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The Power of the Capture-Check

FM Eric Schiller Avg Rating: 1419 Tactics

This course teaches you to use the power of a capture-check in your calculations. You will learn to examine capture-checks in every complicated situation. No matter how foolish the move may seem at first glance, it may be the key to complicated tactics. You will find yourself able to solve checkmates even buried ten moves deep! <br /><br /> I give all possible checks and captures at the start of each position. I urge you to consider all of them, no matter how foolish they look at first glance. By paying attention to all the forcing moves you prepare your mind to use the available tactical resources. So look at all of them. It will make the solutions easier to find. Remember, though, that the first blow may not involve one of those moves! <br /><br /> In examples involving forced checkmates, there is usually a resignation before the end but for instruction purposes I've extended it.

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  • Anderssen-Harrwitz, 1848

    I recommended that my students look for all captures and checks and especially capture checks when examining a sharp position. The point is that even if the capture or check is not useful immediately, it may help determine your best strategy so that it can be used later on. In constructing a list of candidate moves to choose from, I place capture checks at the top of the list, followed by captures and checks and then threats. Only if none of those moves bring an advantage should other moves be considered....
  • Barle-elen, 1979

    The capture-check may not be the first move of the attack. Often it lies at the end. That's why you have to examine all forcing moves, to see where they lead.
  • Evans-Zuckerman, 1966

    You need to look for potential capture-checks to solve deep tactics, like this mate in 6.
  • Anderssen-Dufresne, 1852

    This famous gem should be familiar, but if it isn't, have fun solving it! Notice that Black is threatening his own checkmate at g2.
  • Furman-Konstantinopolski, 1948

    In the game, black didn't play the toughest defense and got mated in 6. With best play it is mate in 12. Find both solutions.
  • Keres-Foldsepp, 1932

    It is amazing how many white pieces take part in this attack. Once you start off in the right direction, the rest pretty much plays itself.
  • Kasparov -Karpov 1985

    Kasparov uncorked a classic sacrifice that took out the World champion! The combination can end with a capture-checkmate, though black could choose to prolong the torture.
  • Kotronias-Adams, 1992

    This one includes a classic finish that you need to know. It is mate in 5 by Black.
  • Olafsson-Quinteros, 1974

    White either achieves a winning position or checkmate in 6. We'll follow the checkmating path, but to start, just looked for the forced win.
  • Podzerov-Kunstowicz, 1970

    This example involves our favorite target square leading to a smothered mate ending in a capture-check. Have fun!
  • Ribli-Marjanovic, 1979

    This is mate in 7, but forced and not too hard to spot.
  • Vaisman-Stefanov, 1979

    White seems to be attacking with one knight and has to worry about his queen. But a series of forcing moves leads to mate in 7.
  • Schiller-Laskowski, 1980

    Sometimes a capture-check is made possible because of a pin. The assistant can be far away, on the other side of the board. So you want to make sure you notice such resources.
  • Staunton--Hartrison, 1840

    In this ancient example, the win involves a windmill, which means discovered capture-checks will be used. Black could have avoided checkmate, but would have a hopeless position. So fire away!
  • Trapl-Lengyel, 1964

    The goal here is to win material by setting up capture-checks.
  • Vaisman-Bielczyk, 1977

    This time our capture-checks are used to force a draw is a bad position.
  • Vladimirov-Vorotnikov, 1973

    The danger of an exposed king is well-illustrated in this example. Black gets checkmated in the main line, but alternatives would have left him hopelessly behind in material.
  • Wade-Kuipers, 1977

    The legendary British Master and trainer Bob Wade passed away in 2008. This example displays his combination skill. The start is simple but then you need to find the finish!
  • Westerinen-Sigurjonsson, 1978

    One common use of combination is to achieve a winning endgame. This wonderful example of multiple discovered checks is a great example
  • Unzicker-Antoshin, 1965

    After a couple of easy ones, here is a tough nut to crack. You'll need to calculate deeply.In this position Black seems to have a win on the queenside. But White can play a combination leading to a winning endgame with an extra exchange. Remember to look at all the candidates, including setting up major threats, and carefully evaluate exchanges.
  • Averbakh-Bondarevsky, 1951

    We end with one brilliant example, from my friend Yuri Averbakh, Grandmaster and International arbiter, still active in his mid-80s. He is best known as an endgame theoretician, but here he displays his tactical talent against a tough opponent. By now I hope you have learned your lessons on candidate moves, and can put together the clues, even though checkmate lies 21 moves away. Get to the winning endgame and the rest is easy.. Thanks for taking the course, I hope you enjoyed it and have improved...

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