Getting better at Problem solving: Recognizing Tactical ideas
Soup Image by cdd20 from Pixabay(Edited)

Getting better at Problem solving: Recognizing Tactical ideas

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When I think about Chess combinations, I am always reminded of a recipe for soup. The first time I tried to make one, someone gave me a simple piece of advice. "Just add all the veggies you love, and boil them away in a crockpot, ta-da! A simple soup it is! Chess Combination is as easy as that when you boil it down to the basics! It is nothing but a bowl of soup and the ingredients are the tactical themes they are based on.

Breaking down the Chess combination soup! 

Take a minute to think about the position below. What do you notice? Are you able to spot the tactical ideas that are hidden inside the position?

There are three tactical ideas hiding in the combination above - A Pin, a deflection and a double attack,

A Pin is when a piece cannot move away without exposing a more valuable piece to an attack. In the given example, based on the alignment of pieces, it is possible to imagine a pin in the following way.

 Double Attack: A double attack is said to happen when an enemy pieces attack two targets or create two threats at the same time.


Deflection: Forcing an enemy piece to leave its defending position thereby leaving a target vulnerable.



Before we jump into more action, let's review one more tactical idea - The Decoy.

Decoy: Let's quickly grab one more veggie for our soup - the decoy! Decoy originally means the toy duck (Or pigeons) used by hunters to attract other ducks. 

[Notice what's wrong with this duck?]

In Chess terms, it denotes the sacrifice of some piece or pawn in order to bring a piece of larger value (King or Queen) into a trap (Checkmate or Loss of material).

Here's a quick example:

Such tactical ideas help us imagine creative combinations hidden deep inside the position. It is also possible to combine different tactical ideas for fun to see if we are able to come up with different combinations.

Exercises: It's your turn now! Time for solving  


DECOY + FORK (Double attack by a knight):



Improve Your Chess Tactics by Yakov Neishtadt  ( New In Chess) is a fantastic book to study Tactics based on the different ideas and their combinations.

[Click the image above to open a free sample of this book from Forward Chess]

Thank you for reading! If you like this blog, feel free to share your comments below or share this blog with your friends.

Until next time,

Arun, from Team Forward Chess.

Forward Chess is an interactive Chess e-book reader for mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop (Windows and Mac). You can purchase your favorite ebooks from leading publishers, play through the moves in the book, try out your own lines and even analyze with the powerful Stockfish engine.