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The Mammoth Book of Chess (Mammoth Books) [Graham Burgess, John It would be ideal to get this book in ebook form, especially if there is a way to do the . The Mammoth Book of Chess - site edition by Graham Burgess. Download it once and read it on your site device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like. Includes bibliographical references (p. []) and indexes.

The e3-knight attacks c4 and d5. The d4-pawn attacks c5 and e5. Related ideas can decide games at international level, so look out for them! One knight forces the king into the corner, and the other delivers the killer blow.


Note that the king must be mated in a corner on which the bishop can cover the corner square, and that White must be careful not to give stalemate. White could also have won here though not given mate in two by playing 1 d7 and then 2 c8. Note that the rook must go to b2 in order to prevent the black queen from taking the bishop. When pawns are racing to promote, it is generally good to have your king in front of the enemy pawns — but only if he slows them down or stops them advancing! Otherwise, he might just encourage them to advance at double speed, with checks or even mate.

Black has left it a little late in playing the defensive move Here we see the vulnerability of the king in the corner, and the power of advancing pawns, even when promotion is not on the cards. I hope the rather irrational nature of the position did not distract you from this essentially straightforward idea. The queen just needs to vacate f5 in such as way as to avoid disturbing things too much. Then the knight hops in and finishes the job.

Everything is done with double checks, so the attacking pieces being en prise is irrelevant. Having said that, I caught a strong county-standard player with something almost as bad in a match once! This is a simplified version of an idea that we will see in various traps in the chapters on chess openings. The serious point is, of course, that one must be extremely careful when advancing kingside pawns when undeveloped. The bishop is the only piece stopping c7 being mate, so any means of diverting it must be examined.

When one sees that the knight cannot capture on a7, the picture is complete. It makes no difference here, but I once discovered to my cost in a lightning game that if the rook is on f8 and the knight on f6, there is no mate!

Quite the contrary if all they do is box him in. This is a fairly typical mating net, and shows a potential problem if a bishop abandons its fianchetto position. In the start position, White covers the h8-square twice queen and h1-rook while Black is also on it twice king and bishop. It matters not that both checking pieces are attacked; they cannot both be taken at once.

A variation on this theme has a white bishop controlling the h2-b8 diagonal, mate being delivered by the two bishops alone. This idea is important in practice, as an important defensive idea is to eliminate a bishop attacking along the a2-g8 diagonal. If the battle is close-fought, the attacker will need to seek ways to keep this bishop alive long enough to help land the decisive blow.

This is, I admit, a rather unnatural position, but then the idea embodied in it is a spectacular one. Indeed, the simultaneous opening of the line for the white rook, and blocking of lines for the black queen and g8-rook is the sort of theme one finds in chess problems.

Note that 1 xh8 not only fails to force mate in two, but also loses: Black plays It is worth watching out for knight checks on e7 or by Black on e2 , since the queen and rook can easily be in the right positions to give this mate. The black king had to be decoyed onto a8 so that when the knight discovered check from the white queen, it also gave check itself. I ought to apologize for the somewhat unnatural position, but it was mainly to test whether you were sparing a thought for what the opponent could do, rather than just what you can achieve by force.

Other bishop moves give White a choice of mates. The fact that tactics in chess are the shortest term factors, upon which the medium-term planning and strategy are based, reflects two things: If, for instance, pool and snooker were not played using cues and balls, but on a computer that executed the chosen shot exactly as it was intended, then the tactics e.

Tactics in chess are the interactions between the pieces that are any deeper than simply capturing material that the opponent has blundered away.

The purpose of this short chapter is to provide an introduction to the main tactical methods that are important in practical chess. Checkmate This, of course, is the most important tactical device of all! Destruction A very simple idea: Black could reply So White plays 1 xc6! Then after Another very typical destructive theme is a sacrifice to shatter the pawn cover in front of a king. We shall encounter this many times throughout the book. The Fork This is one of the simplest and most effective tactical devices.

One piece directly attacks two or more enemy pieces simultaneously. Typically a knight is effective for this purpose. Between beginners who have reached the level at which they can avoid getting mated in the first few moves, and do not blunder pieces gratuitously, I would reckon that losing material to a knight fork must be the most common single reason for losing a game.

The unusual way in which these pesky horses move means that their tricks are often overlooked, even by fairly experienced players. Forks can also be made by other pieces. Consider the position at the top of the next column. The white b5-pawn is forking the black knights, and the black rook is forking the white king and queen. White wins a knight, but Black a queen for a rook. Tip for inexperienced players: Remember too that for a knight to fork two pieces, they must stand on the same coloured squares.

Double Attack Whereas in a fork, one piece attacks more than one enemy unit, in a double attack, two or more pieces are responsible for creating the multiple attacks. This may come about when a piece moving to make a discovered attack also makes an attack of its own, as in the diagram. Here White now plays 10 e5. Experienced players would know to look out for this sort of thing. A double attack can also arise from a piece moving so as to add to or reinforce the action of others.

In this position, the move 1 a1 opens up a double attack on the two black knights: Discovered Attack This occurs when a piece moves off a line, opening up an attack from a piece that had been behind it. In itself, this is no more difficult to deal with than any normal attack on a piece, except maybe that it is a little harder to see.

The real problem is that the piece that has moved may be able to create some other problem, perhaps giving check and so making it impossible to deal with the discovered attack.

White has just made a horrible blunder by capturing a pawn on c5. Fischer now played After the bishop is taken, the black queen will capture her white counterpart. There may be several pieces in the way, but it is amazing how quickly the rubble can sometimes be cleared. Discovered Check This is similar to discovered attack, except that the attack is a check to the king itself.

The Mammoth Book of Chess

This means that the piece that is moving is free to do pretty much what it likes with complete invulnerability. In the following diagram Black has carelessly allowed White to give a discovered check from the e1-rook. For one move the e2-bishop can go to squares that would normally be unthinkable, since Black must deal with the check. The bishop can do most damage by going to a6, and then taking the b7-bishop: Double Check This is an off-shoot of the discovered check, in which the piece that moves also gives check.

Normally there are three possible ways to get out of check, but with two pieces giving check from different directions, there is no way in which both pieces can be taken, or both checks parried, in just one move. Therefore the king must move. This makes the double check into a tremendously potent weapon, frequently devastating.

The next diagram features a characteristic example of a double check crowning a mating attack against the black king: Black seems to have everything covered, but a double check destroys this illusion: The Pin A pin occurs when a piece is attacked but not necessarily threatened with capture by an enemy unit, and is preventing or discouraged from moving off the line of attack since this would open up an attack onto a more important piece behind. Often, the pin itself may not cause much damage, but many tactics can spring from it.

In the next diagram there are two pins: The white bishop on g5 pins the black f6-knight against the queen on d8, while the b4-bishop pins the c3-knight against the white king. The pin against the king is stronger than that against the queen, since sometimes tactical considerations mean that it may be OK to break a pin against a queen, either as a sacrifice, or if there is some reason why the queen cannot be taken.

Thus both these pins can be seen as methods of controlling central squares, and so as good positional moves. A pin can often give rise to a threat to win material. While a piece is immobilized by a pin, all it takes is for a pawn to attack the piece for it to be in grave danger. In fact, in this precise position, White has the move 5 e5, and it is only thanks to the trick Pins frequently form the basis of simple material-winning combinations. For instance, in the position in the next diagram, the Welsh player and pianist Francis Rayner used a simple trick to gain a pawn and subsequently a surprise victory over the Greek IM Moutousis, at the Novi Sad Olympiad, The Skewer A skewer is a form of pin, but with the added point that the piece creating the attack intends to take either of the enemy pieces.

Generally this is because the pieces cannot be defended or the attacking piece is less valuable than those attacked. In the following position a simple trick based on a skewer helped me to an easy win over the Romanian IM Ilijin at the Biel Chess Festival: Black has stolen a pawn in broad daylight, since after 16 xe5 xe5 17 xe5 xe5 18 xe5, Black has The X-ray This is a much-misunderstood term.

An X-ray occurs when a player turns out to be able to use a square, as if he actually controlled it, despite it superficially i. The phenomenon is best shown by an example: Here, in this position from Chigorin—Znosko-Borovsky, Kiev , the f8square is attacked twice by White and twice by Black — so it might seem that White cannot sensibly play a piece to the square.

So, White forces mate: Deflection Also known as distraction, this involves a piece being deflected away from controlling a vital square or line. In this position, from the climax of the sensational 20th game from the World Championship match, between Kasparov and Karpov, Garry Kasparov had a choice of two decisive ways to deflect the black queen.

One would suppose that such a sequence would be good enough for anyone, but in fact White had better: Decoy Also known as enticement, but not to be confused with deflection, a decoy occurs when a piece is decoyed onto a fatal square or line. White now makes two decoy sacrifices: Overloading A piece is overloaded if it is performing two vital roles e.

Here is a case in point: This position, from a game Kharlov— Izkuznykh, Kemerovo , illustrates a common way to win material. The g7-pawn is overloaded, and 20 xh6 exploits this.

White wins a pawn, since Square-clearance This is quite a simple idea. Suppose there is an ideal square for one of your pieces, from which it would have some devastating effect. However, this square is occupied by one of your own pieces.

Here is a typical example. If the e4-knight were to spontaneously combust, White would be able to play 1 e4, winning a rook due to the threat of mate on h7. It makes sense then to remove this piece that is in the way by the fastest means possible: So, how can White get rid of this knight?

After Line-opening An extension of the idea of square-clearance, but here it is not a specific square that is needed, but a line. Here is a graphic example: White can now try the very surprising 9 e5 dxe5 10 d6. This sacrifices two pawns to open the diagonals from b3 to f7 and f3 to a8.

If Black now plays Problemists should note that the term as used by practical players is far more general than the very specific meaning used in problem terminology. Here is one very simple example, which occurs after the moves 1 e4 c5 2 f3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 xd4 f6 5 c3 g6 6 e3 if Black now plays the move There is no decent way to parry the check. Another way of interfering with the movement of enemy pieces is to block lines or squares that they may need to use.

Here is a typical example: This is from an old game Tal—Campomanes the same one who went on to become an extremely controversial FIDE president , after the moves 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 c3 f6?! Tal now played 5 e6 fxe6. This pawn sacrifice gives White some chances on the kingside, but the main idea is that the black bishops will have great difficulty making any worthwhile moves.

After 6 d3 f6 7 f3 g6 8 h4 c5 9 dxc5 c6 10 e2, Black never got his position in order. Zwischenzug This is more of a concept than a precise tactic.

The Mammoth Book of Chess

It is a forcing move played before making what appears to be a compulsory move, often a recapture. White replied 2 xg6, but rather than recapturing immediately, Black played Since this is check, White has no time to save his queen, and so after 3 xf3 hxg6, Black had won an exchange rook for minor piece. Tactical Defences Having seen some of the main tactical devices, let us now consider how they might be defended against. It is often possible to save the day by moving one of the attacked or potentially attacked units so as to attack an opposing piece or ideally give check.

If the opponent responds to this counterthreat, then the respite gained may be enough to save the remaining attacked piece. Here is a miraculous example perpetrated by the computer program Fritz as Black against Grandmaster Kveinys in a five-minute game at Bonn, It seems that the e5-knight cannot possibly be saved, but it turns out that Black can generate such activity that White is never able to take the knight: The knight that delivers the killer blow is the one that has looked doomed from move 7!

Pin-breaking Pins were made to be broken — except pins against the king, of course. A pin of a knight against a queen by a bishop gives rise to all sorts of tactical ideas that must be taken into account by both sides. Here we have one of the oldest tricks in the book. If White plays 6 xd5? Then True, this is rather a hackneyed trap, but the idea is of great general importance.

Consider the opening line 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 c3 f6 4 g5 e4 5 xe4 dxe4 6 d5. Difficult for Black? Not a bit of it; he plays Sometimes a direct attack on the enemy queen can be used to break a pin. The following is typical, and used to seem almost magical to me: What could be more natural?

However, this move, which has been played by at least one grandmaster, is a serious mistake. Black needs the white bishop to be undefended. Another radical means of breaking a pin involves decoying the enemy king so that the pinned piece can move with check.

For example: White should take the pawn. Many years ago I had this position as Black, and to my eternal shame I missed a very simple combination: Care is needed though — an undefended pinning bishop does not mean there is necessarily a combination. Now my opponent played Black wins a piece: The queen defends the g4-bishop, and after 9 xg5 xd1 10 xd1 Black retains an extra piece.

Multiple Tactics You may be surprised to learn that you have now seen most of the individual tactics that occur in practice.

These are the building blocks of which combinations are built up. Complicated tactical battles and spectacular combinations are based on both sides bombarding each other with a lot of simple tactics. The queen sacrifice decoys the king onto h8 In the next position, which comes from the pretty game Rosanes—Anderssen, Breslau , Adolf Anderssen, one of the strongest players of the midth century, is a rook down but pulls off a remarkable coup: Deflecting the queen away from defending d4.

White has already sacrificed heavily. Play continued: Having familiarized ourselves with the main tactical ideas, it is now time to move on to combinations! Combinations What is a Combination? A combination is a forcing variation, normally with a sacrifice, intended to be to the benefit of the player making the combination. A combination is not classified as clear or unclear; it is either sound or unsound: Combinations range from the trivially simple e.

Nevertheless, most combinations you will encounter in chess will be made up of the basic tactical ideas we discussed in the previous chapter. That is why, although it is not so important to know the names of individual tactical devices, it is vital to see how to use and combine these tactical building blocks, one with the other. We start with one of the classics: I shall indicate [in square brackets] which specific tactical devices are involved.

This was not a serious tournament game, so Tartakower light-heartedly took the knight.

Decoying the black king into a deadly double check. Shame on them! The next position shows some deeper ideas.

The trick is now to make the logical leap and find a way to force a win by bringing about a position where this potential knight fork becomes reality. Remembering that the fork will win queen for knight, a major material sacrifice may well be justified. White both attacks the black rook, and pins it against the black queen. On the other hand Many combinations aim neither to give mate nor to win pieces directly, but rather to open the way for a pawn to promote. The following is a good example.

Indeed, the task of calculating the sacrifice would be within the capabilities of most experienced players, yet most would simply move the bishop without much thought, oblivious to the existence of something enormously better.

Now Black can only thrash around a little; the a-pawn is not to be stopped. Knaak finds a neat way to do so.

Note that in this example White had a great deal of choice as to the order in which he took the black pieces. The point of this is to show that if you can set up a windmill, then it may not matter how much material you are down. The theme in more sensible form crops up frequently in practice. Here is a simple example, in which White is heavily behind on material, but sees a chance to set up a windmill, and invests his queen.

Krej ik — Leitgeib Vienna 27 xg5 [Destruction] Bishop and rook is the normal team in a windmill, but not the only one. Alekhine — Fletcher London simultaneous Here we have Alexander Alekhine, newly crowned world champion, with his queen and rook skewered.

Mr Fletcher may have thought it was his lucky day. Well, in a sense it was, for his game has gone down for posterity. However, he had no good option: You are not necessarily expected to look for a forced mate in each case, but rather a sound combination that gets the best possible result from the position. The positions are not grouped according to theme, since at the board you will receive no such assistance.

However, I have divided them into two groups according to difficulty: Reckon yourself to be of good club standard if you can solve most of the medium ones, even if you have to think long and hard.

If you are new to chess, consider any position solved correctly to be an achievement. And strong players should find these positions a lot of fun!

The finish is spectacular. White to play. Germany White, substantially behind in material, can force an instant win. In fact, he can do so with a lot of interest!

Black to play and win. Wch White rounds off the game with a spectacular tactical coup. Or can Black start a chain reaction? Some horseplay, no doubt! The combination involves a knight fork — but where and how? However, he has a devastating trick. Whose pieces are better coordinated? Black to play. It is hard to see the danger here.

After all, what harm could a discovered check by the e2knight do? Tough Positions These positions do not necessarily involve deeper ideas that those we saw in the previous section, but are more complicated in terms of length of the variations, number of sub-variations, or the ferocity with which the victim can cause trouble.

You will need a clear head, and plenty of time to solve these positions. Consider yourself a tactical genius if you can solve it. How does White take advantage, in spectacular fashion? Or does he have a brilliant sacrificial forced win?

So, which pieces to sacrifice, and where? He found an impressive solution. Must Black, to play, exchange queens? Black finds a surprising answer. Was I right, or was there anything better?

This is certainly best, but does it win, draw, or fail against best defence? Black wins after Now Black is overwhelmed by sheer horsepower. A sacrifice on a very well defended square, but Black has no adequate reply. Once seen, this idea is never forgotten.

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John Emms, in the days before he was a grandmaster, once allowed a similar idea, leading to a horrible loss against Zurab Azmaiparashvili. A surprisingly common sacrifice in such positions; the key features are the knight on d4, bishop on b3, and no black pieces covering d5, e6 or f7.

Instead after 1 xd5? A spectacular decoy! This is actually a forced mate in seven. It is curious that the pinned bishop on d4 is able to play a vital role. With this sacrifice, White is able to open two diagonals simultaneously. The lines are: The point — the black queen is inadequately defended.

Suddenly White has a deadly mating attack. The point. White must avoid 2 xe2?? This tactical idea is worth committing to memory, since it crops up in practice quite often. A forced mate, no less! A piece for two rooks down, Black calmly brings his least active piece into the hunt. After 1 e5 either the black queen drops or Black is mated: A striking line-opening idea. The finish would have been A tragedy for Csom, who had been clearly winning before blundering into this horrible trap.

Black also had the move With this bishop move, Black may still have hoped that White would have to retreat, whereupon he could fight back. White again exploits the fact that the black queen must cover the e8-square, and threatens both xd4 and, of course, g7. This move loses on the spot to Black is helpless Not 1 xe1?

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Black has no decent defence against the threat of d8. Kasparian was clearly an absolute perfectionist when it came to chess tactics, but even so I am surprised he did not even include this finish in a selection of of his best games! However, in Petrosian played an almost identical combination in a critical world championship game against Spassky see here. He must hardly have believed his eyes! However, Incredible; it is the white pawns that will decide the game! Well done if you saw this far.

Black can put up far more resistance with Forcing mate in six more moves. Now Black threatens Renewing the threat of See WGG 11 for detailed notes to this game. An incredible queen sacrifice, just to remove the rook from f6!

Now what? I find that for a combination of such splendour to achieve such a modest though sufficient goal makes the achievement more impressive, suggesting that it was only small errors by the opponent that allowed the combination, rather than some crashing blunder allowing a mating combination. After that piece of chessboard magic Tal of course went on to win from this position.

Here White has the clever 7 f5! This is enough to win. This was the move played in the game, but it is not the right answer! The g7-square is a standard place for a sacrifice, but a whole queen is something special, particularly when the mate is far from trivial. A queen, rook and bishop sacrificed to give mate — impressive! Instead White should have gone in for: Now Black can only give checks, and White has no way to avoid them; for example, Endgames In this short chapter I am looking mainly to explain some of the key endgame principles, and pass on some of the genuinely essential knowledge.

There are some enormous tomes of endgame theory in print, and I suggest you consult these for further details. There are also detailed definitions of some endgame terms in the glossary, and examples of endgame play throughout the book.

Playing the endgame well involves a great deal of hard work and calculation at the board. It is worth knowing some key positions from which to take bearings, but these are at best background knowledge, except in some very simplified positions.

King and Pawn vs King This endgame is absolutely fundamental. All chess-players must know and understand it so well that they can quickly assess any position without difficulty. This is because many endgames can simplify down to king and pawn vs king. In many positions the assessment depends on possession of the opposition, which is a way in which kings fight for position, and is a term defined in the glossary. This is one of the fundamental positions, of great importance. If White is to play, he wins: On the other hand, if Black is to play, then the game is a draw after In the previous position, both sides benefited from it being their turn to move.

Here the opposite is the case: A situation in which it is a disadvantage for either side to have the move is called a reciprocal zugzwang. This is another key position. The player with the pawn generally does best to keep his king in front of the pawn, but this alone is not enough to guarantee victory when the pawn has not crossed the half-way line. Now the presence of the pawn on e5 means that White cannot keep the opposition, so he must either go backward or settle for 4 e6 e8!

The opposition is not so vital; provided the defending king can place himself in front of the pawn the game is drawn.

But there is no such thing, and the position is drawn. When there are several pawns, there are some interesting effects possible.

This is another idea that every chess player should know. Three pawns can actually batter their way through against three pawns opposing them like this. Clearly such a cascade of pawn sacrifices only works when the attacking pawns are far advanced, and there are no enemy pieces to stop them promoting once they are past the enemy pawns.

Now we move on to endings with major pieces. Queen vs Pawn This is an important ending, which often arises in practice. This is a typical sort of position that might arise from a king and pawn ending in which White has narrowly won the race to promote.

Is the position, with White to play, a win or a draw? Can Black be prevented from promoting? Firstly, if the pawn is any further back than its seventh rank, then the queen wins without difficulty. But surprisingly, when the pawn has reached its seventh rank, the result depends on which file the pawn is on. If it is on the b-, d-, e-, or g-file, then the following method is effective. The queen attacks the pawn from behind at a time when it has no support from the king. Forcing the black king in front of the pawn.

White mates in trivial fashion. Although it takes a while, this is a very simple procedure to remember. White may begin as normal. Now if White takes the pawn it is stalemate.

Since Black is threatening to promote, White gains no respite to bring in his king, so the game is drawn. However, so long as he only plays into the corner when forced to do so by a queen check, the enemy king will have no time to approach. The white king cannot approach, since Black would be stalemated. There is no way around this problem, and the game is drawn.

Rook vs Pawn s Rook vs pawn is often far harder to judge. In the most famous position of this type, the Saavedra Position see here , the pawn even wins, but this is an exception.

The rook is nothing like so agile as the queen, so a far-advanced pawn supported by its king will tend to draw against a lone rook. If the attacking king is too far away, all the rook can do is sacrifice itself for the pawn. The diagram shows one helpful trick. By placing itself on the fifth rank, the rook cuts off the king from its pawn, and also prevents the pawn from advancing, since Thus after g5, Black will just have to shuffle his king.

White will then bring his king back into the action at his leisure, winning easily. The next diagram illustrates what is meant. However, remember that this is a very specific instance, and that in almost all cases a rook is far stronger than two pawns.

The best Black can do is Rook and Pawn vs Rook This is another fundamental ending, since so many other endings can simplify to it. Here we see White employing a standard drawing method, attributed to Philidor. This position looks fairly dangerous for White, with the black king and pawn both able to advance to their sixth rank, putting the white king in danger. However, White has a reliable drawing method. The key is to put the rook on the third rank, so that the black king is unable to lead the charge; the pawn must go first, which in turn allows White another simple defensive idea.

If the rook retreats, the white king can come to the second rank, while if Black shuffles, White can do the same e. Yes, to the very end of the board. In almost all such instances, it pays for the checking piece to be as far from the enemy king as possible. In such instances, the standard way for a king to evade the checks is by advancing towards the rook, but this will not be effective here, since after, e.

If the defender cannot get his king in front of the pawn, then a position such as the following can arise: Here we see that the black king is cut off from the area in front of the pawn by the white rook standing on the f-file.

This factor constitutes a major advantage for White, since his king can shepherd the pawn up to the seventh rank without difficulty: White has a little trick to get the pawn through. This is the best-known endgame position. Even players with no other endgame knowledge tend to know this one.

The problem is to extract the king from in front of the pawn. There is some choice in how to do this, but the important thing is to know and understand a method that works. The black pieces are doing quite a good job of preventing this: The reason why the rook needs to go to the fourth rank will become clear shortly. The pawn queens shortly.

We now consider the main defensive method when the king is cut off: Here we see that the king being cut off does not mean automatic loss. If the pawn is not very far advanced, then the rook can defend by checking from in front of the pawn: Let us consider one attempt: It would be wholly inappropriate to go into great detail in a nonspecialist work, but this method suffices to draw when the rank on which the pawn stands viewed from its own side of the board plus the number of files by which the king is cut off is five or less.

This is largely an extension of the idea that rooks are most effective when active, and are relatively feeble when passive. As an aside, regarding rook activity in general, I recall veteran IM and trainer Bob Wade once being asked how one could judge whether a rook was really active or not. His reply: This is a very favourable arrangement for White — so much that the position is very easy to win.

The black rook has no freedom of movement, whereas the white one has plenty. White can win this ending very much as though it were just a king and pawn ending in which he has as many tempo moves as he likes and the ability to use the rook actively, and the possibility of bringing the king to c7 with decisive effect.

If Black moves his king to c7 and takes the pawn with his rook, then after the rook exchange White will win the pawn ending with ease since the black king will be so far from the action. Next, a practical example with a defending rook profiting from being behind the enemy passed pawn. White did not have to allow this, of course, but there was no other way for him to try to make progress.

Although he will shortly be obliged to give up his rook for the d-pawn, Black will be able to create a passed pawn of his own. This is a standard theme in rook endings, but he will delay sacrificing his rook as long as possible, so as to gain as much time as possible in the race to come.

However, just because a rook is in front of a passed pawn it should not be considered harmless. Here we see a standard idea. Black has no way to prevent White from winning immediately by means of a small trick.

It seems that In order to avoid this trick, the black king would need to stand on one of the highlighted squares or else have some pawn shelter from checks. Outside Passed Pawns A passed pawn far distant from the main theatre of action is very useful in diverting the enemy forces from the part of the board where you wish to operate in earnest.

Dreev — Lerner Simferopol This is an excellent example of the value of an outside passed pawn in rook endings. If you find it surprising that White might win this position, study the moves especially carefully. Therefore it is a fairly simple matter for White to mop up. However, as Chris Ward explains in his book Endgame Play, inexperienced players might expect the pawns to have a chance here.

Not so! Cherniak — Bogdanovich Moscow Ch This is a fairly extreme case of a bad bishop ending. The black bishop is obstructed by several pawns fixed on squares on its own colour. An Odd Geometrical Effect If a king is moving between squares on the same diagonal, there is a single shortest route for its journey. In other cases, it has a choice of routes that take the same number of moves.

For instance there are seven routes from e1 to e4 that take three moves. You may, as an exercise, count the number of king routes from e1 to e8 that take seven moves if you wish. This point is easily forgotten in the heat of battle It seems White has a number of safe ways to play, but for one fatal moment, Bronstein apparently forgot that kings do not have to travel in straight lines This was not a time-trouble blunder — Bronstein had plenty of time to think. He just forgot that for the black king to travel from f4 to f2 did not have to involve it going via f3.

One naturally assumes that the black king will stay next to its pawn. Instead after This awful oversight haunted Bronstein for decades. These are the sad possibilities: A tragedy for Bronstein, and an unexpected windfall for Botvinnik, who went on to retain his title by drawing the match. Queen and Pawn vs Queen This is another important ending, with a reputation for being deadly dull, with long checking sequences during which the position hardly changes.

It is also a fiendishly difficult ending to understand, even though it is one for which computer databases have already provided definitive analysis. The following example illustrates some important themes. After 74 h6? Breaking the Fortress A fortress is a position in which one side holds a draw despite being substantially down on material due to some feature of the position preventing any progress from being made.

The most striking examples occur when a queen faces a rook, but the rook is well placed and supported by pawns. There may be no way for the queen to force any progress or to gain useful support from other pieces. Typically the attacking king will be cut off along rank and file by the rook, and so is denied any opportunities to penetrate the defences.

Breaking a near-fortress can require considerable imagination and skill. The diagram position could have arisen in Troianescu—Botvinnik, Budapest White does not have a fortress, but it is close — Black must play extremely accurately to win. Did you see this coming? The winning method involves reaching a winning king and pawn ending with level material. The best try. Passive play, viz. The Active King A common feature of the endings we have looked at is the king, normally a feeble stay-at-home piece in the middlegame, becoming an important fighting unit.

This is because there is little danger, with substantially reduced force, of the king being subject to a mating attack in the ending. The king is particularly adept in holding back pawns, or in decimating a cluster of pawns.

Strong players will begin activating their king at the earliest feasible point in an endgame, and will bear this in mind during the late middlegame. The next example provides a simply superb example of a number of important endgame themes: It may seem that the c3-pawn is a serious weakness, but it turns out that the g6-pawn is just as easily attacked.

Moreover, it is far easier for White to create a passed pawn on the kingside than it is for Black on the queenside. Thus White should play very actively, rather than try to defend his queenside.

His rook is very active, he has a passed pawn, and he has foreseen a superb way to introduce his king into the thick of battle. A deeper look shows that White has in fact made enormous progress. White sacrifices material in order to obtain the classical position with king on f6, pawn on g6 and rook on h7, whereupon the pawns tumble like ripe apples.

A memorable move, making way for the king. Again highly instructive. White does not take the black f-pawn; instead this pawn will shield the white king from checks. Which of these moves do you play? How does Black, to play, sneak a pawn through? Horvath — Angantysson Reykjavik White seems to be powerless against the black pawns, but nevertheless there is a way to draw.

Can you find it? How does Black to play nevertheless win? Solutions to Endgame Challenges 1 1 d2 1 f2? Instead 4 e4? Black can force his pawn through to promotion. This move makes a very strong visual impression. Who said pawns were boring pieces? The familiar idea — the g-pawn is diverted to allow the h-pawn through to become a queen. What on earth is White up to? A marvellous and resourceful finish by Horvath. Black gains a tempo, since White must eliminate the f-pawn.

Chess Openings In the following four large chapters of the book I provide details of all the main chess openings. For many of the openings I have also cited some traps and illustrative games, showing typical strategic and tactical themes from the opening.

These games can also be studied for enjoyment and for general chess instruction in strategy and tactics. The openings are divided into four sections. Open Games These are the traditional openings starting 1 e4 e5. More than a century ago, this was by far the most common way to start a game. It remains popular amongst chess enthusiasts, but is no longer anything like so dominant. The most popular opening in this section — and indeed the most popular chess opening overall — is the Sicilian Defence, In this section, and the following two, rather than give an exhaustive summary of the options for both sides, I have provided a lot of game examples which I hope will provide inspiration and ideas.

There is plenty of literature available if you want to look deeper into these openings. After all, if you want to play the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn, you will need more detailed information than I could possibly supply in this book!

White opens 1 d4. The word — closed — makes them sound rather dull, but this is unjustified. Black has a choice between the classical and uncompromising Flank Openings These are openings in which White makes no immediate effort to occupy the centre, but seeks to control it with pieces, and attack anything Black erects in the centre of the board.

Before moving on to a discussion of specifics, here are a few general thoughts on opening play. Strong players will not always adhere to the standard principles — but they will have a reason if they do not. Indeed the real sign of a great player is the willingness to go against tradition, and play strictly in accordance with the requirements of the specific position, whether this means sacrificing material, accepting apparently horrific weaknesses, or whatever. How to Survive the Opening 1 Make only as many pawn moves as are necessary to develop your pieces Pushing pawns is great fun.

I used to love to crush my opponents against the wall with a huge pawn phalanx. Two pawn moves your d- and epawns is plenty to get your forces mobilized. Note all your pieces — not just one or two. Your pawns can help in this respect, by controlling some key squares. Naturally, you should respond to direct threats. White often follows up with d3 and simple development, but aggressive plans with f4 at some point are possible too.

However, he has taken on considerable obligations in the centre. I suspect Tsarev realized he was playing with fire, but hoped to bluff White out of sacrificing on f7.

Black should gain fully equal play without much difficulty. The natural continuation is In recent years, White has started to use 3 f3 as an antiPetroff move-order ploy. Damiano Defence 1 e4 e5 2 f3 f6 History has been cruel on Damiano. This is not the sort of opening that anyone would want named after themselves, as we are about to see This move is not a good way to defend the e5-pawn.

Greco analysed it as bad for Black as long ago as White wins the a8-rook, since Danish Gambit 1 e4 e5 2 d4 exd4 3 c3 This is one of the more notoriously wild gambits.

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White generally intends to offer a second pawn, viz. Given that this simple reply exists, few modern players are inclined to play such a risky gambit as White. Incidentally, in Denmark itself, this opening is called the Nordic Gambit. Elephant Gambit 1 e4 e5 2 f3 d5 Until recently, this was regarded as simply a bad way to lose a pawn, since after 3 exd5, Black has no good way to keep the material balance.

The best hope for Black is the unlikely looking The Welsh sea captain Evans invented this gambit in the s, and it rapidly became one of the most popular openings of the nineteenth century. White hopes to catch the black king in the centre and put his development and open lines to use to finish the game with a whirlwind attack.

For decades, players with Black tried various ways to hang on to the extra pawn — some reasonable, some bad, but White would always get some sort of attacking chances. The first world champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, had some particularly awkward ideas against the Evans; witness the mess in the following diagram, which arose in the game Chigorin — Steinitz, Havana Wch 17 His queen and c8-bishop are particular embarrassments.

Play continued However, the second world champion, Emanuel Lasker, dealt a blow to the Evans with a modern idea: The basic plan is to play White can now regain the pawn, but has difficulty maintaining any sort of initiative. White can vary his move order to try to avoid this problem, and the modern revival of the Evans has seen after The Evans attracted renewed attention after Kasparov played it successfully a couple of times in the s most notably a famous victory over Anand , and it also gels with the modern trend towards the re- investigation of openings with a significant material imbalance.

Nigel Short and Alexander Morozevich are among the players to watch for new ideas in the Evans. This book aims to present the greatest games of all time. Obviously not everyone will agree with the choice, but there is no doubt that these are all out- standing games. There are many old favourites, but also some less well-known encounters which will be new to most readers. Readers will meet not only the fa- miliar names of world champions, but those of less familiar masters and grand- masters, correspondence players, etc.

At the moment, one decade into a new millennium, chess is looking to the fu- ture. The Internet is having an increasing impact for both disseminating chess in- formation and providing a playing forum. The game will undoubtedly change in the years to come, but it will only be another evolutionary step in the long and rich heritage of chess.

This book contains selected highlights from over years of chess history; we can all learn from the experience of the past, and any- one who studies these games cannot fail to gain a greater understanding of chess.

As for the questions posed at the start of the foreword, was Mikhail Tal, who has more games in this book than any other player, really the most brilliant of all time? After playing over the masterpieces in this book, you may form your own opinion; whether you agree or disagree, these games can hardly fail to give pleas- ure, instruction and entertainment.Horvath — Angantysson Reykjavik White seems to be powerless against the black pawns, but nevertheless there is a way to draw.

Passive play, viz. This is far easier to explain than to do! At top level, back-rankers are important too. Parents of chess-playing children delight in the mental training the game provides. Choose your country's store to see books available for download.