Look a bit deeper before dismissing that move.

Dec 24, 2014, 11:43 AM |

Hopefully this will be the first in a series on the nature of slightly more advanced tactics.

One thing I've noticed since working on more complex tactics is how often they start with a move which might be easily dismissed with only a cursory glance. A good example is this position. In this position one might look at Bb5 to pin the queen but dismiss the move because the bishop hangs and the queen simply takes it. However, such a forcing move deserves further analysis and, indeed, after the queen captures comes the knight fork Nd6+ and white has won the queen for a bishop.

Obviously, this bears a lot of similarity to a sacrifice, but I think the important difference is that a sacrifice wouldn't be immediately dismissed because, by its nature, it is a move to open up a position or force a move - it's not being considered as a tactic in itself. With the above position the move is instead what appears to be a failing tactic which, nevertheless, forces the opponent into a second successful tactic.

In looking for tactics it's always good to look a bit deeper at any forcing move before dismissing it because there just might be a winning follow-up.