Taimanov Knight Check

A game I played recently, in which I had a substantial rating advantage and which was certainly nothing special overall, ended in a pretty fashion.

These kind of finishes don't happen every day for me so here we go, I've posted it in puzzle form.



  • 4 years ago


    This is Tactics Trainer Problem #0050067




















    This combination is a bit tricky to execute correctly until you recognize what you're supposed to do with the knight after you've given discovered check.  Hopefully you don't go for Nxf7, right? - because there's a fork there. Then you see it - double check  forcing Ka8 and lining up the next move (the topic of discussion). The rest is simple.

  • 4 years ago


    The Taimanov knight check refers to Ng3+ forcing the opening of the h file with hxg3. There are various circumstances which force hxg3.  Sometimes the f pawn is missing and g1 is covered by a bishop or queen.


    It has of course been around long before Taimanov's time. A variation was published in 1619.


    The tactic was used in a game between Karpov and Taimanov in Leningrad 1977. (below) 


  • 4 years ago


    I knew when I played the combination with the knight check and rook sac, that I'd seen it before in a book, so I looked up "How to Beat Your Dad at Chess" by Murray Chandler. It turned out to be the example he used in the introduction explaining how John Nunn saw this pattern in a couple of seconds when Fritz 5 on a Pentium processor took several minutes to find it.


    It is a combination of tactical motifs. First the knight check, where hxg3 is forced because if Kg1 then Nxe2+ wins a rook and the queen for the knight.

     The 2nd motif is the rook sacrifice bringing the king out onto the open h file where the queen can check and maintain the initiative through forcing moves until the sequence is complete.

     The white queen can take the rook which is giving check, but that is losing too as I've shown in one line.

  • 4 years ago


    Wow, nice finish in an actual game. Text book stuff.

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