Unlocking the Combination

Jessica Prescott 1 Jun 27, 2012 2836 reads
Welcome Chess Friends!  Today Mrs Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl) is going to test you on your combinatory knowledge.  Did you read last week's article?  It tells you how to spot a tactical combination.  Today, we will unlock the combination.  Break into the tactical safe!


Try these puzzles.  In each one, remember to ask yourself the 4 key questions:

1.  Are there any hanging pieces?

2.  Are there any loose (only guarded once) pieces?

3.  Is the king weak or open?

4.  Do I have 2 or more pieces working together?

This first puzzle uses an x-ray or skewer trick.  What is the very first thing you notice when you look at black's position?







You should have seen that his king was wide open.  That should lead you to look for forcing moves like checks.  You may have first looked at Qh7+.  Your move certainly skewers the king to the queen, but black's queen is guarded!  Wouldn't it be better if she were hanging?

Ok, so look for something better.  If the queen were in the same rank as the king, but hanging, then Qh7+ would straight up win black's queen!  Rxb7 is the first move of the combination.  A pin, then a skewer!  Did you find it?



Try this next one:

White to move and win material.  (Hint:  this combo uses a pin.  Do you see how strong that battery is?)








Black to move and checkmate in two.  Did you notice that black already has a pin on white?  Exploit it!









This combo is black to move and win material.  Your first move is a sacrifice!  Then look for a discovered check!  Are any of white's pieces hanging?






White to move, same position!  Are any of black's heavy pieces hanging?  Look for a discovered check, followed by a fork!






How did you do?  Remember, those 4 questions are your keys for unlocking the safe!  Try each one every move you make!

Tip of the week:  Look at every position carefully...