Mastery: Tactics

En Prise Please!

En Prise Please!

We've all seen the sac, sac, mate pattern a thousand times. Here, you'll see that sometimes the right path is not to capture a piece, but to put one of yours "en prise" - leaving it hanging out to dry. You'll need to see many examples before looking for this idea in your own games.

  • En Prise Primer - Obstruction of Opponent's Pieces

    We'll start off with one of the most famous examples of the "en prise" idea. Fischer is going for a quick mate on Benko. The opposite-colored bishops and weakness of h7 are two important themes, but don't rush the attack - Fischer's move focuses on preventing Black's defense.

    • 2 challenges
  • En Prise in the Endgame

    Opposite-colored bishops are no friend when you're trying to win an endgame. Sometimes, even with two passed pawns, you can't break through.

    • 7 challenges
  • En Prise to Win a National Championship

    If you already completed the previous lesson, you'll find a lot of similarities in this lesson: several passed pawns but opposite-colored bishops. The difference? This was the final round of the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship. A win for Black seals the title!

    • 2 challenges
  • En Prise in the U.S. Championship

    This comes from the famous game Browne-Bisguier, U.S. Championship 1974. The rumor is that GM Walter Browne found this amazing idea over the board after about 45 minutes of thought!

    • 8 challenges
  • GM Larry Evans' En Prise Masterpiece

    The late GM Larry Evans (Black) played this stunning idea against Robert Warner in the 1947 U.S. Junior Championship.

    • 5 challenges
  • Modern Times - En Prise at 2013 U.S. Championship

    At the 2013 U.S. Championship, GM Gata Kamsky (who eventually won) looked to be cruising in his classical game against GM Alejandro Ramirez (the two played three more games in the playoff). But everything was not as it seemed.

    • 4 challenges
  • Still More En Prise in Opposite-Colored Bishop Endings

    If you've already solved lessons 2 and 3, you'll be more than ready for this example, which came from Hindle-Moehring, Tel-Aviv 1964. Surely the most famous game from this pair!

    • 9 challenges
  • En Prise, With Karpov's Help

    This is a game I played at the late GM Edmar Mednis' chess camp. It stems from the analysis of a Karpov game, but the tactics that result will not exactly remind you of Karpov!

    • 3 challenges
  • En Prise Followed By Geometry

    Hopefully you've done lesson #8 before this one, because this En Prise idea came only one day following my previous game in lesson #8! Still at GM Mednis' camp, but this was an original game, not the continuation of a Karpov game!

    • 6 challenges
  • Attack With All You've Got!

    GM Alex Shabalov, one of the best attackers of our time, plays one of the early gems. After an Alekhine in which White got the better center, Shabalov developed around the pawns, and is now poised to strike!

    • 4 challenges
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