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Monday, July 18, 2011

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 12

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Recognizing Tactics and Combinations.

Two authors, Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh and International Master Jeremy Silman, have written extensively on tactics and combinations. Two books in particular,

Averbakh's Tactics for the advanced player and Silman's How to Reassess your chess suggest useful shortcuts that make it easier to recognize situations where tactics and combinations might exist. Let's look at some of these authors' theories.

Averbakh's Rules of Recognition

Averbakh's considers that almost all combinations are based in some way on a double attack :

If we regard the term "double attack" in a broader sense than has been done up to now by theoreticians, namely not merely as a two-pronged attack but as a combination of attacks and threats, we notice that the double attack in one form or another is the basis of most tactical operations.

At first I didn't want to agree with such a simplified view, but the more I thought about it, the more sensible Averbakh's theory sounded. Te double attack is tremendously important, and I recommend that you spend a good deal of time going over the examples of double attacks. Once you have mastered the material there and have moved on, you will notice that the combinations involve double attacks.

Silman's Rule of recognition :

Silman insists that combinations cannot exist without one or more of the following present.

A weakened (or open) King. When a King has poor pawn cover, has no defenders, or is otherwise weak, a combination is probably in the works.

A stalemated King. When a king has no legal moves, tactics that produce check also result in checkmate.

Undefended pieces (not pawns). When a piece appears to be safe, but a sudden double attack can place the piece in jeopardy by adding another attacker.

If yu notice one or more of these factors on the board, Silman contends that you should look for a combination. However, if none of these factors is present, it is doubtful that a combination will materialize.

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Chess Improvement Ideas Part 11

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 10

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 9