Buon giorno! It's time for a new tactic! It's called BLOCKING. Mrs Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl) will show you how to do it. Then, it's puzzle time!
There are lots of ways to describe tricky moves in chess. You could probably figure out what blocking means. You might also hear words like "attraction", "distraction", "deflection", and even "clearance" to signify similar things. I will try to be more specific. To me, each of those is a separate tactic, but sometimes it's hard to see the difference. Blocking means getting one of your opponent's pieces to block the king's escape square.
It doesn't matter so much to know the names of the tactics; it is more important that you can find the right move on the board. Call it whatever you like! The Prescott Prerogative, for example. Or BoundingOwl's Binding Oilers. Whatever!
Here is what I mean:
This is a checkmate in two. White to move. White notices that right now the black king cannot escape, but both Rg7 and Qf8 lose to the knight's capture. If the knight were gone, Rg7 still wouldn't be mate because the king could escape to f8. SO....
We get rid of the knight, by making him block the king's escape on f8! Genius! (Does this trick work the other way around--can you switch the move order?)
NO! Look carefully and you'll see that then your own bishop would be blocked by the knight. No one would guard the queen!
Now you try:
This puzzle is a checkmate in two. It's white's turn again. Where can the king escape? How can you get one of his own pieces to block that square?
MULTI BLOCK PARTY:
It's mate in two, white to move. This time, white's own piece is blocking a checkmate square. Where does it need to go to ensure black's king won't be able to run away next turn?
White would like to promote her h-pawn. Sadly, the black bishop is eyeing her promotion square, through the pawn on d4. The white pawn is only two steps away, but patience is called for. Make sure the bishop on a1 is completely BLOCKED!
Congratulations! You have now added another tool to your tactical box (not your tackle box). Ready to fight the fishes!
Tip of the week: Sometimes learning the names of different tactics will help you remember the patterns better. See if you can name TEN different tactics!