Lessons

The Power of the Capture-Check

The Power of the Capture-Check

Capture with check and force your opponents to resign!

Have you ever wondered how strong players can calculate forcing variations? Do you have trouble using forced moves in your own games? Then this is the course for you! There's not much more forcing than capturing a piece with check! 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. Start using capture-checks today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Practice calculating important tactics!
  • Learn about the power of the capture-check!
  • Start winning by using capture-check calculations!
Anderssen-Harrwitz, 1848

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. Of course, there are some positions in which a quiet move will be more successful than a direct attacking move, but in sharp positions where a number of pieces are already under attack the forcing moves generally provide the best answer.
5 Challenges
Barle-elen, 1979

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.
4 Challenges
Evans-Zuckerman, 1966

Evans-Zuckerman, 1966

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

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.
4 Challenges
Furman-Konstantinopolski, 1948

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.
10 Challenges
Keres-Foldsepp, 1932

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.
4 Challenges
Kasparov -Karpov 1985

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.
5 Challenges
Kotronias-Adams, 1992

Kotronias-Adams, 1992

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

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.
7 Challenges
Podzerov-Kunstowicz, 1970

Podzerov-Kunstowicz, 1970

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

Ribli-Marjanovic, 1979

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

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.
6 Challenges
Schiller-Laskowski, 1980

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.
6 Challenges
Staunton--Hartrison, 1840

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!
5 Challenges
Trapl-Lengyel, 1964

Trapl-Lengyel, 1964

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

Vaisman-Bielczyk, 1977

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

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.
6 Challenges
Wade-Kuipers, 1977

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!
3 Challenges
Westerinen-Sigurjonsson, 1978

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
6 Challenges
Unzicker-Antoshin, 1965

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.
6 Challenges
Averbakh-Bondarevsky, 1951

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 your tactics.
8 Challenges

The Power of the Capture-Check

Tactics
21 Lessons
No Videos
113 Challenges
Released May 1, 2009
2,940 Students