Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know. Lasker's combination.

Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know. Lasker's combination.‎

GM Gserper
41 | Tactics

While I was researching material for my article on the Sokolsky Opening (  http://www.chess.com/article/view/openings-for-tactical-players-sokolsky-opening ) , I found a little known game of Alekhine.  The game featured a combination which doesn't happen too often, but when it does appear on the board, it is the chess equivalent of an H-Bomb, since it destroys the position of your opponent instantly.  When I was a kid, back then we knew this tactic by the name of "Lasker's Combination" after the next game. (Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your tactical skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list.")



As you could see, this pattern is pretty simple: First you play Bxh7+, then after Kxh7 you play Qh5+ and after the only move Kg8 you play Bxg7! completely destroying Black's castle.  Then if Black takes the Bg7, you check him with your Queen from g5 or g4 forcing the King to the 'h' file. Then you lift a Rook and checkmate the Black King along the 'h' file.  Therefore, to execute this pattern you need two Bishops pointing at your opponent's King, as well as a Queen and a Rook ready to join the attack.
In the above mentioned game of Alekhine we will see a minor difference compared to Lasker's game. In this game the Rook joins the attack first followed by the Queen. Also don't be confused by the opening.  The first move 1.Nf3 can transpose to a wide variety of different openings based on what White will do next (2. g3, 2.b3, 2. c4, 2.d4,  etc.) Since Alekhine played 2. b4, the game transposed to the Sokolsky opening (the regular move order is 1. b4 d5 2. Nf3, etc)
The next miniature was played in the Soviet Championship of 1973.  The tournament which many chess players consider the strongest tournament ever played.
And finally, let me show you the next classical game which demonstrates that Black can also perform the Lasker's combination:
As I mentioned already, Lasker's combination is very powerful, but unfortunately it doesn't happen too frequently. I was never able to use it in any of my own games, but I truly hope that you my dear readers will be more successful.
Good luck!
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