Buenos dias! Today is another use your imagination day. Mrs Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl) will show you how to clear out unnecessary pieces to get to the king. This tactic is called clearance. Remember Officer Clarence?
In the following puzzles, you have a job. CHECKMATE. But someone is in your way. So first, you must clear that piece out of your way. If you just put the piece anywhere, your opponent can stop your checkmate threat. Instead, you must make a FORCING MOVE: checks, threats, or captures. You may need to sacrifice...
I have done the first one for you. Karpov is a former World Champion. He threatened TWO clearance moves in this game. Look at all the moves on the right to see all of Karpov's awesome ideas. Black is toast!
Now you try! IMAGINE you could place your white queen anywhere on the board, even on another piece. Qg7 would be mate, right? So now you have to clear the g file somehow. Click on the MOVE LIST to see why your first idea might not actually be the best.
Here it is black to move. The bishop on c6 is super powerful guarding that long diagonal. It would be mate in one if only that annoying rook were not in our way...this move is very subtle [not obvious]. Don't give the king any new escape squares. (It's actually NOT a check!) Inch closer...
White needs to clear the diagonal to the black king. It's mate in two!
This trick works not just for checkmates, but for other tactics like forks and promoting pawns! Former World Champion Bobby Fischer uses this trick to open up the d and e files. Are you as good as the World Champion?
How do you like spring cleaning?! Remember, it's okay to sacrifice material if you get something better for it.
Tip of the week: The chess board can completely open up to you if you use your imagination sometimes. In fact, many things can open up for you and lots of complicated puzzles in life can be solved if you are creative!