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Cox's Chess Journal: Tactics Examples

Tactics Examples

Here are the solutions to the three examples given on my home page under the tactics motif:

Recognizing Tactical Opportunities:

White, a Grandmaster, clumsily left himself open to a tactical shot which his famous opponent punishes him for.

The game Barcza-Tal, Tallinin, 1971 continued here 9...Bh3! which wins material.

Barcza tried 10. Nfxd4

Of course not 10. Bxh3?? as 10...Nxf3+ wins the white Queen. While 10. 0-0, Nxf3+ 11. Bxf3, Bxf1 wins the exchange for black.

10...Bxg2 11. Rg1, exd4 12. Nxd4, c5 13. Nb5, Bf3 14. g4

Here a mere mortal would be happy to play the double-attack 14...Qd7 attacking the Knight on b5 and g4 when black comes out a whole piece ahead. But Tal wanted more. Don't settle for second best! Remember Lasker's theme: "If you see a good move WAIT! There might be something better."

14...d5! Tal has found a creative tactical idea and is more than willing to give up his material advantage and more!

15. Bxc5, Rc8 16. Ba3, dxe4 17. dxe4, Qb6!

There goes black's extra piece. White is handed an exchange advantage instead.

18. Bxe7, Qxb5! 19. Bxf8!, Qxb2 20. Bxg7, Kxg7 21. Rc1


Tal lowers the boom.

22. Qe3 On 22. Qxd8 comes 22...Qxc1+ and mate next move.

22...Qxc2!! 23. Kf1 Or 23. Rxc2, Rd1#

23...Rd1+ 0-1

After 24. Rxd1, Qxd1+ 25. Qe1, Qd3+ itis mate next move.

Calculate to Win

After the stunning Queen Sacrifice 1. Nxe5! white has a forced win. This can be calculated clearly by White since it is a forcing sequence. The abilitiy to calculate is one of the key tools of a successful chess player. Find the winning sequence.

1...Bxd1 2. Bb5+, Kd8 3. Nxf7+, Kc8 4. Rc1! This is the key move. If white was able to see 4. Rxd1 intending Nxh8 with 2 rooks for a Queen that would have been enough to consider the sacrifice. But just looking a bit deeper white finds 4. Rc1! which is winning.

The threat is to move the knight with simultaneous threats against both the black King and Queen. The obvious move to save the queen is 4...Kb8, but then 5. Bf4+!, Kc8 6. 0-0 leaves black totally helpless against the discovered check by the knight. There is no salvation for black and white is completely winning.

Complex Sacrifices

Black threatens unstoppable mate at h2. But it's white's move. How can he win brilliantly?

The fact that the black king is surrounded by its own pieces and cannot move provides the clue. The move Bxa6 is mate if the black b-pawn can be removed. The pawn can be removed in fact by a Boden's Mate queen sacrifice at c6. However the rook is currently in the way AND c6 is defended by the black Queen at h6.

In the game Horwitz-Popert, Hamburg, 1844 White solved the problem with 1. Rh5!!, Qxh5 2. Qxc6+!, bxc6 3. Ba6# A beautiful criss cross mate with the 2 bishops.