe6+ Kd8 7 Qb6+ Ke7 8 Qe6+, when White has only a draw by perpetual check. 3...Bf8 4 Rh8+! Qxh8 4...Kxh8 5 Qxf8#. 5 Qe6+ 1-0 5...Kg7 6 Qf7#. The power of the pawns on g5 and g6 has made itself felt. Black controlled all the dark squares but White was lord and master of the light squares! The sacrifice of the rook on h8 forced a self-blocking that was worthy of a

composed problem or study.

White to play Tibensky – Franzen Stary Smokovec 1985 The control that White exerts over the d-file is unquestionable, as also are the dark-squared weaknesses in Black’s castled position, where the white king has undertaken a long triumphal march. 1 Kh6! Threatening 2 Qxg6+! fxg6 3 Rg7+ Kh8 4 Rdd7. 1...Rfc8 2 Rxf7! An excellent and difficult sacrifice that opens a path for the queen. 2...Kxf7 3 Qxg6+ Ke7 3...Kf8 4 Rd7. 4 Qf6+ Ke8 5 Nd6+! cxd6 5...Kd7 6 Ne4+!. 6 Qxe6+ Kf8 Or 6...Kd8 7 Rxd6+ (not 7 exd6? Qe3!) 7...Qxd6 8 exd6 and White will win further material. 7 exd6 Rb7 7...Qc3 8 Qe7+ Kg8 9 Kg6 Qc2+ 10 f5. 8 d7 Rxd7 8...Rb6 9 d8Q+ Rxd8 10 Rxd8#. 9 Rxd7 Qc6 9...Rc6 10 Rd8#.

10 Rf7+ Kg8 11 Rg7++ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 11...Kf8 12 Rg8# and 11...Kh8 12 Rh7#.

White to play Gufeld – Tal USSR Ch, Tbilisi 1959 In this explosive position with opposite-side castling and both kings under threat, White has the advantage of the move. 1 Rxg6! If 1 cxb3? Black could play 1...Qc6! 2 Rxg6 Ra1+! and with this familiar sacrificial manoeuvre, the white king is shut in a cage: 3 Kxa1 Qc1+ 4 Ka2 Ra8+. 1...Rfa8 Not 1...Qxf2 2 Rxg7+ Kxg7 3 Qg4+ Kf7 4 Rf3+, or 1...bxc2+ 2 Qxc2 Rfa8 3 Qb3+ Qf7 4 Rxg7+ Kxg7 5 Nf5+. 2 cxb3 Qf7 2...Ra1+ 3 Kc2 Qf4 4 Qe3! Rf1 5 Nf5! Rxf2+ 6 Kc3. 3 Rxg7+!! Kxg7 3...Qxg7 is met by 4 Rg3. 4 Nf5+ Kg8 5 Qg4+ Rg6 6 Ne7+ Kg7 6...Qxe7 7 Qxg6+ Qg7 8 Qe6+ Qf7 9 Rh8+ Kg7 10 Rh7+. 7 Nxg6 Qxb3 7...Qxg6 8 Qd7+. 8 Nxe5+ Kf6 9 Qg6+ Kxe5 10 d4+ 1-0 Winning the queen is more than sufficient to make Black resign, though White could have mated by 10 f4+ Kd4

(10...Kxf4 11 Qf5#) 11 Qg1#. The variation of the Sicilian Defence that arises after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Qb6 8 Qd2 Qxb2 is known as the Poisoned Pawn Variation. This expression is self-explanatory, because the consequences of accepting the gambit pawn on b2 are usually unfathomable and the players who enter this jungle must know a great deal of analysis and be prepared to face a tense and nerve-wracking struggle. This was what happened in the following hard fight between two Argentinean players, in which White played one of the most spectacular combinations of the 1980s.

White to play Mahia – Quinteros Los Polvorines 1980 three active pieces, including the queen, and wants pawn up by taking on g7. However, the tension of has not yet allowed him to develop his queenside, prove decisive.

Black has to stay a the game which will 1 Ne4!! The best continuation of the attack, if not the only one. The idea is to make way for the rook on b3 to move to the kingside. 1...Qxe4 Or: 1...Be7? 2 Rxf7! Kxf7 3 Qxh7 and the pawn queens; 1...Rxe4 2 Rh3! (not 2 Bh5? Bc5+ 3 Kh1 Qf5!) 2...Qxg7 3 Rg3 and White regains some material while keeping a strong attack;

e.g., 3...Qg6 4 Bd3!. 2 Bh5 Rd7 The only move. After 2...f5? 3 Bf7+! Kxf7 4 Qxh7 Black cannot prevent 5 g8Q+. 3 Rd3! Bc5+ Or 3...f5 4 Bf7+!, as in the previous line. 4 Kh1 Bd4 4...Qxd3 5 cxd3 Bd4 is best met by 6 Rf4 intending Rg4, when either Bxf7+ or Qxh7+ will force the pawn through with decisive effect. 5 Rg3! Nc6 It looks as though Black has gained a breathing space... 6 Bg6!! This move rocks the black position. 6...Qxg6 Forced, as can easily be verified. 7 Rxg6 Ne7 The g6-square continues to be a safe haven for White, since neither pawn can capture the rook. The knight move controls g8, since White was threatening 8 Qxh7+!, followed by 9 g8Q+. 8 Rxf7! Kxf7 9 g8Q+! Nxg8 10 Qxh7+ 1-0 Mate follows: 10...Kf8 (or 10...Ke8) 11 Rxg8#. Quite an attacking exhibition!

White to play Stoltz – H. Steiner Saltsjöbaden Interzonal 1952

White has sacrificed a piece for two pawns and he has certainly made a mess of Black’s castled position, which has lost all its pawns. However, although the three pieces protecting the black king are not exactly a model of coordination, it seems that the attack has reached a dead end. 1 d5!? The long dark diagonal cries out to be opened, but it does not seem to be possible now, since it involves sacrificing the queen for a single rook. The simpler 1 Qxd8+ Rxd8 2 h5, followed by d5, is also rather strong. 1...Rxg5 2 hxg5 Ne7 To hinder the pawn advance g6. 3 Ng4 Threatening simply 4 Nf6. 3...Qc8? 3...Qe8 leads to some difficult lines, but White is better: 4 Rh6! (intending Rdh1 or Nf6; not 4 Nf6? Qg6) and then: a) 4...Qg6 5 Rxg6 Bxg6 6 Re1! Nf5 7 Nh6 intending Rh1!. b) 4...Qc8 requires a different answer compared to ...Qc8 one more earlier: 5 Rdh1! (making use of the fact that White can double rooks; not 5 g6? Nxg6 6 Nf6 Nf8 7 Rg1 Qf5 8 Nxh7 Qxf4+ and Black wins thanks to the rook being loose on h6) 5...Qf5 6 g6 Qxf4+ 7 Kd1 Qxh6 8 Nxh6 Nxg6 9 Nf7+ Kg8 10 Ng5 and White regains the material with an advantage. c) 4...Nf5 5 Nf6 Nxh6 (5...Qg6 6 Rxg6 Bxg6 7 Rh1+; 5...Qg8 6 Rh3! intending Rdh1) 6 Nxe8 Rxe8 7 gxh6 with a somewhat better ending for White. 4 g6!! Not 4 Nf6? Qf5. 4...Qxg4 4...Nxg6 is a better try, but after 5 Nf6 Qg8 (5...Nf8 6 Rdg1 Qf5 7 Nxh7 and White wins – compare line ‘ b ’ of the note to Black’s 3rd move) 6 Rh6!, Black is tied up and lacks a viable counter to White’s intention of Rdh1. 5 Rxh7+ Kg8 6 Rxg7+ Kf8 7 Rf7+ Ke8 8 Re1 Qxg6 9 Rexe7+ Kd8 10 Bf6 Qxf6 11 Rxf6?! 11 Rd7+ Ke8 12 Rxf6 Kxd7 13 Rf7+ is a little finesse to ensure a more simply won ending. 1-0 Black lost on time, but the rook ending arising after 11...Kxe7 12 Re6+ Kf7 13 Kd2 is winning for White. Gösta Stoltz was a car mechanic and only a semi-professional

of chess. A brilliant combinative player, he had no great tournament successes, although he won both his matches against Isaac Kashdan (in 1930) and Salo Flohr (in 1931), the latter being an experienced match player and one of the best players in the world at that time. Stoltz participated, on merit, in the Interzonals of 1948 and 1952. He also represented his country, Sweden, in nine Olympiads. In the 1930s Sweden gained the best results in its history, thanks, precisely, to the top three boards, Ståhlberg, Lundin and Stoltz, nicknamed the three musketeers . In the 1940s Stoltz won tournaments in Munich 1941 (ahead of Alekhine by a point and a half) and Prague 1946. Alekhine said of Stoltz that he had “a very refined sense for coming up with unusual ideas”. We have just seen one of those ideas.

Black to play Averbakh – Kotov Zurich Candidates 1953 In this contest, which took place in the most important tournament of the day, the winner of which would become the challenger for the world championship title, a sensational combination occurred, which however, contained just a single sacrifice. Naturally, it was a queen sacrifice and it was in exchange for just a single pawn. 1...Qxh3+!! An incredible, marvellous and winning sacrifice. 2 Kxh3 Rh6+ 3 Kg4

The only move. Drawing the king out into the open in this manner provides the justification for the sacrifice. Of course, Kotov has foreseen, if only roughly, most of the possibilities that it offers. 3...Nf6+ 4 Kf5 Grandmaster David Bronstein wrote: “To understand the next stage of the game, we must keep in mind that Kotov had very little time left and, naturally, he did not want to ruin such a beautiful game by making a hasty move. He decides, therefore, to give a few checks to reach [the time-control] and be able to adjourn the game. That there are possibilities of mate in the position is unquestionable and surely Kotov saw them sketchily when he [sacrificed his queen].” 4...Nd7 “If the queen sacrifice had been totally and absolutely calculated, Kotov would have played here 4...Ng4, after which White would have to incur huge losses to prevent the mate” (Bronstein). After 4...Ng4! a possible continuation is 5 Rxg4 (5 fxg4 Rf8#; 5 Kxg4 Rg8+ 6 Kf5 Rf6#; 5 Bh4 seems to be the only move to prolong the defence, but there is mate in five: 5...Rf8+ 6 Bf6+ Rfxf6+ 7 Kxg4 Rfg6+ 8 Kf5 Rh5+ 9 Rg5 Rhxg5#) 5...Rf8#. With the text-move, Black threatens mate in three, starting with 5...Rf8+ 6 Kg4 Rg8+ 7 Kf5 Rf6#. 5 Rg5 The only move. 5...Rf8+ 6 Kg4 Nf6+ 7 Kf5 Ng8+ 8 Kg4 Nf6+ 9 Kf5 “The position has been repeated twice, but Black has captured a pawn and so the count begins again” (Bronstein). 9...Nxd5+ 10 Kg4 Nf6+ 11 Kf5 Ng8+ 12 Kg4 Nf6+ 13 Kf5 Ng8+ 14 Kg4 Bxg5 15 Kxg5 Relatively best “but even the best is desperate for White” (Bronstein). 15 Be3 is met by, e.g., 15...Nf6+ 16 Kf5 Ng4+! 17 Kxg4 Rg8! threatening 18...Be7+ 19 Kf5 Rg5#. 15...Rf7 Threatening mate in two with 16...Rg7+ 17 Kf5 Rf6#. 16 Bh4 Rg6+ 17 Kh5 Rfg7 18 Bg5 Here 18...Rh6# was threatened. 18...Rxg5+ 19 Kh4 Nf6 Threatening mate on h5. 20 Ng3 Rxg3 21 Qxd6 R3g6 22 Qb8+ Rg8 0-1 The next move would be 23...Rh6#.

Training Positions: Third Set Easiest Positions

205) White to play solution

206) White to play solution

207) White to play solution

208) Black to play solution

209) White to play solution

210) Black to play solution

211) White to play solution

212) White to play solution

213) White to play solution

214) White to play solution

215) Black to play solution

216) White to play solution

217) White to play solution

218) White to play solution

219) White to play solution

220) Black to play solution

221) Black to play solution

222) White to play solution

223) Black to play solution

Medium Difficulty

224) White to play solution

225) White to play solution

226) White to play solution

227) White to play solution

228) White to play solution

229) White to play solution

230) White to play solution

231) White to play solution

232) Black to play solution

233) White to play solution

234) White to play solution

235) White to play solution

236) White to play solution

237) White to play solution

238) White to play solution

239) White to play solution

240) Black to play solution

241) White to play solution

242) White to play solution

243) White to play solution

244) White to play solution

245) White to play solution

246) White to play solution

247) White to play solution

248) Black to play solution

249) Black to play solution

250) Black to play solution

251) White to play solution

252) Black to play solution

253) White to play solution

254) White to play solution

255) White to play solution

256) Black to play solution

257) White to play solution

258) Black to play solution

259) Black to play solution

260) White to play solution

261) White to play solution

262) Black to play solution

263) White to play solution

264) White to play solution

265) White to play solution

266) White to play solution

267) White to play solution

268) White to play solution

269) White to play solution

270) White to play solution

271) White to play solution

272) White to play solution

273) Black to play solution

274) White to play solution

275) White to play solution

276) White to play solution

277) White to play solution

278) White to play solution

279) Black to play solution

280) White to play solution

281) White to play solution

282) Black to play solution

283) Black to play solution

284) Black to play solution

Difficult Positions

285) Black to play solution

286) Black to play solution

287) White to play solution

288) Black to play solution

289) White to play solution

290) White to play solution

291) White to play solution

292) White to play solution

293) White to play solution

294) White to play solution

295) Black to play solution

296) Black to play solution

297) Black to play solution

298) White to play solution

299) White to play solution

300) White to play solution

301) White to play solution

302) Black to play solution

303) Black to play solution

304) White to play solution

305) White to play solution

306) White to play solution

307) White to play solution

308) White to play solution

309) Black to play solution

310) White to play solution

311) White to play solution

312) White to play solution

313) White to play solution

314) White to play solution

315) White to play solution

316) White to play solution

317) White to play solution

Solutions to the Training Positions First Set

1) White to play Peredun – Djerković North Bay 1999 1 Qxf7+! 1-0 1...Rxf7 2 Rb8+ and mate follows. back

2) White to play Berger – Koss Graz 1882 1 Qa8+ Kh7 2 Qh8+! Nxh8 3 Rg7# back

3) White to play Beeckmans – J. Renet Belgian Team Ch 1998/9 1 Rf8+! 1-0 1...Kxf8 2 Qh8#. back

4) White to play Stelting – Schröter Travemünde 1996 1 Ng6+! hxg6 2 Rh1# back

5) Black to play Baran – Lukasiewicz Polish Team Ch, Suwalki 1999 1...Qxh2+! 0-1 2 Kxh2 Rh4#. back

6) Black to play Schenk – Vallejo World Under-18 Ch, Oropesa del Mar 1999 1...Rb1! 0-1 There’s no way to avoid mate on g2. back

7) Black to play Lohmann – Teschner West German Ch, Bad Pyrmont 1950 1...Bb4# (0-1) back

8) White to play Radjabov – D. Kovaljov European Under-18 Ch, Litohoro 1999 1 Qxf7+! 1-0 1...Rxf7 2 Re8#. back

9) White to play 1 Qg6+! hxg6 2 Bxg6# back

10) White to play J. Popović – Shtereva European Under-16 Girls Ch, Litohoro 1999 1 Rh8+! 1-0 1...Bxh8 2 Qh7#. back

11) White to play Stevanec – Lovraković Croatian Women’s Team Ch, Pula 1999 1 Qxh7+! 1-0 1...Kxh7 2 Rh5#. back

12) Black to play: mate in 2 Lajić – Poljak Croatian Women’s Team Ch, Pula 1999 1...Rxh3+! 2 Kxh3 2 Bxh3 Qg1#. 2...Qg3# (0-1) back

13) Black to play Vatnikov – Borovoi 1957 1...Qb1+ 2 Bc1 2 Kd2 Qxc2#. 2...Re1+! 0-1 White is mated: 3 Kxe1 Qxc1# or 3 Qxe1 Qxc2#. back

14) White to play Müller – Kühne Germany 1912 1 Qxh7+! Kxh7 2 Rh3+ Rh6 3 Rxh6# back

15) White to play Zukertort – Anderssen Berlin 1865 1 Qg5+! 1 Bg5+ also wins. 1...hxg5 2 Bxg5# (1-0) back

16) White to play Stohl – Jirovsky Presov 1999 1 Qxe7! Rxe7 2 Nxg6# (1-0) back

17) White to play Keres – Alekhine Margate 1937 1 Qxd7+ 1-0 1...Rxd7 2 Re8+ Rd8 3 Rdxd8# (or 3 Rexd8#). back

18) White to play Fleischmann – NN Bamberg 1930 1 Rf8+ Rxf8 2 Qh8+! Kxh8 3 exf8Q# A typical promotion trick in this kind of position. back

19) White to play Hector – S. Pedersen Oxford 1998 1 Qxa6! 1-0 1...bxa6 2 Rb8#. back

20) White to play Alekhine – Vasić Banja Luka (simul.) 1931 1 Qxe6+ fxe6 2 Bg6# (1-0) back

21) White to play Collins – Spanton Hastings 2009/10 1 Rh5! 1-0 1...gxh5 2 Qf6#. back

22) White to play Sanden – Nyberg Swedish Team Ch 1998/9 1 Qh7+! 1-0 Black is mated: 1...Kxh7 2 Bxf7# or 1...Kf8 2 Bb4+ Ke8 Qg8#. back


23) Black to play 1...Qxg5! 2 hxg5 Kg6# back

24) Black to play Sköld – Lundin Stockholm – Gothenburg 1943 1...Qxf2+! 0-1 2 Rxf2 Rb1+ 3 Rf1 Rbxf1# (or 3...Rfxf1#). back

25) Black to play Barcza – Tarnowski Szczawno Zdroj 1950 Black played 1...Rg3?? and went on to lose. He could have forced mate by: 1...Qf3+! 2 Rxf3 Rb1+ back

26) White to play Barkwinkel – Djordjević 1975 1 Qxd4+! 1-0 Mate follows: 1...cxd4 2 Bf6# or 1...f6 2 Bxf6+ Rxf6 3 Qxf6#. back

27) White to play Pfleger – Domnitz Tel-Aviv Olympiad 1964 1 Rxb7+! 1-0 1...Nxb7 2 Na6#. back

28) White to play West – Booth Australian Ch, Melbourne 1993 1 Qf7+! Bxf7 2 Nf6# (1-0) back

29) White to play E. del Rio Sopra il Giuoco degli Scacchi , 1750 1 Qh7+! Nxh7 2 Ng6+ Kg8 3 Bd5# back

30) Black to play: mate in 5 1...Ng3+! 2 hxg3 hxg3+ 3 Nh3+ Rxh3+ 4 gxh3 g2+ 5 Kh2 g1Q# back

31) White to play Tregubov – Kraidman Gausdal 1994 1 Rh6! 1-0 Black resigned in view of: 1...Bxd4 2 Qxh7#; 1...Qxd4 2 Rxh7+! Kxh7 3 Qg6+ Kh8 4 Qh5+ Bh6 5 Qxh6#; 1...Qe8 2 Bxg7+ Rxg7 3 Qxe8+, etc. back

32) Black to play Bohl – Ehlert Riga 1901 1...Ng4! 2 fxg4 Qh2+! 3 Kxh2 Bf2+ and mate follows. back

33) White to play Evans – Bisguier USA Ch, New York 1958/9 1 Qa3+ Qe7 1...Kg8 2 Bxh7+ Rxh7 3 Rxe6. 2 Bc6! 1-0 2...Qxa3 3 Rxe8#. back

34) White to play Gundin – Bondarevsky Paris 1927 1 Re8+! Rxe8 2 Qg4+! Qxg4 3 Nf6# back

35) Black to play Bories – Shoulds Bradford 1914 1...Qxd2+ 2 Kxd2 Bg5+ 3 Kd3 Re3+ 4 Kd2 Re4+ Kd3 c4# back


36) White to play A. Horvath – Alvarez Marquez World Under-18 Ch, Oropesa del Mar 1999 1 Qxh7+! Kxh7 1-0 Black resigned before White could play 2 Rh3+ Kg8 3 Rbg3+ Kf8 4 Rh8#. back

37) White to play M. Gasparian – P. Ornstein World Girls Ch, Erevan 1999 1 Nf6! 1 Nc5! also wins. 1-0 1...Bxf6 2 Qxa7+ Kxa7 3 Ra3+ Kb8 4 Ra8#. back

38) White to play Bird – Steinitz London (casual game) 1866 1 Re1+ Be7 2 Qg8+ Rf8 3 f7# (1-0) back

39) White to play 1 Qh6 Rg8 2 Qxh7+! Kxh7 3 Rh3# back

40) White to play Prucha – Rubanek Czechoslovakia 1957 1 Qxe4!! Qxe4 2 Ne7+! Rxe7 3 Rc8+ and mate follows (3...Re8 4 Rxe8#). back

41) White to play 1 Qg5+! Qxg5 2 Re8+ Bf8 3 Rxf8# back

42) White to play Duppel – G. Schmidt 2nd Bundesliga 1998/9 1 Qg8+!! 1-0 1...Rxg8 2 Rxg8+ Kxg8 3 Ra8#. back

43) Black to play Alterman – Avrukh Tel-Aviv 1999 1...Qxf4! 0-1 White resigned in view of 2 exf4 Bd4+, with a surprising B+N mate with so many pieces on the board, and 2 Bxg3 Qxg3, with an extra piece and a double attack on the h3-pawn and the e1-rook. back

44) White to play Kosten – Reefat bin Sattar British Ch, Scarborough 1999 1 Qxf3! 1-0 Mate follows after 1...Rxf3 2 Re8+, while 1...Qxg6 2 Qxf8+ is hopeless for Black. back

45) White to play Keres – Mikenas Tbilisi 1946 1 Nc5! 1-0 White wins after 1...dxc5 2 Rxd7 or 1...bxc5 2 Ra3. back

46) Black to play I. Farago – Rigo Hungarian Ch, Budapest 1976 1...Qg4+! 0-1 2 Bxg4 Rxg4+ 3 Kh1 Bg2+ 4 Kg1 Bf3#. back

47) Black to play Reiner – Steinitz Vienna 1860 1...Qh4!! 2 Rg2 Or: 2 Rxh4 Rg1#; 2 Rxg8+ Rxg8 with a double threat mate on g1 and h2. 2...Qxh2+! 3 Rxh2 Rg1# (0-1) back


48) Black to play Yermolinsky – San Segundo Madrid 1998 1...Rxd6! 0-1 After 2 exd6 Qb7 White cannot avoid mate on the light-square diagonal. back


49) White to play Gereben – Troianescu Budapest 1952 1 Qxg6+! 1-0 1...fxg6 2 f7+! Qxf7 3 Rh8#. back

50) Black to play Ugoltsev – Ashin USSR 1976 1...Qe1!! 0-1 Black threatens 2...Qf2+ 3 Kh1 Qxh2#, and if 2 Qxe1, 2...Nf3+ 3 Kh1 Rxh2#. back

51) Black to play McNab – B. Lalić East Kilbride 1998 1...Rxf3! 0-1 2 Rxf3 Qxf3+ 3 Qxf3 Rg1#. back

52) White to play Krejcik – Mayer Vienna 1928 1 Qxh5+! Nxh5 2 Rf8+ Rxf8 3 gxf8Q# back

53) White to play Abrosimov – Ambailis Latvia 1975 1 R1xd4! exd4 2 Qxh7+! Kxh7 3 Rh5# back

54) Black to play I. Polgar – T. Bjerre Dresden (team event) 1969 1...Qg1+ 2 Kb2 a3+ 0-1 3 Kxa3 Qc1#. back

55) White to play 1 Nh6++! Kh8 2 Qg8+! Rxg8 3 Nf7# back

56) Black to play 1...Qd6+ 2 Kh3 Nf4+ 3 Kg3 Nh5++ 4 Kh3 Qg3+ Rxg3 Nf4# back


57) White to play Fine – Simonson USA 1936 1 Nf6!! 1-0 Black is mated after 1...gxf6 2 Qxf7#, 1...Qh5 2 Qxc8+! Rxc8 3 Re8+ Rxe8 4 Rxe8# or 1...Rxc4 2 Re8+ Rxe8 3 Rxe8#. back

58) White to play Tokmachev – Schreiber Budapest 1999 1 e7+! Rxe7 2 Rf4+! 1-0 2...Nxf4 3 Rxh8#. back

59) White to play De Santis – Sansonetti Castellaneta 1999 1 Rg4+ Kh7 2 Qxe7+! 1-0 2...Bxe7 3 Rxe7+ and mate. back

60) White to play Gass – Taksis Esslingen 1968 1 Qh7+! Kxh7 2 Nf6++ Kh8 3 Ng6# back

61) White to play 1 Qe6+ Kh8 1...Kf8 allows 2 Qf7# or 2 Nxh7#. 2 Nf7+ Kg8 3 Nh6++ Kh8 3...Kf8 4 Qf7#. 4 Qg8+!! Rxg8 5 Nf7# back

62) White to play 1 Qg8+! Rxg8 2 Ng6+! hxg6 3 Rh1# back

63) White to play Velimirović – Simić Yugoslav Team Ch, Cetinje 1991 1 Nf6+! 1-0 It’s mate after 1...Kf8 2 Qxf7#, 1...Kh8 2 Qxh7# or 1...Bxf6 2 Qxf7+ Kh8 3 Qxf6#. back

64) Black to play N. Zečević – T. Trtanj Croatian Women’s Team Ch, Pula 1999 1...Qxf3! 0-1 2 gxf3 Ng4++ 3 Kh1 Rh2#. back

65) Black to play S. Wong – Basanta Canadian Open, Richmond 1999 1...Qh4+ 2 Qh3 Rh1+! 0-1 3 Kxh1 Qxh3+ 4 Kg1 Qxg2#. back

66) White to play Sermek – Gerencer Pula 1999 1 Qh6! 1-0 It’s mate after 1...gxh5 2 Qxh7# or 1...Rfe8 2 Qxh7+ Kf8 3 Qh8+ Ke7 4 Re5#. back

67) White to play Egenberger – Schumacher 1959 1 Qd2! Qxd2 2 Ne7+ Kh8 3 Nf7# back

68) White to play Slinning – Johnsen Correspondence 1963 1 Qg6!! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...hxg5 2 Nf6+ Kh8 3 Qh7# 1...fxg6 2 Ne7++ Kh8 3 Nxg6#. back


69) White to play Kapnisis – Manafov European Under-18 Ch, Litohoro 1999 1 Bxf7! Kxf7 1...Nc5 2 Nxe6+ Nxe6 3 Bxe6, threatening the c8-rook and 4 Qh5. 2 Qh5+ 1-0 Black is mated after 2...Kg8 3 Qg6+ Kf8 4 Nxe6#, and if 2...Kf8, the same mate takes place in a different move-order: 3 Nxe6+ Kg8 4 Qg6#. back

70) White to play Katalymov – Mukhin Kazakh Ch, Aktiubinsk 1976 1 Bxe4 fxe4 2 Qd8+! 1-0 2...Kxd8 3 Nc6++ Ke8 4 Rd8#. back

71) White to play S. Johnston – Marshall Chicago (3) 1899 1 Ne7++ Kh8 2 Ng6+! hxg6 3 hxg3+ Qh4 4 (1-0) back


72) White to play Spielmann – Hönlinger Vienna (8) 1929 1 Ne7+! 1-0 Black is mated after 1...Kh8 2 Qxh7+! Kxh7 1...Qxe7 2 Qxh7+! Kxh7 3 Rh5+ Kg8 4 Rh8#. back

3 Rh5#


73) White to play 1 Nd5! Opening the way for the e1-rook. 1...cxd5 2 Rxh7+! Kxh7 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Re7 Black has no defence against the mate threat on the seventh rank. back

74) Black to play C. Foisor – Wegerer Cappelle la Grande 1998 1...e5! 2 dxe5 Bxh3+ 0-1 3 Qxh3 Rg6+ 4 Kh2 Qf2+. back

75) Black to play 1...Qxe5! 2 dxe5 Bc5+ 3 Rf2 Ng3 There follows 4...Rh1#. back

76) Black to play Schulten – Morphy New York (blindfold) 1857 1...Nf3+! 2 gxf3 Qd4+ 3 Kg2 Qf2+ 4 Kh3 Qxf3+ 0-1 5 Kh4 Nh6 6 h3 Nf5+ 7 Kg5 Qh5#. back

77) White to play Skalička – Haida Prague – Brno 1933 1 b4! Qxb5 2 Nc7+! Rxc7 3 Qxc6+ If Black captures the queen there follows 4 Rd8#, while 3...Bd7 is met by 4 Qxb5, etc. back

78) White to play Tal – NN Berlin 1978 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Rh3+ Kg8 3 Nf5! Not 3 Qh5? f6. 3...Qg5 4 Qh5! 1-0 4...f6 5 Ne7# or 4...Qxh5 5 Ne7+ Kh7 6 Rxh5#. back

79) White to play Palatnik – Sveshnikov Leningrad 1976 1 Rd8+! Kh7 1...Rxd8 2 Qxc3. 2 Qf5+ g6 3 Qxf7+ Qg7 4 Re7 1-0 4...Qxf7 5 Rxf7#. back

80) White to play Weissgerber – Rellstab German Ch, Bad Pyrmont 1933 1 Qd8+ Kg7 2 Rxg5+! hxg5 3 h6+! 1-0 3...Kxh6 4 Qh8+ Rh7 5 Qxh7#. back

81) Black to play Svorjov – V. Vladimirov Helsinki 1990 1...Nxf2! 2 Qb3 2 Kxf2 Qe3+ 3 Kf1 Bxg3. 2...Nd3 3 Rxc6 Qe3+ 4 Kh1 4 Kh2 Bxg3+! 5 Kxg3 Qf4#. 4...Bxg3 5 Rxg6 5 Bf1 Be4!. 5...Nf2+ 6 Kg1 Nxh3++ 7 Kh1 Qg1+!! 0-1 8 Nxg1 Nf2#. back

82) White to play Treybal – Henneberger The Hague 1928 1 Rxf6! Qe2 1...gxf6 2 Nxf6+ Kh8 3 Qg8#. 2 Rxh6+! 1-0 It’s mate: 2...Kxh6 3 Qg6# or 2...gxh6 3 Nf6+ Kh8 4 Qg8#. back

83) White to play V. Mikenas – Flohr Folkestone Olympiad 1933 1 Nxa7+ Bxa7 2 Qa3! 1-0 2...b6 allows 3 Rxb6! Bxb6 4 Qa8#, while 2...Bb8 is met by 3 Qa8. back

84) Black to play Efimov – Andreoli Varallo 1989 1...Rxe3! 2 Rxe3 Qd2+ 3 Kf3 3 Re2 Bxe2 4 Qxe2 Rxf4+. 3...Be2+! 0-1 4 Rxe2 Qxf4#. back

85) White to play Anderssen – Zukertort Barmen 1869 1 Qxh7+!! 1-0 1...Kxh7 2 f6+ Kg8 (2...Qxd3 3 Rh3+ Kg8 4 Rh8#) 3 Bh7+! Kxh7 4 Rh3+ Kg8 5 Rh8#. back

86) White to play Grossbach – Emmerich Vienna 1899 1 Nf6+! 1...Kh8 2 2 Qg4+ 3...Rxe1+

gxf6 Nxe8. Qg5 3 Bxf6!! 1-0 4 Rxe1 Qxg4 5 Re8#. back

87) Black to play Gheorghiu – Kasparov Thessaloniki Olympiad 1988 1...Bxb2+! 2 Qxb2 Qxb2+! 0-1 3 Rxb2 Rxc1+ 4 Rb1 Rxb1#. back

88) White to play Müller – NN Leipzig 1937 1 Rbf1! Rf7! Or: 1...Nf7 2 Rxg6+!; 1...Ne6 2 Qxe6+ Qxe6 3 Rf8+ Rxf8 4 Rxf8#. 2 Qd7! Ref8 3 Qe7! A quadruple attack on f8. Not 3 Bxf8? Rxd7. 1-0 There is no defence against 4 Qxf8+. back

89) White to play Timman – Korchnoi Reykjavik 1988 1 Rxf4! Rxf4 2 Be3 This is more than just a double attack, as we shall see. For the moment, Black must try to rescue his two attacked rooks. 2...Rg4+ 2...Rdd4 3 Bxd4 Rxd4 4 Rc5+ Kg6 (or 4...Kg4 5 b7 Rb4 6 Rc4+ and the pawn queens) 5 Rb5 Rd8 6 Kf3, with a won ending. 3 Kf3! 1-0 The final point is that if the rook moves from d2, it is mate on h6. back

90) White to play Kinmark – Ström Gothenburg 1927 1 Bf6! Qc5+ Or: 1...gxf6 2 Qh6 and there is no way to avoid mate on g7; 1...Qxf6 2 Nh6+ and 3 Rxf6. 2 Kh1 Qxc4 3 Qh6! 1-0 3...gxh6 4 Nxh6# is a typical B+N mate. back

91) Black to play Torres – Alekhine Seville (simul.) 1922 1...d4! 2 cxd4 cxd4 3 Bxd4 Now Black smashes through, but 3 Bg1 g5 is unlikely to lead to a better end for White in the long run. 3...Bxd4 4 Rxd4 Rxd4 5 Nxd4 Qxh3!! 6 gxh3 Nf2++ 7 Kg1 Nxh3# (0-1) back

92) Black to play Z. Nilsson – Geller Sweden-USSR, Stockholm 1954 1...Rxc2! 2 Qxc2 Or 2 Rxc2 Qb1+, followed by mate. 2...Qxc1+ 0-1 An X-ray: 3 Qxc1 Rxc1+ 4 Rf1 Rxf1#. back

93) Black to play Ivanović – Velimirović Yugoslav Ch, Subotica 1984 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Bh3+ 3 Kh1 Qf2! 4 Nxf4 exf4 5 Rg1 Rg8 0-1 back

94) Black to play Ustinov – Stein USSR Spartakiad 1965 1...Rd7! 0-1 2 Qxd7 Ng3+! 3 hxg3 Qh5#. back

95) White to play Manin – Ruderfer Tashkent 1979 1 Bh3! Qxh3 2 Rxf4! Bxf3+ 3 exf3 1-0 back

96) White to play Essegern – Kummer Halle 1969 1 Ne6! Rf6 1...Bxe6 2 Qxg6+ Rg7 3 Qe8#. 2 Rh8+! 1-0 2...Kxh8 3 Qh6+ Kg8 4 Qg7# or 2...Kf7 3 Rf8+ Kxe6 4 Qd5#. back

97) White to play Zaverniaev – Paromov USSR 1963 1 Rxe5! 1-0 Black resigned in view of: a) 1...dxe5 2 Bc4+ Kh8 (2...Rf7 3 Rd8#) 3 Ng6+! hxg6 4 Rh1+ and mate. b) 1...Rxf4 2 Re8+ Kf7 (2...Rf8 3 Bc4+) 3 Rxc8! Rxc8 4 gxf4, winning. back

98) White to play Reshevsky – Denker Syracuse 1934 1 Ng5! Nf6 1...Bxg5 2 Qh5+ g6 3 Bxg6+. 2 Rxf6! Bxf6 3 Qh5+ g6 4 Bxg6+ hxg6 5 Qxg6+ Ke7 5...Kf8 6 Qf7#. 6 Qf7+!? 6 Bc5# is a move quicker, but mating with a pawn is more artistic. 6...Kd6 7 c5# (1-0) back

99) Black to play Lind – Gulbrandsen Hamar 1970 1...Nf3+! 2 gxf3 Nh3+ 3 Kg2 3 Kh1 Bxf3#. 3...Bxf3+ 4 Kg3 Qh6 5 Bxg5 Rg8! 6 Nxf6 Rxg5+ Qxg5 Qxg5+ 8 Kxh3 Bg2# back


100) White to play Chepukaitis – Clanents USSR 1980 1 Qf6!! Rg8 1...Bxf6 2 Bxf6#. 2 Rxe6! Qxe6 2...fxe6 3 Nxg6+ hxg6 4 Qh4#. 3 Nxg6+ fxg6 3...hxg6 4 Qh4#. 4 Qxe6 1-0 back

101) White to play Sitnikov – Volinzev Odessa 1998 1 Bxb7+! Kxb7 2 Qc7+ Ka6 3 b4 Bb6 4 b5+ Ka5 Qb7! 1-0 Mate on a6 follows. back


102) Black to play Velimirović – Skembris Bar 1997 1...Bf3+! 0-1 2 Kg1 Ne2+ 3 Kh2 Rh8# or 2 Bxf3 Rxg6+ 3 Bg4 Rxg4+ 4 Kh3 Rg6, followed by 5...Rh8#. back

103) Black to play Agnos – Miladinović Greek Team Ch, Poros 1998 1...Rd2!! 2 Qc5 Or: 2 Rxd2 Rxe1+; 2 Rxe3 Qg2#. 2...Qg2+ 0-1 3 Rxg2 Rxe1#. back

104) Black to play Gleizerov – Nataf Stockholm 1998/9 1...Nc2!! 1...Qg5? 2 Bxd4 exd4 3 Qxd4. 2 Qxc2? Now Black wins instantly. White can fight on with 2 Bxe5 Ne3+ 3 Qxe3 fxe3 4 Bxg7+ Kxg7, but he loses in any case since he can’t save his knight thanks to the threat of ...Qh4. 2...Qg5 0-1 3 Ke1 Qg3+! 4 Kf1 Qg1# or 3 Bd3 Qg1+ 4 Ke2 Rg2#. back

105) White to play Maksimenko – Ghane Teheran 1999 1 Ne5 Bxg2 1...g6 2 Bxc6 Rxc6 3 Nxg6 cxb3 4 Ne5. 2 Qf7+ Kh8 3 Nd5! The threat is 4 Ng6+ Nxg6 5 Qxg7#. 3...Nxg5 Or: 3...Qxd5 4 Ng6+ Nxg6 5 Qxg7#; 3...Nf6 4 gxf6 gxf6 Nxf6 Bxf6 6 Ng6+ Nxg6 7 Bxf6#. 4 Ng6+ 1-0 5 Qxg7# follows. back


106) Black to play Vizantiadis – Spassky Siegen Olympiad 1970 1...R8xf3! 0-1 2 gxf3 Rxh2+! 3 Kxh2 Qh4+ 4 Kg2 Bh3+ 5 Kh1 Bf1#. back

107) White to play Rozentalis – King Mondorf 1991 1 Rxf7! Kxf7 2 Rb7+ Ke6 3 Re7+ Kd6 4 Qe5+ 1-0 4...Kc6 5 Qe6+ Rd6 6 Qxc8+ Kb6 7 Qb7#. back

108) Black to play Réti – Capablanca Berlin 1928 1...Bf3! 2 gxf3 2 Qd4 Qh3! 3 gxh3 (3 gxf3 Nxf3+ 4 Kh1 Qxh2#) 3...Rg8+. 2...Qh3 0-1 3 Qd5 c6 4 Qe4 Rg8+. back

109) White to play Perun – Kagansky Kiev 1997 1 Qxg7+! Rxg7 2 a8Q+ Rg8 3 Qa1+ Rg7 4 Qxg7# back

110) Black to play Hort – Gligorić Wijk aan Zee 1971 1...Rxb3+! 2 Bxb3 Qd3+ 0-1 White lost on time, but both 3 Bc2 Qb5+ and 3 Rcc2 Qd1+ lead to mate. back

111) Black to play Antonov – Marszalek Pernik 1984 1...Bd4! 2 Rxc1 Nf2+! 0-1 3 Qxf2 Qxc1+ and mate in two. back

112) White to play Tolush – Niemelä Riga 1959 1 Nxf7! Ba3 1...Kxf7 2 Qxg6+ Kf8 3 Qxh6+ Kg8 4 Bh7+ Kf7 5 Qg6+ Kf8 6 Qg8#. 2 Qxg6+ Kf8 3 Qf6 1-0 back

113) White to play McNab – Plaskett Southend (knockout) 1999 1 Qxe6+! 1-0 1...Bxe6 2 Bxe6+ Rxe6 (2...Kh8 3 Rxf8+ Rxf8 4 Rxf8#) Rxf8#. back


114) Black to play Robatsch – Hug Biel 1977 1...Rxh3! 2 gxh3 Nf3+ 3 Kg2 Qxe4! 4 Kh1 Ne1+ 5 f3 Rxf3! 6 Kg1 Rg3+ 0-1 7 Nxg3 Qg2#. back

115) White to play Padevsky – Tsinkov Bulgaria 1955 1 Rxg7+! Kh8 1...Kxg7 2 Ne6++. 2 Nc6! 1-0 Both 2...bxc6 and 2...Bxc6 are met by 3 Rg6+, mating. back

116) White to play Matsov – Stoilov Bulgaria 1975 1 Nxe4! Qg1+ 2 Ke2 Bg4+ 3 Kd2 Qxa1 4 Nf6++ 1-0 4...Kd8 5 Qe8#. back

117) White to play Bareev – Kupreichik USSR Team Ch, Podolsk 1990 1 Ne6! N6h5 Or: 1...Nxe6 2 Qxd2; 1...fxe6 2 Rxg6+ Kf7 3 Rg7+ Ke8 Qh8+. 2 Qf8+ Kh7 3 Ng5# (1-0) back


118) White to play I. Ivanov – Kakageldiev USSR 1979 1 f5! exf5 1...gxf5 2 Qe5 Qg7 3 Qf6, threatening 4 Rdh4. 2 Nxd5!! The immediate 2 Rdh4 allows 2...Qg7. 2...Bxd5 3 Rdh4 1-0 Now 3...Qg7 is no help because the e8-rook is unprotected. back

119) White to play Haïk – Skembris Vrnjačka Banja 1981 1 Rxf6! gxf6 2 Qh6 Re7 3 Nxf6+ Kh8 4 Ne8!! 1-0 4...Rxe8 5 Rf7. back

120) White to play; mate in 3 K. Richter Die neue Gartenlaube , 1938 1 Na4!! Kxa4 1...bxc2 2 b3 c1Q (2...Kc6 3 Qd7#) 3 Qb6#. 2 c4! Ka5 The en passant capture is not possible. 3 Qa7# back

121) White to play Kraidman – Y. Bernstein Israeli Ch, Tel-Aviv 1967 1 Rf3! Nxd1 2 Rxf7 Qxf7 2...Qd8 3 Rf8#. 3 Qd7! 1-0 In view of: 3...Qxa2 4 Qg7#; 3...Re7 4 Qd8+ Re8 5 Qxe8+; 3...Be7 4 Qxe8+ Bf8 5 Qxf8#. back

122) White to play Puittinen – Kekki Jyväskylä 1999 1 Nf5! 0-0 1...exf5? 2 Bd6+. 2 Nxg7! Ne4 2...Kxg7 3 Qg4+ Kh6 (3...Kh8 4 Bxf6#) 4 Bxf6. 3 Bd4! Qe7 4 Rxe4! dxe4 5 Qg4 Be2 6 Nf5+! 1-0 6...Bxg4 7 Nxe7#. back

123) White to play Kažić – Vuković Yugoslavia 1954 1 Nxe5! Bxd1 2 Nd7! The key point of the combination: White N(either)xf6+. 2...Be7 2...Qxd7 3 Nxf6#. 3 Nexf6+! Bxf6 4 Re8+! Qxe8 5 Nxf6# back



124) White to play Owen – Burn London 1887 1 Nf6+?! Very tempting, but not best. 1 Qxg7+! Nxg7 2 Nf6+ Kh8 3 Nxd7 is a clear win, as too many of Black’s pieces are attacked. 1...gxf6?? 1...Nxf6 2 Qxf6! e5! (2...gxf6?? 3 Rg1+ Kh8 4 Bxf6#) keeps Black in the game, though he is somewhat worse after 3 Rg1 g6 4 0-0-0 Qc6. 2 Rg1+ Kh8 3 Qxf6+ Nxf6 4 Bxf6# (1-0) back

125) White to play Haag – Csiszar Budapest 1963 1 Rxh6! gxh6 2 Qg6+ Kh8 3 Qxh6+ Kg8 4 Rxd7! 1-0 Both 4...Bxd7 and 4...Qxd7 are met with 5 Nd5! cxd5 6 Bxf6, followed by mate. back

126) White to play Rater – Belver USSR 1940 1 Ba6! Vacating the b1-h7 diagonal so the queen can make a grand entrance. 1...Bxa6 1...Bxe4 2 Qxe4 leaves Black facing a mate threat on h7 with his c8-rook also attacked. 2 Nexg5! Rfd8 3 Rh8+!! 1-0 3...Kxh8 4 Qh7# or 3...Bxh8 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Qxh8#. back

127) Black to play Filipenko – Osnos USSR 1978 1...c2+!! 2 Kxc2 Rd2+! 3 Kxd2 Qd4+ 4 Kc2 4 Ke1 Qe3+ 5 Kd1 Qe2+ 6 Kc1 Qxf1+ 7 Kc2 Qd3+ 8 Kc1 Ne2#. 4...Qd3+ 5 Kc1 Qxf1+ 6 Kc2 Qd3+ 7 Kc1 Ne2# back

128) White to play Durão – Cordovil Portugal 1967 1 Qc1! Nxa7 2 Be2!! 1-0 There is no defence against 3 Nf5+! Bxf5 4 g3+ Kh3 5 Qf1#. back

129) Black to play Mertens – Eichhorn Ybbs 1968 1...Re3! 2 Qd2 2 Qxe3? Qxc2+. 2...Rxc3! 3 Qxc3 3 bxc3 Rb8+, winning. 3...Rb8 4 Qd3 Nb5! 5 Ka1 5 Rf1 Na3+ 6 Kc1 Rxb2. 5...Bxb2+! 6 Kxb2 Nc3+! 7 Kc1 7 Kxc3 Qb4#. 7...Qxf4+ 8 Qd2 Rb1# (0-1) back

130) Black to play G. MacDonnell – Boden London 1869 1...Qxf3! 2 gxf3 Bh3+ 3 Kg1 Re6 4 Qc2 Rxd4 Not 4...Rg6+? 5 Qxg6. 4...Ne5! 5 Qe4 (5 dxe5 Rxd1+ 6 Qxd1 Rg6#) 5...Rg6+ 6 Qg4+ (6 Qxg6 Nxf3#) 6...Rxg4+ 7 fxg4 Nf3#. 5 Bxd4 5 Rc1 Ne5! 6 Qf5 Bxf5 7 Bxd4 Nxf3+ 8 Kg2 Nxd4. 5...Nxd4 0-1 White is mated after 6 Rxd4 Re1# or 6 Qd3 Rg6+ 7 Qxg6 Nxf3#. back

131) White to play Ortega – Istratescu Bolzano 1999 1 Ng5+! hxg5 2 hxg5+ Kg8 2...Kg6 3 Bf3 Kf7 (3...Nxf4+ 4 exf4 Kf7 5 g6+) 4 g6+! Kg8 5 Rh5, threatening 6 Rdh1. 3 g6 Bd8 4 Rh5 Kf8 5 Rxf5+ Bf6 5...Kg8 6 Rh1. 6 exf6 Nxf4+ 7 Rxf4 gxf6 8 Rxf6+ Kg7 9 Rf7+ Kxg6 10 Rg1+ Kh6 11 Rf6+ Kh7 12 Rf4 1-0 back

132) Black to play Grivas – Norwood Oakham 1984 1...Rxc4!! 2 Qxc4 Be5 3 h3 Qg3 4 Kg1 4 Nf6+ Kh8 5 Nxg4 hxg4 6 Kg1 gxh3 7 Qc2 hxg2. 4...Bd4+ 5 Kh1 Bf3! 0-1 Black is threatening 6...Qxh3#, and if 6 gxf3, 6...Qxh3#. back

133) White to play Matvenko – Mehrvogel Correspondence 1973 1 Bxg7! Kxg7 2 Qg5+ Kh8 3 Qf6+ Kg8 4 Rd4 e5 4...Rc8 5 Rg4+ Kf8 6 Re1. 5 Rxd5 Be6 6 Rc3! Rd8 7 Rg3+ Kf8 8 Rg7 Be7 Rxf7+! 1-0 9...Bxf7 10 Rxd8+ and 11 Qxf7#. back


134) White to play Keres – Gligorić Zurich 1959 1 Rxd3! cxd3 2 Bb3+ Kh8 3 Nxf6! Rxf6 4 Ng5 Rxf2+ 5 Kg1! Not 5 Kxf2?? Qc5+. 5...Rf1+ 6 Kh2 1-0 back

135) Black to play Bleks – Tal Latvian Ch, Riga 1955 1...h6+! 2 Kg6 2 Kf6 Qxc2 3 Qxd4 Qf5+ 4 Ke7 Qf8#. 2...Qxc2+ 3 Kxh6 Qh7+ 4 Kg5 Ne4+ 5 Kxg4 Qf5+ 6 Kh4 Nd2+ 7 Qxd4 Nf3# (0-1) back

136) White to play Christiansen – Summermatter Swiss Team Ch 1997 1 f6! Qg6 Or: 1...Rxf6 2 Qh7+ Kf8 3 Qxh8+; 1...Nxd7 2 Rxg4 Bxf6 3 Rxg5+ Bxg5 4 Qg6+ Kh8 5 Qh5+ Kg8 6 Qxg5+; 1...Qh5 2 Qxe5!! Qxe5 3 Rxg4+ Bg7 4 Rdxg7+ Kh8 5 Rxh4+ and mate follows. 2 Rxg4! 1-0 2...Nxg4 3 Qxg6+, mating, or 2...Qxg4 3 Qh7#. back

137) White to play R. Bagirov – Rieke Biel 1997 1 Rf8+! 1 Nxd6+! Kd7 2 Nxe4 also wins. 1...Kxf8 1...Kd7 2 Rxd8+! Kxd8 3 Qa5+ Ke8 4 Qa8+ Kd7 (4...Kf7 5 Nh6+ and 6 Nxg4) 5 Qa7+ Kd8 6 Qe7+ Kc8 7 Nxd6+ Kb8 8 Qb7#. 2 Qh8+ Qg8 2...Kf7 3 Nh6+. 3 Qf6+ Nf7? 3...Qf7 4 Qxd8+ Qe8 5 Qf6+ Qf7 6 Qh8+ Qg8 7 Qh6+ Ke8 (7...Kf7 8 Qe6+ Kf8 9 Qe7#) 8 Qxh5+ Kd8 9 Qxd1. 4 Qe7# (1-0) back

138) White to play Varavin – Landa Russia Cup, Perm 1997 1 cxd3! Taking a rook is an odd way to start a sacrificial sequence, but Black will now be able to promote his c-pawn, and with check too. Meanwhile, White gains a fleeting chance to attack the black king, in whose vicinity he will enjoy a local superiority of force. 1...c2 2 Rh8!! c1Q+ 3 Kh2 f5 Or 3...Qxd3 4 Qh6+ Kf7 5 Rf8+ Ke6 6 Qxf6+ Kd5 7 Qd8+ Kc6 8 Qxd3, with a decisive advantage, as White is a pawn up and still has an attack on the black king. 4 Qh7+ Kf6 5 Qh6+! Kf7 5...Ke7 6 Qf8+ Kd7 7 Qe8#. 6 Qxd6 1-0 There is no defence to the numerous threats. If, for instance, 6...Qc5, 7 Rh7+ wins. back

Second Set

139) White to play Spielmann – Walter Trenčianske Teplice 1928 1 Qxc6+! Bxc6 2 Nxe6# (1-0) back

140) White to play Chigorin – D. Martinez New York 1889 1 Rxc7+ 1-0 1...Kb8 (1...Bxc7 2 Qxc7#) 2 Rxb7+ Kc8 3 Nb6#. back

141) White to play Anderssen – Schallopp Berlin 1864 1 Qxe4+! 1-0 1...Nxe4 2 Bxf7#. back

142) Black to play Solik – Blaško Slovakian Team Ch 2011/12 1...Nh4+ 0-1 2 Kg1 Qg4# or 2 Ke1 Nxf3#. back

143) Black to play Ettlinger – Janowski New York 1898 1...Nf3+! 2 Ke2 The key mating line is 2 gxf3 exf3+ 3 Be2 f2+ 4 Kf1 Bh3#. 2...Bg4 0-1 back

144) White to play Z. Almasi – Norwood Bundesliga 1994/5 1 Nxf7+! 1-0 1...Kxf7 2 Bh5#. back

145) White to play Bustamante – Mansilla Pan American Under-18 Ch, Matinhos 1999 1 Qxg6+! Kxg6 2 Rg1+ Kf7 3 Rxg7+ Kf8 4 Rh8# (1-0) back

146) White to play Chigorin – Gossip New York 1889 1 Bg5+ Kxf7 2 Nd6# (1-0) back

147) White to play Yudasin – Kantsler Israeli Team Ch 1998 1 Re4! 1 exf6 cxb5 2 fxe7 also wins. 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...dxe4 2 Qxc4 and 1...Qxe4 Qxc6#. back


148) White to play Nenashev – Banikas Khania 1999 1 Be7+! 1-0 1...Kxe7 2 Qg5+ Ke8 3 Rg8# or 1...Ke8 2 Rg8+ Kxe7 3 Qg5+ f6 4 Qg7#. back

149) White to play Fedorchuk – Buhmann World Under-18 Ch, Oropesa del Mar 1999 1 Qf4! 1-0 1...Qc8 2 Ne6+ Ke8 3 Nxd8+ or 1...Qxf4 2 Re8+! Rxe8 Nd7#. back


150) Black to play Horwitz – Bledow Berlin 1837 1...Nxe4! 2 Bxe7 Bxf2+ 3 Kf1 Ng3# (0-1) back

151) White to play Blackburne – Wilson Manchester (simul.) 1880 1 Nh6+ 1-0 1...Kh8 2 Qe5+ f6 3 Qxf6# or 1...Kg7 2 Qg4+ Kh8 (2...Kxh6 3 Qg5#) 3 Nxf7#. back

152) White to play Reinhardt – Reiss Hamburg 1934 1 e6+! Kxe6?? After 1...Ke8 Black is only a little worse, albeit clearly so, due to his inferior structure. 2 Nh3! h6 3 Nf4+ Kf6 4 Qd5 1-0 There is no defence against 5 Qe6+. back

153) Black to play Andonov – Lputian Sochi 1987 1...Nd3+! 0-1 2 Qxd3 Qc1+! 3 Rxc1 Rxc1#. A rare back-rank mate idea in the opening. back

154) White to play 1 Nxe5! 1 Nxf6+ gxf6 2 Nxe5! is an equally effective way to exploit the same mating idea. 1...Bxd1 Black can avoid mate by 1...dxe5 2 Nxf6+ gxf6 3 Qxg4, but his position is terrible: a pawn down, a wrecked structure and a vulnerable king. 2 Nxf6+ gxf6 3 Bxf7+ Kf8 4 Bh6# back

155) White to play Petroff – Szymanski Warsaw 1847 1 Bf5! Nxf5 1...Qxf5 2 Nd6+ and 3 Nxf5. 2 Nf6++ 1-0 2...Kf8 3 Qe8#. back

156) Black to play Schaaf – Schallopp Berlin 1891 1...Nc2+ 2 Ke2 2 Kd1 Nf2+ 3 Ke2 Qd3+ 4 Kxf2 Bc5#. 2...Qd3+!! 3 Kxd3 3 Kd1 Nf2#. 3...Ng3# back

157) White to play Blake – Hooke London 1888? 1 Bf7+ Ke7 2 Qxf6+!! In the game, White played 2 Qd5??, but went on to win after further errors. 2...Kxf6 2...gxf6 3 Nd5#. 3 Nd5+ Ke5 4 Nf3+ Kxe4 5 Nc3# back

158) White to play Solana – Ang. Martin Spanish Team Ch 1993 1 Rg8+! Kxg8 Or: 1...Kf7 2 Qg7#; 1...Ke7 2 Qg7+ Kd8 3 Rxe8+ Kxe8 Bh5+ Kd8 5 Qg8+ Kd7 6 Qe8#. 2 Qh8+ Kf7 3 Qg7# (1-0) back


159) Black to play Sevo – Rogić Croatia 1999 1...Rxf2+! 2 Rxf2 2 Kxf2 Qxe3+ 3 Kf1 Qe1#. 2...Qxe3 3 Nxf3 gxf3 0-1 back

160) White to play Kutuzovich – Kinez Pula 1999 1 Rxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qg7+ Ke8 2...Ke6 3 Bc4#. 3 Re1+ Kd8 4 Qf8+ Kd7 5 Re7+ Kc6 6 Qf6+ 1-0 6...Kd5 7 c4#. back

161) White to play Estrin – Zhidkov Moscow 1945 1 Nxe5 dxe5 2 Qh5+ Kd8? 2...Kf8 is more resilient. 3 Bh4 a5? Much too slow, but Black had no good answer to White’s threat of Rxe5 in any case. 4 Rxe5 Qf8 5 Bxg8 Rxg8 6 Re8+! Qxe8 7 Bxf6+ Kd7 8 Qd5# back

162) White to play Kliavin – Zhuravliov Riga 1968 1 Nd5+! cxd5 2 Qa3+ 1-0 2...Kd8 3 Qd6+ Kc8 4 Rc1+. back

163) White to play Bareev – Yakovich Tallinn (junior) 1986 1 Nxe6!! 1-0 1...gxh5 2 Ng7++ Kd8 3 Re8#, 1...Qxh5 2 Ng7++ Kd8 3 Re8# and 1...fxe6 2 Qxd5 are all hopeless for Black. back

164) White to play Ostropolsky – Ivanovsky USSR 1949 1 Qxd7+! Rxd7 2 Nc7+! Rxc7 3 Rd8# back

165) White to play Stefansson – Piket Antwerp 1998 1 Bb5+! 1-0 White has a decisive advantage after 1...axb5 2 Qxb4, 1...Rxb5 2 Qc6+ Ke7 3 Qc7+, etc., or 1...Qxb5 2 Nxb5 Rxd6 3 Nxd6+. back

166) Black to play Kulmala – Lektonen Helsinki 1938 1...Qh4+! 2 Nxh4 Bf2+ 3 Ke2 Nd4+ 4 Kd3 Nc5# back

167) Black to play Lein – Terentiev Oriol 1965 1...Qf6!! Threatening 2...Qa6# and 2...Qxd4+. 2 bxc3 Qa6+ 3 c4 Rc8 4 Bxf4 Qxc4+ 5 Ke3 Qxc2 Bg5+ Nxg5 0-1 back


168) White to play Campora – Eslon Coria del Rio 1996 1 Rxe8+! White has a choice of wins; e.g., 1 Nc6+ Kd7 2 Qxc8+ Kxc8 3 Nxe7+. 1...Kxe8 1...Qxe8 2 Qd6+ Qd7 3 Qxd7#. 2 Qxc8+ Qd8 3 Qxe6+ 1-0 3...Kf8 4 Qf7# or 3...Qe7 4 Qc8+ Qd8 5 Qc6+ Kf8 6 Qh6+ Ke8 7 Qh8+ Ke7 8 Qf6+ Ke8 9 Qf7#. back

169) White to play Boros – Bodrogi Budapest 1999 1 Rxd5 a4 1...exd5 2 Bxd5#. 2 Rf5+! 1-0 2...gxf5 3 Qxe6+ Kg7 4 Qf6#. back

170) Black to play Molnar – Tartakower Paris 1955 1...Rxf3+! 2 Kxf3 Qh3+ 3 Ke2 Or: 3 Kf2 Qxh2+ 4 Kf3 Rf8+ 5 Kg4 Qg2+ 6 Kh4 Be7+; 3 Kf4 Re4+ 4 Kg5 Be7+. 3...Nxd4+ 0-1 back

171) White to play Rogić – Maksimenko Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999 1 Nf5+! Kf6 Or: 1...gxf5 2 Qxe5+ Re6 3 Rd7+ Kf8 4 Rd8+ Qxd8 5 Qxh8+ Ke7 6 Qxd8#; 1...Bxf5 2 Qxe5+ Be6 3 Rd7+ Kf8 4 Qxh8#. 2 Qd6+! 1-0 2...Rxd6 3 Rxd6#. back

172) White to play Pjaeren – Javorsky Correspondence 1969 1 Rxd6+! Qxd6 1...exd6 2 Qd7+ Qxd7 3 Rxd7#. 2 Qxe8+! 1-0 2...Kxe8 3 Rh8# or 2...Kc7 3 Qxe7+ Qxe7 4 Rxe7+ Kd6 Ra7 Kxe6 6 Rxa6+, etc. back


173) White to play Vooremaa – Zakharian Minsk 1964 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qh5+ Kg8 2...Kg7 3 Ne6+ Kh7 4 Qf7+ Bg7 5 Qxg7#. 3 Qg6+ Bg7 4 Ne6 1-0 back

174) White to play Donev – Dychev Sofia 1986 1 Qc1! Deflection. 1...Qd8 Or: 1...Qxc1 2 Nd7#; 1...Qb7 2 Bh5!. 2 Qc6 1-0 Deflection again. White threatens 3 Nd7+, and 2...Rxc6 allows 3 Rf7+ Ke8 4 Rf6#. back

175) White to play Keres – Szabo Hungary-USSR, Budapest 1955 1 Rxg7! Kxg7 2 Qf6+ Kf8 2...Kg8 3 Qxh6, threatening 4 Bh7+, etc. 3 Bg6! 1-0 3...Re7 4 Qh8#. back

176) Black to play Veitch – Penrose British Ch, Buxton 1950 1...Bxf2+! 2 Kxf2 Ng4+ 3 Ke1 Or: 3 Kf1 Ne3+; 3 Kg1 Qb6+, followed by mate on f2. 3...Ne3 0-1 The white queen has no safe place to run. After 4 Qa4+ Bd7, both 5 Qb4 and 5 Qa3 are met by 5...Nc2+. back

177) White to play Tal – Suetin Tbilisi 1969 1 Qxe5!! dxe5 2 exf7+ 1-0 Black resigned in view of 2...Kf8 3 Bh6#, 2...Kd8 3 Bf5+ and 2...Kd7 3 Bf5++ Kc6 4 Be4+ Nd5 5 Bxd5+. back

178) White to play V. Nikolić – Mihevc Mohr Yugoslavia 1973 1 Rxg3! Qxg3 2 Qb4! Kd8 3 Bxb5 Rb7 4 Rd1+ Kc8 5 Rd3 Qxg2 6 Rc3+ Rc7 7 Ba6+ Kd7 8 Qe7# (1-0) back

179) White to play Boleslavsky – B. Gurgenidze Rostov-on-Don 1960 1 Bxa7! Nxa7 2 Nd6+! 1-0 2...Kd7 3 Nxc8+ Kxc8 4 Qe6+ Kc7 5 Rd7+ Kc8 6 Rxe7+ Kd8 7 Qd7#. back

180) White to play Morphy – Greenaway London (blindfold simul.) 1859 A rare missed opportunity by Morphy: he played 1 Qxc6+? Qd7 and the game was drawn a few moves later. 1 e6! Bxe6 1...fxe6 2 Bg6+ Kd7 3 Ne5#. 2 Rxe6+! fxe6 3 Ne5 ‘The threat is stronger than its execution’, as the saying goes. White cuts off the black king’s escape-route before bringing in the queen for the final blow. 3...Qc8 4 Qxc6+ Kd8 5 Nf7# back

181) Black to play O. Bernstein – Tartakower Paris 1937 1...Bb4+! 2 c3 Nxd4!! 3 Qxa8+ Kf7 4 Qxh8 Qb5 0-1 There is no defence against the mate on e2. back

182) White to play Schiffers – Yurevich St Petersburg 1892 1 Qxh6! With the threat of 2 Nxf7#. 1...Qxc4 2 Qh4+!! 1-0 Deflection: 2...Qxh4 3 Nxf7#. back

183) White to play Ponomarev – Demidov USSR 1976 1 Qxd7+! Rxd7 2 Rb8+ Bd8 3 Bf6 1-0 There’s no way to avoid mate on d8. back

184) White to play Perlasca – Grassi Como 1907 1 Qxe8+!! Kxe8 2 Nd4+ Kf8 2...Kd8 3 Rg8#. 3 Re8+! Kxe8 4 Rg8+ Ke7 5 Nf5# back

185) White to play Cranbourne – Chavez Correspondence 1986-7 1 Rxf5!! exf5 1...Qxf5 2 Qxf5 exf5 3 Re1+ Be6 4 Rxe6#. 2 Qxg7! 1-0 2...Qxg7 3 Re1+ Be6 4 Rxe6#. back

186) White to play Groszpeter – P. Szekely Hungarian Team Ch 1997/8 1 Bd5!! White threatens 2 Rxf5+, and will meet 1...exd5 with 2 Rxf5+. 1...e4 1...Rh7 2 Rxf5+! exf5 3 Qg8#. 2 Rxf5+! Bf6 3 Rxf6+ Ke7 4 Rxe6+ Kd7 5 Qf7+ 1-0 5...Kd8 6 Rd6+ Rd7 7 Rxd7#. back

187) White to play Krogius – Ojanen Helsinki 1944 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Nxe5+ Ke7 2...dxe5? 3 Qxd8. 3 Nd5+ Ke6 4 Qg4+! Kxe5 5 Bf4+ Kd4 6 Be3+ Ke5 7 Qf4+ Ke6 8 Qf5# (1-0) back

188) Black to play Mackenzie – Thompson London 1868 1...Qxd4+!! 2 Kxd4 2 Kd2 Qe3+ 3 Kc3 Bg7+ 4 Kc4 and now 4...Be6#, 4...Ba6# or 4...Qd4#. 2...Bg7+ 3 e5 3 Kc4 Ba6#. 3...Bxe5+ 4 Ke4 Nf6# (0-1) 4...f5# is also possible. back

189) White to play Sorial – Hakki Cairo 1999 1 Nde6+ Bxe6 1...fxe6 2 fxe6 Bxe6 3 Qh8+ Bg8 4 Qh6#. 2 fxe6 Rd8 2...fxe6 3 Qh8#. 3 exf7 1-0 back

190) Black to play Huss – Lobron Beersheba Zonal 1985 1...Bxc4!! 2 Rxc4 Rxf3 0-1 3 Ke1 Qg1+ 4 Kd2 Bf4+. back

191) White to play Spassky – L. Weiss Havana Olympiad 1966 1 Bxc7! Qxc7 2 Qxf6 Rg8 3 d6 Qd7 4 Rxe7+! Bxe7 5 Re1 Bg6 6 Rxe7+ 1-0 back

192) White to play Smejkal – Dukić Switzerland 1968 1 Qxe8+!! Bxe8 2 Rxe8+ Kd7 3 Nh7! Qd4+ 4 Kh1 4 Kf1?? Ng3#. 4...Ng3+ 5 Kh2 Ne4 6 Nxe4 c6 6...Kxe8 7 Neg5+ Kd7 8 Nf8+ Kd8 9 Nf7+ Kc8 10 Re8#. 7 Nc5+ dxc5 8 Nf8+ Kd6 9 Rd8+ Kc7 10 Ne6+ 1-0 back

193) White to play Kupreichik – Castiglioni Ybbs (team event) 1968 1 Nxe6! fxe6 2 Qxe6+ Kd8? 2...Be7 is better, but 3 Bb4 keeps Black pinned down in the centre. 3 Rhe1 3 Ne4!, planning to meet 3...Nxe4 with 4 Ba5. 3...Rc8? 4 Bc3 Qc6 5 Bxf6+ gxf6 6 Rxd7+! Qxd7 7 Qb6+! Qc7 8 Qxf6+ Kd7 9 Qe6+ 1-0 9...Kd8 10 Qe8#. back

194) White to play Petrosian – Korchnoi Curaçao Candidates 1962 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qb3+ Ke8 If 2...Kf8 or 2...Kg7, there follows 3 Ne6+. 3 Nd5! Bd6 4 Ne6 b5 5 Ndc7+ Ke7 6 Nd4 Threatening 7 Qe6+. 6...Kf8 7 Nxa8 1-0 7...Qxa8 8 Qe6 Be7 9 Nc6. back

195) White to play Podgorny – Stulik Czechoslovak Ch, Prague 1956 1 Nxf7! Not 1 Qxg7?? Qh4+ 2 Kg1 Qg3#. 1...Bxh6 2 Nxd6+ cxd6 3 Bf7+ Ke7 4 Bxh6 Qg8 Or 4...Qc8 5 Bg5+ Kf8 6 Bb3+ Kg7 7 Rf7+ Kg8 8 Bh6 d5 9 Raf1, followed by 10 Rg7#. 5 Bxg8 Rxg8 6 Bg5+ 1-0 6...Ke8 7 Rae1+. back

196) White to play Blehm – Novikov Cappelle la Grande 1997 1 Rd8+!! Ke7 1...Bxd8 2 Bg7+ Kg8 3 Qe8+! Qxe8 4 Bh6+ Bg5+ 5 Rxg5#. 2 Bxf6++ Kxf6 3 Rxh8 Bxf5 4 Qe8 Bd7 5 Qd8+ Ke6 6 Re1+ Kf5 7 Rxh7 1-0 The black king is very exposed and White’s major pieces will give mate in a few moves. back

197) White to play Smyslov – Oll Rostov-on-Don 1993 1 g4+!! Kxe4 2 Nf2+ Kxf4 3 Rg1! 1-0 White threatens 4 Bd2#, and if Black prevents this by 3...e4, then 4 Nh3# is now mate, since the pawn has occupied the king’s flight-square – two pretty mates with just a few pieces on the board. back

198) White to play Berkvens – Van Delft Dutch Junior Ch, Leiden 1999 1 Rxd6+! exd6 2 Qxf7+ Kc6 3 Qd5+ Kd7 3...Kb6 4 Qa5+ Kc6 5 Nd4+ Kd7 6 e6+ Ke8 7 Qxh5+ Kf8 8 Qh8#. 4 e6+ 1-0 4...Ke8 5 Qxh5+. back

199) White to play Moraru – B. Istrate Romanian Team Ch, Predeal 1997 1 e5! dxe5 1...bxc3 2 Qxg7 Ne4 3 exd6+ Nxd6 4 Bg5+. 2 Bc5+ Ke8 2...Kd8 3 Qxg7. 3 Nd5! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 3...Nxd5 4 Qxg7 and 3...exd5 4 Qxg7 Rg8 5 Qxf6 Be6 (or 5...Bc6 6 Qxe5+ Kd8 7 Rad1, with a decisive advantage) 6 Ba4+ Nc6 7 Bxc6+ Qxc6 8 Qe7#. back

200) White to play Delgado – Argüelles Cuba 1997 1 Bb6! Ne8? Or 1...cxb6? 2 Qxd6+ Bd7 (2...Nd7? allows 3 Qxb6#) 3 Qxb6+ Kc8 4 Re5 Qf4 (4...Qg6 5 Rc5+ Bc6 6 Rd6) 5 Qd6! Qa4 6 Rc5+ Bc6 (6...Kd8 7 Ne5) 7 Ne5 Ra7 8 Nc4, with the threat of 9 Nb6+. The best defence is 1...Nd5, though after 2 Ba5, Black remains under strong attack. 2 Bxc7+! Nxc7 2...Kxc7 3 Rxe8 Rxe8 4 Qxd6#. 3 Qxd6+ Bd7 4 Re7 Kc8 5 Rxd7 Ne6 6 Ne5 f6 7 Nc6! 1-0 White is threatening not only 8 Ne7#, but also 8 Qb8+! Rxb8 9 Na7#, and will meet 7...bxc6 with 8 Qxc6+ Kb8 9 Qb7#. back

201) White to play Spassky - B. Vladimirov USSR Ch, Baku 1961 1 Ndb5! axb5 2 Nxb5 Qa5 3 Nxd6+ Kf8 4 Bc4!? 4 Qb3! Qxa2 5 Qxa2 Rxa2 6 Nxc8 leaves Black in some difficulties. 4...exf4?! 4...Qc7 is a fair try, preventing Nxf7. 5 Nxf7 Qc7 6 Bb3 Ne5?! 6...Nc5 7 Rd8+ Ke7 8 Nxh8! (8 Rxh8?! Bg4!) 8...Qxd8 9 Nxg6+ Ke8 10 e5 Bg4 11 exf6 Bxf3 12 f7+ is good for White. 7 Nxe5 Qxe5 8 Rd8+ Ne8 9 c3 g5?! 10 Qh5! Qe7 11 Bf2! Bg4?! 12 Rxe8+?! 12 Qxe8+! Qxe8 13 Bc5#. Bishop power! 12...Rxe8 13 Qxg4 Be5 14 Rd1 1-0 14...Rh7 15 Bc5! Qxc5 16 Qf5+, etc. back

202) White to play Geller – Kogan Odessa 1946 1 Re3! White is willing to let the black pawn promote, and will squarely target the black king. In the game White played 1 Qh8+? Kf7 2 Rh7+?! Ke6 3 Qg7 Kd7, chasing the king to a safer place, before playing 4 Re3, which should have been at best unclear for White. 1...cxb2 What else? 1...Kf7 2 Qh5+ Kf8 3 Qh8+ Kf7 4 Rh7+ Ke6 5 Qg7 is a very different story from the previous note, since White is ready to meet 5...Kd7 6 Qxe7+ Kc6 with 7 Rxc3+. 2 Qh8+ Kf7 3 Rh7+ Ke6 4 Qg7 b1Q+ 5 Kh2 Kd7 6 Qxe7+ Kc6 7 Rc3+ After 7...Kb5 8 Rxc8 Rdxc8 9 Qb7+ White wins both black queens, while 7...Kb6 8 Rxc8 Rd7! 9 Qxe8 Qc1! 10 Rc6+! Kb5 11 a4+! should eventually end in a win for White. back

203) White to play B. Molnar – Lödi Budapest 1997 1 Bc4! Be6 1...dxc4? 2 Nxc6. 2 Nxc6!! Qxc6 3 Bxd5 Bxd5 4 Rxd5 Rc8 4...Qc8 5 Re1+ Be7 6 Rxe7+! Kxe7 7 Qa3+ Ke8 (7...Kf6 8 Qd6+ Qe6 9 Qxf4+ Ke7 10 Re5) 8 Re5+ Kd7 9 Qe7+ Kc6 10 Qc5+ followed by 11 Re7+ and mate in two more moves. 5 Re1+ Be7 6 Rxe7+! Kxe7 7 Qe4+ Kf6? Or: 7...Qe6 8 Re5; 7...Kf8 8 Rd8+ Rxd8 9 Qxc6. 8 Qe5+ Kg6 9 Qg5# back

204) Black to play Kosashvili – Greenfeld Israeli Team Ch 1999 1...Rxg2!! 2 Rxe2 Or: 2 Rxf6 Rxf2#; 2 Kxg2 f3+ 3 Kh1 Qg5; 2 Kxe2 Rxf2+ 3 Kd3 Rd2+; 2 fxe3 fxe3+ 3 Rxf6 Rf2+! 4 Rxf2 Rxf2#. 2...Qa1+ 3 Kxg2 f3+ 4 Kh3 Qf1+ 5 Kh4 fxe2 6 Qf7 The only way to avoid mate. 6...Qxf2+ 0-1 7 Qxf2 exf2, etc. back

Third Set

205) White to play M. Filipović – Brulić Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999 1 Qxh7+! 1-0 1...Kxh7 2 Rh4#. back

206) White to play Jens – Van Ruitenberg Dutch Junior Ch, Leiden 1999 1 Qxh7+! 1-0 1...Kxh7 2 Rh3+ Qh5 3 Rxh5#. back

207) White to play Chatalbashev – Efimov Cutro 1999 1 Rh8+! 1-0 1...Kxh8 2 Qh3+ Kg8 3 Qh7#. back

208) Black to play Szuk – Husari Budapest 1999 1...Rxh2+! 0-1 2 Kxh2 Qh8+ 3 Kg2 Qh3#. back

209) White to play Belakovskaia – Marinello USA Women’s Ch, Salt Lake City 1999 1 Qxg6+! 1-0 1...hxg6 2 Rh8+ Kf7 3 Rf8#. back

210) Black to play Gutop – Roshal USSR 1963 1...Qxd5!! 2 Bxd5 Bxd5 Mate on h1 is inevitable, thanks to the pin. back

211) White to play Reshevsky – Persitz Haifa/Tel-Aviv 1958 1 Nf5! 1-0 Threatening 2 Ne7+ Kh8 3 Qxf8#, and if 1...gxf5 (1...Bxf5 2 exf5 gxf5 3 Rh3), then 2 Rh3. back

212) White to play 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 1...Kh8 2 Ng5. 2 Ng5+ Kg8 Or: 2...Kh6 3 Nxf7++; 2...Kg6 3 h4!, threatening 4 h5+. 3 Qh5 Re8 4 Qh7+ Kf8 5 Ba3 and 6 Qh8# cannot be prevented. back

213) White to play Reshevsky – Yanofsky Lugano Olympiad 1968 1 Nf6+! 1-0 1...Bxf6 2 Qxg6+ Bg7 3 Qh7#. back

214) White to play Szabo – Bakony Hungarian Ch, Budapest 1951 1 Qf6!! 1-0 White is threatening an X-ray mate by 2 Rh8+ Bxh8 3 Rxh8# (or 3 Qxh8#), and 1...Bxf6 is met with 2 gxf6, followed by mate on h8. back

215) Black to play Krasnov – Averkin USSR 1969 1...Qh4! 0-1 The threat is 2...Qxh2+! 3 Kxh2 Rh6+ 4 Kg1 Rh1#, and there is no defence: 2 gxh4 Nh3# or 2 gxf4 Bf3+ 3 Kf1 Qh3#. back

216) White to play Wade – Boxall England 1953 1 Bxf7!! 1-0 1...Qxd4 2 Ng6# or 1...Rxf7 2 Ng6+ Kg8 3 Nxe5. back

217) White to play Kasparov – Ljubojević Brussels (blitz) 1987 1 Qg6!! Bxe5 There’s no way to avoid mate: 1...fxg6 2 Nxg6# or 1...Qb6 2 Rd6. 2 Qh6+ 1-0 Mate follows (2...Bh7 3 Qxh7#). back

218) White to play Chiamulera – Taitt Pan American Under-18 Ch, Matinhos 1999 1 Rxh8+! Kxh8 2 Bxf6+ exf6 3 Qh6+ Kg8 4 Rh1 1-0 back

219) White to play Schalkx – Kravchenko European Clubs Cup, Albufeira 1999 1 Rxg7+! Kxg7 2 Qe7+ Kg6 2...Kh8 3 Bb2+ Kg8 4 Qf7# or 2...Kg8 3 Qf7+ Kh8 4 Bb2#. 3 Qf7# (1-0) back

220) Black to play Bunzmann – P. Nikolić Bundesliga 1999/00 1...Bxh3! 0-1 2 Qxe3 (2 gxh3 Rxh3#) 2...Bxg2+ 3 Kg1 Rh1#. back

221) Black to play Nijboer – Adams Wijk aan Zee 1998 1...Ng3+! 0-1 2 hxg3 Rh4+ 3 gxh4 Qxh4#. back

222) White to play Pham Minh Hoang – Jamrich Budapest 1999 1 Rxh6+ 1-0 1...Rxh6 2 Qg7# or 1...Kxh6 2 Rh1+ Kg5 3 Rh5#. back

223) Black to play Emmrich – Moritz Bad Oeynhausen 1922 1...Qxh2+!! 2 Kxh2 Ng4+ 3 Kg1 Nh3+ 4 Kf1 Nh2# back

224) White to play Kraicer – Dyment Correspondence 1952 1 Ng5! While 1 Bxh7+ is good for White, it is arguably a less accurate version of the same idea since after 1...Kxh7 2 Ng5+ Kg8! 3 Qh5 fxg5 4 hxg5 Rf5, Black can put up some resistance. 1...fxg5 2 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2...Kf7 3 Qh5+. 3 hxg5+ Kg8 4 Rh8+! Kxh8 5 Qh5+ Kg8 6 g6! Rf5 7 Qh7+ Kf8 8 Qh8# (1-0) back

225) White to play McKay – Condie London 1984 1 Kf2!! 1-0 There is no defence against 2 Rh1+; e.g., 1...Rxg8 2 Rh1+ Kg6 3 f5+ Kg5 4 Kg3! Nxe5 5 dxe5, with the threat of 6 Rh5#. back

226) White to play Tiviakov – Tukmakov Rostov-on-Don 1993 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Qe6+ Kf8 3 Rh1 1-0 There’s no good way to prevent the decisive intrusion of the rook on h8. back

227) White to play Kasparov – Browne Banja Luka 1979 1 Bh7+! 1...Kf8 2 2 Qxe6 When f7

Kxh7 Qh8#. 1-0 falls, mate will follow swiftly. back

228) White to play N. Regan – Sirletti Women’s Zonal, Saint Vincent 1999 1 Rxh7! Kxh7?! Now it’s mate, but otherwise Black is just a pawn down with a bad position. 2 Qxf7+ Kh8 3 Bxg6 Nf6 3...Nf8 can be met by 4 Bh6 Bf6 5 Bxf8 Rc7 6 Qxe8 or 4 Rd3 Nxg6 5 Qxg6, etc. 4 Rd3 1-0 back

229) White to play Gyles – E. Miles New Zealand 1929 1 dxc5! bxc5 1...Nxc5 2 Nxh7! Bxh2+ 3 Kh1 Be5 4 Bxc8, winning. 2 Qh5!! Bxh2+ 3 Kh1 Nf6 4 Bxf6 gxh5 5 Bxh7# back

230) White to play Moiseenko – Litwin Polanica Zdroj 1999 1 Qxf8+! Kxf8 1...Kh7 2 Bd3+ g6 3 Rf1. 2 Rc8+ 1-0 2...Ke7 3 Re8#. back

231) White to play Felber – A. Nakamura New York Ch 1999 1 Rxf7! Bg5+ 1...Rxf7 2 Qc8+ Kh7 3 Bxf7. 2 Kb1 Qb5 3 Rf6+! 1-0 3...Kh7 4 Qf5+, followed by mate, or 3...Qxb3 4 Rxf8+ Kxf8 5 axb3. back

232) Black to play Najdorf – Nunn Exhibition game, London 1983 1...Nf4! 2 Qa1 Re2 3 Qd1 Or: 3 Rxe2 Qf3+; 3 Qg1 Nd3 4 Nxd3 Qe4+. 3...Qg2+! 0-1 4 Rxg2 hxg2+ 5 Kg1 Nh3#. back

233) White to play Meulders – Vermeulen Belgian Team Ch 1998/9 1 Rxd5! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...exd5 2 Qh7+ Kf7 3 Bg6+, 1...Qxf2+ 2 Qxf2 Rxf2 3 Rxd7 and 1...Be8 2 Qh7+ Kf7 3 Bg6+ Ke7 4 Nf5+. back

234) White to play Stephenson – F. Rayner British Ch, Torquay 1998 1 Rxb2! Rxd7 1...Qxb2 2 Bd4+!. 2 Bd4+! Rg7 2...Rxd4 3 Qe5+. 3 Rxb7 Bf7 4 Rxf7 1-0 back

235) White to play Nikolenko – V. Ivanov Russia Cup, Moscow 1999 1 Rxg7! Kxg7 2 Rg3+! Not 2 Nf5+?? exf5. 2...Kh7 2...Kh8 3 Nxf7+ Rxf7 4 Bxc7. 3 Qc2+ 1-0 back

236) White to play V. Delgado – M. Vasquez Cuba 1997 1 Re6! fxe6 1...Qb5 2 Rxh6! gxh6 3 Qxh6. 2 Bxe6+ Kh8 3 Qxh6+ 1-0 3...gxh6 4 Be5+ and mate follows. back

237) White to play D. Petrosian – Brulić World Junior Ch, Erevan 1999 1 Nxg6! Kxg6 2 Qxf5+! Kxf5 3 Be4+ Kf6 4 Re6# (1-0) back

238) White to play V. Ragozin – Boleslavsky Sverdlovsk 1942 1 Bxg7! Kxg7 2 Nf5+ Kh8 3 Re4! Bxh2+ 4 Kh1 1-0 There is no defence against 5 Rh4. back

239) White to play Fette – A. Meszaros Eger 1989 1 Rxh6+! Kxh6 1...gxh6 2 Rf7+ Kh8 3 Qf5. 2 g4!! 1-0 2...g6 3 Rf7 threatens 4 Qh3#, while 2...Kg6 is met by 3 Bf7+ Kh6 4 Qh3#. back

240) Black to play Oraevsky – Bubnov Correspondence 1926 1...Nd3!! 2 Qxc7 Bxf2+ 3 Kh1 Nxe1 0-1 Mate by 4...Bg2# is unstoppable. back

241) White to play Kudrin – Nieminen Port Erin 1999 1 Bxf7! Bxg5 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 Qh5+ Kg7 4 Qxg5+ Kxf7 5 Rxe5 Qd6 6 Rf5+ Ke8 7 Re1+ Kd7 8 Qg7+ 1-0 9 Rxf8+ follows. back

242) White to play Tkhelidze – Gutkin Beltsy 1972 1 Rxf7! Rxf7 1...Rd8 2 Rxd8+ Qxd8 3 Rf8+! Qxf8 4 Bxe6+!. 2 Bxe6! 1-0 In view of: 2...Qxe6 3 Rd8+; 2...Qc7 3 Qxf7+! Qxf7 4 Rd8#; 2...Qxf2+ 3 Qxf2 Rxf2 4 Rd8#. back

243) White to play Rojahn – Aggos Munich Olympiad 1958 1 Rh5! 1-0 After 1...Qxa1+ 2 Kg2 gxh5 3 Nf5 there is no defence against the threat of mate by 4 Nxe7+ and 5 Qxf8#, since the knight can’t move from e8, as that would allow mate on g7. back

244) White to play O. Rodriguez – V. Gallego Spanish Ch 1993 1 Rxh7! Kxh7 2 Neg5+ Kg8 3 Qxg6 Nf8 4 Qf7+ Kh8 5 Be3 1-0 Black can do nothing about the threat of 6 Kf2 and 7 Rh1+. back

245) White to play E. Fuentes – Mendez Buenos Aires 1992 1 Rxh7! Rxh7 1...Kxh7 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 Rh1+ Rh7 4 Rxh7#. 2 Qxg6+ Rg7 3 Qe6+ 1-0 3...R(either)f7 4 g6, etc. back

246) White to play Rogers – Van Mil Tilburg (blitz) 1993 1 Rh7+! Kxh7 2 Qb7+ 1-0 It’s mate in three on g7. back

247) White to play J. Polgar – L.B. Hansen Vejstrup 1989 1 Qg7+!! 1-0 1...Kxg7 is met by 2 Rfxf7+ Kg8 (2...Kh6 3 Rh7#) 3 Kh8 4 Rh7+ Kg8 5 Rbg7#. back


248) Black to play J. Fuentes – Pomar Madrid 1945 1...Bh4! 2 f4 Or: 2 g3 Nc3!, attacking the queen and threatening mate on h1; 2 f3 Bf2+ 3 Kh1 Ng3+! 4 hxg3 Qh5#. 2...Bf2+ 3 Kh1 Qf5! Threatening 4...Ng3+! 5 hxg3 Qh3#. 4 d5 Rxd5 0-1 5 g4 Rxd1 6 gxf5 Ng3#. back

249) Black to play Kapengut – Vaganian USSR Under-18 Ch, Dubna 1970 1...Rxb2! 2 Kxb2 Qxc3+ 3 Kc1 Rb8! 0-1 For instance, 4 Rd3 Rb1+! 5 Kxb1 Qb2#. back

250) Black to play Chigorin – Em. Lasker St Petersburg 1895/6 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kh1 2 Kxg2 Bh3+ 3 Kh1 (3 Kg1 Qg4+ 4 Bg3 Qf3) 3...Qg4 4 Rg1 Qf3+ 5 Rg2 Qxg2#. 2...Rxf2 0-1 3 Ne2 Be4+ or 3 Bd2 Qd6, with unstoppable mate on h2. back

251) White to play Spassky – Pfleger Munich 1979 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Qh5+ g6 2...Kf8 3 Qxh7, threatening 4 Nf5. 3 Qxh7+ Kf8 4 h4 1-0 White intends 5 h5 gxh5 6 Nf5, winning. back

252) Black to play P. Berger – Pröhl Berlin 1994 1...Bxh2+! 2 Kxh2 Bxd3 3 Qxd3 Qxf2 0-1 The mating threat 4...Rh6# can only be parried with 4 e4 Rh6+ 5 Qh3, but White would suffer heavy material losses (5...Rxh3+ 6 Kxh3 Qxd2). back

253) White to play B. Becker – Nogueiras Cuba 1998 1 Qxh6+!! Kxh6 2 Rh3+ Kg5 3 Rh7! There follows 4 h4#. back

254) White to play Mitkov – Summermatter Chiasso 1991 1 Bxh6! gxh6 2 Qxh6+! Bxh6 3 Rg7+ Kh8 4 (1-0) back


255) White to play Fine – Beckhardt New York 1933 1 Qa6+ Kb8 Or: 1...Kc7 2 Qxa7+; 1...Kd7 2 Qb7+ Ke8 3 Qe7#. 2 Rxb6+! 1-0 2...axb6 3 Qxb6+ Ka8 (3...Kc8 4 Qc6+ Kb8 5 Rb1+ Ka7 Qb7#) 4 Qa6+ Kb8 5 Rb1+ Kc7 6 Qb7# (or 6 Qc6#). back


256) Black to play Krogius – Lisitsyn Leningrad 1951 1...Rxb2+! 2 Kxb2 Qb4+ 3 Ka1 Qa3+ 4 Kb1 Rb7+ Kc2 Rb2+ 6 Kc1 6 Kd1 Qd3+ 7 Ke1 Qe2#. 6...Qa1# (0-1) back


257) White to play Lipnitsky – Terpugov USSR Ch, Moscow 1951 1 Nd7 Qe6 2 Bb3! Qe8 2...Qxb3 3 Nf6+! Kh8 (3...gxf6 4 Qxh6+ Kg8 5 Qg7#) 4 Rxd8+. Giving up the queen with 2...Qxd7 is the only way to put up resistance, but no one relishes such a decision. 3 Nf6+! 1-0 3...gxf6 4 Qxh6+ Kg8 5 Qg7#. back

258) Black to play Kopetzky – Canal Vienna 1951/2 1...Nf3+! 2 gxf3 Qxf3 3 Kf1 Qh3+ 4 Ke2 Bc4+ 5 Kd1 Qb3+ 6 Kc1 Bd3 7 Qc7 Covering c2 and preventing the rook check on c8. 7...Rxa4 8 Bb4 8 Rxa4 Qb1#. 8...Rxa1+ 9 Kd2 Qxb4+ 0-1 back

259) Black to play Erhart – Stajčić Vienna 1994 1...Rxh4+! 1...Bxf2! 2 Rxf2 Qxg3, intending ...Rxh4+ and ...Rdh8, is also very strong. 2 gxh4 2 Kg1 Qxg3. 2...Rh8 3 d4 3 Kg1 Nf3+ 4 Kf1 Rxh4. 3...Rxh4+ 0-1 4 Kg1 Nf3+ 5 Kf1 Rh1+. back

260) White to play Aronsson – Wadling Halmstad 1951 1 Bxh7+! Nxh7 2 Qg6 fxe5 2...Rf8 3 Nh5. 3 Qxe8+ Bf8 4 fxe5 Nb6 5 Nh5 Bd7 6 Rxf8+! Nxf8 7 Qe7 1-0 back

261) White to play Bologan – Zjukin Tallinn 1998 1 Rh6! Preventing 1...Qh4+ and threatening 2 Rxh7+ Kxh7 3 Qh5#. 1...Qd2 2 g5 1-0 The threat is 3 Rxh7+! Kxh7 4 Qf5+ Kh8 5 Qh3#. back

262) Black to play Puky – E. Steiner Temesvar 1894 1...Bxh3! 1...Rxg2+! 2 Kxg2 Qg5+ 3 Kh1 (3 Kh2 Qf4+ 4 Kh1 Bxd4) 3...Bxh3 is also very strong. 2 Kxh3 2 gxh3 Qg5 3 Rg1 Qf4+ 4 Kh1 Bxd4. 2...Qf6 3 Nf3 Qf5+ 4 Kh2 Rxg2+ 5 Kxg2 Rg8+ 6 Kh1 Qh3+ 7 Nh2 Qg2# back

263) White to play Polajzer – Tratar Ptuj 1998 1 Rxg6+! hxg6 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 Qh6+! Not 3 Rf3? Re7! 4 Qh6+ Rh7 5 Qxe6 Rf8, but 3 Rf4 is also good. 3...Kg8 4 Rf3 1-0 4...Re7 5 Rg3+ Kf7 6 Bh5#. back

264) White to play Timman – Partenheimer Essen 1994 1 Nxf5! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 1...Qxe5 2 Nh6+ Kh8 3 Nf7+ Kg8 4 Nxe5 Rxe5 5 Qf7+ Kh8 6 Qxh7# and 1...gxf5 2 Qxf5, when White has various mating ideas as well as attacking the e6-knight. back

265) White to play Hartston – Portisch Nice Olympiad 1974 1 Bxh6! gxh6 2 Qxh6 Nb2 3 Ng5 Nxd3 3...Nf8 4 Bh7+ Nxh7 5 Nxh7 f5 6 Nf6+ Kf7 7 Qh7+ Kf8 8 Qg8+ Ke7 9 Qg7#. 4 Nh7! 1-0 back

266) White to play Ang. Martin – Garcia Padron Montilla 1977 1 Bxh5! gxh5 2 Qf3! Not 2 Rxh5? Bxe4+ 3 Kg1 Bg7. 2...Qd7 2...Bg7 3 Qxh5 is winning for White. 3 Qxh5 Bxe4+ 4 Kg1 Bg7 5 fxg7 f5 6 Qh7+ 1-0 back

267) White to play Vaganian – Serper PCA Qualifier, Groningen 1993 1 Bxg6! hxg6 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 Re3 1-0 3...Bd7 4 Rg3, followed by mate. back

268) White to play Korchnoi – Ree Amsterdam 1972 1 Nxg7! Kxg7 2 Rg4+ Kf8 3 Qxf6 Ne5 4 Rh4 Kg8 Be4 Ng6 6 Rxh7! 1-0 6...Kxh7 7 Qxf7+ Kh8 8 Bxg6, winning. back


269) White to play Voskanian – Khodos USSR 1964 1 Nxg7! Kxg7 2 Bh6+! Kxh6 2...Kg8 3 Qf3!. 3 Qd2+ Kh5 3...Kg7 4 Qg5+ Kh8 5 Qxf6+ Kg8 and now the neatest way to force mate is a manoeuvre we know from the game Hort-Portisch: 6 Qg5+ Kh8 7 Qh6. 4 Re3 1-0 back

270) White to play Sokolsky – Kotov USSR Ch, Moscow 1949 1 Nxh6! Bxh6 2 Rh8+! Kxh8 3 Qxh6+ Rh7 3...Kg8 4 Rb8+ Kf7 5 Qh7#. 4 Qxf6+ Rg7 5 Rb7 1-0 back

271) White to play Hanauer – Barta New York 1929 1 Nxf7! 1 Bxh7+! is also good, since 1...Kxh7 2 Ng5+ is clearly winning, while 1...Kg7 2 Nxf7! Kxf7 3 Nh4 gives White an overwhelming attack. 1...Kxf7 2 Ne5+! 2 Ng5+! is similar. 2...fxe5 Or: 2...Nxe5 3 Qh5+!; 2...Kg8 3 Qg4+!, winning. 3 Qh5+ Kg7 4 Qxh7+ Kf8 5 Qh6+ Kg8 6 Bh7+ 1-0 6...Kh8 7 Bg6+ Kg8 8 Qh7+ Kf8 9 Qf7#. back

272) White to play M. Mihaljčišin – Benko Sarajevo 1970 1 Nf6+! Kf8 Or: 1...Bxf6 2 Qxg6+ Bg7 3 Nf5; 1...Kh8 2 Qxg6! fxg6 3 Nxg6#. 2 Nxg6+! fxg6 3 Nh7+ Ke7 4 Qxg6 Qxc5 5 Qe6# (1-0) back

273) Black to play Krecmer – Soltys Correspondence 1976 1...Nxg3! 2 Bf3 2 fxg3 Nd4!. 2...Nd4! 0-1 3 Bxb7 Nde2# or 3 exd4 Ne2+ and mate follows: 4 Qg2# or 4 Kh1 Bxf3+. back


274) White to play Hardicsay – Dumitrache Cappelle la Grande 1991 1 Ngxh6+! Kh7 1...gxh6 2 Qxh6. 2 Qg5 g6 3 Nxf7! Rxf7 3...gxf5 4 Qh6+ Kg8 5 Qg6#. 4 Qh6+ Kg8 5 Qxg6+ Kf8 6 Nd6 1-0 back

275) White to play Popović – Kosić Novi Sad 1992 1 Ng6!! Nh7 After 1...fxg6 2 Qxe6+ Qf7 3 Rh8+ Kxh8 4 Qxf7 White gains a decisive material advantage. 2 Rxh7! 1-0 2...Kxh7 3 Qh5+ Kg8 4 Qh8# or 2...fxg6 3 Qxe6+, etc. back

276) White to play Grabliauskas – Fendrich Manhem 1999 1 Ng5+! Kg8 1...hxg5 2 Rh1+ Kg8 3 Qh8+ Kf7 4 Rh7#. 2 Ne6 Ne5 3 Nc7 Qa5 4 Nxb5 1-0 back

277) White to play Dobosz – Janak Prague 1981 1 Nxe6! Bd7 1...fxe6? allows 2 Qxg6#. 2 Rxd5 Bxe6 3 Qf4! Bxd5 3...g5 4 Nf6+. 4 Qxh6 f6 5 Qxg6+ Kh8 6 Ng5 1-0 back

278) White to play Zakić – Werner Budapest 1991 1 Bxg6! Rxg6 2 Rxg6+ Kxg6 3 Rg3+ Kf6 4 Qh5 e5 4...Qe8 5 Qg5+ Kf7 6 Qg7#. 5 Qh8+ 1-0 5...Ke7 6 Rg7+ or 5...Kf5 6 Qf8+ Ke4 7 Qf3+ Kd4 8 Qd3#. back

279) Black to play Epishin – Ki. Georgiev Burgas 1994 1...Qxh2+!! 0-1 2 Kxh2 Rh5+ 3 Kg3 (3 Kg1 Rh1#) 3...g1Q+ 4 Kf4 Qg5#. back

280) White to play Nedeljković – Matanović Belgrade 1950 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Rxg7+ Kxg7 4 Rg1+ Kf6 5 f5! 1-0 5...e4 6 Qg5+ Ke5 7 Qxe7+, etc. back

281) White to play Yusupov – Vogt Swiss Team Ch, Zurich 1999 1 Bf6! g6 1...gxf6 2 Be4 Rfd8 3 Qxh7+ Kf8 4 Bd5, and mate on f7 or h8 follows. 2 Qh3 2 Qg5 Bf4. 2...h5 2...Rfe8 3 Ng5. 3 g4 1-0 back

282) Black to play Kahn – O. Bernstein Paris 1926 1...Rxf2! While this is definitely Black’s best (and only good) move, it is not clear that it is winning. 2 Rxe6? 2 Bxf2? loses more simply: 2...Qxf2+ 3 Kh1 Qxe1#. If White had identified Black’s main threat, viz. 2...Bd5! 3 Qxd5 Qe2!, he might have found 2 h3!, relieving his back-rank issues and offering fair survival chances. 2...Qe2!! 0-1 The double attack on e1 and f1 is decisive. back

283) Black to play Van Wely – Piket Wijk aan Zee 1996 1...Qxh4+! 2 Rxh4 Rxh4+ 3 Kg1 Rd6! 0-1 4 Bf1 Rg6+ 5 Bg2 Rxg2+ 6 Kf1 Rh1#. back

284) Black to play Prié – Kallai French Team Ch, Cannes 1996 1...Rxh2! This is Black’s best move, but it probably isn’t enough to win if White responds accurately. 2 Rxe6? 2 Kxh2? Qf3 (threatening 3...Rh8+ and 4...Rh1#) 3 Bf1? (3 Re4 Rh8+ 4 Rh4 gxh4 5 Qf4+ is the only way to put up resistance) 3...Rh8+ 4 Bh3 Qg4 (if 4...g4?, 5 Qf4+ Qxf4 6 gxf4 Rxh3+ 7 Kg2) 5 Kg2 Qxh3+ 6 Kf3 Rf8+ 7 Ke2 Rxf2+! 8 Kxf2 Qh2+, winning the queen. 2 Be4! Rdh8 3 Rxc6!, surprisingly enough, leaves White no worse. 3...bxc6 4 Bxc6 gives White enough counterplay against the exposed black king while the bishop is perfectly placed to serve a double duty as an attacking and defensive piece. 3...Qh6 4 Rc8+! Kxc8 (4...Rxc8 5 Qxd4 gives White enough play; e.g., 5...Rh8 6 Qd6+ Ka8 7 Bxb7+ and White gives perpetual check) 5 Rc1+! Kb8 6 Qb4! and now 6...Rh1+ 7 Kg2 Qh3+ 8 Kf3 gives Black no more than a perpetual check. 2...Qf3 0-1 There is no defence against 3...Rh1#. 3 Kxh2 is met by 3...Rh8+, mating. back

285) Black to play Knorre – Chigorin St Petersburg 1874 1...h4!! 2 Nxf7 hxg3!? 2...Qe7! is a very reasonable alternative that gives Black some advantage at least. 3 Nxd8 Bg4 4 Qd2 Nd4 5 Nc3?? White can avoid immediate loss by 5 h3 Ne2+ (after 5...Nf3+?? 6 gxf3 Bxf3 White has several ways to avoid the mate, such as 7 Qg5) 6 Qxe2 Bxe2 7 Ne6 Bb6 8 Nc3 Bxf1 9 Kxf1 gxf2 10 Na4, with a position that is by no means hopeless. 5...Nf3+! 6 gxf3 Bxf3 0-1 The threat is 7...gxh2#, and 7 hxg3 allows 7...Rh1#. back

286) Black to play Ferran – Parra Cuba 1996 1...Ba3! 2 c3 Na4!! 3 Bxa4 Qxa4 4 Bg5 Rxd1+ 5 Qxd1 Bxb2+! 6 Kd2 Bxc3+ 7 Ke2 Re8+ 8 Be3 Qc4+ 0-1 9 Kf3 Qg4#. back

287) White to play Haag – Varnusz Hungarian Ch, Budapest 1958 1 Bf6! h6 2 Re3!? 2 Nc6! is a good alternative since 2...Bxc6? loses to 3 Re3 intending Rg3 or Rh3. 2...Kh7 2...cxd4 3 Rg3 g5 4 Rxg5+. 3 Qd3+ Kh8? The critical line runs 3...g6 4 Nf3 c4! 5 Ng5+ Kg8 6 Qd2 Bxe3 7 Qxe3, when White has good compensation but Black retains defensive resources. 4 Rh3! Bxh3 5 Qxh3 Kh7 6 Bxg7! 1-0 6...Kxg7 7 Nf5+ Kg6 8 Qg4+ Kh7 9 Qg7#. back

288) Black to play J. Armas – Huss Moscow Olympiad 1994 1...Bxg4! 2 fxg4 Qxg4+ 3 Kf1 3 Kf2 Rh2+ 4 Kf1 Qh4 (better than 4...Qf3+ 5 Ke1, when the king escapes via d2) 5 Qe1 Qh3+ and mate follows. 3...Qf3+ 4 Ke1 Rh2 5 Rf1 Qh3 6 Qd2 f3 7 Qe3 f2+ 0-1 8 Kd2 Qxf1. back

289) White to play Benjamin – Gufeld Kona 1998 1 Rxe4! fxe4 2 Qe6+ Kh8 3 Qxh6! Nf5 Or: 3...gxh6 4 Nf7++ Kg8 5 Nxh6#; 3...Rf6 4 Qh5. 4 Ng6+ Kg8 5 Rxd5 1-0 5...gxh6 6 Rxf5+, and mate cannot be prevented. back

290) White to play Hartlaub – Bernary Munich 1911 1 Rxh5! gxh5 1...Qxd6 2 Ne4 threatens both mate on h8 and the queen. 2 Nd5!! exd5 2...Qxd6 3 Nf6+ Kg7 4 Qh7#. 3 Qh7+! Kxh7 4 Rh6+ Kg8 5 Rh8# back

291) White to play Andreev – Cserna Budapest 1983 1 Nh6+! Kh8 2 Qxg7+!! 1-0 2...Kxg7 3 Bd4+ Bf6 (3...f6 4 gxf6++ Kxh6 5 Be3#) 4 gxf6++ Kh8 5 Rg8+! Rxg8 6 Nxf7#. back

292) White to play R. Hochmair – Van Heeren Correspondence 1928 1 Nxf7! Kxf7 2 Bxe6+! Kxe6 2...Kf8 3 Qg6. 3 Qg6!! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 3...Nf8 4 Rfe1+ Kd7 5 Qf5+ Kc6 6 Na4+, mating, 3...Qa5 4 d5+! Bxd5 5 Rfe1+ Ne5 6 Rxe5+ Kd7 7 Qf5+ and 3...Be4 4 Rfe1!. back

293) White to play D. Grant – Flermoen Caleta 2010 1 e6! Kh7 1...dxe4 2 Rxf7+ Kg8 3 Rg7+ Kh8 4 Rxg6+ Kh7 5 Rg7+ Kh8 6 Rxg5+ Kh7 7 Rg7+ Kh8 8 Rxh6#. 2 Qe5 Qa4 3 Qxg5 1-0 A more spectacular finish was possible: 3 Rxh6+! Bxh6 (3...Kxh6 4 Rxg6+! fxg6 5 Qg7#) 4 Rxf7+ Rxf7 5 Bxg6+ Kxg6 6 Qh5+ Kh7 7 Qxf7+ Bg7 8 Qxg7#. back

294) White to play Kozlov – Mikenas Lithuanian Ch 1953 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 2 Qh5+ Kg8 3 Bxg7! f6 3...Bxg7 4 Rxg7+ Kxg7 5 Rg1+ and now 5...Kf6 6 Qg5# 5...Kf8 6 Qh8#. 4 Bxf8+ 1-0 4...Kxf8 5 Qh8+ Kf7 6 Rg7#. back


295) Black to play Del Rey – Pogorelov Zaragoza 1997 1...Rxh3! 2 Rxf4 Or: 2 Rxh3 Qxg4+; 2 Kxh3 Rh8+ 3 Kg2 Rh2+ 4 Kg1 Qxg4+ and mate follows. 2...exf4 2...Qh4! 3 Rxf7+ Kg8 4 R1f3 Rh2+ 5 Kf1 Rh1+ 6 Ke2 Qe1+ 7 Kd3 e4+. 3 Qxd4+ Kg8 0-1 4 Kxh3 Re3+ 5 Qxe3 fxe3. back

296) Black to play Euwe – Réti Amsterdam (1) 1920 1...Bh3!! 1...Bc5+ 2 Kh1 Bh3!! is equally effective. 2 Qxa8 Bc5+ 3 Kh1 3 Kf1 Qf2#. 3...Bxg2+! 4 Kxg2 Qg4+ 5 Kf1 5 Kh1 Qf3#. 5...Qf3+ 6 Ke1 Qf2# (0-1) back

297) Black to play Anderssen – Lange Breslau 1859 1...Ng3+!! 2 hxg3 Qg5 Threatening 3...Qh6#. 3 Rf5 h5!! 4 gxh5 4 Rxg5 hxg4+ 5 Rh5 Rxh5#. 4...Qxf5 5 g4 Rxh5+!! 6 gxh5 Qe4! Now the threat is 7...Qh4#. 7 Qf3 The queen makes forced moves while the queenside slumber. 7...Qh4+ 8 Qh3 Qe1+ 9 Kh2 Bg1+ 0-1 10 Kh1 Bf2+ 11 Kh2 Qg1#. back


298) White to play Rabar – NN Yugoslavia 1972 1 Qxh7+!! Kxh7 2 Rh1+ Kg8 3 Nh6+ Kh8 4 Nf7++ Kg8 5 Rh8+! Kxf7 6 Rh7+ Kg8 7 Rg7+ Kh8 8 Rh1# back

299) White to play Gdanski – Filipek Polanica Zdroj 1994 1 Rxh5! gxh5 2 Qxh5 Bb4 Allowing the black queen to defend along its second rank, but this proves inadequate. A more critical line runs 2...Bc5 3 Qh6! (intending g6-g7) 3...Bxe3+ 4 fxe3 Rfc8 5 Rg3! (not 5 g6? f6 6 g7 Be4!) 5...e4 6 g6 f6 7 g7 with an advantage for White; e.g., 7...Qd8 8 Rg6! Kf7 9 g8Q+ Qxg8 10 Rxf6+ Ke7 11 Rg6!. 3 g6 f5 4 g7 Rfc8 5 Rg6 Qc6 6 Qh8+ Kf7 7 g8Q+! Rxg8 8 Qh7+ Ke8 9 Rxg8+ Bf8 10 Bh6 1-0 Black would have to give up too much material to avoid mate. back

300) White to play Erlandsson – Mooren Correspondence 1987-8 1 f6+ Kh7 1...Nxf6 2 exf6+ Kg8 (2...Kxf6 3 Qe3; 2...Qxf6 3 Rxh6 Rh8 4 Rxh8 Rxh8 5 Qg3) 3 Rg1. 2 Bxg6+! 1-0 Black resigned in view of 2...Kh8 3 Rxh6+, 2...Kxg6 3 Qg4+ Kh7 4 Qg7# and 2...fxg6 3 Qd7+ Kh8 4 Qg7#. back

301) White to play Capablanca – H. Steiner Los Angeles 1933 1 Rxf6!! Kxf6 2 Rf1+ Nf5 There’s nothing else; 2...Kg7 3 Rf7+ Kh8 4 Qxh7#. 3 Nxf5! exf5 4 Rxf5+ Ke7 5 Qf7+ Kd6 6 Rf6+ Kc5 7 Qxb7 Threatening mate on b4 and c6. 7...Qb6 8 Rxc6+! Qxc6 9 Qb4# (1-0) back

302) Black to play Szmetan – P. Nikolić Buenos Aires 1992 1...Bxg3+! 2 Kxg3 Rxb5! 3 cxb5 Qd6+ 4 Kh3 Bd7 5 Rf5 Nf4+ 6 Rxf4 Qxf4 7 Be4 Bxf5+! 0-1 8 Bxf5 Qxf5+ 9 Kg3 Rxe2. back

303) Black to play Evseev – Flohr Odessa 1949 1...Rc2! 2 Qg3 2 Qxd4 Rxg2!. 2...Qd3! 3 Qxd3 Rxg2 4 Ng4 Rgxh2++ 0-1 5 Kg1 Rg2#. back

304) White to play Matanović – Germek Yugoslavia 1974 1 Qxf7+! Kxh6 2 g4 Qc7 3 g5+ Kh5 4 Bf5!! 1-0 The key point: thanks to the pin, mate on g4 can’t stopped: 4...Qxf7 5 Bg4#. back


305) White to play Shagalovich – Gufeld USSR Spartakiad, Moscow 1967 1 Bxf7+! Kxf7 2 Rxh7+ Ke6 3 Qg7 Re8 4 Qf7+ Ke5 5 0-0-0! Rac8 6 Nd5! Rxc2+ 7 Kb1! 7 Kxc2? Qa4+ 8 Kd2 Qd4+ is a draw since 9 Kc1?? loses to 9...Ne2+. 7...Nd3 8 Qg7+ 1-0 8...Ke6 9 Qxe7+! Rxe7 10 Rxe7#. back

306) White to play Bondarevsky – Zagorovsky USSR 1943 1 Nxh6+! 1 Nf6+? Kh8 enables Black to survive. 1...gxh6 2 Qxh6 Ng6 Or: 2...Nxd3+ 3 Rxd3 Bxh4 4 Qxh4; 2...f5 3 Bxe7 Qxe7 4 Qxf4. 3 Bxg6 fxg6 4 Qxg6+ Kh8 5 Qh6+ Kg8 6 Rd3 Bxh4 7 Qg6+ Kh8 8 Rg3! 1-0 back

307) White to play Shamkovich – Barth New York 1982 1 Ne4!! Nf5 Or: 1...Qxd4? 2 Ng5; 1...dxe4 2 Rxd7 Qxb2 (2...Rg8? 3 Rg3! forces mate) 3 Bxe4. 2 gxf5 Qxd4 3 Rxg6! Rg8 Or: 3...dxe4 4 f6 Rf7 5 Rg7; 3...Rxf5 4 Nf6!; 3...Qxb2 4 f6! Rf7 5 Rg7 Qb1+ 6 Rg1 followed by Ng5. 4 Ng5 4 Nf6 also wins. 4...Rg7 5 f6! 1-0 back

308) White to play Grekov – Ilyin-Zhenevsky Moscow 1920 1 Qh6!! Mate is threatened on g7 and h7, and 1...gxh6 is impossible due to 2 g7#. 1...Bf4+ 2 Qxf4 Bd3 3 Qh6 White renews the threats, not distracted by a few harmless checks to his own king. 3...Qxb2+ 4 Kd2 Qxc2+ 5 Ke3 1-0 back

309) Black to play Mahmud – Dgebuadze Erevan 1997 1...Bf3!! 2 Nxd5 Or: 2 gxf3 Qh5; 2 Bf5 Qh5 3 Bh3 Qxh3 4 gxh3 Rxh3, with mate on h1 in both cases. 2...Bxd5 3 Rc5 Ra2! 4 Qd1 4 Qxa2 Qh5 5 f3 Qh2+ 6 Kf2 Bxa2. 4...Qxg3! 0-1 If 5 Rxd5 (5 fxg3 Rxg2#), 5...Qh2#. back

310) White to play Thipsay – Beaumont British Ch, Torquay 1998 1 Rxf7! 1-0 Black resigned in view of: a) 1...Qxe5 2 Raf1 threatening mate with 3 Qxe8+ and 4 Rf8+, etc., and 2...Bg7 loses: 3 Rxg7+ Qxg7 4 Qd5+ Kh8 5 Bd4. b) 1...Kxf7 2 Rf1+ Bf6 (2...Kg7 3 Qe6 Rf8 4 exf8Q+ Rxf8 5 Qe7+) 3 Rxf6+ Kg7 4 Rf8 Qe1+ 5 Bg1 Rxc2 6 Qxe8 and White wins. For instance: 6...Qe2 7 Qf7+ Kh6 8 Qf4+ Kh5 9 Rf5+ gxf5 10 e8Q#. back

311) White to play E. Fuentes – Alexandria Buenos Aires 1992 1 Bxh7+! Kxh7 1...Kh8 2 Bxg7+! Kxh7 (2...Kxg7 3 Rg5+ Kh8 4 Qxb4) 3 Rh5+ Kxg7 (3...Kg8 4 Qg5) 4 Qg5+ Kf8 5 Rh8#. 2 Rh5+ Kg8 3 Qxb4 Bb7 4 Rxe8+ Rxe8 5 Qc3 Nf6 5...f6 6 Qc4+ Kf8 7 Bc3!, with a decisive advantage thanks to the threat of 8 Bb4+, and if 7...g6, 8 Rh7. 6 Qxf6!! 1-0 back

312) White to play A. Ramos – Prado Cuba 1997 1 Rd8!! Kg7 Or: 1...Bxg3 2 Rxf8+ Kg7 3 Rg8#; 1...Rxd8 2 Bf6+ Bxf6 3 Qxc7; 1...Nd7 2 Rxf8+ Nxf8 3 Bf6+ Bxf6 4 Qxc7. 2 Bf6+!! Kxf6 Or: 2...Bxf6 3 Qxc7+; 2...Rxf6 3 Rg8+ Kh6 4 Qh4#; 2...Kh6 3 Qh4#. 3 Rxf8+ 1-0 After 3...Kg7 4 Rg8+ Kf6 (4...Kh6 5 Qh4#) it’s mate in four: 5 Qh4+ Kf5 6 Rf8+ Bf6 7 Rxf6+ Ke5 8 Qf4#. back

313) White to play G. Kuzmin – Ovseevich Donetsk Zonal 1998 1 Be8!! Threatening 2 Qxg7+! Kxg7 3 Rh7+ Kf8 4 Rxf7#. 1...g5 Freeing the g6-square for the king. 1...Rxe8 allows 2 Nd7#. 2 g4! 1-0 2...gxf4 3 Qxg7+! Kxg7 4 Rh7+ Kg6 5 Bxf7+ Kg5 6 Rh5#. back

314) White to play Bonin – Serper New York 1998 1 Rh8+! Kxh8 2 Qh5+ Nh6 2...Kg8 3 Bxf5. 3 Rxg7! Rb6 3...Kxg7 4 Qg5+ Kh8 5 Qxh6+ Kg8 6 Qh7#. 4 Rh7+ Kg8 5 Qg5+ Rg6 6 Bxg6 Qg4 7 Rh8+! 1-0 7...Kxh8 8 Qxh6+ Kg8 9 Qh7#. back

315) White to play Acs – Szuhanek Zalakaros 1999 1 Bxh7+! Kf8 Or 1...Kxh7 2 Ne5! Nxe5 (2...fxe5 3 Rh3+ Kg6 4 Qh5+ Kf6 5 Qh6+ Kf5 6 Rf3+ Kg4 7 h3#) 3 dxe5, with an irresistible mating attack. 2 Qd2 Ke8 3 Re1 Bc8 4 Qf4! f5 5 Bxf5! exf5 6 Qg5 Be6 7 Qg8+ Bf8 8 Rxe6+! fxe6 9 Qg6+ 1-0 9...Ke7 10 Qxe6#. back

316) White to play Lukov – Trifonov Bulgarian Ch, Sofia 1981 1 Rxd4! Nxd4 1...Qe8 2 Rg4. 2 Qxg6+ Kh8 3 e6! Qd8 4 Bxd4+ Bf6 5 Ng5! Be4 5...Rc7 6 Nf7+ Rcxf7 7 exf7 Rxf7 8 Qxf7 Qxd4 9 Re1 Bc6 10 Re6, and if now 10...Qa1+, 11 Kh2 Be5+ 12 f4, winning. 6 Qxe4 Qe7?! 6...Rc7 is a better try. 7 Rd1 Or 7 Nf7+ Rxf7 8 Qh4+ Kg8 (8...Kg7 9 Qg4+, followed by 10 exf7) 9 exf7+ Qxf7 10 Qxf6. 7...Rcd8 1-0 Black resigned before White could play 8 Bxf6+ Rxf6 9 Rxd8+, overloading the black queen. back

317) White to play S. Cvetković – M. Lazić Yugoslavia 1999 1 e5!! Bxf3 Or: 1...fxe5 2 Ng5 with a double attack on h7 and the b7-bishop; 1...Rxc1 2 exf6 Rxf1+ 3 Bxf1 and mate on g7 can’t be stopped: 3...b4 4 Qh6. 2 exf6 Qd2 To control the c1-h6 diagonal; White was threatening 3 Qg5+, mating, and 2...Kh8 fails to 3 Qh6 Rg8 4 Rxc8. 3 Bxf3 White isn’t worried about the attack on the c1-rook, since his queen now has the g4-square via which to deliver mate. 3...h6 4 Rxc8 Rxc8 5 Rd1 Qg5 A very logical defence. 5...Rc1 loses to 6 Qg4+ Qg5 7 Rxc1. 6 Qd4! Threatening 7 Qd8+!. 6...Qc5 7 Qd2 By attacking h6, White stretches the defensive forces. 7...Qg5 8 Qd8+! 1-0 8...Rxd8 9 Rxd8+ Kh7 10 Be4+, and White wins easily. back

Index of Names A – B – C – D – E F – G – H – I – J K – L – M – N – O P – Q – R – S – T U – V – W – Y – Z Composers and Analysts A AGAARD – Rasmussen, P. A ARON – Raman A BHAYANKAR – Thipsay A BONYI – Hromadka A BRAMAVICIUS – Richter, K. A BRAMOVIĆ – Hébert A BROSIMOV – Ambailis A CS – Szuhanek A DAMS – Santasiere A DAMS , M. – Fritz 6 ; Hansen, L.B. ; Nijboer ; Serper ; Skripchenko A DAMSKI , J. – Bednarski A DELER – Choinatzky A DIANTO – Van den Doel A DORJAN – Polgar, I. A GGOS – Rojahn A GNOS – Miladinović; Norwood A HMED , E. – Rogozenko A HUES – NN ; Sämisch A ITKEN – Payne, R. A KOPIAN – Ivanov, S. A LAGIANNIS – Petraki A LAPIN – Nimzowitsch A LATORTSEV – Veresov A LBIN – Bernstein, O. A LBURT – Dorfman ; Sveshnikov A LEKHINE – Colle ; Consultation partners ; Feldt ; Frieman ; Hoelscher ; Keres ; Levenfish ; Molina ; Nestor ; Opočensky ; Prat ; Reshevsky ; Supico ; Torres ; Vasić A LEKSANDROV – Zaitsev, A. A LEXANDER – Marshall, E. A LEXANDER , L. – Mabbs

A LEXANDRIA – Fuentes, E. A LLEN – Sadler A LLIES – Morphy A LMASI , I. – Horvath, T. A LMASI , Z. – Norwood A LTERMAN – Avrukh ; Gabriel ; Lev ; Matlak A LTMAN – Savchenko A LVAREZ M ARQUEZ – Horvath, A. A MBAILIS – Abrosimov A NAND – Arizmendi ; Karpov ; Svidler ; Topalov ; Zapata A NASTASIAN – Milov, V. A NDERSSEN – Lange ; Schallopp ; Steinitz ; Zukertort ; Zukertort A NDERSSON – Hartston ; Portisch A NDONOV – Lputian A NDREEV – Cserna A NDREOLI – Efimov A NGELOV – Estrin A NIKAEV – Geller A NTONOV – Marszalek A NTUNES – Bellon A PARICIO – Bronstein, L. A RDUMAN – Georgiev, Kr. A RGÜELLES – Delgado A RIZMENDI – Anand A RKHIPKIN – Prodanov A RMAS , J. – Huss A RNASON – Short A RNOLD – Chigorin A RONIN – Fridshtein ; Kantorovich A RONSSON – Wadling A SEEV – Khalifman ; Nevostruev A SENDORF – Schneider, M. A SHIN – Ugoltsev A SZTALOS – Tot A TALIK – Blehm A TKINSON – Price A VERBAKH – Kotov ; Novotelnov A VERKIN – Krasnov A VRUKH – Alterman A ZMAIPARASHVILI – Fedorov ; Yakovich B ABURIN – Godena


AGIROV – Nikolaevsky ; Portisch AGIROV , R. – Rieke AKHRAMOV – Gik AKONY – Szabo AKULIN – Bronstein AKUS – Bruned ALANEL – Pytlakowski ALASHOV – Zhelnin ALENDO – Kotenko ALK – Barnes ALLA – Balogh ALOGH – Balla ALOGH , C. – Pham Minh Hoang ALOGH , J. – Gromer ANIKAS – Koumanis ; Nenashev ANNIK – Kholmov ARAN – Lukasiewicz ARANOV – Bonch-Osmolovsky ARATY – Redely ARCZA – Tarnowski ; Tatar ; Vasiukov ; Zimmerman ARCZAY – Lukacs AREEV – Kupreichik ; Yakovich ARKWINKEL – Djordjević ARLOW , B. – Williams, S. ARNES – Balk ARRY , C. – Rossolimo ARTA – Hanauer ARTH – Shamkovich ARUA – Gulko ASANTA – Wong, S. ASTRIKOV – Goglidze ATUEV – Simagin AUER , C. – Kinsman AUER , J. – Lasker, Em. EAUMONT – Thipsay ECKER , B. – Nogueiras ECKHARDT – Fine EDNARSKI – Adamski, J. EECKMANS – Renet, J. EGOVAC – Kupper, P. EGUN – Kasparov EHTING , K. – Nimzowitsch

B ELAKOVSKAIA – Marinello B ELENKY – Pirogov B ELIAEV – Pavlov, N. ; Silaev B ELIAVSKY – Cebalo B ELLON – Antunes ; Kovačević, S. B ELOTTI – Cvitan B ELVER – Rater B ENDEL – Truskavetsky B ENJAMIN – Gufeld B ENKO – Fischer ; Fischer ; Hartman, C. ; Mihaljčišin, M. ; Quillen; Rivise B EREBESOV – Kizlov B ERG , G. – Glek B ERG , K. – Ernst, T. ; Kosten B ERGER – Koss B ERGER , B. – Portisch B ERGER , P. – Pröhl B ERGMAN – Jeroström B ERKVENS – Van Delft B ERNARY – Hartlaub B ERNSTEIN , N. – Henneberger B ERNSTEIN , O. – Albin ; Capablanca ; Kahn ; Tartakower B ERNSTEIN , Y. – Kraidman B ERTA – Negyesy B ERTOK – Boto B ERZINŠ – Jaracz B ETBEDER – Tyroler B IDEV – Puc B IELICKI – Evans B ILEK – Farago, I. B IRD – Steinitz B ISGUIER – Evans ; Novikov ; Robatsch B ITANSKY – Haznedaroglu B JARNASON – Stefansson B JERRE , T. – Polgar, I. B LACKBURNE – Lipschütz ; NN ; NN ; Wilson B LAKE – Hooke B LAŠKO – Solik B LAU , M. – Pfeiffer, G. B LAZKOVA – Kotek B LEDOW – Horwitz B LEHM – Atalik ; Novikov

B LEKS – Tal B LOEMHARD – Wolbers B OADA – Hsu B OBRAS – Schmidt, Wl. B ODEN – MacDonnell, G. ; Schulder B ODROGI – Boros B ODYSHKO – Matsukevich B OGDANOVIĆ – Suetin B OGDANOVICH , G. – Daudžvardis B OGOLJUBOW – Monticelli; Réti ; Rödl ; Sultan Khan B OHL – Ehlert B OLESLAVSKY – Gurgenidze, B. ; Mosionzhik ; Ragozin, V. ; Steiner, L. B OLOGAN – Dao Thien Hai ; Zjukin B ONCH -O SMOLOVSKY – Baranov B ONDAREVSKY – Botvinnik ; Gundin ; Kotov ; Kotov ; Ufimtsev ; Zagorovsky B ONIN – Serper B OOTH – West B ORIES – Shoulds B ORIK – Novak B ORODIN – Soultanbéieff B OROS – Bodrogi B OROVOI – Vatnikov B OSCH – Matthiesen ; Van Helvoort B OTO – Bertok B OTSCHEK – Schäfer B OTVINNIK – Bondarevsky ; Keres B OXALL – Wade B RINCK -C LAUSSEN – Johannessen, S. ; Rosenlund B RINCKMANN – Richter, K. B RONSTEIN – Bakulin ; Geller ; Gurevich, M. ; Hunt, H. ; Keres ; NN ; Spassky ; Sznapik ; Zita B RONSTEIN , L. – Aparicio B ROWNE – Kasparov ; Seirawan ; Sunye B RULIĆ – Filipović, M. ; Petrosian, D. B RUN – Hemman B RUNED – Bakus B RYNELL – Ziegler B UBNOV – Oraevsky B UCHIS – Kveinis B UHMANN – Fedorchuk

B UKSA – Kovacs B ULAT – Smederevac B ULGARAT – Porral B UNGAN – Crowl B UNZMANN – Nikolić, P. B URIAKIN – Liublinsky B URN – Marshall ; Owen B USCAGLIA – Leiser B USTAMANTE – Mansilla B UTURIN – Kozakov Č ABRILO – Pavlović C AMPBELL – Duong Thanh Nha C AMPORA – Eslon ; Petursson C ANAL – Dunkelblum ; Kopetzky ; NN C APABLANCA – Bernstein, O. ; Réti ; Steiner, H. ; Thomas C ARDOSO – Rossetto C ASPER – Yusupov C ASTELLA – Serper C ASTIGLIONI – Kupreichik C EBALO – Beliavsky ; Lekić Č ETKOVIĆ – Molerović C EVALLOS – Möhring C HAROUSEK – Herman C HATALBASHEV – Efimov C HAVEZ – Cranbourne C HEKHOVER – Makogonov C HEPUKAITIS – Clanents C HEREPKOV – Sakharov C HERNIAEV – Grishchuk ; Roiz, M. C HIAMULERA – Taitt C HIBURDANIDZE – Foisor, C. ; Glek ; Malaniuk C HIGORIN – Arnold ; Gossip ; Knorre ; Lasker, Em. ; Martinez, D. ; NN ; Schiffers ; Schiffers C HIGORIN /P ONCE – Steinitz/Gavilan C HISTIAKOV – Grigoriev ; Kogan ; Nasonov C HOINATZKY – Adeler C HRISTIANSEN – Seirawan ; Summermatter C HUA H ENG M ENG – Zhang Zhong C HURM – McMahon Č IRIĆ – Gipslis C LANENTS – Chepukaitis C LEMENZ – Eisenschmidt

C OCHRANE – Staunton C OLLE – Alekhine ; Winter C OLLINS – Spanton C ONDIE – McKay C ONSULTATION PARTNERS – Alekhine ; Pollock C ORDOVIL – Durão C ORZO , J. – Golmayo, M. C OUSO – Holmsten C OUVÉE – Speyer C RANBOURNE – Chavez C RISAN – McKim C ROWL – Bungan C SERNA – Andreev ; Gyurkovics C SISZAR – Haag C VETKOVIĆ , S. – Lazić, M. C VITAN – Belotti; Ftačnik D ADIAN OF M INGRELIA – NN D ALLAS – Waldmann D ALY – Rochev D ANIELIAN – Landa D AO T HIEN H AI – Bologan D ARGA – Donner ; Martius ; Richter, K. D ASKALOV – Padevsky D AUDŽVARDIS – Bogdanovich, G. DE F IRMIAN – Rasmussen, C. DE LA B OURDONNAIS – Deschapelles DE LA P AZ – Pujols D E S ANTIS – Sansonetti D E W IT – Piket D EL R EY – Pogorelov D ELAI – Ramaswany D ELGADO – Argüelles D ELGADO , V. – Vasquez, M. D ELMAR – Richardson ; Teed D ELY – Donner D EMENTIEV – Zilbershtein D EMIDOV – Ponomarev D EMUTH – Mermagen D ENKER – Gonzalez ; Reshevsky D ESCHAPELLES – de la Bourdonnais D EUTSCH – Vuković D EVOS – Muffang ; O’Kelly

D GEBUADZE – Mahmud D IMITROV , V. – Onoprienko D JERKOVIĆ – Peredun D JORDJEVIĆ – Barkwinkel D OBOSZ – Janak D OMNITZ – Pfleger D ONALDSON , D. – Kostić D ONCHEV – Vladimirov, E. D ONEV – Dychev D ONNER – Darga ; Dely ; Ghitescu ; Wenzhe ; Van den Berg ; Witt D ORFMAN – Alburt D OROSLEV – Polgar, J. D ÜCKSTEIN – Pachman D UKE OF B RUNSWICK AND C OUNT Morphy D UKIĆ – Hellers ; Smejkal D UMITRACHE – Hardicsay D UNKELBLUM – Canal D UONG T HANH N HA – Campbell D UPPEL – Schmidt, G. D URÃO – Cordovil ; Escalona D URAS – NN ; NN ; Olland ; Spielmann D UTREEUW – Malaniuk D VORETSKY – Schneider, A. D WORAKOWSKA – Oral D YCE – McDonald D YCHEV – Donev D YMENT – Kraicer E FIMOV – Andreoli ; Chatalbashev E GANIAN – Tatevosian E GENBERGER – Schumacher E HLERT – Bohl E ICHHORN – Mertens E INGORN – Kuzmin, G. E ISENSCHMIDT – Clemenz E LEY – Harman E LGABRY – Hakki E MMERICH – Grossbach E MMRICH – Moritz E NGEL – Sämisch E PERJESI – Lederman ; Perenyi

Gligorić ;



E PISHIN – Georgiev, Ki. E RDÖS – Lichtner E RHART – Stajčić E RLANDSSON – Mooren E RNST , T. – Berg, K. E RWICH – Szekely E SCALONA – Durão E SLON – Campora E SPIG – Mertens ; Pietzsch E SSEGERN – Kummer E STRELLA – Morales, V. E STRIN – Angelov ; Zhidkov E TTLINGER – Janowski E UWE – Réti E VANS – Bielicki; Bisguier E VSEEV – Flohr F AHNENSCHMIDT – Stohl F ARAGO , I. – Bilek ; Rigo F EDORCHUK – Buhmann F EDOROV – Azmaiparashvili; Lanka F EDOROWICZ – Luczak F ELBER – Nakamura, A. F ELDMAN – Shulman, V. F ELDT – Alekhine F ELLER , J. – Levy F ELMI – Hébert F ENDRICH – Grabliauskas F ERČEC – Haldemann F ERRAN – Parra F ERRERA – Lavine F ETTE – Meszaros, A. F EUSTEL – Püchele F IELD – Tenner F ILATOV – Kofman F ILIP – Uhlmann F ILIPEK – Gdanski F ILIPENKO – Osnos F ILIPOVIĆ , M. – Brulić F INE – Beckhardt ; Simonson F INSH – Möhring F ISCHER – Benko ; Benko ; Letelier F LAMBERG – Post

F LEISCHMANN – NN F LERMOEN – Grant, D. F LIS – Ksieski F LOHR – Evseev ; Mikenas, V. F OISOR , C. – Chiburdanidze ; Wegerer F ORDAN – Kiss F RANCO , Z. – Illescas F RANKLE – Patty F RANZEN – Tibensky F RIDSHTEIN – Aronin F RIEDE – Winter F RIEDMAN – Thornblom F RIEMAN – Alekhine F RITZ 6 – Adams, M. ; Polgar, J. F TAČNIK – Cvitan F UCHS – NN ; Uhlmann F UENTES , E. – Alexandria ; Mendez F UENTES , J. – Pomar G ABRIEL – Alterman G ADJILY – Komliakov G ALIER – Hermann G ALLEGO , F. – Kuijf G ALLEGO , V. – Rodriguez, O. G AMARRA – Martinez, G. G APRINDASHVILI – Nikolac ; Pihajlić ; Servaty G ARCIA – Perez G ARCIA I LUNDAIN – Shirov ; Van Wely G ARCIA P ADRON – Martin, Ang. G ARCIA , R. – Westerinen G ASPARIAN , M. – Ornstein, P. G ASS – Taksis G AUSEL – Østenstad G AVRIKOV – Kasparov G DANSKI – Filipek ; Kempinski G EDEVANISHVILI – Tal G ELLER – Anikaev ; Bronstein ; Kogan ; Liebert ; Nilsson, Z. ; Novotelnov ; Palatnik ; Portisch ; Spassky G ENSER – Zelić G EORGADZE , G. – Hjartarson ; Yakovich G EORGIEV , K I . – Epishin ; Karpov ; Rogers G EORGIEV , K R . – Arduman G EREBEN – Troianescu


ERENCER – Sermek ERMEK – Matanović ERVITS – Shipachev HANE – Maksimenko HEORGHIU – Kasparov HINDA , E. – Gogilea HITESCU – Donner IK – Bakhramov IPSLIS – Čirić LEIZEROV – Nataf LEK – Berg, G. ; Chiburdanidze ; Thesing LIGORIĆ – Donner ; Hort ; Keres ; Prins ; Rozenstein ODENA – Baburin OGILEA – Ghinda, E. OGLIDZE – Bastrikov OLMAYO , M. – Corzo, J. OLOMBEK – Trifunović OLZ – Pietzsch ONZALEZ – Denker ORELOV – Khait OSSIP – Chigorin OVEDARICA – Rakić RABLIAUSKAS – Fendrich RANT , D. – Flermoen RASSI – Perlasca RECO – NN ; NN ; NN REEN , M. – Lamparter REENAWAY – Morphy REENFELD – Kosashvili REKOV – Ilyin-Zhenevsky RETARSSON – Haldorsson RIGORIEV – Chistiakov RIGOROV – Ničevski RISHCHUK – Cherniaev RIVAS – Norwood ROMER – Balogh, J. ROSAR – Janković, A. ROSS – Zlotnik ROSSBACH – Emmerich ROSZPETER – Szekely, P. RÜNFELD – Spielmann RUNSBERG – Nielsen

G UFELD – Benjamin ; Khavin ; Shagalovich ; Tal G ULBRANDSEN – Iskov ; Lind G ULKO – Barua ; Høi ; Hummel ; Saidy ; Serper G UNDIN – Bondarevsky G UNSBERG – Vitta G UREVICH , M. – Bronstein G URGENIDZE , B. – Boleslavsky G UTKIN – Tkhelidze G UTMAN – Kholmov ; Tukmakov G UTOP – Roshal G YIMESI – Palac G YLES – Miles, E. G YÖRKOS – Hazai G YURKOVICS – Cserna H AAG – Csiszar ; Varnusz H AAPASALO – Mustelin H ABA – Vasiukov H AIDA – Skalička H AÏK – Skembris H AKKI – Elgabry ; Sorial H ALDEMANN – Ferčec H ALDORSSON – Gretarsson H ALL – Wheeler H ALL , J. – Hodgson H AMELINK – Remmel H AMILTON – Netgame H ANAUER – Barta H ANDSUREN – Vojcik H ANSEN , L.B. – Adams, M. ; Polgar, J. ; Vescovi H ARDICSAY – Dumitrache H ARMAN – Eley H ARSCH – Roth H ARTLAUB – Bernary ; Testa H ARTMAN , C. – Benko H ARTMANN – Nikolić, P. H ARTSTON – Andersson ; Penrose ; Portisch H AVASI – Sacconi H AZAI – Györkos H AZNEDAROGLU – Bitansky H ÉBERT – Abramović ; Felmi H ECTOR – Pedersen, S. ; Plachetka H ELLERS – Dukić

H EMMAN – Brun H ENLEY – Quinteros H ENNEBERGER – Bernstein, N. ; Treybal H ERING – Imbusch H ERMAN – Charousek H ERMANN – Galier H ERRERA , I. – Rodriguez, Am. H ERTNECK – Pirrot H ERVIEUX – Lawson, B. H EWITT – Steinitz H JARTARSON – Georgadze, G. ; Kasparov H OCHMAIR , R. – Van Heeren H ODGSON – Hall, J. ; Oll ; Van Wely H OELSCHER – Alekhine H ØI – Gulko H OLASZEK – Schwarzbach H OLMSTEN – Couso ; Mitnitski H ÖNLINGER – Spielmann H OOK , W. – Siaperas H OOKE – Blake H ORT – Gligorić ; Portisch ; Schöne H ORVATH , A. – Alvarez Marquez H ORVATH , G. – Horvath, J. H ORVATH , J. – Horvath, G. H ORVATH , T. – Almasi, I. H ORWITZ – Bledow ; Popert H ROMADKA – Abonyi H SU – Boada H UBER – Külaots H ÜBER – Lemke H ÜBNER – Portisch ; Siegel H UG – Robatsch H ULAK – Lalić ; Movsesian ; Tukmakov H UMMEL – Gulko H UNNEFELD – Siegfried H UNT , H. – Bronstein H USARI – Szuk H USS – Armas, J. ; Lobron ; Schärer, M. I LLESCAS – Franco, Z. ; Kasparov ; Miles I LYIN -Z HENEVSKY – Grekov I MBUSCH – Hering I SKOV – Gulbrandsen ; Krüger

I STRATE , B. – Moraru I STRATESCU – Ortega I VANOV – Kutuev I VANOV , I. – Kakageldiev ; Podgaets I VANOV , S. – Akopian ; Skatchkov I VANOV , V. – Nikolenko I VANOVIĆ – Popović ; Velimirović I VANOVSKY – Ostropolsky J ACOBSON – Olson J AMES , H. – Miles, E. J AMRICH – Pham Minh Hoang J ANAK – Dobosz J ANKOVIĆ , A. – Grosar J ANKOVIĆ , B. – Šale J ANOCHA – Pogorelov J ANOWSKI – Ettlinger ; Sämisch ; Schallopp J ANSA – Robatsch ; Watson, W. J ANSSEN – Sashikiran ; Van den Doel J ARACZ – Berzinš J AVORSKY – Pjaeren J ENS – Van Ruitenberg J EROSTRÖM – Bergman J IROVSKY – Stohl J OHANNESSEN , S. – Brinck-Claussen J OHNSEN – Slinning J OHNSTON , S. – Marshall J ØRGENSEN , J. – Øst Hansen J UAREZ , C. – Lputian K ACHEISHVILI – Waitzkin K AGANSKY – Perun K AHN – Bernstein, O. K AIDANOV – Malyshev ; Shantharam K AILA – Kivi K AKAGELDIEV – Ivanov, I. K ALESIS – Kotronias K ALINAGA – Oney K ALINKIN – Rusakov K ALLAI – Prié ; Radulescu K ALLIO – Stuk K ALMANOK – Kotov K AMINSKI , M. – Sokolowski K AMYSHEV – Nezhmetdinov

K ANIA – Pinski K ANKO – Kivipelto K ANTORIK – Paleček K ANTOROVICH – Aronin K ANTSLER – Yudasin K APENGUT – Kholmov ; Vaganian K APNISIS – Manafov K ARLSON – Kopylov K ARNAZES – Rajlich K ARPACHEV – Lyrberg K ARPOV – Anand ; Georgiev, Ki. ; Korchnoi ; Shirov ; Taimanov ; Topalov K ASANEN – Koskinen K ASIMDZHANOV – Svidler K ASPARIAN – Manvelian K ASPAROV – Begun ; Browne ; Gavrikov ; Gheorghiu ; Hjartarson ; Illescas ; Ljubojević ; Marjanović ; Panchenko, A.N. ; Short ; Topalov K ATALYMOV – Mukhin ; Rotshtein K AVALEK – Larsen K AŽIĆ – Vuković K EKKI – Puittinen K ELEČEVIĆ – Milov, V. K EMPINSKI – Gdanski K ENNAUGH – Partington K ERES – Alekhine ; Botvinnik ; Bronstein ; Gligorić ; Mikenas ; Petrosian ; Szabo K ERMUR DE L EGALL – Saint Brie K HAIRABEDIAN – Manov K HAIT – Gorelov K HALIFMAN – Aseev ; Romanishin K HAVIN – Gufeld K HODOS – Voskanian K HOLMOV – Bannik ; Gutman ; Kapengut ; Sakharov K HURTSIDZE – Kovalevskaya K IIK – Sakalauskas K INEZ – Kutuzovich K ING – Rozentalis K INMARK – Ström K INSMAN – Bauer, C. K IPKE – Richter, K. K IRILLOV – Neibut ; Suetin

K ISS – Fordan K IVI – Kaila K IVIPELTO – Kanko K IZLOV – Berebesov K LIAVIN – Zhuravliov K LOZA – Miszto K LUGER – Nagy ; Szilagyi K NORRE – Chigorin K OBALIYA – Nalbandian K OFMAN – Filatov K OGAN – Chistiakov ; Geller K OLEDA – Zabalov K OMLIAKOV – Gadjily K OPETZKY – Canal K OPYLOV – Karlson K ORCHNOI – Karpov ; Morović ; Petersons ; Petrosian ; Ree ; Serper ; Timman K OSA – Sapi K OSASHVILI – Greenfeld K OSIĆ – Popović K OSKIN – Zhuravliov K OSKINEN – Kasanen K OSS – Berger K OSTEN – Berg, K. ; Reefat bin Sattar K OSTIĆ – Donaldson, D. K OSTROVITSKY – NN K OTEK – Blazkova K OTENKO – Balendo K OTOV – Averbakh ; Bondarevsky ; Bondarevsky ; Kalmanok ; Lisitsyn ; Sokolsky ; Unzicker ; Yudovich K OTRONIAS – Kalesis K OUATLY – Prasad K OUMANIS – Banikas K OVAČEVIĆ – Magem K OVAČEVIĆ , S. – Bellon K OVACS – Buksa K OVALENKO – Mikhalchishin K OVALEVSKAYA – Khurtsidze K OVALJOV , D. – Radjabov K OZAKOV – Buturin K OZLOV – Mikenas K OZLOVSKAYA – Suleimanov

K OZMA – Spasov, L. K RAICER – Dyment K RAIDMAN – Bernstein, Y. ; Tregubov K RAMER – Rüster K RASENKOV – Nikolenko K RASNOV – Averkin K RAVCHENKO – Schalkx K RECMER – Soltys K REJCIK – Mayer ; Meitner K ROGIUS – Lisitsyn ; Ojanen K RÜGER – Iskov ; Weiss K RUTA – Vasi K RYLOV – Lukin ; Tarasov K SIESKI – Flis K UDRIN – Nieminen K UGENEK – Romanovsky K ÜHNE – Mermagen ; Müller K UIJF – Gallego, F. K ÜLAOTS – Huber K ULMALA – Lektonen K UMMER – Essegern K UNSTOWICZ – Podzerov K UPPER – Olafsson, F. ; Pomar K UPPER , P. – Begovac K UPREICHIK – Bareev ; Castiglioni; Radulov K URAJICA – Zelčić ; Zorman K UTIROV – Sturua K UTUEV – Ivanov K UTUZOVICH – Kinez K UZMIN , G. – Eingorn ; Ovseevich K UZMINYKH – Taimanov K UZNETSOV – Nikitin K VEINIS – Buchis L’H ERMET – Spielmann L ABOLLITA – Lopez, J.M. L AJIĆ – Poljak L AKETIĆ – Marinelli L ALIĆ – Hulak ; Ruban ; McNab L AME – Rubinstein, E. L AMPARTER – Green, M. L ANDA – Danielian ; Varavin L ANGE – Anderssen

L ANKA – Fedorov ; Nielsen, P.H. ; Roth L APIN – Shaposhnikov L ARSEN – Kavalek ; Ljubojević ; Matanović ; Rukavina ; Spassky L ASKER , E D . – Thomas L ASKER , E M . – Bauer, J. ; Chigorin ; Torre, C. L AVINE – Ferrera L AWSON , B. – Hervieux L AZAREV – Platonov L AZIĆ , M. – Cvetković, S. L EDERMAN – Eperjesi L EIN – Terentiev L EISER – Buscaglia L EISERMAN – Rossolimo L EKIĆ – Cebalo L EKO – Turzo L EKTONEN – Kulmala L EMKE – Hüber L ENGYEL , B. – Mikhalevski, V. L ETELIER – Fischer L EV – Alterman L EVENFISH – Alekhine ; Riumin ; Verlinsky L EVY – Feller, J. L ICHTNER – Erdös L IEBERT – Geller L IND – Gulbrandsen L INK – Zeek L INQVIST – Varjomaa L IOGKY – Summerscale L IPINSKY – Vajda, L. L IPNITSKY – Terpugov L IPSCHÜTZ – Blackburne L ISITSYN – Kotov ; Krogius ; Smyslov L ITVINOV – Zakharov, A. L ITWIN – Moiseenko L IU D EDE – Serper L IU W ENZHE – Donner L IUBLINSKY – Buriakin L IUBOSHITS – Shagalovich L IVINGSTONE – Rossolimo L JUBOJEVIĆ – Kasparov ; Larsen L OBRON – Huss ; Yasseem

L ÖDI – Molnar, B. L OHMANN – Teschner L OMBARDY – Zinser L OPEZ , J.M. – Labollita L ORENZ – Rogozenko L OVRAKOVIĆ – Stevanec L PUTIAN – Andonov ; Juarez, C. L UCZAK – Fedorowicz L UKACS – Barczay L UKASIEWICZ – Baran L UKEY – Minasian, Art. L UKIN – Krylov L UKOV – Trifonov L UNDIN – Sköld L USTENBERGER – Mooser L UTIKOV – Stein L YRBERG – Karpachev M ABBS – Alexander, L. M C D ONALD – Dyce M AC D ONNELL , G. – Boden M C K AY – Condie M ACKENZIE – Mason ; NN ; Opočensky ; Thompson M C K IM – Crisan M C M AHON – Churm M C N AB – Lalić, B. ; Plaskett M C S HANE – Manion, J. M ACZUSKI – Von Kolisch M ÄDLER – Uhlmann M ADSEN , S. – Napolitano M AGEM – Kovačević M AHIA – Quinteros M AHMUD – Dgebuadze M AKOGONOV – Chekhover ; Mikenas M AKSIMENKO – Ghane ; Rogić M ALANIUK – Chiburdanidze ; Dutreeuw ; Tsarev M ALEVINSKY – Rõtov M ALYSHEV – Kaidanov M ANAFOV – Kapnisis M ANDOLFO – Von Kolisch M ANIN – Ruderfer M ANION , J. – McShane M ANNHEIM – Regensburg

M ANOV – Khairabedian M ANSILLA – Bustamante M ANVELIAN – Kasparian M ARCELIN – Sellos M ARCIANO – Prié M ARCO – Pillsbury; Salter M ARINELLI – Laketić M ARINELLO – Belakovskaia M ARJANOVIĆ – Kasparov M AROCZY – Vidmar M AROSI – Muratov M ARSHALL – Burn ; Johnston, S. M ARSHALL , E. – Alexander M ARSZALEK – Antonov M ARTIN , A NG . – Garcia Padron ; Solana ; Tarjan M ARTINEZ , D. – Chigorin M ARTINEZ , G. – Gamarra M ARTIROSIAN – Nadanian M ARTIUS – Darga M ASON – Mackenzie ; NN ; Winawer M ATANOVIĆ – Germek ; Larsen ; Nedeljković M ATLAK – Alterman M ATSOV – Stoilov M ATSUKEVICH – Bodyshko M ATSUURA – Silveira M ATTHEUS – Rüfenacht M ATTHIESEN – Bosch M ATVENKO – Mehrvogel M AURIAN – Morphy M AYER – Krejcik ; Wilhelm M AZOCCHI – Vaccaroni M EDINA – Smejkal M EHRVOGEL – Matvenko M EITNER – Krejcik M ENDEZ – Fuentes, E. ‘M EPHISTO ’ – NN M ERMAGEN – Demuth ; Kühne M ERTENS – Eichhorn ; Espig M ESZAROS , A. – Fette M ESZAROS , G. – Schipkov M EULDERS – Vermeulen M IESES – Von Bardeleben

M IHALJČIŠIN , M. – Benko M IHEVC M OHR – Nikolić, V. M IKENAS – Keres ; Kozlov ; Makogonov M IKENAS , V. – Flohr M IKHALCHISHIN – Kovalenko M IKHALEVSKI , V. – Lengyel, B. M ILADINOVIĆ – Agnos M ILES – Illescas M ILES , E. – Gyles ; James, H. M ILNER -B ARRY – Szabo M ILOV , V. – Anastasian ; Kelečević M INASIAN , A RT . – Lukey M IRZOEV – Shipov M ISZTO – Kloza M ITIN – Smolnikov M ITKOV – Summermatter M ITNITSKI – Holmsten M IYASAKI – Rodriguez, O. M ÖHRING – Cevallos ; Finsh M OISEENKO – Litwin M OLEROVIĆ – Četković M OLINA – Alekhine M OLNAR – Tartakower M OLNAR , B. – Lödi M ONTICELLI – Bogoljubow M OOREN – Erlandsson M OOSER – Lustenberger M ORALES – Sotolongo M ORALES , V. – Estrella M ORARU – Istrate, B. M ORITZ – Emmrich M OROVIĆ – Korchnoi ; Veingold M OROZOV – Smirnov M ORPHY – Allies; Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard ; Greenaway ; Maurian ; Schulten M OSIONZHIK – Boleslavsky M OVSESIAN – Hulak M OZES – Pacl M UFFANG – Devos M UKHIN – Katalymov M ULJADI – Rogers M ÜLLER – Kühne ; NN

M URATOV – Marosi M UREI – Shatskes M URESAN – Wiese-Jozwiak M URSHED – Nunn M URUGAN – Thipsay M USTELIN – Haapasalo N ADANIAN – Martirosian ; Usnunc N ADYRKHANOV – Yakovich N AGY – Kluger N AJDORF – Nunn ; Portisch N AJERT – Pachman N AKAMURA , A. – Felber N AKONECHNY – Pugachev N ALBANDIAN – Kobaliya N APOLITANO – Madsen, S. N ASONOV – Chistiakov N ATAF – Gleizerov N AUMOV – Petrusansky N EDELJKOVIĆ – Matanović N EGYESY – Berta N EI – Petrosian N EIBUT – Kirillov N EIMAN – Rainfray N ENASHEV – Banikas N ESTOR – Alekhine N ETGAME – Hamilton N EVOSTRUEV – Aseev N EWMAN , R. – Wood, G. N EZHMETDINOV – Kamyshev ; Polugaevsky ; Romanov, B. N GUYEN A NH D UNG – Züger N IČEVSKI – Grigorov N IELSEN – Grunsberg N IELSEN , P.H. – Lanka N IEMELÄ – Tolush N IEMINEN – Kudrin N IENER – Weissinger N IJBOER – Adams, M. ; Tseshkovsky N IKITIN – Kuznetsov ; Serzanov N IKOLAC – Gaprindashvili N IKOLAEVSKY – Bagirov ; Vasiukov N IKOLENKO – Ivanov, V. ; Krasenkov N IKOLIĆ , P. – Bunzmann ; Hartmann ; Szmetan

N IKOLIĆ , V. – Mihevc Mohr N ILSSON , Z. – Geller N IMZOWITSCH – Alapin ; Behting, K. ; Tarrasch NN – ‘Mephisto’ ; Ahues ; Blackburne ; Blackburne Bronstein ; Canal ; Chigorin ; Dadian of Mingrelia ; Duras Duras ; Fleischmann ; Fuchs ; Greco ; Greco ; Greco Kostrovitsky ; Mackenzie ; Mason ; Müller ; Pillsbury ; Pytel Rabar ; Reinle ; Richter, K. ; Rossolimo ; Steinitz ; Stoner Suetin ; Tal ; Tal ; Znosko-Borovsky ; Zukertort N OGUEIRAS – Becker, B. N ORWOOD – Agnos ; Almasi, Z. ; Grivas N OVAK – Borik N OVIKOV – Bisguier ; Blehm N OVOCHENIN – Panfilov N OVOPASHIN – Popov, N. N OVOTELNOV – Averbakh ; Geller N UNN – Murshed ; Najdorf N URKIĆ – Terzić N YBERG – Sanden O’K ELLY – Devos ; Toran Ø GAARD – Tisdall O JANEN – Krogius O LAFSSON , F. – Kupper O LAFSSON , H. – Sherzer O LL – Hodgson ; Smyslov O LLAND – Duras ; Rüster O LSON – Jacobson O NEY – Kalinaga O NOPRIENKO – Dimitrov, V. O POČENSKY – Alekhine ; Mackenzie O RAEVSKY – Bubnov O RAL – Dworakowska O RLOV , V. – Prié O RNSTEIN , P. – Gasparian, M. O RTEGA – Istratescu O SNOS – Filipenko Ø ST H ANSEN – Jørgensen, J. Ø STENSTAD – Gausel O STERMAN – Todorović O STROPOLSKY – Ivanovsky O VSEEVICH – Kuzmin, G. O WEN – Burn ; Vishnikov

; ; ; ; ;


ACHMAN – Dückstein ; Najert ; Petrosian ACL – Mozes ADEVSKY – Daskalov ; Tsinkov ALAC – Gyimesi ALATNIK – Geller ; Sveshnikov ALATZ – Schulmeister ALEČEK – Kantorik ANCHENKO , A.N. – Kasparov ANFILOV – Novochenin ANNO – Reinhardt ; Tempone ARMA – Ramirez AROMOV – Zaverniaev ARRA – Ferran ARTENHEIMER – Timman ARTINGTON – Kennaugh ASMAN – Zilber ATAY – Przepiorka ; Frankle AVLOV , N. – Beliaev AVLOVIĆ – Čabrilo AYNE , R. – Aitken EDERSEN , S. – Hector ENG Z HAOQIN – Velimirović ENROSE – Hartston ; Veitch ERAY – Taylor, P. EREDUN – Djerković ERENYI – Eperjesi EREZ – Garcia ERLASCA – Grassi ERSITZ – Reshevsky ERUN – Kagansky ETER , S. – Stroppa ETERSONS – Korchnoi ETRAKI – Alagiannis ETRIAEV – Ravinsky ETROFF – Szymanski ETROSIAN – Keres ; Korchnoi ; Nei ; Pachman ETROSIAN , D. – Brulić ETROVIKIS – Politis ETRUSANSKY – Naumov ETURSSON – Campora FEIFFER , G. – Blau, M. FLEGER – Domnitz ; Spassky

P HAM M INH H OANG – Balogh, C. ; Jamrich P IETZSCH – Espig ; Golz P IHAJLIĆ – Gaprindashvili P IKET – De Wit ; Stefansson ; Van Wely ; Van Wely P ILHAL – Steinitz P ILLSBURY – Marco ; NN ; Tarrasch P INSKI – Kania P IROGOV – Belenky P IRROT – Hertneck P JAEREN – Javorsky P LACHETKA – Hector ; Planinc P LANINC – Plachetka ; Vaganian P LASKETT – McNab ; Romanishin P LATONOV – Lazarev P LATZACK – Van Baarle P ODGAETS – Ivanov, I. P ODGORNY – Siversen ; Stulik P ODZEROV – Kunstowicz P OGORELOV – Del Rey ; Janocha P OLAJZER – Tratar P OLGAR , I. – Adorjan ; Bjerre, T. P OLGAR , J. – Doroslev ; Fritz 6 ; Hansen, L.B. ; Polugaevsky P OLITIS – Petrovikis P OLJAK – Lajić P OLLOCK – Consultation partners P OLUGAEVSKY – Nezhmetdinov ; Polgar, J. ; Szilagyi P OMAR – Fuentes, J. ; Kupper P ONIAKOV – Tunik P ONOMAREV – Demidov P OPERT – Horwitz P OPOV , N. – Novopashin P OPOVIĆ – Ivanović ; Kosić P OPOVIĆ , J. – Shtereva P ORRAL – Bulgarat P ORTISCH – Andersson ; Bagirov ; Berger, B. ; Geller ; Hartston ; Hort ; Hübner ; Najdorf ; Smyslov ; Stein P OST – Flamberg P RADO – Ramos, A. P RASAD – Kouatly P RAT – Alekhine P RICE – Atkinson

P RIÉ – Kallai; Marciano ; Orlov, V. P RINS – Gligorić; Soultanbéieff P RIVMAN – Rouleau P RODANOV – Arkhipkin P RÖHL – Berger, P. P RUCHA – Rubanek P RZEPIORKA – Patay ; Steiner, L. P UC – Bidev P ÜCHELE – Feustel P UGACHEV – Nakonechny P UITTINEN – Kekki P UJOLS – de la Paz P UKY – Steiner, E. P YTEL – NN P YTLAKOWSKI – Balanel Q UILLEN – Benko Q UINTEROS – Henley ; Mahia ; Schweber R ABAR – NN R ADCHENKO – Sarmabehuan R ADJABOV – Kovaljov, D. R ADULESCU – Kallai R ADULOV – Kupreichik ; Söderborg R AGOZIN , V. – Boleslavsky R AINFRAY – Neiman R AJLICH – Karnazes R AKIĆ – Govedarica R AMAN – Aaron R AMASWANY – Delai R AMIREZ – Parma R AMOS , A. – Prado R ANTANEN – Tal R ASMUSSEN , C. – de Firmian R ASMUSSEN , P. – Aagaard R ATER – Belver R AVINSKY – Petriaev R AYNER , F. – Stephenson R EDELY – Baraty R EE – Korchnoi R EEFAT BIN S ATTAR – Kosten R EGAN , N. – Sirletti; Vilar, M. R EGENSBURG – Mannheim R EINER – Steinitz

R EINHARDT – Panno ; Reiss R EINLE – NN R EISS – Reinhardt R EISSMANN – Rossolimo R ELANGE – Spangenberg R ELLSTAB – Seitz ; Weissgerber R EMMEL – Hamelink R ENET , J. – Beeckmans R ESHEVSKY – Alekhine ; Denker ; Persitz ; Yanofsky R ÉTI – Bogoljubow ; Capablanca ; Euwe ; Tartakower R EY A RDID – Tartakower R ICHARDSON – Delmar R ICHTER , K. – Abramavicius ; Brinckmann ; Darga ; Kipke ; NN R IEKE – Bagirov, R. R IGO – Farago, I. R IUMIN – Levenfish ; Slonim R IVISE – Benko R OBATSCH – Bisguier ; Hug ; Jansa R OCHEV – Daly R ÖDL – Bogoljubow R ODRIGUEZ , A M . – Herrera, I. ; Zair R ODRIGUEZ , O. – Gallego, V. ; Miyasaki R OGERS – Georgiev, Ki. ; Muljadi ; Van Mil R OGIĆ – Maksimenko ; Sevo R OGOZENKO – Ahmed, E. ; Lorenz R OIZ , M. – Cherniaev R OJAHN – Aggos R OMANENKO – Rossolimo R OMANISHIN – Khalifman ; Plaskett R OMANOV , B. – Nezhmetdinov R OMANOVSKY – Kugenek R OMERO – San Segundo R OSENLUND – Brinck-Claussen R OSHAL – Gutop R OSSETTO – Cardoso R OSSOLIMO – Barry, C. ; Leiserman ; Livingstone ; NN ; Reissmann ; Romanenko ; Schmid, L. R OTH – Harsch ; Lanka R ÕTOV – Malevinsky R OTSHTEIN – Katalymov R OULEAU – Privman

R OVNER – Yanushpolsky R OZENSTEIN – Gligorić R OZENTALIS – King R UBAN – Lalić R UBANEK – Prucha R UBINSTEIN , E. – Lame R UDERFER – Manin R ÜFENACHT – Mattheus R UKAVINA – Larsen R USAKOV – Kalinkin R USHNIKOV – Sokolov, E. R ÜSTER – Kramer ; Olland S ACCONI – Havasi S ADLER – Allen S AIDY – Gulko S AIGIN – Sokolsky S AINT B RIE – Kermur de Legall S AKALAUSKAS – Kiik S AKHAROV – Cherepkov ; Kholmov S ALAZAR , A D . – Tseitlin, Ma. Š ALE – Janković, B. S ALO – Vistaneckis S ALTER – Marco S ÄMISCH – Ahues ; Engel ; Janowski S AN S EGUNDO – Romero ; Yermolinsky S ANDEN – Nyberg S ANIN – Sarkov S ANSONETTI – De Santis S ANTASIERE – Adams S API – Kosa S ARKOV – Sanin S ARMABEHUAN – Radchenko S ASHIKIRAN – Janssen S AVCHENKO – Altman ; Smagin S CHAAF – Schallopp S CHÄFER – Botschek S CHALKX – Kravchenko S CHALLOPP – Anderssen ; Janowski ; Schaaf S CHÄRER , M. – Huss S CHAUWECKER – Weindl S CHENK – Vallejo S CHERBAKOV – Sveshnikov

S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S ; S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S

CHERBAKOV , S. – Yavorovsky CHIFFERS – Chigorin ; Chigorin ; Yurevich CHIPKOV – Meszaros, G. CHLECHTER – Teichmann ; Wolf, H. CHMID , L. – Rossolimo CHMIDT , G. – Duppel CHMIDT , W L . – Bobras CHNEIDER , A. – Dvoretsky CHNEIDER , A N . – Strahm CHNEIDER , M. – Asendorf CHÖNE – Hort CHREIBER – Tokmachev CHRÖTER – Stelting CHULDER – Boden CHULMEISTER – Palatz CHULTEN – Morphy CHUMACHER – Egenberger CHWARZBACH – Holaszek CHWEBER – Quinteros EIRAWAN – Browne ; Christiansen EITZ – Rellstab ELLOS – Marcelin EMENIUK – Zhuravliov ERGEEV – Volodin ERMEK – Gerencer ERPER – Adams, M. ; Bonin ; Castella ; Gulko ; Korchnoi Liu Dede ; Vaganian ERVATY – Gaprindashvili ERZANOV – Nikitin EVO – Rogić HAGALOVICH – Gufeld ; Liuboshits HAMKOVICH – Barth HANTHARAM – Kaidanov HAPOSHNIKOV – Lapin HASHIN – Taimanov HATSKES – Murei HERZER – Olafsson, H. HIPACHEV – Gervits HIPOV – Mirzoev HIROV – Garcia Ilundain ; Karpov HORT – Arnason ; Kasparov HOULDS – Bories


HTEREVA – Popović, J. HULMAN , V. – Feldman HUMOV – Von Kolisch IAPERAS – Hook, W. IEGEL – Hübner IEGFRIED – Hunnefeld ILAEV – Beliaev ILVEIRA – Matsuura IMAGIN – Batuev IMIĆ – Velimirović IMONSON – Fine IRINSKY – Stanishevsky IRLETTI – Regan, N. ITNIKOV – Volinzev IVERSEN – Podgorny KALI#268;KA – Haida KATCHKOV – Ivanov, S. KEMBRIS – Haïk ; Velimirović KÖLD – Lundin KOTORENKO – Zaitsev, I. KRIPCHENKO – Adams, M. LINNING – Johnsen LONIM – Riumin MAGIN – Savchenko MEDEREVAC – Bulat MEJKAL – Dukić ; Medina MIRIN – Ye Jiangchuan MIRNOV – Morozov MOLNIKOV – Mitin MYSLOV – Lisitsyn ; Oll ; Portisch ; Spassky ÖDERBORG – Radulov OKOLOV , E. – Rushnikov OKOLOV , S. – Tomović OKOLOWSKI – Kaminski, M. OKOLSKY – Kotov ; Saigin OLANA – Martin, Ang. OLIK – Blaško OLLEVELD – Vink OLMANIS – Tal OLTYS – Krecmer ORIAL – Hakki OTERINI – Venanzi

S OTOLONGO – Morales S OULTANBÉIEFF – Borodin ; Prins S OWIZDRZAL – Sznapik S PANGENBERG – Relange S PANTON – Collins S PASOV , L. – Kozma S PASSKY – Bronstein ; Geller ; Larsen ; Pfleger ; Smyslov ; Tal ; Vizantiadis; Vladimirov, B. ; Weiss, L. S PEYER – Couvée S PIELMANN – Duras ; Grünfeld ; Hönlinger ; L’Hermet ; Walter S PIELMANN , A. – Zangrilli S TAJČIĆ – Erhart S TANISHEVSKY – Sirinsky S TAUNTON – Cochrane S TEFANOV – Vaisman S TEFANSSON – Bjarnason ; Piket S TEIN – Lutikov ; Portisch ; Ustinov ; Vaisman S TEINER , E. – Puky S TEINER , H. – Capablanca ; Stoltz S TEINER , L. – Boleslavsky ; Przepiorka S TEINITZ – Anderssen ; Bird ; Hewitt ; NN ; Pilhal; Reiner S TEINITZ /G AVILAN – Chigorin/Ponce S TELTING – Schröter S TEPHENSON – Rayner, F. S TEVANEC – Lovraković S TOHL – Fahnenschmidt ; Jirovsky S TOILOV – Matsov S TOLTZ – Steiner, H. S TONER – NN S TOREY – Walker, D. S TRAHM – Schneider, An. S TRÖM – Kinmark S TROPPA – Peter, S. S TUK – Kallio S TULIK – Podgorny S TURUA – Kutirov Š UBARIĆ – Trifunović S UETIN – Bogdanović ; Kirillov; NN ; Tal S ULEIMANOV – Kozlovskaya S ULTAN K HAN – Bogoljubow S UMMERMATTER – Christiansen ; Mitkov

S UMMERSCALE – Liogky S UNYE – Browne S UOMINEN – Vahtera S UPICO – Alekhine S UTOVSKY – Varga, Z. S VESHNIKOV – Alburt ; Palatnik ; Scherbakov S VIDLER – Anand ; Kasimdzhanov S VORJOV – Vladimirov, V. S ZABO – Bakony ; Keres ; Milner-Barry S ZALANCZI – Vancsura S ZEKELY , P. – Erwich ; Groszpeter S ZILAGYI – Kluger ; Polugaevsky S ZMETAN – Nikolić, P. S ZNAPIK – Bronstein ; Sowizdrzal S ZUHANEK – Acs S ZUK – Husari S ZYMANSKI – Petroff T AIMANOV – Karpov ; Kuzminykh ; Shashin T AITT – Chiamulera T AKSIS – Gass T AL – Bleks ; Gedevanishvili ; Gufeld ; NN ; NN ; Rantanen ; Solmanis ; Spassky ; Suetin ; Tringov ; Unzicker T ARASOV – Krylov T ARJAN – Martin, Ang. T ARNOWSKI – Barcza T ARRASCH – Nimzowitsch ; Pillsbury; Von Gottschall ; Von Holzhausen ; Von Scheve T ARTAKOWER – Bernstein, O. ; Molnar ; Réti ; Rey Ardid T ATAR – Barcza T ATEVOSIAN – Eganian T AYLOR , P. – Peray T EED – Delmar T EICHMANN – Schlechter T EMPONE – Panno T ENNER – Field T ERENTIEV – Lein T ERPUGOV – Lipnitsky T ERZIĆ – Nurkić T ESCHNER – Lohmann T ESTA – Hartlaub T HESING – Glek T HIPSAY – Abhayankar ; Beaumont ; Murugan

T HOMAS – Capablanca ; Lasker, Ed. T HOMPSON – Mackenzie T HORNBLOM – Friedman T IBENSKY – Franzen T IMMAN – Korchnoi ; Partenheimer T IRARD – Tobak T ISDALL – Øgaard T IVIAKOV – Tukmakov T KHELIDZE – Gutkin T OBAK – Tirard T ODOROVIĆ – Osterman T OKMACHEV – Schreiber T OLUSH – Niemelä T OMOVIĆ – Sokolov, S. T OPALOV – Anand ; Karpov ; Kasparov T ORAN – O’Kelly T ORRE , C. – Lasker, Em. T ORRES – Alekhine T OSHEV – Voinov T OT – Asztalos T RATAR – Polajzer T REGUBOV – Kraidman T REYBAL – Henneberger T RIFONOV – Lukov T RIFUNOVIĆ – Golombek ; Šubarić T RINGOV – Tal T ROIANESCU – Gereben T RTANJ , T. – Zečević, N. T RUSKAVETSKY – Bendel T SAREV – Malaniuk T SEITLIN , M A . – Salazar, Ad. T SESHKOVSKY – Nijboer T SINKOV – Padevsky T UKMAKOV – Gutman ; Hulak ; Tiviakov T UNIK – Poniakov T URZO – Leko T YROLER – Betbeder U FIMTSEV – Bondarevsky U GOLTSEV – Ashin U HLMANN – Filip; Fuchs ; Mädler U NZICKER – Kotov ; Tal U SNUNC – Nadanian

U STINOV – Stein V ACCARONI – Mazocchi V AGANIAN – Kapengut ; Planinc ; Serper V AHTERA – Suominen V AISMAN – Stefanov ; Stein V AJDA , L. – Lipinsky V ALLEJO – Schenk V AN B AARLE – Platzack V AN D ELFT – Berkvens V AN DEN B ERG – Donner V AN DEN D OEL – Adianto ; Janssen V AN H EEREN – Hochmair, R. V AN H ELVOORT – Bosch V AN M IL – Rogers V AN R UITENBERG – Jens V AN W ELY – Garcia Ilundain ; Hodgson ; Piket ; Piket V ANCSURA – Szalanczi V ARAVIN – Landa V ARGA , Z. – Sutovsky V ARJOMAA – Linqvist V ARNUSZ – Haag V ASI – Kruta V ASIĆ – Alekhine V ASIUKOV – Barcza ; Haba ; Nikolaevsky V ASQUEZ , M. – Delgado, V. V ATNIKOV – Borovoi V EINGOLD – Morović V EITCH – Penrose V ELIMIROVIĆ – Ivanović ; Peng Zhaoqin ; Simić ; Skembris ; Vukić V ENANZI – Soterini V ERESOV – Alatortsev V ERLINSKY – Levenfish V ERMEULEN – Meulders V ESCOVI – Hansen, L.B. V IDEKOVIĆ – Zelić V IDMAR – Maroczy V ILA , A. – Yakovich V ILAR , M. – Regan, N. V INK – Solleveld V ISHNIKOV – Owen V ISTANECKIS – Salo

V ITTA – Gunsberg V IZANTIADIS – Spassky V LADIMIROV , B. – Spassky V LADIMIROV , E. – Donchev V LADIMIROV , V. – Svorjov V OGT – Yusupov V OINOV – Toshev V OJCIK – Handsuren V OLINZEV – Sitnikov V OLODIN – Sergeev V ON B ARDELEBEN – Mieses V ON G OTTSCHALL – Tarrasch V ON H OLZHAUSEN – Tarrasch V ON K OLISCH – Maczuski ; Mandolfo ; Shumov V ON S CHEVE – Tarrasch V OOREMAA – Zakharian V OSKANIAN – Khodos V UKIĆ – Velimirović V UKOVIĆ – Deutsch ; Kažić W ADE – Boxall W ADLING – Aronsson W AITZKIN – Kacheishvili W ALDMANN – Dallas W ALKER , D. – Storey W ALTER – Spielmann W ANG L I – Wang Lin W ANG L IN – Wang Li W ATSON , W. – Jansa W EGERER – Foisor, C. W EINDL – Schauwecker W EISS – Krüger W EISS , L. – Spassky W EISSGERBER – Rellstab W EISSINGER – Niener W ERNER – Zakić W EST – Booth W ESTERINEN – Garcia, R. W HEELER – Hall W IESE -J OZWIAK – Muresan W IKSTRÖM – Wood, B. W ILHELM – Mayer W ILLIAMS , S. – Barlow, B.

W ILSON – Blackburne W INAWER – Mason W INTER – Colle ; Friede W ITT – Donner W OLBERS – Bloemhard W OLF , H. – Schlechter W ONG , S. – Basanta W OOD , B. – Wikström W OOD , G. – Newman, R. Y AKOVICH – Azmaiparashvili; Bareev ; Georgadze, Nadyrkhanov ; Vila, A. Y ANOFSKY – Reshevsky Y ANUSHPOLSKY – Rovner Y ASSEEM – Lobron Y AVOROVSKY – Scherbakov, S. Y E J IANGCHUAN – Smirin Y ERMOLINSKY – San Segundo Y UDASIN – Kantsler Y UDOVICH – Kotov ; Schiffers Y USUPOV – Casper ; Vogt Z ABALOV – Koleda Z AGOROVSKY – Bondarevsky Z AIR – Rodriguez, Am. Z AITSEV , A. – Aleksandrov Z AITSEV , I. – Skotorenko Z AKHARIAN – Vooremaa Z AKHAROV , A. – Litvinov Z AKIĆ – Werner Z ANGRILLI – Spielmann, A. Z APATA – Anand Z AVERNIAEV – Paromov Z EČEVIĆ , N. – Trtanj, T. Z EEK – Link Z ELČIĆ – Kurajica Z ELIĆ – Genser ; Videković Z HANG Z HONG – Chua Heng Meng Z HELNIN – Balashov Z HIDKOV – Estrin Z HURAVLIOV – Kliavin; Koskin ; Semeniuk Z IEGLER – Brynell Z ILBER – Pasman Z ILBERSHTEIN – Dementiev

G. ;


IMMERMAN – Barcza INSER – Lombardy ITA – Bronstein JUKIN – Bologan LOTNIK – Gross NOSKO -B OROVSKY – NN ORMAN – Kurajica ÜGER – Nguyen Anh Dung UKERTORT – Anderssen ; Anderssen ; NN

Composers and Analysts Bellincini, A. Damiano, P. Damiano, P. de la Bourdonnais, L. del Rio, E. del Rio, E. del Rio, E. del Rio, E. del Rio, E. ‘Fershbery’ Fritz, J. Kakovin, A. Kalandadze, V. Kubbel, L. Lasker, B. Lolli, G. Lucena Morphy, P. Ponziani, D. Richter, K. Romanovsky, P. Saavedra, F. Seletsky, A. Stamma, P. Troitsky, A. Troitsky, A.

Copyright Information First published in printed form in the UK by Gambit Publications Ltd in 2016 First Kindle edition published by Gambit Publications Ltd in 2016 Copyright © Antonio Gude 2016 Translation © Phil Adams 2016 The right of Antonio Gude to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without prior permission of the publisher. In particular, no part of this publication or images thereof may be transmitted via the Internet or uploaded to a website without the publisher’s permission. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damage. ISBN-13: 978-1-910093-97-9 ISBN-10: 1-910093-97-1 (Printed edition: ISBN-13: 978-1-910093-80-1; ISBN-10: 1-910093-80-7). Gambit Publications Ltd, 99 Wallis Rd, London England. E-mail: [email protected] Website (regularly updated):



Edited by Graham Burgess Kindle edition prepared by Graham Burgess Cover image by Wolff Morrow Gambit Publications Ltd Directors: Dr John Nunn GM, Murray Chandler GM


Graham Burgess FM German Editor: Petra Nunn WFM

About the Author Antonio Gude is an extremely experienced chess writer and teacher from Spain. Several of his books on tactics and for beginners are long-standing best-sellers in Spanish language. Gude has also translated a great many books, including some of the classics of chess literature.

About Gambit Publications Gambit Publications Ltd is a dedicated chess publishing company catering for players of all skill levels. The company was founded in 1997 by three expert chess players and editors: Grandmaster John Nunn, Grandmaster Murray Chandler, and FIDE Master Graham Burgess. To date, Gambit has published more than 160 chess books, and has published or licensed editions in 13 different languages. Over 1 million Gambit chess books have been sold. Up-to-date news on all Gambit chess books in print – including current and future Kindle editions – can be found at the Gambit website: For information about Gambit’s app for tablet computers, and the books available in this format, visit:

Other Gambit Titles on Kindle FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings – Paul van der Sterren Fundamental Chess Endings – Karsten Müller and Frank Lamprecht A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White – Graham Burgess Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 1 – John Watson Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 2 – John Watson Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 3 – John Watson Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 4 – John Watson Chess Openings for Kids – John Watson and Graham Burgess A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire (new enlarged edition) – Aaron Summerscale and Sverre Johnsen How to Beat Your Dad at Chess – Murray Chandler Chess Tactics for Kids – Murray Chandler Attack with Black – Valery Aveskulov The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles – Graham Burgess Chess Puzzles for Kids – Murray Chandler Understanding Pawn Play in Chess – Dražen Marović The Most Amazing Chess Moves of All Time – John Emms A Rock-Solid Chess Opening Repertoire for Black – Viacheslav Eingorn Understanding Chess Middlegames – John Nunn Understanding the Chess Openings – Sam Collins The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book – John Emms Chess for Zebras – Jonathan Rowson Understanding Chess Move by Move – John Nunn 365 Ways to Checkmate – Joe Gallagher 1001 Deadly Checkmates – John Nunn Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy – John Watson Chess Strategy in Action – John Watson Learn Chess Tactics – John Nunn How to Build Your Chess Opening Repertoire – Steve Giddins Secrets of Practical Chess (new enlarged edition) – John Nunn

The Road to Chess Improvement – Alex Yermolinsky Understanding Chess Endgames – John Nunn 101 Chess Opening Traps – Steve Giddins Learn Chess – John Nunn Chess for Children – Murray Chandler and Helen Milligan Grandmaster Secrets: The Caro-Kann – Peter Wells Play the Najdorf Sicilian – James Rizzitano Play the Alekhine – Valentin Bogdanov Chess Explained: The Queen’s Gambit Declined – James Rizzitano Chess Explained: The French – Viacheslav Eingorn and Valentin Bogdanov Chess Explained: The Classical Sicilian – Alex Yermolinsky Chess Explained: The c3 Sicilian – Sam Collins Chess Explained: The Grünfeld – Valentin Bogdanov Chess Explained: The Nimzo-Indian – Reinaldo Vera Chess Explained: The Queen’s Indian – Peter Wells Chess Explained: The Modern Benoni – Zenon Franco Chess Explained: The Meran Semi-Slav – Reinaldo Vera Chess Explained: The Taimanov Sicilian – James Rizzitano Chess Explained: The Main-Line Slav – David Vigorito Chess Explained: The English Opening – Zenon Franco Nunn’s Chess Endings Volume 1 – John Nunn Nunn’s Chess Endings Volume 2 – John Nunn Garry Kasparov’s Greatest Chess Games Volume 1 – Igor Stohl Garry Kasparov’s Greatest Chess Games Volume 2 – Igor Stohl Endgame Challenge – John Nunn John Nunn’s Chess Course – John Nunn Win with the Stonewall Dutch – Sverre Johnsen, Ivar Bern and Simen Agdestein Secrets of Positional Chess – Dražen Marović Secrets of Chess Defence – Mihail Marin Secrets of Attacking Chess – Mihail Marin Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion – Vishy Anand and John Nunn Win with the London System – Sverre Johnsen and Vlatko Kovačević How to Play Chess Endgames – Karsten Müller and Wolfgang Pajeken

101 Winning Chess Strategies – Angus Dunnington The Dynamic English – Tony Kosten A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White – John Watson John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book – John Nunn Secrets of Pawn Endings – Karsten Müller and Frank Lamprecht Secrets of Rook Endings – John Nunn Secrets of Pawnless Endings – John Nunn Secrets of Grandmaster Chess – John Nunn John Nunn’s Best Games – John Nunn Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess – Dražen Marović The Survival Guide to Rook Endings – John Emms The Giant Chess Puzzle Book – Zenon Franco The Cambridge Springs – Krzysztof Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk Understanding the King’s Indian – Mikhail Golubev How to Calculate Chess Tactics – Valeri Beim Perfect Your Chess – Andrei Volokitin and Vladimir Grabinsky Chess Training for Budding Champions – Jesper Hall Play the Sicilian Dragon – Edward Dearing Mastering the Najdorf – Julen Arizmendi and Javier Moreno The Quickest Chess Victories of All Time (new enlarged edition) – Graham Burgess How to Become a Deadly Chess Tactician – David LeMoir Play the Open Games as Black – John Emms Anti-Sicilians: A Guide for Black – Dorian Rogozenko 50 Essential Chess Lessons – Steve Giddins Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces – Igor Stohl The Gambit Guide to the Torre Attack – Graham Burgess An Explosive Chess Opening Repertoire for Black – Jouni Yrjölä and Jussi Tella How Chess Games are Won and Lost – Lars Bo Hansen Essential Chess Sacrifices – David LeMoir A Course in Chess Tactics – Dejan Bojkov and Vladimir Georgiev Chess Endgames for Kids – Karsten Müller

Storming the Barricades – Larry Christiansen A Complete Chess Course – Antonio Gude Problem Chess: Art and Magic on the Chessboard – Göran Forslund Understanding the Scandinavian – Sergey Kasparov Grandmaster Chess Move by Move – John Nunn How to Beat 1 d4 – James Rizzitano Understanding the Leningrad Dutch – Valeri Beim The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black – Sverre Johnsen and Leif Erlend Johannessen Understanding the Marshall Attack – David Vigorito Understanding Rook Endgames – Karsten Müller and Yakov Konoval Chess for Life – Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan Fundamental Checkmates – Antonio Gude A Simple Chess Opening Repertoire for White – Sam Collins

FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings Paul van der Sterren This just has to be the perfect single-volume survival guide. All openings are covered, with detailed verbal explanations of plans for both sides. The first moves of a chess game define the nature of the whole struggle, as both players stake their claim to the critical squares and start to develop their plans. It is essential to play purposefully and to avoid falling into traps or reaching a position that you don’t understand. This is not a book that provides masses of variations to memorize. Paul van der Sterren instead offers a wealth of ideas and explanation, together with the basic variations of each and every opening. This knowledge will equip players to succeed in the opening up to good club level, and provide a superb grounding in opening play on which to build a more sophisticated repertoire. The strategies he explains will, unlike ever-changing chess opening theory, remain valid as long as chess is played, and so the time spent studying this book will be rewarded many times over. Also available on Chess Studio . “The format of the book is very friendly, openings very clearly set out and identified, with the variations touched upon in short and sweet sections” – John Lee Shaw, C HESS C HECK (e-zine)

Fundamental Chess Endings Karsten Müller and Frank Lamprecht This is the first truly modern one-volume endgame encyclopaedia. It makes full use of endgame tablebases and analytical engines that access these tablebases; where previous authors could only make educated guesses, Müller and Lamprecht have often been able to state the definitive truth, or get much closer to it. Covers all major types of endgame, featuring rules of thumb, thinking methods, principles, practical advice, and much more. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “The authors love the endgame phase of the game and this shows in the writing. ... Anyone reading it will seriously improve their game.” – British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award press release

A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White Graham Burgess A good opening repertoire need not require an enormous amount of study to be highly effective. A cunning choice of lines and move-orders can steer the game to positions that we like and deny the opponent his preferred strategies. The main cornerstones of this repertoire are carefully chosen Queen’s Gambit lines, the Torre Attack (vs ...e6), and a variety of fianchetto options against the King’s Indian and related set-ups. White’s position is kept highly flexible, with many possible transpositions to a wide variety of systems that the reader can use to extend and vary the repertoire. The book features a wealth of new ideas and original analysis. Also available on Chess Studio . “This is the way opening books should be written. It is a training repertoire book which you can use to build a solid white repertoire for your career. It is not a ‘hope they make a mistake and fall for the trap’ book. Best value if you want to learn to play the opening like a grandmaster.” – Danny Woodall, review

Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 1 John Watson In this major four-volume work, Watson explains not only the ideas and strategies behind specific openings, but also the interconnections of chess openings taken as a whole. By presenting the common threads that underlie opening play, he provides a permanent basis for playing openings of any type. Volume 1 offers both entertainment and challenging study material in king’s pawn openings such as the Sicilian and Ruy Lopez. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “The publication of this series is a bellwether event in chess publishing, and all players should avail themselves of the opportunity to read these books.” – Mark Donlan, C HESS H ORIZONS “All of these epic Watson works have one thing in common. You walk away after reading with a deeper understanding of chess.” – Pete Tamburro, C HESS L IFE

Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 2 John Watson Watson presents a wide-ranging view of the way in which top-class players really handle the opening, rather than an idealized and simplified model. This volume, focusing on queen’s pawn openings, will make chess-players think hard about how they begin their games. It also offers both entertainment and challenging study material in openings such as the Nimzo-Indian, King’s Indian and the entire Queen’s Gambit complex. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “Watson has managed to present the most important openings after 1 d4 and analyses them in detail as well as explaining the backgrounds. ... you have the feeling you are holding a real classic in your hand. It may sound exaggerated, but I believe Watson is a sort of modern Aron Nimzowitsch. Absolutely recommended!” – Martin Rieger, WWW.FREECHESS.DE

Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 3 John Watson In the third volume of his highly acclaimed series, Watson moves on to flank openings. He provides in-depth coverage of the English Opening, while drawing upon many themes from the first two books. Particularly in the context of reversed and analogous forms of standard structures, we understand why certain ideas work and others don’t, and experience the concept of ‘Cross-Pollination’ at work in even more varied forms than seen in earlier volumes. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “This volume can be read separate from the other two in this series; however, I recommend reading all three books. They will truly take your game to the next level and help you understand the opening phase so much better, as well as help minimize the risk of starting the game out from an inferior position. Those who play the English Opening should buy this book without any hesitation. This book is a modern classic. It is genuinely instructive and provides numerous examples of original analysis and improvements over existing theory.” – Carsten Hansen, CHESSCAFE.COM

Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 4 John Watson This final volume draws together many themes in a wide-ranging discussion of general opening topics. In the process, Watson covers a variety of opening structures and variations not seen in the earlier volumes and presents a great wealth of original analysis. He also explains how players should best prepare and choose their openings for the level at which they play. The final topics are the future of chess openings and the skills that will be most important as chess evolves in the forthcoming decades. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “The section on gambit play is extremely well done and must reading for any player coming up through the ranks. So too is the following chapter ‘Choosing and Preparing Openings’ which is pure gold. Watson gives well-considered suggestions for appropriate openings for players from just beyond beginner to 2300 that will solve many amateurs’ perennial headache. Highly Recommended” – IM John Donaldson, US Team Captain

Chess Openings for Kids John Watson and Graham Burgess This book teaches the names and starting moves of all the main chess openings, and explains the basic ideas. Beginners will learn how to position their pieces for maximum impact. More experienced players will discover some remarkable tactical and strategic themes that are vital for chess mastery. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “A very succinct overview of the main openings and the ideas behind them” – GM Luke McShane, N EW IN C HESS “To be able to provide both enthusiasm, inspiration and basic knowledge is a praiseworthy effort.” – FARBRORTHEGURU.BLOGSPOT.COM

A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire (new enlarged edition) Aaron Summerscale and Sverre Johnsen Bored with the same old openings? Worried about having to learn too much theory? Then this book – a set of exceptionally dangerous opening weapons for White – will come as a godsend. The queen’s pawn repertoire is based on rapid piece development, and includes many lethal attacking ideas and traps. Also available on Chess Studio . “Johnsen has chosen to build on the first edition, addressing the areas where theory has substantially changed or Summerscale’s original coverage needed expanding. Offers a nice mix for the player who doesn’t like to study theory too much but still wants a chance to come out of the opening with chances for an advantage” – IM John Donaldson, US Team Captain

How to Beat Your Dad at Chess Murray Chandler The enduring bestseller – explaining in simple terms all the basic checkmate patterns. Learn about the 50 Deadly Checkmates – attacking patterns that occur repeatedly in games between players of all standards. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “Fun to read for players of any age or any strength” – GM Lubosh Kavalek, W ASHINGTON P OST

Chess Tactics for Kids Murray Chandler In an easy-to-understand format, this book explains how to bamboozle your chess opponents using commonly occurring tactical motifs. 50 different tactical motifs are covered, all leading to the win of material. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “As a teacher of scholastic/junior players, I have long wished for a comprehensive yet brief and inexpensive guide to chess tactics. Finally a work that fills the bill” – Bill Whited, C HESS C OUNTRY

Attack with Black Valery Aveskulov Need a reliable way to fight for the initiative when White plays 1 d4? Grandmaster Aveskulov presents a sound but ultra-aggressive repertoire based on gambits that have proved their worth in grandmaster play over many years. The Benko Gambit offers Black very active piece-play and intense positional pressure. If White dodges the Benko, we hit him with the Blumenfeld, sacrificing a pawn to set up a strong pawn-centre. Aveskulov examines all of White’s options and move-orders after 1 d4 Nf6. Also available on Chess Studio . “This isn’t like previous books on the Benko ... this book has the real strength of taking the total Black approach in hand. Anyone looking to fill out a full defense to 1 d4 would do well to pick this up.” – Bill McGeary, WWW.CHESSVILLE.COM

The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles Graham Burgess Solving chess puzzles is one of the most effective ways to improve your game. This convenient book provides 300 exercises, with instructive points highlighted in the solutions. Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “There are several things a successful book on tactical puzzles should have. They include examples that are not well-known, material arranged not by theme but by degree of difficulty and perhaps most importantly solutions that are detailed enough to explain to the student why they went wrong. Burgess passes all these tests with flying colors.” – IM John Donaldson, US Team Captain

Chess Puzzles for Kids Murray Chandler This chess puzzle super-challenge contains 100 fun positions to solve, ranging from encouragingly easy to mind-numbingly hard. Using an innovative format, every puzzle is preceded by an instructive example, illustrating an important pattern. Chess Puzzles for Kids will quickly enable children to enjoy using their new-found skills to outwit friends and relatives. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “Grandmaster Murray Chandler writes excellent books for kids who already know how to play. ... presents the mating and tactical patterns in such a clear and entertaining way that it is a joy to read it.” – GM Lubosh Kavalek, H UFFINGTON P OST

Understanding Pawn Play in Chess Dražen Marović Chess owes its extraordinary depth to pawns. These humble pieces can take on many roles in the chess struggle. They can be blockers, battering-rams, self-sacrificing heroes, and can even be promoted to the ranks of royalty. Marović investigates high-quality games to provide the reader with an armoury of pawn-play concepts that will help him make the right judgements at the board. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “GM Marović utilizes all his experience as a GM and trainer to outline appropriate strategies associated with specific pawn-structures: isolated pawns (specifically IQP), isolated pawn couples, hanging pawns, passed, doubled and backward pawns, pawn-chains and pawn-islands. This approach ... has of course been attempted before, but not, that I have seen, with such clarity as in this book” – Jonathan Tait, BCCA

The Most Amazing Chess Moves of All Time John Emms Very occasionally, a chess move is played that astonishes the whole world. It may be a move of astounding complexity, unearthly beauty, deep paradox... or all three. The move is discussed and analysed around the world as chess-players attempt to fathom both why the move works, and how on earth anyone thought of it in the first place. In this book John Emms has selected, from hundreds of candidates, the 200 most amazing chess moves of all time. In each case, the reader is given the chance to try to find the move for himself – making this one of the most challenging chess puzzle books ever published. Also available on Chess Studio . “ are getting double value for money – a wonderful games collection and a ‘find the continuation’ complication. A really enjoyable and instructive book.” – Alan Sutton, E N P ASSANT

A Rock-Solid Chess Opening Repertoire for Black Viacheslav Eingorn Grandmaster Eingorn shows that it is possible both to play solidly, and to take White out of his comfort zone. The repertoire, based on playing 1...e6, is strikingly creative and will appeal to those who want a stress-free life as Black. You will get every chance to demonstrate your chess skills, and are very unlikely to be blown off the board by a sharp prepared line. Eingorn’s subtle move-orders are particularly effective if White refuses to pick up the gauntlet, as Black can then use his delay in playing ...Nf6 to good effect and take the fight directly to his opponent. Also available on Chess Studio . “...shows depth of reading and balanced research. ... A pleasure to recommend this little gem of a book. ... Perhaps the best book of 2012 so far. A creative effort.” – James Pratt, B RITISH C HESS M AGAZINE

Understanding Chess Middlegames John Nunn The middlegame is the phase of the chess battle where most games are decided, yet is the one that has received the least systematic treatment from chess writers. With the outstanding clarity for which he is famous, Nunn breaks down complex problems into bite-sized pieces. Each of the 100 lessons features two inspiring examples from modern chess, with a clear focus on the key instructive points. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “I own several books on the Middlegame in chess written by esteemed Grandmasters but this one is probably my favourite. John Nunn knows his subject; he is three-times World Chess Solving Champion” – Carl Portman, CARLSPLANET.CO.UK

Understanding the Chess Openings Sam Collins A comprehensive guide to all important chess openings. There is coverage of all major variations, and helpful descriptions and explanation of the typical strategies for both sides. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “Anyone rated under 1700 should own this book and even higher rated players who are looking to fill in the blanks in their repertoire can benefit. It arms you with the knowledge of where to focus your resources when investing money on other opening books.” – Carsten Hansen, CHESSCAFE.COM

The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book John Emms This book provides a wealth of puzzle positions to test just about every facet of your tactical skills. The book begins with 100 relatively easy positions suitable for novices, and ends with 100 extremely tough puzzles, which provide a mind-bending challenge even for top-class players. There are 1001 puzzles in all. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “The material is well chosen, and a marking system enables you to assess your performance relative to masters and grandmasters” – Leonard Barden, E VENING S TANDARD

Chess for Zebras Jonathan Rowson An insight into human idiosyncrasies, in all phases of the game. The reader will begin to appreciate chess at a more profound level, while enjoying a book overflowing with common sense and humour. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “I warmly recommend the book, especially to players frustrated by a long period of stagnation. Most chess books attempt to change what we think, but Rowson’s helps us to change how we think, and in the long run, that’s what will pay the biggest dividends” – Dennis Monokroussos, C HESS T ODAY

Understanding Chess Move by Move John Nunn Thirty modern games are examined in depth, to help the reader understand the most important aspects of chess and to illustrate modern chess principles in action. Virtually every move is explained using words that everyone can understand. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “This is a great book from one of the best chess writers in the world. He does a fine job explaining the plans ‘move by move’ so everybody can understand what it’s all about” – Søren Søgaard, S EAGAARD R EVIEWS

365 Ways to Checkmate Joe Gallagher Tactics based on checkmate ideas against the enemy king decide a large proportion of chess games, so it is vital to be alert to these possibilities when they occur. Joe Gallagher provides 365 checkmate puzzles to help readers sharpen their skills. In each position, the task is to find a way to force a clear-cut win. “One of the things that makes this a good book is Gallagher’s skill at selecting examples and placing them at the right level of difficulty. Another is offering detailed solutions which often cover plausible sidelines that might have attracted the reader.” – IM John Donaldson, JEREMYSILMAN.COM

1001 Deadly Checkmates John Nunn The ability to spot checkmates is a vital skill – and this easy-to-use book shows you how it is done. With the help of Grandmaster John Nunn, you will be ready to shock your next opponent with a deadly checkmate, whether in a school match, a club tournament – or even a championship game! Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “A great book, which I think will be useful to a wide range of players, say from 1400 to 2400. Chess is largely a matter of pattern recognition, so exercises like these are useful to everyone.” – Frederick Rhine, CHICAGOCHESS.BLOGSPOT.COM

Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy John Watson In a profound but thoroughly practical manner, this classic work explores how chess concepts have evolved over the past 70 years. Acclaimed double-winner of the British Chess Federation and United States Chess Federation ‘Book of the Year’ awards. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “can, without resorting to hyperbole, be considered a classic” – GM Nigel Short, T HE S UNDAY T ELEGRAPH

Chess Strategy in Action John Watson Here Watson fleshes out the theory presented to enormous acclaim in Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy . He illustrates the modern practice of chess with examples from imaginative players such as Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand and Ivanchuk, and tempestuous innovators like Shirov and Morozevich. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “...above all else Watson is excellent at explaining these mysterious grandmaster concepts to the club player” – IM Richard Palliser, C HESS M ONTHLY

Learn Chess Tactics John Nunn This book teaches basic tactical ideas such as the fork, pin and discovered attack, and introduces general ideas like elimination, immobilization and compulsion. A basic knowledge of simple tactics will enable a novice to start winning games, by giving checkmate or capturing material. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “The quality of the material, the fine layout, and the enlightening comments make this book the ideal introduction to chess tactics for the inexperienced player.” – S CHACHMARKT

How to Build Your Chess Opening Repertoire Steve Giddins Whether a novice or a master, every player needs to select an opening repertoire. In this book, the first to focus on these issues, Steve Giddins provides common-sense guidance on one of the perennial problems facing chess-players. He tackles questions such as: whether to play main lines, offbeat openings or ‘universal’ systems; how to avoid being ‘move-ordered’; how to use computers; and if and when to depart from or change your repertoire. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “I can recommend this book unreservedly to anyone who is serious about improving” – Phil Adams, 3Cs website

Secrets of Practical Chess (new enlarged edition) John Nunn What is the best way to improve your chess results? Memorizing openings, learning endgames... there must be an easier way! How about making the most of your existing talent? Contains 45% more material than the first edition. Also available on Chess Studio . “Grandmaster John Nunn offers practical advice on how to improve your chess results. It includes guidance on making decisions at the board, the study of opening, middlegame and endgame play, use of computers plus the selection and use of chess books. ... I found the chapters on use of computers and the selection and use of chess books of particular interest” – David Mills, T IME T ROUBLE

The Road to Chess Improvement Alex Yermolinsky “How can I improve my game?” is a perennial question facing chess-players. Alex Yermolinsky is well-qualified to offer advice – having trained himself, slowly but surely raising his game to top-class grandmaster standard. In this award-winning book he passes on many of the insights he has gained over the years, steering the reader away from ‘quick-fix’ approaches and focusing on the critical areas of chess understanding and over-the-board decision-making. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “a magnificent achievement, by far the finest book I’ve ever seen on the subject of practical play” – GM Matthew Sadler, N EW IN C HESS

Understanding Chess Endgames John Nunn Assuming no specialized endgame knowledge, John Nunn presents 100 key endgame concepts, and explains how they are used to win games or save difficult positions. He covers all the main types of endgames and typical thinking methods, and so equips readers with all the skills needed to excel in this vital phase of the game up to good club level and beyond. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “A fantastic endgame primer ... Nunn has distilled a vast amount of detailed endgame research into clear and well-presented chunks. There are 100 short sections, each with four examples, each with a diagram, fitting neatly across two pages” – GM Daniel King, T HE G UARDIAN

101 Chess Opening Traps Steve Giddins This timeless collection of deadly traps might win you games in just a handful of moves! The book focuses on established opening traps that club players are most likely to fall for. Also available on Chess Studio . “To my delight and amazement [my opponent] fell straight into the trap” – Alec Toll, O PEN F ILE

Learn Chess John Nunn Starting with the very basics, this book tells you everything you need to know to become a successful chess-player. No prior knowledge is assumed. The reader learns step-by-step, with each new point illustrated by clear examples. By the end of the book, the reader will be fully ready to take on opponents across the board, or on the Internet, and start winning. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “an excellent primer. The prose is lucid and the presentation systematic; an adult reader with no prior knowledge of the game will be taught all he needs to know” – James Vigus, D RAGON

Chess for Children Murray Chandler and Helen Milligan With this charming book, children will delight in learning the basic moves of chess. All the rules are explained step by step, assuming no prior knowledge. The lessons are reinforced by the inventive tales that George is told by his pet alligator Kirsty, self-proclaimed Grand Alligator of chess. Chess is widely recognized as a useful tool for developing creative thinking in children, yet the rules of the game are straightforward. With this book, even children as young as five can enjoy exciting games and will thoroughly enjoy outwitting friends and relatives. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “...the best book of its type ever published” – Peter Connor, CHESSCOUNTRY.COM “The highly professional design of this book commends it for use in chess lessons for beginners” – Dr W. Schweizer, R OCHADE

Grandmaster Secrets: The Caro-Kann Peter Wells The Caro-Kann is one of the most popular responses to 1 e4. Black stakes a claim to the central squares and seeks free development for all his pieces. While solid, it is by no means a drawing weapon – the resulting positions generally contain at least a degree of imbalance and the critical lines lead to sharp positions with chances for both sides. Many new approaches for both sides have been developed in recent years, and a good understanding of these ideas is vital for anyone looking to handle either side of the Caro with success. Also available on Chess Studio . “I would be quick to pick up this book as an e4 player or if I defended it with the Caro-Kann. Wells really focuses on how to play the opening by presenting a wide range of ideas for both sides. Explanations abound ... the analysis and coverage is outstanding.” – Lou Mercuri, C HESS H ORIZONS

Play the Najdorf Sicilian James Rizzitano The Najdorf Sicilian has a unique place amongst chess openings: for several decades it has been regarded by the top grandmasters as the best way for Black to play soundly for a win against 1 e4. James Rizzitano, a battle-hardened Sicilian warrior, distils the most important ideas and themes from current practice to provide an ideal guide for those looking to succeed as White or Black in the Najdorf in the modern scientific era. Also available on Chess Studio . “A good book for those that want to start playing the Najdorf with Black and also recommendable for Najdorf players not the least because it is very much up to date and includes state of the art knowledge about the lines presented. Also quite useful for players that face the Najdorf with White, specially those that play Bg5 or Be3 since so many different lines for Black are analysed here.” – Hedinn Steingrimsson, WWW . SCHACH WELT . DE

Play the Alekhine Valentin Bogdanov The Alekhine is arguably the most forcing and aggressive reply to 1 e4. Black immediately forces the pace and drags the game onto his own favoured territory. Those who specialize in the Alekhine find that the opening has a real practical sting and quick-strike potential. The coverage in this book is even-handed, and there are abundant ideas presented to both sides. Also available on Chess Studio . “This is Bogdanov’s third book for Gambit, showing that this quality publishing house trusts the author – and why wouldn’t they? The language is fluent and informative, and the sample games are well chosen and instructive.” – Marko Tauriainen, S UOMEN S HAKKI

Chess Explained: The Queen’s Gambit Declined James Rizzitano The Queen’s Gambit Declined is one of the most important and popular of chess openings. Both sides have ways to create imbalance and test their opponent’s skills and knowledge in a full-blooded struggle. In addition to the traditional main lines with Bg5, White has at his disposal the Exchange Variation, and the Bf4 system, both of which can be handled in highly aggressive style if he wishes. Rizzitano covers all these lines and a plethora of other important options, focusing on the fundamental ideas on which they are based. Also available on Chess Studio . “I should also loudly call attention to Rizzitano’s new, well-written, and amazingly well-researched Chess Explained: The Queen’s Gambit Declined ...” – John Watson, T HE W EEK IN C HESS

Chess Explained: The French Viacheslav Eingorn and Valentin Bogdanov The French appeals to a wide range of chess temperaments: it is solid yet uncompromising, and with a variety of chaotic variations to appeal to the most bloodthirsty of players, but also offering more tranquil lines to those seeking a quieter existence. Chess Explained books provide an understanding of an opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. Also available on Chess Studio . “...if you are considering utilizing the French as a weapon against 1 e4, then this book is a very good and inexpensive way of deciding if the opening is for you. It will give you a solid grounding in fundamental positional ideas and typical tactics in the French.” – Munroe Morrison, O PEN F ILE

Chess Explained: The Classical Sicilian Alex Yermolinsky The Classical (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6) is one of the most popular and respected systems of the Sicilian. Black develops his pieces more quickly than in many Sicilian systems, and intricate piece-play often results. Yermolinsky covers lines that retain the independent significance of the Classical move-order, such as 6 Bc4 Qb6 – a line in which he is a leading specialist. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “Yermo’s book represents a good way to get to grips with this sound and interesting opening system.” – Phil Adams, 3Cs website

Chess Explained: The c3 Sicilian Sam Collins The c3 Sicilian is one of White’s most popular and poisonous ways to avoid the main lines of the Sicilian. With the forcing line 1 e4 c5 2 c3, White denies his opponent the chance to demonstrate his preparation in some chaotic system. There are plenty of tricks and traps in the c3 Sicilian, and the open piece-play that often results can lead to quick attacks and means that careless play will rarely go unpunished. Also available on Chess Studio . “...the format is well suited to the average club player who wishes to start using this variation.” – David Mills, T IME T ROUBLE

Chess Explained: The Grünfeld Valentin Bogdanov The Grünfeld creates immediate imbalance: Black strikes at White’s centre with all available resources. In the main lines, White creates a large pawn-centre and launches an attack. While the theory of these lines has been extensively developed, there is a coherent logical thread that needs to be understood in order to get to grips with the theory and handle the resulting positions. This book features a special contribution from Viacheslav Eingorn on the key ideas of the Rb1 Exchange main line, which he was instrumental in developing. Also available on Chess Studio . “If you like aggression when you play Black then this book is for you. It creates immediate imbalance and again it is crucial to know how to handle this opening as White too.” – Carl Portman, D EFENCE F OCUS

Chess Explained: The Nimzo-Indian Reinaldo Vera The Nimzo-Indian is one of the most important of all chess openings, and popular at all levels of play. It provides winning chances for both sides as it leads to structures of great strategic variety and complexity. Key battlegrounds in the Nimzo include the blockade, IQP positions, the handling of unbalanced pawn-structures, and the struggle between bishop and knight. An understanding of these topics will prove valuable in a very broad context. Also available on Chess Studio . “This is a very well-written book with enough analytical material to launch your Nimzo-Indian career, and more than enough explanation to justify the series title.” – John Watson, T HE W EEK IN C HESS

Chess Explained: The Queen’s Indian Peter Wells The Queen’s Indian is an important and popular opening at all levels of play. Black’s flexible stance allows him to choose between a range of solid and dynamic structures. In turn, White can play flexibly, opposing Black’s fianchetto, or can try to force the pace in the centre and start a hand-to-hand fight. It is an opening rich in nuances, and many of the modern main lines involve moves that look extravagant, but are backed up by a deep underlying logic. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “The annotations in particular really impressed me, for the author actually did explain what was happening at every stage of the game. Everything appeared logical as I played through the games and read the annotations. Where alternatives are given, you are told why a certain move is good or bad, not just the fact that it is so. Peter Wells is to be congratulated on presenting everything so lucidly.” – Alan Sutton, E N P ASSANT

Chess Explained: The Modern Benoni Zenon Franco The Modern Benoni is one of the few openings where White has no easy way to force drawish simplifications or deny Black any dynamic counterplay. In this book Franco shows how Black can seek to create the kind of mayhem that has attracted champions such as Tal, Kasparov and Topalov to the Benoni, and also demonstrates how White can seek either to put a positional clamp on the game, or else to storm Black’s position before his development is complete. A special section deals with the vital question of move-orders. Also available on Chess Studio . “These books provide 25 well annotated, up to date model games which you can use to guide you when learning the openings. Excellent introduction to these openings for intermediate players.” – Paul Dunn, A USTRALIAN C HESS

Chess Explained: The Meran Semi-Slav Reinaldo Vera Belying its solid classical appearance, the Semi-Slav is one of Black’s most aggressive responses when White opens with the queen’s pawn. The Meran is its traditional main line, and often leads to chaotic positions of immense strategic and tactical richness. Vera draws upon decades of personal experience to explain the underlying logic of the Meran and related lines, and to pick out the key features of positions that to the untrained eye might appear random and unfathomable. Also available on Chess Studio . “What he offers is honesty! I like that. It means to me you can trust the rest of the book because he is honest about his own contribution.” – Bob Long, WWW . CHESSCO . COM

Chess Explained: The Taimanov Sicilian James Rizzitano The Taimanov Sicilian is one of the most flexible options for Black in the Open Sicilian. It leads to a great variety of central structures, and the player with the better understanding of typical Sicilian themes will often emerge victorious – Taimanov positions need to be understood well in order to be played well. This book covers the Paulsen set-up with ...Qc7 in addition to the ‘pure’ Taimanov with ...Nge7. Also available on Chess Studio . “I’m really impressed with how thorough and helpful the explanations are. I’m quite sure that anyone interested in taking up the Taimanov would learn a lot from this book – in fact, the average club player would probably be able to make do with this as his or her one and only Taimanov book.” – S. Evan Kreider, WWW . CHESSVILLE . COM

Chess Explained: The Main-Line Slav David Vigorito The Main-Line Slav is one of the key battlegrounds of modern chess, with adherents among all levels of chess-players. This book discusses all major lines following the moves 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 dxc4. Vigorito dissects the most important themes and nuances, placing them firmly in the context of the practical struggle, making sure that readers will be familiar with the resources at their disposal, and understand when to employ them. Also available on Chess Studio . “...a solid understanding of the pawn-structures and piece-play will be the main factor in the success of any player who takes on this opening. ... As an introductory work to the Main-Line Slav, this book is an excellent place to start” – Carsten Hansen, WWW . CHESSCAFE . COM

Chess Explained: The English Opening Zenon Franco The English Opening is a flexible and dynamic choice for White, which avoids a great deal of sharp and well-mapped opening theory. It is popular with all levels of chess-players, and has been used to good effect at world championship level by Kasparov, Korchnoi, Botvinnik and other greats of the game. The English gives rise to an immense variety of structures, ranging from reversed Sicilians to Hedgehogs and fluid or locked central structures. Also available on Chess Studio . “Altogether I found this book really helpful in both the white as well as the black side of this opening.” – Andy May, WWW . NSGCHESS . COM

Nunn’s Chess Endings Volume 1 John Nunn Going beyond standard texts, Dr Nunn shows how to apply knowledge of standard endgames to find the right methods in tricky real-life practical situations – even when they differ greatly from the idealized forms given by traditional endgame manuals. Nunn shows that lack of familiarity with key ideas can cause important ideas and themes to be missed even by very strong players. We discover that a staggering amount of previously published endgame analysis is simply wrong, and that many of the standard guidelines are at best partially true. This first volume covers general topics and discusses in detail pawn endings, queen endings and minor-piece endings. Also available on Chess Studio . “I think this really is a fantastic book. ... The book’s introduction and the first chapter (The Three Key Endgame Skills) are some of the best endgame-related chess prose I’ve read in a long time.” – Arne Moll, CHESSVIBES . COM

Nunn’s Chess Endings Volume 2 John Nunn In this award-winning two-volume series, Dr John Nunn identifies new and important motifs which occur repeatedly in over-the-board play. Tactical elements are heavily featured, and the focus is on endgames that are susceptible to concrete analysis. The discussion is geared to the over-the-board player; the ideas underlying the analysis – however complex – are richly explained in words. This second volume focuses on rook endgames – the most common and important category of practical endgames. Nunn also covers endings with rooks and minor pieces, a wide and rich area of strategic endgame play that is universally recognized as vital for chess mastery, but nevertheless neglected in chess literature. Also available on Chess Studio . “The book is in many respects different and better than the majority of the other books on the endgame where often the inspiration of the author languishes after a few chapters. ... the reader undoubtedly takes profit even from a passive or lazy reading: so great is the way the author explains complex positions making them easy and appealing to any range of audience” – Martin Eden, S OLO S CACCHI

Garry Kasparov’s Greatest Chess Games Volume 1 Igor Stohl Garry Kasparov dominated the chess world for more than twenty years. His dynamism and preparation set an example that is followed by most ambitious players. Igor Stohl has selected 74 of Kasparov’s best and most instructive games from 1973 to 1993, and annotated them in detail. The emphasis is on explaining the thoughts behind Kasparov’s decisions, and the principles and concepts embodied by his moves. Stohl provides a wealth of fresh insights into these landmark games, together with many new analytical points. This makes the book outstanding study material for all chess enthusiasts. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “[Stohl] often improves on Kasparov’s past comments. It is one of this year’s best books, and it could be a great help to Kasparov in preparation of his own works about his career.” – GM Lubomir Kavalek, W ASHINGTON P OST

Garry Kasparov’s Greatest Chess Games Volume 2 Igor Stohl This second volume covers Kasparov’s career from 1993 up to his retirement in 2005, a period during which he successfully faced the challenge of a new generation and achieved some of his greatest successes, both creatively and competitively. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “Congratulations to Gambit and to Igor Stohl for this masterpiece! As a matter of fact I would like at this point to state how much this book for me personally constitutes an absolute milestone in the field of chess books, but extraordinary quality needs no more words. ... sets new standards in the field of commentary and presentation of mastergames! Categorically a must-buy!” – Martin Rieger, WWW.FREECHESS.DE

Endgame Challenge John Nunn John Nunn presents 250 challenging positions where your task is to find a cunning way to win or draw. In many cases the odds against success seem overwhelming, yet by using all the tactical resources in the position it is possible to achieve the goal. Nunn’s detailed solutions contain many points and clarifications that have hitherto gone unmentioned, so readers will rarely be left to wonder whether their intended solution really did work. In an over-the-board game, the ability to use the pieces in harmony is paramount, and those players who can exploit every resource in a position are those who become champions. While the focus in this book is on tactics, readers will also develop a greater understanding of many important endgame topics, such as fortresses, stalemate defences, the opposition and zugzwang. Also available on Chess Studio . “The first 50 pages contain 250 diagrams to solve, and then we get 250 pages of shocking solutions – shocking in the sense that even world-class players might draw or even resign positions, when beautiful and unlikely possibilities still exist” – Bab Wilders, N EDERLANDS D AGBLAD

John Nunn’s Chess Course John Nunn Following on from his successful books Understanding Chess Endgames and Understanding Chess Middlegames , John Nunn fleshes out the theory by showing how World Champion Emanuel Lasker handled a wide variety of practical situations. We see how Lasker’s play, which his opponents found so unfathomable, was based on logic, extreme pragmatism and a deep understanding of how chess-players think. Nunn covers topics not usually considered, such as queenless middlegames and manoeuvring, and dissects strategic issues including piece-activity, pawn-structure and bishop vs knight. He looks at psychological aspects of chess, such as choosing lines which are most uncomfortable for the opponent. The explanations focus on general ideas rather than detailed analysis. The book concludes with a selection of exercises, with full commentary and explanation. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “Now and again, amongst the hundreds of new books published, a jewel arrives. ... Choosing to examine chess strategy, tactics, etc., through the medium of the career of one player satisfies two objectives – one, the biographical chess career of a world champion and the other, all techniques necessary to become a proficient chess-player. Nunn succeeds magnificently in achieving this. When I was involved in running a chess stall at congresses, many times I faced the question ‘Can you recommend a chess book that I can read?’. Now, I would not struggle to find an answer.” – Bill Frost, C HESS D EVON

Win with the Stonewall Dutch Sverre Johnsen, Ivar Bern and Simen Agdestein The Stonewall Dutch is a traditional favourite amongst club players, as it offers Black ready-made attacking plans on the kingside. As Bent Larsen noted, the Dutch also has the tendency to ‘bring out the coward’ in opponents, giving it an added practical sting. However, up until the late 1980s, the Stonewall wasn’t fully trusted at grandmaster level, despite its earlier use by Alekhine and Botvinnik. Black’s attacking plans were too one-sided, and White’s methods too well worked out. The change came when a new generation of players, including Nigel Short and Simen Agdestein, showed that Black could handle his position in many other ways, including play on the queenside and in the centre, with the ‘Stonewall’ structure stifling White’s attempts to generate play of his own. Agdestein in particular has continued to experiment with many new set-ups and move-orders for Black, and this book contains a wealth of new recommendations and suggestions based on this work. Also available on Chess Studio . “An outstanding book ... Not only do the authors rehabilitate an underestimated opening – they even do so by means of inspiring chapters supported by the personal experiences of leading experts.” – GM Peter Heine Nielsen, S KAKBLADET

Secrets of Positional Chess Dražen Marović How can one determine if a piece is weak or strong? Or if a square is weak or strong? These are the principal questions that grandmaster and trainer Dražen Marović addresses in this important book. By discussing carefully-chosen games and positions, Marović explains how to recognize good and bad features of positions, and how to make use of one’s advantages and exploit the opponent’s weaknesses. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “As in his previous works, Marović’s deep knowledge shines through and he makes welcome use of classics and not just recent games. This work looks at many important positional principles, such as the weakness of the second rank or the use of rooks on half-open files ... the club player who takes time to study its many themes, and hundreds of well-explained examples, should significantly boost the depth of their positional understanding memory bank” – Richard Palliser

Secrets of Chess Defence Mihail Marin Good defensive abilities earn players a great many half-points and full-points. The climax of the defence is the launching of a devastating counter-attack, a skill at which all the great chess champions have been adept. Of particular interest to club players is Marin’s discussion of how to defend against unsound attacks, and the problem of how to parry the attack while retaining winning chances. Other topics include attack and defence in equal positions, where both sides must judge carefully how much of their resources to devote to the attack and the counter-attack. The main subject, though, is the case where the defender is fighting for his life, and must decide how to maximize his chances of survival. Marin considers psychological issues and explains the main options available to the defender: simplification, cold-blooded defence, a positional sacrifice, ‘blackmailing’ the attacker, or a counter-attack. “Chess defence is invariably the part of the game that a lot of players don’t like to study because they find it too boring or they’d rather attack like Tal. In this his first publication, Mihail has written a book that will change your mind about defence as an important element to the game.” – Michael Stevenson, N EW Z EALAND C HESS

Secrets of Attacking Chess Mihail Marin What are the premises for a successful attack? Marin discusses the traditional concept that a player with the advantage is obliged to attack, and also the value of notions of logic and justice in deciding whether to attack. If we believe an attack is justified, but cannot back it up with concrete variations, how do we decide whether to trust our intuition? Marin surveys typical attacking scenarios, such an attack on two wings, with a queenside attack as a prelude for a swift strike on the other wing, and all-out attacks against apparently well-defended positions. He also explains why grandmasters generally prefer to maintain as many options as possible, and investigates the role of prophylactic thinking in attacking play. Also available on Chess Studio . “A quick glance at Secrets of Attacking Chess might prove somewhat intimidating. While there is plenty of explanatory prose Marin believes in backing up his conclusions with concrete analysis. A closer look reveals that Marin has a definite pedagogical bent and has taken pains to sprinkle instructive comments throughout the book that are destined to stay with the reader. Highly Recommended.” – IM John Donaldson, JEREMYSILMAN.COM

Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion Vishy Anand and John Nunn Anand has been one of the world’s top players for more than two decades, but it’s not just his results that make Anand special. His style of play leads to highly spectacular games, and his speed of thought is the stuff of legends. He is also a great explainer of ideas, as his annotations for this book demonstrate. Anand is renowned as ‘Mr Nice Guy’, popular with both the public and his fellow supergrandmasters. This new expanded edition of the award-winning Vishy Anand: My Best Games of Chess features 30 extra games from the period of Anand’s greatest successes, selected by Anand and annotated by John Nunn, and also contains a biographical sketch and a detailed career record. “This book is full of wonderful games, many of which are tremendously complex, and occasionally the variations run to a considerable depth – neither Anand nor Nunn refrains from showing concrete variations, where the position warrants it. But both offer a nice balance of explanatory annotation as well, so there is a great deal of instructional value in here as well.” – GM Luke McShane, N EW IN C HESS

Win with the London System Sverre Johnsen and Vlatko Kovačević The London System is a perennial favourite of club players, as it is a very sound and solid system with a real practical sting. The authors of this new book seek to maximize this sting in two principal ways. Firstly, by explaining in detail the typical plans for White, they help readers to make the most of their chances, whether they are based on a kingside attack, queenside penetration, central play, or transition to a favourable endgame. Secondly, they advocate some subtle move-orders that limit Black’s options, and give White possibilities to change the nature of the game and go straight for the kill if Black responds casually or inappropriately. These move-orders have been tested successfully by co-author Kovačević at grandmaster level, and much of the analysis presented here is of totally new variations, and is previously unpublished. Covers all responses to 1 d4 against which White can use the London System. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “This is a first-class book, extremely well written, about a system that for too long has had its light hidden under a bushel.” – Michael Stevenson, N EW Z EALAND C HESS

How to Play Chess Endgames Karsten Müller and Wolfgang Pajeken In this companion volume to the award-winning Fundamental Chess Endings , Müller and Pajeken focus on the practical side of playing endgames. They cover all aspects of strategic endgames, with particular emphasis on thinking methods, and ways to create difficulties for opponents over the board. Using hundreds of outstanding examples from modern practice, the authors explain not only how to conduct ‘classical’ endgame tasks, such as exploiting an extra pawn or more active pieces, but also how to handle the extremely unbalanced endings that often arise from the dynamic openings favoured nowadays. All varieties of endgames are covered, and there are more than 200 exercises for the reader, together with full solutions. Also available on Chess Studio . “Karsten Müller rose to the Mount Olympus of endgame literature with Fundamental Chess Endings . ... His latest book, How to Play Chess Endings , with colleague Wolfgang Pajeken, is a sequel to that standard work.” – Harry Schaack, KARL

101 Winning Chess Strategies Angus Dunnington Without strategy, a chess game is just a series of tactical tricks. A good strategy binds together the tactics, and enables a player to make methodical progress towards victory. This book makes sure you will never be short of winning strategies. Angus Dunnington utilizes his many years of chess playing and training to provide an arsenal of ideas that can be employed in many types of position. These plans have been proven in many grandmaster games, so you can be sure that by using them your game will be soundly based. Also available on Chess Studio . “...a useful book for players seeking to improve their creativity and piece coordination” – Alan Borwell, S COTTISH C ORRESPONDENCE C HESS

The Dynamic English Tony Kosten In the first book to explain the popular English Opening for many years, Grandmaster Kosten supplies players of the white side with a set of weapons that will equip them to challenge any opponent they face. Kosten concentrates on aggressive treatments of the English – an approach that has brought him great success in tournament play. His book provides everything you need to start attacking with the English Opening. Also available on Chess Studio . “Grandmaster Tony Kosten, a great exponent of this line, makes out a compelling case for this opening. He conveys his understanding with great skill” – IM Craig Pritchett, T HE H ERALD

A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White John Watson Such has been the acclaim for John Watson’s ground-breaking works on modern chess strategy and his insightful opening books, that it is only natural that he now presents a strategic opening repertoire. The repertoire is based on 1 d4 and 2 c4, following up with methodical play in the centre. Watson uses his vast opening knowledge to pick cunning move-orders and poisonous sequences that will force opponents to think for themselves, providing a true test of chess understanding. Throughout, he discusses strategies for both sides, so readers will be fully ready to pounce on any inaccuracies, and have all the tools to decide on the most appropriate plans for White. Also available on Chess Studio . “Watson’s Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy I consider as one of the best books ever written! So for me Watson is the big star among chess book authors and I presume that all his books are best sellers – and that this last one, A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White , also will be that” – GM Simen Agdestein, V ERDENS G ANG

John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book John Nunn Most chess puzzle books put you in an artificial situation: you are told a combination exists, what the theme is and what you are required to achieve. This one is different. In a real game, a player may sometimes need to find a combination. On the other hand he may have to reject a tactical idea and simply find a good positional move. His task is to find the right move, whatever it may be. The 300 puzzles in this book put you precisely in that situation. Spectacular ideas abound in these positions, but it is for you to decide whether to go in for them, or whether you would be falling into a trap. If you need them, there are hints to help you on your way. The book ends with a series of tests to measure your skills against those of other players. Also available on Chess Studio . “I think puzzle books serve as a great training tool before tournaments, to sharpen up tactics and help players to get into the groove of being able to calculate some lengthy variations. I don’t have a great deal of puzzle books but this is clearly the best one on my bookshelf!” – GM Stephen Gordon, 3C S C HESS

Secrets of Pawn Endings Karsten Müller and Frank Lamprecht This book provides a thorough course in endings with just kings and pawns, from the simple to the highly complex. Armed with this knowledge, the reader will also be able to tackle other types of endgame with greater confidence and certainty. Many interesting and beautiful positions are included, and there are test positions for the reader to solve. The authors follow the rigorously logical conventions introduced by John Nunn in his famous series of endgame manuals. This has necessitated a phenomenal amount of new analysis of theoretical positions to assess precisely the merits of each and every move. Also available on Chess Studio . “For years, Secrets of Pawn Endings has been one of my favorite endgame books. Müller and Lamprecht have written a book of great theoretical and practical significance. Secrets of Pawn Endings is a must-have.” – Josh Specht, CHESSVIDEOS.TV

Secrets of Rook Endings John Nunn The first edition of this book ushered in a new era in chess publishing. It was the first book based on computer-generated position databases that are guaranteed to provide the actual result of a position. However, this book is no computer print-out. It takes a human ‘oracle’ to extract the useful information from this mass of data and to identify new principles to help the rest of us appreciate the key practical points. Dr John Nunn, top-class grandmaster and renowned theoretician, performs this role admirably. He has identified where previous theory has been overturned, and where there are important new results. Dr Nunn was also the first to reveal the general importance of the many ‘reciprocal zugzwang’ positions. Also available on Chess Studio . “I am sure that in fifty years’ time Secrets of Rook Endings will be regarded as one of the great classics of the twentieth century. It is as close as any book can ever realistically come to perfection on its subject.” – GM Julian Hodgson, B RITISH C HESS M AGAZINE

Secrets of Pawnless Endings John Nunn After the success of Secrets of Rook Endings , John Nunn turns his attention towards endgames without pawns. These occur surprisingly often in practice and are extremely tactical in nature. This book unites man and machine in the search for ultimate answers. The computer databases created by Ken Thompson, formerly of Bell Laboratories, can state with certainty the correct result of any position with five pieces or fewer. John Nunn has extracted the most important information from these databases and presented it in the form of guidelines and specific key positions, which can be more readily digested by the human mind. With most competitive games these days being played to a finish in a single session, this knowledge may prove invaluable over the board. This is a new and expanded edition of an important book. Since the first edition was published, the databases for six-man endings have been created, resulting in some surprising and paradoxical discoveries. The coverage has therefore been expanded to include the most interesting features of these endings. Also available on Chess Studio . “...a treasure trove of the precisely extraordinary, with considerable practical value for more serious players in the earlier sections” – GM Jon Speelman, T HE I NDEPENDENT

Secrets of Grandmaster Chess John Nunn This book, originally published in 1997, is an updated edition of Secrets of Grandmaster Play , which was hailed as a modern classic and won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award in 1988. It covers Nunn’s career from childhood up to 1985 and features 24 of John Nunn’s best and most instructive games, including his award-winning 1985 victory over Beliavsky. This superb manual of strategy and tactics also offers advice on how to think at the board and insights into the world of professional chess. Also available on Chess Studio . “A beautifully eloquent and instructive blend of variations and verbal explanations.” – I NSIDE C HESS

John Nunn’s Best Games John Nunn Winner of the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award John Nunn has an unparalleled reputation as a chess theoretician and writer of the highest class. In this book he focuses his attention on his own games and annotates 40 complete games and many game fragments. The book covers the period 1985-93, when Nunn rose to enter the world top 10, and includes victories over Short, Tal, Korchnoi, Anand, Gelfand, Portisch, Judit Polgar and many other top players. The analysis of these games provides a manual of attacking chess from one of the world’s best tacticians. This book is far more than a collection of superbly analysed games, however, since the author has brought the games to life with anecdotes from the events, and provides many practical tips which will be of benefit to aspiring chess players of all levels of ability. Also available on Chess Studio . “[Nunn’s] combination of erudition and straightforwardness makes him a particularly good subject to emulate. ... Perhaps the high point of this collection is Nunn’s 25-move victory over Sokolov of the USSR at the Dubai Olympiad, 1986. Wiping a top Soviet player off the board so unceremoniously was something that British players simply never did until Nunn and Tony Miles came along.” – T.D. Welsh, ‘Top 500’ reviewer

Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess Dražen Marović This book tackles fundamental questions such as: ‘How should pawns be used to fight for the centre?’ and ‘How does the central pawn formation affect planning for both sides?’ These issues are central to understanding chess. Marović discusses central pawn-structures and their impact on play both in the centre and on the wings. He begins by surveying how the pawn’s role in controlling the centre has been developed over the last 150 years, and how this has led to the refinement of concepts such as the ‘dynamic’ backward pawn and the positional exchange sacrifice. The bulk of the book is devoted to discussions of the main type of centre: Open Centre; Closed/Blocked Centre; Fixed Centre; and in particular the Mobile/Dynamic Centre. “Marović has obviously been in the company of some of the greatest players and listened carefully to what they had to say ... this book is excellent value and is sure to improve your chess” – Chris Rice, W EEKEND C HESS

The Survival Guide to Rook Endings John Emms For all chess-players – from beginners to grandmasters, and whatever their style of play – one thing is certain: rook endings will arise in a great many of their games. Yet it is precisely in this area of the game that many players give away hard-earned points, either through lack of knowledge or inadequate understanding. Most previous books on the subject have been extremely technical and theoretical, but this one is different. John Emms provides the essential specific knowledge and explains the key concepts that will enable readers to find the right plan in most common types of rook endings. Also available on Chess Studio . “If you didn’t purchase this book first time around then I think you missed out. Rook endgame knowledge is at the core of endgame theory. Many club players would save a huge amount of points by having the confidence to go into a rook endgame, especially when a pawn or two down.” – Munroe Morrison, O PEN F ILE

The Giant Chess Puzzle Book Zenon Franco More than anything else, a player’s ability to find tactical solutions determines how successful he is over-the-board. No endgame scheme, opening idea or strategic plan, however brilliant a concept it may be, is of any value unless it is accurately calculated and implemented. This book provides a wealth of chess puzzles to test just about every facet of your tactical ability. Franco has searched recent events and used powerful computers to seek out previously unpublished puzzles, and has also drawn extensively upon Latin American sources that he has been scouring for brilliant examples over the last three decades. The book begins with 120 relatively easy positions suitable for novices, and ends with 80 extremely tough puzzles, which provide a mind-bending challenge even for grandmasters. There are 1001 puzzles in all, including themed sections and graded tests, all with detailed computer-verified solutions and verbal explanations of the main instructive points. “Most of the positions will not have been seen before in other publications and you will not fail to improve your game – certainly your tactical awareness – if you have the discipline to work through this lovely book. Chess problems are like life. We are given a question and we don’t always know the answer. Is it right to turn away and not try to find that answer? Maybe we should just roll up our sleeves and meet that challenge head on; after all the answers are all there, waiting to be found. Enjoy the journey and absorb yourself in just some of the delightful mysteries of the 64 squares.” – Carl Portman, D EFENCE F OCUS

The Cambridge Springs Krzysztof Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk The Cambridge Springs is a popular defence to the Queen’s Gambit that takes its name from the famous tournament in 1904 during which it was tested in a number of games. Since then it has become firmly established as a club-player’s favourite, since Black sets a number of traps and can generate a very quick initiative if White fails to respond precisely. Several world champions have used the Cambridge Springs, most notably Alekhine and Smyslov, while Kasparov has played it on occasion, including a sensationally quick victory over Karpov in 1985. The authors combine thorough research with a wealth of original material to offer comprehensive coverage of this combative system. While the main body of the book covers both sides of the Cambridge Springs, it also offers Black a repertoire against White’s alternative options in the Queen’s Gambit, the most important of which is the Exchange Variation. “A professional effort where the authors have made their own contributions and have overturned long-held erroneous conclusions. I’m quite happy giving it 9/10” – GM Glenn Flear, N EW IN C HESS

Understanding the King’s Indian Mikhail Golubev Despite its sharp and aggressive nature, the King’s Indian is an opening that lends itself well to discussion in terms of plans, ideas and pawn-structures. Those who are familiar with these underlying themes will enjoy an enormous practical advantage when facing those who lack this understanding, even if they are theoretically well-prepared. This engaging personal account of the King’s Indian is also wide-ranging and detailed. The main games are all from Golubev’s own practice, enabling him to provide a completely accurate description of the decisions at the board. The notes contain a wealth of references to games and ideas from other King’s Indian specialists, and the coverage is sufficient to provide Black with a flexible and aggressive repertoire. “If you work with this book, you will affirm that the author is with you in the tiniest details, thorough, self-critical, and comprehensively analytical” – E. Carl, R OCHADE

How to Calculate Chess Tactics Valeri Beim Thinking methods are at the heart of the chess struggle, yet most players devote little conscious effort to improving their calculating ability. Much of the previous literature on the subject has presented idealized models that have limited relevance to the hurly-burly of practical chess, or else provide little more than ad hoc suggestions. Here, experienced trainer Valeri Beim strikes a balance by explaining how to use intuition and logic together to solve tactical problems in a methodical way. He also offers advice on when it is best to calculate ‘like a machine’, and when it is better to rely on intuitive assessment. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “One of Beim’s insights is that, when we find a beautiful combination that fails, we’re often halfway to finding the move we should play. The opponent’s strength that breaks our attack is precisely the target we should set about undermining. ... Beim shares with us a set of tools that, once mastered, appear well-designed for rapid, effective calculation in the critical positions that separate the master from the amateur.” – Derek Grimmell, CHESSCAFE.COM

Perfect Your Chess Andrei Volokitin and Vladimir Grabinsky Andrei Volokitin is one of a rare breed of players: he achieved a ranking in the world’s top 20 while still a teenager, playing dynamic and often brilliant chess. Although we cannot all aspire to emulate his achievements, there is much that we can learn from his training methods, his games and his general approach to chess. These topics are the subject of this book, written in collaboration with his trainer. The core material of the book is 369 positions where the reader is given a task or asked a question. These tasks resemble those that players regularly face over the board, and are especially useful from a training viewpoint. Many of the positions are from Volokitin’s own games, so we get the ‘inside story’ on some truly spectacular chess. We are also presented with fine examples from Grabinsky’s training files, carefully collected and graded over the years for their instructive merit. The commentaries and detailed solutions explain the key issues in each position, and also convey the authors’ philosophy of chess and their love for the game. Also available on Chess Studio . “I had the opportunity to ask 21-year-old GM Valery Aveskulov, how it was that the Ukraine produced so many great young talents. I had already factored in a tradition of excellence, government and private support, and an economically challenging environment in which being a chess professional did not look so bad, but Valery added one more key ingredient – good coaching. One of the best he said was IM Grabinsky of Lvov and then rattled off a list of teenage IMs and GMs over 2500 on a rapid course toward 2600. Perfect Your Chess is geared towards this level and many of the young talents Aveskulov mentioned have gone through this material which relies on the games of Volokitin and others.” – IM John Donaldson, USA Team Captain

Chess Training for Budding Champions Jesper Hall Many chess-players find it difficult to improve their game beyond a certain level. They can see basic tactics, know a little about openings and can calculate a few moves ahead. However, so do their opponents. What is the next level, and how does one get there? This book is aimed at chess-players who have progressed well beyond beginner level and have acquired the basic skills required to play at club level, but need guidance to improve their understanding of chess. It is based on the training program that Hall himself followed when he was an up-and-coming player. The lessons are not based on ‘quick fixes’, but instead provide a well-rounded course in all aspects of chess that will equip the reader well for his chessboard battles, and provide a firm yet flexible basis for further improvement. Also available as a German-language Kindle edition. “The examples are great, the pieces of advice even better and the presentation is logical and easy to follow” – B IBLIOTEKSTJÄNST

Play the Sicilian Dragon Edward Dearing The Dragon Variation is one of the key battlegrounds of modern chess, and a perennial favourite of ambitious chess-players of all standards. Black develops his pieces so as to maximize the strategic pluses granted him in the Open Sicilian. If White is to expose a defect in the Dragon, it must be by a direct attack, and this leads to ferocious battles, with White trying to checkmate the black king via the h-file, while Black seeks to gain counterplay down the c-file and on the long diagonal. In the Dragon, many Sicilian themes are seen in their clearest form, with the ...Rxc3 exchange sacrifice particularly important. Even Dragon endgames tend to be very sharp, with Black often possessing a swathe of mobile pawns in return for an exchange, a piece, or even a whole rook. In hazardous territory, a guide is essential, and Edward Dearing has stepped up to offer his services. He explains at length the all-important general themes, and advises on how to choose plans and methods, drawing upon his many years of experience and study of the Dragon. Dearing also provides an up-to-date view of Dragon theory, including many new ideas and suggestions to help the reader tailor his Dragon repertoire to suit his own preferences. “This is the new Dragon bible and because of the analysis it will remain essential to every Dragon player for years to come. Gambit’s emphasis has always been on quality and depth, thus giving their books a long shelf life. Play the Sicilian Dragon is a great example of this, and also one of the best opening books in recent years.” – IM John Watson, T HE W EEK IN C HESS

Mastering the Najdorf Julen Arizmendi and Javier Moreno The Najdorf is the most popular line of the Sicilian Defence for a very good reason: Black can play for a win without taking undue risks. The Najdorf’s fundamental soundness has been confirmed in countless top-level games, and in particular by Garry Kasparov’s successful use of it throughout his career. White has tried a wide variety of approaches against the Najdorf, including quiet positional lines and the traditional main line with 6 Bg5. Recently the idea of a rapid kingside pawn advance has found favour. The Najdorf’s landscape changes rapidly, and this presents its devotees with a complex task: they must not only keep up-to-date with sharp theoretical lines, but must also have a firm grasp of the strategies that underpin the main systems, both old and new. This book lends a helping hand to those who play the Najdorf or wish to take up this complex opening. Two Najdorf experts from Spain present a flexible repertoire for Black, including a wealth of original analysis of the critical variations. They also explain the key ideas behind the Najdorf, focusing on those plans that are most relevant to modern practice. “If you are interested in taking up the Najdorf, I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a good reference that will let you learn the opening quickly and give you excellent winning chances to boot.” – Bill Whited, C HESS C OUNTRY

The Quickest Chess Victories of All Time (new enlarged edition) Graham Burgess This updated and expanded new edition contains a comprehensive collection of the shortest decisive games in chess history. It is an indispensable guide to the pitfalls and traps that lurk in every opening system. An ability to punish errors in the opening is an essential aspect of modern opening play. The thousands of games featured in this book show how to detect the opponent’s errors and take maximum advantage. Studying this book will help you seize your chances to win crisp miniature games, while reducing your chances of suffering an opening catastrophe, and overall will improve the level of your opening and tactical play. An outstanding and comprehensive collection of games won in thirteen moves or fewer. Explanations of the errors made and how to avoid them. Helps sharpen your killer instinct! Also available on Chess Studio . “The notes are excellent. Each chapter has a brief summary of the odds of an opening’s difficulty. Transposing move-orders are usually mentioned. Some games have little anecdotes or historical connections. Whenever a game is resigned for less-than-obvious reasons (as most of these are) Burgess explains the mate threat or material loss to us patzers succinctly and precisely. This is really a book of how not to play openings. It will complement any repertoire books and opening encyclopediae. I highly recommend it for your shelf, even to intermediate players (like me). You might find it entertaining. You will find it useful.” – C. Dunn, reviewer

How to Become a Deadly Chess Tactician David LeMoir A guide for chess-players to help them spot unlikely-looking tactical tricks and launch cunning attacks. Readers are shown how to hunt the enemy king and how to seize the initiative with surprising sacrifices. LeMoir shows that the key factors in becoming a deadly tactician are motivation (having the willingness to sacrifice and to consider tactical ideas during play), imagination (being aware of tactical concepts that lead to ideas which other players might miss) and calculation (being able to analyse and calculate effectively). This user-friendly and humorously written book contains many outstanding examples of seized opportunities, together with guidance on how to spot surprising tactics and handle positions of material imbalance. Throughout, there are exercises for the reader to tackle. Also available on Chess Studio . “LeMoir has selected his chess material extremely well – there are a huge number of startling examples which I’d never seen before – and his comments are always entertaining or instructive” – GM Matthew Sadler, N EW IN C HESS

Play the Open Games as Black John Emms This book fills a gaping chasm in chess literature. For years, those who wish to take on the black side of the Ruy Lopez have had to muddle their way through against the variety of alternative openings at White’s disposal, as there have been no good books to assist them. Grandmaster John Emms is ideally qualified to deal with this subject. Not only does he face these openings as Black, but he also used to play many of them as White before he graduated to the Lopez. He provides no-nonsense answers to such openings as the King’s Gambit, Vienna, Scotch, Four Knights, Italian Game, Bishop’s Opening and the variety of oddball gambits White can try. Also available on Chess Studio . “I was also impressed by watching the way Magnus [Carlsen, age 10] read chess books. While the others lay around and relaxed or clowned around in their rooms, Magnus lay in his bed and read Grandmaster John Emms’s Play the Open Games as Black , a brilliant book that covers everything but the Ruy Lopez that one can meet when answering 1 e4 with 1...e5. That the book was in English and at a level more suited for top international players did not appear to worry Magnus in the slightest. He didn’t need to get out a board and pieces either, he simply read the games from the book without a problem.” – GM Simen Agdestein, How Magnus Carlsen Became the Youngest Chess Grandmaster in the World

Anti-Sicilians: A Guide for Black Dorian Rogozenko The Sicilian is far and away the most popular chess opening. The reason is obvious: it enables Black to fight for victory without taking excessive risks. The Sicilian scores well in practice and is a firm favourite with players of all standards. Given both the Sicilian’s fearsome reputation and the amount of theoretical preparation required to tackle it head-on, many players prefer to side-step the Open Sicilian with one of the Anti-Sicilian systems at White’s disposal. These include: positionally motivated lines such as the 2 c3 Sicilian and the 3 Bb5 systems; slow but tricky attacking lines including the Closed Sicilian and the King’s Indian Attack; and aggressive but loosening ideas like the Grand Prix Attack and a variety of gambits. This book equips Black to fight against all these lines. In the most critical variations, Rogozenko provides a choice between a solid and an aggressive option. He caters for those who meet 2 Nf3 with the three main moves, 2...d6, 2...e6 and 2...Nc6. Also available on Chess Studio . “To be blunt, any player who plays the Sicilian Defense as Black must have this book” – Chris Chambers, G EORGIA C HESS

50 Essential Chess Lessons Steve Giddins Steve Giddins has chosen 50 supremely instructive games – some old, some new, and including many that few readers will have seen before. He has annotated these games in detail from a modern perspective, explaining the useful lessons that can be learnt from them, while avoiding the harmful dogma that characterized many older works of this type. Topics include: Attacking the King, Defence, Piece Power, and Endgame Themes. Each game is followed by a recap of the main lessons to be learned. Giddins writes in a highly accessible down-to-earth style that appeals to club players seeking to improve their understanding of practical chess. His knowledge of Russian-language chess literature has enabled him to find many excellent examples that have not appeared in previous western literature. Also available on Chess Studio . “Highly recommended for 1200-2000 players seeking for a game collection, especially those who would like to improve their understanding in middlegame pawn-structures. Giddins tried to update Chernev’s Most Instructive Chess Games but he outdid his teacher.” – CHESSBUG.COM

Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces Igor Stohl Igor Stohl has selected 62 outstanding games from recent years and analysed them in painstaking depth. Here he presents his findings to chess enthusiasts, who will find the games entertaining and the annotations both instructive and illuminating. Stohl is an outstanding theoretical expert, so the opening phase of each game reads like a lesson in the key strategic aspects of the opening chosen, with a critical survey of modern trends. The middlegame is dissected and the critical decisions subjected to keen scrutiny – we are invited inside Stohl’s laboratory to join him in the quest for the truth. The endgame phase, if reached, is handled with similar erudition, with insights into the grandmaster’s approach to questions of technique. Following each game there is a discussion of the most important lessons to be learned. The expanded and revised new edition of this award-winning work features 12 new top-level games from the period 2000-7 annotated in great depth – about 40% new material. There are also corrections to the existing notes and a revised Introduction. Also available on Chess Studio . “This is an outstandingly thorough and insightful book. I have greatly enjoyed playing through some of the 50 deeply annotated games and learned a fair amount in the process, including various insights in the opening phase in which Stohl is a renowned expert ... I heartily recommend it” – GM Jonathan Rowson

The Gambit Guide to the Torre Attack Graham Burgess An award-winning author provides user-friendly coverage of an opening in which he has a wealth of experience against players of all levels. The Torre Attack is a very attractive system for White as it allows him to set the agenda from the outset, preventing many counterattacking systems. It has quick-strike potential if Black is careless or unfamiliar with the subtleties. The book provides detailed coverage and explanation of the Torre. The main themes are explained, and the critical variations examined in detail. The book focuses squarely on the ideas and systems that are of most relevance to the practical player. The analysis has been checked and revised for this new electronic edition. Also available on Chess Studio . “A couple of books dealing with the Torre came out early in the nineties, but this superb work by Burgess surpasses them. The Torre is a very flexible set-up and gives White good chances of having a pleasant initiative after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 with 3 Bg5. The Torre will repay careful study and provide interesting chess. The strategic introduction whets the reader’s appetite right from the word go as Burgess shows, via 12 illustrative games, just how dangerous the Torre is, and readers will realise that by taking up the opening they will have excellent chances of a quick and decisive attack” – IM Richard Palliser, H ULL C HESS C LUB M AGAZINE

An Explosive Chess Opening Repertoire for Black Jouni Yrjölä and Jussi Tella This book equips the reader with everything he needs to know to play Black in a game of chess. Two experienced Finnish players have described an exciting repertoire based on the move 1...d6 in reply to whatever White’s first move happens to be. Black’s strategy is hypermodern and dynamic: White is encouraged to seize space, while Black develops his pieces rapidly and actively, waiting for the ideal moment to attack and destroy White’s central bastions. The variations advocated have been proven in top-level play and have quick-strike potential if White is at all careless or imprecise. The repertoire is based around the Pirc Defence and the variations 1 d4 d6 2 c4 e5 and 1 d4 d6 2 Nf3 Bg4, which fit seamlessly together with 1...d6 systems against White’s various flank openings. Also available on Chess Studio . “To my pleasant surprise the whole book focused solely on Black’s opening move 1...d6. Having dabbled with this a few times myself, I can assure you that the opening is a lot more dazzling than it sounds. The authors appear to have done an extremely diligent job, covering all possibilities for White and, with not far off 300 pages, you get a lot of chess for your money” – GM David Norwood, W EEKEND T ELEGRAPH

How Chess Games are Won and Lost Lars Bo Hansen Traditionally, chess games have been divided into three stages – opening, middlegame and endgame – and general principles presented for how to handle each stage. All chess-players will be well aware that these principles all too frequently fail to help in their selection of the best move. In this important work, Lars Bo Hansen, grandmaster and professional educator, presents chess as a game of five phases, and explains the do’s and don’ts in each: the opening; the transition to the early middlegame; the middlegame; strategic endgames; technical endgames. With a wealth of examples from both his own practice and that of his colleagues, Hansen discusses the typical mistakes and pitfalls, and shows how to handle the subtleties unique to each stage. He also gives advice on how to work on your chess in each aspect of the game. Of special value is his explanation of how to study typical middlegames, and that middlegame preparation – a neglected area for most players – is both possible and necessary. Also available on Chess Studio . “Very rarely is so much good advice packed into one book. Hansen considers the lessons to be learned from the way his opening repertoire evolved, pawn structures, advice on swindling, defending, when to seek counterplay, tactics, technical endgames and how to use computers to analyse. This amongst many other ideas. What was particularly impressive to me was the 25 pages of discussion on how to play Queen’s Gambit Exchange structures from the point of view of Black and White. Really good stuff. This may be for the advanced player (1800+), but it’s a real treasure trove of ideas. It is very rare that one volume can contain such a wide breadth of information over the whole spectrum of chess ideas without sacrificing depth. A true ‘desert island’ chess book.” – Munroe Morrison, O PEN F ILE

Essential Chess Sacrifices David LeMoir Sacrifices are an essential part of chess. Those who never consider sacrificing will miss countless opportunities and find that promising positions repeatedly slip away. Players who do not appreciate their opponents’ sacrificial possibilities will be unable to see danger signs, and find themselves on the wrong end of too many king-hunts. Rather than merely cataloguing the various possibilities and providing examples, LeMoir discusses the possible follow-ups to the sacrifices, the defensive options against them, and the positional factors that might suggest whether the sacrifice will be sound or unsound. There are many important types of chess positions that can only be played well by those who understand the thematic sacrifices that are possible. Also available on Chess Studio . Also available as German-language Chess Studio and Kindle editions. “What makes this book brilliant, is that the concepts and positions examined are part of any top player’s fundamental chess knowledge. However, for the average player, below this aura of invincibility, there is no way to gain such an understanding without help from a teacher such as Mr LeMoir. We cannot sift through games, recognize the themes, make numerous case studies, and figure out what factors lead to success, and what factors let you down. David LeMoir has done this for us, and anyone who devotes some time to this book will emerge a better chess-player.” – Søren Søgaard, S EAGAARD R EVIEWS

A Course in Chess Tactics Dejan Bojkov and Vladimir Georgiev The advice frequently given to chess-players eager to improve their results is straightforward: study tactics! But there is often little useful guidance as to how this is best done. By solving puzzle positions? Or endgame studies? By dissecting the games of great tacticians? Few books present a structured approach to tactics, so this book fills a valuable niche in the ambitious player’s library. The authors present each major tactical theme in turn, explaining how it works and providing inspiring examples. They then explain how you can spot the idea in your own games and use it to your advantage. You immediately get a chance to put your knowledge to the test, as there are challenging exercises throughout the whole book, with detailed solutions. The second part of the book offers more advanced material, and takes us inside the professional’s tactics laboratory. Here we see how tactical themes are combined, and employed to achieve strategic goals. We are also shown how grandmasters spot the targets for their breathtaking combinations, which we thus come to see not as sheer witchcraft, but as the product of disciplined thought and training. Also available on Chess Studio . “The two Bulgarians spend the first part of the book explaining and delineating the elements of tactics (pin, deflection, decoy, discovered attack, etc.) and then move on to some more advanced tactical themes and then top the book off with 40 pages of exercises to reinforce what has been learnt.” – John Saunders, B RITISH C HESS M AGAZINE

Chess Endgames for Kids Karsten Müller Most chess games are decided in the endgame. It is here where you reap the reward for your good play, or else use all your cunning to deny the opponent victory. Knowing just a few key endgame techniques will dramatically increase your confidence, as you will understand what positions to aim for and which to avoid. Starting with the basic mates and the simplest pawn endings, this book provides all the endgame knowledge that players need to take them through to club level and beyond. Müller carefully guides us step-by-step through a fascinating range of endgame tactics and manoeuvres, helping us understand the underlying logic. Throughout the book, many cunning endgame tricks are highlighted. You will have fun springing them on friends, family – or your opponents in serious tournaments. Chess Endgames for Kids makes learning chess endgames fun. But it is also a serious endgame course written by a leading endgame expert, and provides a firm basis for vital skills that will develop throughout your chess career. Also available on Chess Studio . “Useful for both young kids and old kids like me!” – GM Matthew Sadler, N EW IN C HESS

Storming the Barricades Larry Christiansen Many books provide training in how to round off a successful attack with a final combination, but that’s really just the easy part. The difficult thing is to decide how and where to attack in the first place, and to build up the offensive without giving the opponent real counterchances. Larry Christiansen is highly respected by his grandmaster colleagues for his ability to conjure up dangerous attacking chances from almost any position. In this book he takes more than 50 real-life positions, breaks each one down into its key elements and explains the right strategy for conducting a successful attack. The examples are selected to illustrate a wide variety of attacking themes and to provide an instructive and accurate picture of how modern players attack and defend. Also available on Chess Studio . “Christiansen reveals what he has studied to become a master tactician ... in contrast to many attacking books, Christiansen gives fresh examples from recent years, organizing them according to attacking principles” – GM Lubosh Kavalek, W ASHINGTON P OST

A Complete Chess Course Antonio Gude This book is a comprehensive manual for those new to chess, which explains with great clarity the basics of the game. Using innovative methods, Gude ensures that readers quickly grasp each key concept before building on it by introducing new ideas. This is an interactive course. With a total of 280 questions and exercises to tackle, the reader will quickly gain skills rather than mere knowledge. Gude strips the mystery away from tactics and combinations by looking first at the strengths and weaknesses of each piece in isolation, and then showing how they work together with each of the other pieces. He also presents guidelines on chess strategy that will help shape the reader’s understanding of chess, and a wide variety of patterns for the reader’s all-important ‘mental database’. The section on openings explains the main aims of each major opening, and the style of game to which they tend of lead, together with some key variations. Later chapters provide examples of how to launch attacks, putting together the skills from earlier chapters, and deal with issues such as chess training, psychology and competitive chess at club and tournament level. Also available on Chess Studio . Antonio Gude is an extremely experienced chess writer and teacher from Spain. Several of his books on tactics and for beginners are long-standing best-sellers in Spanish language. Gude has also translated a great many books, including some of the classics of chess literature.

Problem Chess: Art and Magic on the Chessboard Göran Forslund This is a book for those who enjoy problem-solving and appreciate clever solutions, and have at least a basic knowledge of chess. It is about the composition and beauty of chess problems: positions forged not in combat but from pure human imagination, and featuring elegant and surprising solutions. The author offers a personal view of chess problems, conveying an infectious zeal for his subject. Because this is as much a collection of short stories as it is a conventional problem collection. No matter how you use the book, you can expect many hours of excitement and a craving for more. Each chapter presents a variety of chess problems of a specific type, ranging from the familiar ‘mate in two’ puzzles via retro-analytical problems worthy of a whodunit novel to 15-move series problems and the ‘outer limits’ of fairy problems (altered rules or pieces). Throughout, the creative processes of problem chess are at the forefront of the discussion. Readers are given the opportunity to solve most of the problems before being presented with the solutions. Or you can simply enjoy reading the book from cover to cover without ever needing to set up a chessboard. Also available on Chess Studio . Göran Forslund (1958–2015) was a computer software professional with a PhD in computer science, with a focus on artificial intelligence. He published chess compositions in most genres, and won awards in the World Chess Composition Tournament, and several of his problems were selected for the FIDE albums. He also served as a judge in chess composition contests. He played regular chess too, with some success: he was a finalist in both the Swedish Junior Championship and the Swedish Correspondence Chess Cup.

Understanding the Scandinavian Sergey Kasparov The appeal of the Scandinavian Defence is easy to understand: it is very forcing – Black is virtually guaranteed to get his desired structure. There are no annoying ‘Anti-Scandinavians’ to study! But for many decades the Scandinavian was regarded with some suspicion, as Black apparently loses time recapturing on d5. Modern players have a different view. The great Danish player Bent Larsen kickstarted the revolution with his provocative assertion that it is an improved Caro-Kann (and, not least, beating Karpov with our opening)! But the 21st-century Scandinavian is a different beast altogether; the new main line of the whole opening (3...Qd6) has proven to have great strategic richness, with more than a few tactical tricks lurking just behind the scenes. The Scandinavian has been transformed into an opening that strong grandmasters are willing to use as their main defence, rather than as an occasional surprise weapon. This thoroughly modern guide focuses on these new approaches, while also covering the more traditional main lines. Kasparov guides the reader carefully through each system, explaining his recommendations with wit and clarity. With his help, you will have your opponents wishing there really were some ‘Anti-Scandinavian’ lines! Also available on Chess Studio . Sergey Kasparov is a grandmaster from Belarus. He plays regularly in international events around the globe and is an experienced writer, with several books and online reports to his credit.

Grandmaster Chess Move by Move John Nunn A collection of John Nunn’s best games from 1994 to the present day, annotated in detail in the same style as the best-selling Understanding Chess Move by Move . Throughout, the emphasis is on what the reader can learn from each game, so the book is ideal study material for those seeking to progress to a higher level of chess understanding. There is also entertainment in abundance: Nunn has a direct aggressive style, and many of his opponents in these games are ambitious young grandmasters from the generation inspired by Kasparov’s dynamic chess. The book also includes all of John Nunn’s compositions – problems and studies – with full solutions. Also available on Chess Studio . “GM John Nunn is at the pinnacle of chess writers and this book shows why. His analysis is always first-rate, and he does a good job of using words, where practical, to explain what’s going on. Besides giving you 46 of his most interesting games (complete with detailed notes) played during the last third of his career, he also throws in a slew of chess problems and studies, as well as two interesting articles.” – Michael Jeffreys, WWW.CHESSVILLE.COM

How to Beat 1 d4 James Rizzitano Rizzitano, author of Understanding Your Chess , presents a full repertoire for Black against 1 d4, based on the Queen’s Gambit Accepted (QGA). The QGA is an extremely popular opening amongst players of all levels, as it gives Black free development and counterpunching potential, especially if White takes up the challenge and tries to set up a broad pawn centre. The QGA’s soundness is shown by the number of top-class grandmasters who have used it in critical games – it was a key factor in Short’s victory over Karpov, and has even been used by Garry Kasparov at world-championship level. Rizzitano has chosen to recommend dependable main lines of the QGA, and throughout emphasizes how Black can create winning chances and White’s typical ways to go wrong. The repertoire is completed by a set of weapons against White’s alternatives to offering the Queen’s Gambit, ranging from the stolid Colle to the weird Hodgson Attack and the reckless Blackmar-Diemer. Also available on Chess Studio . James Rizzitano is a strong international master who dominated chess in the New England region during a 14-year period from 1976 to 1989 – he won 157 out of 336 events in which he competed. His career highlights include victories over Alburt, Benjamin, Benko, Christiansen, Dlugy, I.Gurevich and Wolff, and exciting draws with de Firmian, Larsen, Speelman, and the legendary former world champion Tal. Rizzitano has recently made a return to competitive chess.

Understanding the Leningrad Dutch Valeri Beim The Leningrad System of the Dutch Defence is an interesting hybrid of the Dutch and the King’s Indian. For many years, it was viewed with some suspicion in view of the slight positional weaknesses created in Black’s position. However, in the 1980s dynamic new approaches were introduced by such players as Sergei Dolmatov, Evgeny Bareev, Mikhail Gurevich and especially Vladimir Malaniuk. These players showed how an active approach could compensate for these defects, and offer Black excellent winning chances. Since then, the Leningrad has been a popular and effective opening choice for players of all levels. A good understanding of the themes of the Leningrad is at least as important as detailed knowledge of its theory. Valeri Beim has a wealth of experience with the Leningrad Dutch and is an accomplished trainer, so is ideally qualified to guide the reader through the twists and turns of this remarkable opening. Also available on Chess Studio . Valeri Beim is a grandmaster who lives in Austria. He has won numerous tournaments and plays in the Austrian and German leagues. For many years, he was the head trainer at the chess school in Odessa (Ukraine), and he was also the trainer of the Israeli olympiad team. This is his second chess book.

The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black Sverre Johnsen and Leif Erlend Johannessen The Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Opening) is one of the critical chess battlegrounds. It has long been recommended as an excellent chess opening for training purposes, as it leads to a wide variety of structures and strategies. This book is a complete guide to handling the black side of the Lopez, based principally around the Zaitsev Variation, upon which Anatoly Karpov relied during much of his career. This line leads to sharp play, often in open battles where Black gains active counterplay and challenges White to seize the initiative on the kingside. The authors explain in detail how Black can weather the storm. They also explain how Black can handle the practical problem of the Ng5 repetition, and recommend reliable procedures against White’s other options in the Lopez, starting off with the Exchange Variation, and moving on to a variety of closed systems. Throughout, the emphasis is on what readers actually need to know and understand in order to play the opening successfully in practice. There is a great deal of explanation of important ideas, and the authors take pains to guide their readers away from potential pitfalls. Also available on Chess Studio . Sverre Johnsen is a FIDE-rated player from Norway. He is an enthusiastic chess analyst, researcher and writer, and co-author of Win with the London System one of the most popular openings books of recent years. Leif Johannessen is a young grandmaster, also from Norway. He plays in several national leagues and has represented his country in many team events. The quality of his opening preparation is shown by the fact that he won the prize for most important theoretical novelty in Informator 92 .

Understanding the Marshall Attack David Vigorito The Marshall Attack is a chess opening like no other. Rather than subjecting himself to the ‘Spanish torture’ so typical in the Ruy Lopez, Black simply gives away a centre pawn. But in return, he gets long-term attacking chances and activity that can persist well into the endgame. It is almost a century since Frank Marshall invented his sensational gambit, but it is still controversial, and more popular than ever amongst the best players in the world. In their hands, the Marshall Attack looks remarkably solid – even if White neutralizes Black’s attacking chances and remains a pawn up, Black often achieves full positional compensation. However, the Marshall appears a forbidding opening to ordinary club players, who feel that the theory is too difficult to understand and much too complex to memorize. Many simply avoid it with both colours. That, argues David Vigorito, is a shame. He shows that many typical Marshall positions can be broken down into elements that we can all grasp, and so build up an intuition to guide us. Then we are able to tackle this incredible opening and develop a feel for why pieces go to the squares that they do, and when Black has sufficient compensation, and when he does not. Of course, the Marshall remains a highly sharp and concrete opening, even to those who are versed in its unique brand of black magic. Vigorito provides detailed, cutting-edge theoretical coverage of all its main lines and the most important Anti-Marshall systems. Also available on Chess Studio . David Vigorito is an International Master from the United States. He plays regularly in high-level competitions, including the US Championship. He has written extensively for a variety of publications and is a chess teacher. This is his second book for Gambit.

Understanding Rook Endgames Karsten Müller and Yakov Konoval Endgames with rooks and pawns are the most frequently occurring in chess, arising in about 1 game in 10. If you learn an important technique in this endgame, chances are you will end up using it sooner or later. And there are a great many methods and concepts that can be mastered with a little effort. This book highlights the key themes in rook endings, and at each turn invites the reader to test his knowledge and skills with abundant exercises. Rook endgame theory does not stand still. New practical examples illustrate novel approaches as players seek to pose problems to their opponents – Magnus Carlsen has shown that even the driest-looking positions can feature deadly traps. The ongoing creation of new endgame tablebases – of which co-author Yakov Konoval has been at the forefront – enables new classes of positions to be assessed with definitive certainty. Using six-man and the brand new seven-man tablebases, the authors re-examine many of the old evaluations and reach new and enlightening conclusions about classic rook endings. You will be startled and amazed, and soon discover that you are becoming a far more effective endgame player. Also available on Chess Studio . German grandmaster Karsten Müller is arguably the world’s foremost writer on chess endgames. His ‘masterwork’, Fundamental Chess Endings , is a modern endgame ‘bible’ and was studied intensively in his youth by current World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Yakov Konoval is a Russian chess-player and programmer who studied at Mikhail Botvinnik’s chess school. He has written programs for solving chess problems and has pioneered new techniques for generating endgame tablebases.

Chess for Life Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan In this thought-provoking, wide-ranging and often inspiring book, the authors examine how chess style and abilities vary with age. The conventional wisdom is that greater experience should compensate for a loss of youthful energy, but with so many of the world elite currently in their twenties, chess is increasingly looking like a young man’s game. By making a number of case studies and interviewing players who have stayed strong into their forties, fifties and beyond, the authors show in detail how players can steer their games towards positions where their experience can shine through. Interviewees include: GM John Nunn, GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Nigel Short, GM Judit Polgar, GM Keith Arkell, GM Pia Cramling, FM Terry Chapman, GM Jon Speelman, GM Sergei Tiviakov and WIM Ingrid Lauterbach. By examining so many aspects of chess, the authors have written a work that ends up transcending its subject-matter, and becomes a text on how and why we love chess, the means by which we can play successfully whatever our age and level of play, and how chess is truly a game for life. Also available on Chess Studio . Matthew Sadler is one of the strongest British players of recent decades. Having become a GM in his teens, he twice won the British Championship and was awarded an individual gold medal at the 1996 Olympiad. After concentrating on an IT career for more than a decade, he returned to high-level chess in 2010 and quickly regained a spot in the world top 100. Matthew’s struggles to bring his game back up to speed after his long break were part of the inspiration for this book. Natasha Regan is a Women’s International Master from England who achieved a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University. While pursuing a successful career as an actuary in the insurance industry, she has raised a family and maintained a strong interest in chess and other board games, including Go.

Fundamental Checkmates Antonio Gude Chess might seem a complex and mysterious game, but the ultimate goal is simple: checkmate . Checkmate can occur in all stages of the game, from snap mates in the opening, through middlegame attacks to simplified endgames. Learning how to use our pieces together to corner the enemy king is a fundamental skill that all chess-players must constantly practise, sharpen and develop. This book lays out, in systematic and thorough fashion, a wide range of mating patterns and techniques, in particular showing how each piece-pair can combine to deliver mate. A working knowledge of these ideas enables players to move on to mating combinations , where pieces lay down their lives so that the remaining forces can deliver mate. Gude explains an amazing variety of tactical devices, and illustrates them in unforgettable style with some of the most brilliant mating attacks from practice, new and old. There are chapters on how to attack kings in the centre, as well as standard (and other!) attacks against the castled position. This is a true textbook of checkmate; readers will never be short of mating ideas, and will instinctively know when there is a possibility to launch an attack, or when they must parry the opponent’s threats. Fundamental Checkmates also features more than 300 exercises with full solutions. Also available on Chess Studio . Antonio Gude is an extremely experienced chess writer and teacher from Spain. Several of his books on tactics and for beginners are long-standing best-sellers in Spanish language. Gude has also translated a great many books, including some of the classics of chess literature.

A Simple Chess Opening Repertoire for White Sam Collins By choosing variations that lead to similar structures , highly experienced player, writer and teacher Sam Collins has put together an ideal repertoire for players with limited study time. White opens with 1 e4 and develops his pieces to natural squares and seeks open lines and the initiative. A successful repertoire is more than a set of variations; it also requires strategic understanding of the resulting positions and a knowledge of the key tactical methods and patterns. Because many of Collins’s recommendations lead to IQP (Isolated Queen’s Pawn) structures, ideas can easily be transplanted from one opening to another. He gives complete illustrative games that emphasize the main themes. The specific analysis is up-to-the-minute and features many new ideas that have proven their worth in recent grandmaster practice. Throughout there is a great deal of attention to move-order subtleties and on finding nuances in ‘sidelines’ that your opponents are most unlikely to have examined in detail. Also available on Chess Studio . Irish international master Sam Collins won the championship of his home country in 2002 and 2014. He has represented Ireland in numerous Olympiads, winning an individual gold medal at Bled in 2002. He is also an experienced chess teacher who has lectured at the Berkeley Chess School in California. His previous books for Gambit were Chess Explained: The c3 Sicilian and the highly successful general opening work Understanding the Chess Openings .