If you've read MOVE ONE, you'll have learned some clever ways of winning pieces. Most of these ideas are based on attacking two targets at once. We can attack two targets with the same piece using FORKS, PINS and SKEWERS. We can attack two targets at the same time with different pieces with AMBUSHES (DISCOVERED ATTACKS) and DISCOVERED CHECKS. We can take advantage of attacking positions by EXPLOITING A PIN, or by DECOYING or DESTROYING a defender. If you've forgotten any of these ideas have another look at Chapters 12 and 16 of MOVE ONE and go through the explanations of anything you don't remember.
The quizzes in MOVE ONE invited you to find these ideas in positions where you were told what to look for. This time it's a bit harder. You will be asked to answer a quiz in which you are told that there is a move in the position that wins material, but you are not told what sort of move it is. (We use the word 'material' to mean pieces, or points. We talk about 'winning material' or 'having an advantage in material'.) This is still easier than what happens in a real game, when nobody's going to tell you when you've got a good move. How should you go about looking for forks, ambushes and so on? Let's work through a few examples together.
xabcdefgh Diagram 3
White to move
First, look at Diagram 3. Set it up on your board if you find it helpful. What would you play with White in this position? Remember that we are looking for ATTACKING moves. You might notice that the Black King is open to checks from the White Queen, and that the Black Rook and Knight are both unprotected. Yes, you're right. We're looking for a QUEEN FORK. What's that? Qd2-d5+ wins a Rook, do you think? Well, no. It doesn't. Rb7-f7+ escapes from the fork. Well then, what about Qd2-g5+, winning a Knight? Again, it doesn't work. Nh4-g6 saves the day. Try Qd2-d8+ instead. POW! This time White really does win the Knight.
xabcdefghy Diagram 4
White to move
Now have a go at Diagram 4. Again it's White's move. Are there any checks in this position? You might not see any at first, but look at the White Queen on h4 and follow her line of attack down the h-file to the Black King on h7. If the Bishop on h6 moves away it's DISCOVERED CHECK. Perhaps your move was Bh6-g5+, winning the Knight on f6? That's certainly a good move, but not the best one. Look at ALL the discovered checks until you find the best one. If you move the Bishop back a bit further you'll find Bh6-f4+, winning a Rook. But there's something better still. WHAM! Bh6-e3+, winning Queen for Bishop.
xabcdefgh Diagram 5
White to move
What should White play in Diagram 5? If you don't see anything at once start off by looking at checks. Only two here: Re1xe5+, which just seems to lose a Rook for a Pawn, and Bb5xd7+, losing Bishop for Pawn. No luck there. The next step is to look for captures. The only non-checking capture is Qd1xd4, but this doesn't look right, as Black can capture the Queen. Or can he? Look at the White Rook on e1 and follow its line of attack down the e-file. There's a Black Pawn on e5, and then - Bingo! - the Black King on e8. Yes, of course! The Pawn on e5 is pinned, so it doesn't defend the Bishop on d4. ZAP! Qd1xd4 it is, and Black can't take back.
xabcdefgh Diagram 6
White to move
In Diagram 6, with White to move, it looks like nothing very much is happening at all. Can you find anything for him? There are no checks. Bb5xc6 is just an exchange and Rf1xf5 is just stupid. Until you notice that both the Knight on c6 and the Pawn on f5 are defended by the Knight on e7. The poor horse is OVERWORKED so can be DECOYED. The right move order is: first Bb5xc6. BIFF! Black has no choice but to play Ne7xc6, and then Rf1xf5 nets a Pawn. If you saw this you're doing well because you're starting to learn to look ahead.
xabcdefghy Diagram 7
White to move
Our final example in the chapter, Diagram 7, is fairly similar. Can you find a strong move for White here? It's clear White has no checks, and both his captures seem worse than useless. Look at the attacks and defences in the position. The White Knight on f3 attacks the Black Pawn on e5, which is defended by both the Knight on c6 and the Queen on e7. And the White Rook on c1 attacks the Knight on c6 which is defended by the Bishop on d5. This looks promising. Is there a way to shift the Bishop? The answer's easy once you know what you're looking for: e2-e4. CRUNCH! If the Bishop moves to safety White has Rc1xc6. White will win either a Knight or a Bishop, and the most Black can get out of it is a Pawn.
Before you have a go at finding some winning moves yourself in the quiz, here are some hints to help you. Not just when solving the quiz but in your games as well.
1. LOOK AT EVERY CHECK.
2. LOOK AT EVERY CAPTURE.
3. FOLLOW THE LINES OF ATTACK OF YOUR QUEEN, ROOKS AND BISHOPS, LOOKING FOR PINS AND AMBUSHES.
4. LOOK OUT FOR UNPROTECTED PIECES WHICH CAN BE FORKED.
5. DON'T JUMP AT THE FIRST MOVE YOU SEE WHICH LOOKS GOOD. KEEP ON LOOKING UNTIL YOU'RE SURE YOU'VE FOUND THE STRONGEST MOVE.
or, to put it another way,
5. WHEN YOU'VE FOUND A GOOD MOVE, LOOK FOR A BETTER ONE.
If you've read MOVE ONE you'll remember the four GOLDEN RULES. We can now expand the third GOLDEN RULE:
EVERY MOVE, EVERY GAME, LOOK AT ALL SEQUENCES OF FORCING MOVES.
A FORCING MOVE is any move which might force your opponent's reply. All CHECKS are forcing moves. A CAPTURE of a defended piece is a forcing move: your opponent may be forced to recapture. Any THREAT can be a forcing move. The stronger the threat the more forcing the move is. If you threaten mate or attack your opponent's Queen, he will usually have to stop whatever he's doing to deal with your threat.
So, our list of GOLDEN RULES now looks like this:
1. EVERY MOVE, EVERY GAME, LOOK TO SEE IF YOU CAN MATE YOUR OPPONENT.
2. EVERY MOVE, EVERY GAME, LOOK AT YOUR OPPONENT'S LAST MOVE TO SEE WHAT HE'S THREATENING.
3. EVERY MOVE, EVERY GAME, LOOK AT ALL SEQUENCES OF FORCING MOVES: CAPTURES CHECKS AND THREATS.
4. WHEN YOU'VE THOUGHT OF A MOVE, LOOK ROUND THE BOARD TO CHECK THAT IT'S SAFE BEFORE YOU PLAY IT.
Try to follow these rules in all your games: you won't regret it.
Ten questions for you on Simple Tactics. In each position you're looking for a way to win material. It could be a FORK, PIN or SKEWER, a DISCOVERED CHECK or AMBUSH. You might be able to DESTROY or DECOY A DEFENDER. In each case your next move will be a FORCING MOVE, either a CHECK, a CAPTURE or a THREAT. It's White to move in each position.
When you've finished this quiz get someone to mark it for you using the answers at the back of the book. If you scored at least 8 out of 10, well done! You can go on to the next chapter. If not, have another go in a few days' time until you get it right.
In the next chapter you'll be learning an opening. The first moves go like this.
1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Bf1-c4 Bf8-c5
4. d2-d3 Ng8-f6
5. Nb1-c3 d7-d6
giving the position in Diagram 8.
xabcdefgh Diagram 8
White to move
This is a variation of the Italian Game called the Giuoco (pronounced "Joke-o") Pianissimo, which means 'very quiet game' in Italian. It is very popular with many young players so you need to know how to play it.
Play some games with this opening, writing your moves down, between now and starting the next Chapter. If you've read MOVE ONE, turn back to Micro-Chess Games 14, 16 and 18 which will give you some idea of the sort of things that might happen.
Masters of the Universe 1
The 'Masters of the Universe' section at the end of each chapter will tell you something about the history of International Chess, the World Champions and other top players. You'll also see some examples of their play. In many cases you'll be able to read about how they played when they were young.
When you play through the games, see how many of the winner's moves you can guess. If you can, get someone (a parent or teacher, perhaps) to play through the game with you and ask you to guess the moves. Count the number of moves you guess correctly as you go along. Another way is to have three guesses at the move. Award yourself three points if you guess the move first time, two points if your second guess is correct, and one point if you're right at your third attempt. If you're working through this book with a friend have a competition to see who scores best.
The story of modern International Chess starts in London in 1834. The leading players of England and France, Alexander McDonnell and Louis de la Bourdonnais, decided to play a series of matches. Eighty-five games were played in total, the Frenchman coming out on top with 45 wins, 13 draws and 27 losses. Here's one of the games from the match. It was won by McDonnell, so see if you can guess White's moves.
White: Alexander McDonnell Black: Louis de la Bourdonnais
London 1834 (54th Game)
Opening: King's Gambit
White's obvious 'winning move', Qg5-g7, loses the Queen. Do you see how? So McDonnell quietly side-steps any discovered checks before continuing his attack.
17. Kg1-h1 Nd4-e6 (Diagram 10)
How would you continue for White?
xabcdefghy Diagram 10
White to move 18. Rf6xe6+!
This move serves two purposes. It DESTROYS the Knight which both attacks White's Queen and defends Black's Queen, and it clears the f6 square for...
An AMBUSH, winning the Queen, when mate will soon follow, so...
White sacrificed several pieces in this game to gain time to move his other men into play quickly. Look at Black's Rooks and Bishop on c8. They never had a chance to get into the game.
Nine years later, in 1843, another match took place between the leading players of England and France. This time Howard Staunton went to Paris to take on Pierre de Saint Amant. Staunton came away the victor with eleven wins, four draws and six losses. He was hailed as the best player in the world.
In 1851, Howard Staunton had a brainwave. A Great Exhibition was to be held in London that year. People from all over the world would be there. Why not, he thought, invite all the best players to London to play together. And so the world's first International Chess Tournament took place. It was run as a knock-out tournament and the surprise winner was a German maths teacher called Adolf Anderssen. Anderssen soon became famous for his attacking skill. Even today some of his games are considered among the most brilliant ever played. A short example is this friendly game against one of his pupils.
White: Jacob Rosanes Black: Adolf Anderssen
Breslau about 1862
Opening: Falkbeer Counter-Gambit
1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. f2-f4 d7-d5
3. e4xd5 e5-e4
In this variation of the King's Gambit, Black does not take the Pawn on f4. Instead, he sacrifices a pawn himself to prevent White developing his Knight on f3.
4. Bf1-b5+ c7-c6
5. d5xc6 Nb8xc6
6. Nb1-c3 Ng8-f6
White plays to win a second pawn. But he would have done much better to develop with d2-d3 or d2-d4.
8. Nc3xe4 0–0 (Diagram 11)
xabcdefgh Diagram 11
White to move
9. Bb5xc6 b7xc6
10. d2-d3 Rf8-e8
Anderssen lines up his Rook against the White King and Queen. Castling King-side will be illegal with the Bishop on c5 so White hurries to castle on the Queen-side. Even so, 11. Ng1-f3 would be a better move.
11. Bc1-d2? Nf6xe4
12. d3xe4 Bc8-f5!
Black uses the PIN on the e-file to develop this Bishop aggressively.
13. e4-e5 Qd8-b6
14. 0-0-0 Bc5-d4
What's the threat? Yes, mate on b2. White is forced to weaken his King's defence by moving a pawn.
15. c2-c3 Ra8-b8!
The same idea again.
16. b2-b3 Re8-d8!
A deep move! If White takes the Bishop (c3xd4), Black plays Qb6xd4 and there is no good defence to the threat of Qd1-a1 mate. But Rosanes misses the real point of the move.
17. Ng1-f3 (Diagram 12)
How would you continue here?
xabcdefgh Diagram 12
Black to move
A brilliant QUEEN SACRIFICE!
18. a2xb3 Rb8xb3
The threat is Rb3-b1 mate, to which there is no answer. White's King tries to make a run for freedom via d2 but the Black Rook which Anderssen cunningly moved to d8 on move 16 prevents this.
19. Bd2-e1 Bd4-e3+!
White resigns, because, whatever he plays, Rb3-b1 is mate next move.
LESSONS FROM CHAPTER 1
1. DEVELOP ALL YOUR PIECES QUICKLY AND ACTIVELY IN THE OPENING.
2. EVERY MOVE, LOOK AT ALL FORCING MOVES - CHECKS, CAPTURES AND THREATS, THAT BOTH YOU AND YOUR OPPONENT CAN PLAY.
3. IT'S OFTEN A GOOD IDEA TO DEVELOP YOUR QUEEN, ROOKS AND BISHOPS IN LINE WITH YOUR OPPONENT'S MORE VALUABLE PIECES.
4. IF YOUR OPPONENT DEVELOPS HIS PIECES IN LINE WITH YOUR MORE VALUABLE PIECES, MOVE YOUR PIECES OUT OF THE WAY AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN.