Mästerlig: Taktik

Tactics from the Old Masters

Tactics from the Old Masters

"Level X: Advanced Tactics" contains tactical problems that will challenge a player rated Elo or USCF 1700 or higher if attempted without using any of the hints.
  • Bellon-Garcia

    Black's pieces are well coordinated, but Black must be careful that the pieces don't become targets for White's queen. The queen loves double attacks on an open board, however White's king is not protected by a pawn wedge and looks somewhat vulnerable...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Tal-N.N., Tbilisi Simultaneous 1965

    Mikhail Tal was born in Riga, Latvia in 1936. He learned to play chess at the age of eight.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • The Weak Back Rank

    White has hidden tactical possibilities in this position that could postpone any necessary positional concerns!

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Alenius-Droet

    This position is a good example of the artificial back rank mate. It occurs when fellow pieces near the king block its escape route (usually, but not necessarily pawns), and/or when opponent's pieces take away potential flight squares of the king when...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Klyatskin - Yudovich: A Powerful Bishop

    Material is even with Black having a dark-squared bishop for the White knight. When a bishop has no counterpart that acts on the squares of the same color, it can exert tremendous pressure. In middlegame positions with a knight against a bishop, it is...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Minor Pieces Against Rooks in a Closed Position

    In this ending, Black's pieces occupy good squares and he has a knight and a bishop for the rook. The position is still quite closed with six pawns on each side, and White's rooks have no useful entry points in the Black camp. That's why the Black minor...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Deadly Pin on the h-file

    If the center is closed, the player who has better control of the wings, the kingside or the queenside, will try to move most of his pieces there in order to ?out man? the defending side. All the action in this position is on the kingside and there is...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Tactical Pawn Promotion

    White has achieved an overwhelming advantage against a world class player, Grandmaster Geller. White is especially proud of the passed pawn at d6 which is currently blockaded by the Black bishop at d7. This problem illustrates how the power of a passed...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Makagonov-Chekhover

    In this late middlegame position, White is up a pawn, and looks to have some positional advantages. His pieces are nicely centralized and are currently attacking the Black g6-pawn. The Black e4- and c5-pawns are also quite vulnerable as they are both...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • A Najdorf Knight's Dream

    What started as a regular Najdorf defense quickly become a sharp game when Black, not having castled yet, chose to intimidate the knight on g3 with the h5-pawn push. After a few inaccuracies, we reached the following position. It presented a unique situation...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • A French Nightmare

    Material is even, yet White enjoys a clear advantage. The two rooks dominate the open c-file while White's knight is well placed at b5. Black, on the other hand, has maneuvered the knight to the perfect square against a passed pawn (e6), directly ahead...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • A Stalemate Riddle

    In this ending White's chances to survive are slim in spite of the opposite colored-bishops as Black has too many extra pawns. Endings with queens on the board can be some of the most complicated as it is often hard to find a safe haven for the king once...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Danger in the Opening

    White has chosen a hypermodern opening along Reti's ideas. This is exemplified by fianchettoing both bishops along the long diagonals while restraining from occupying the center with the d-or e-pawns. Only when Black has made attempts to occupy the center...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • The Benko Gambit Pawn

    This position can arise out of the Benko Gambit Opening (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6) where Black sacrifices a pawn for open files on the queenside against White's extra pawn. While this gambit has lost a bit of its original popularity, it is still...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • End of the Line

    This problem stems from the romantic age of chess. It was very common in the 19th century to sacrifice many pieces in order to exploit a lead in development and find a direct way to the opponent's king. Since opening theory began advancing to unforeseen...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Hort - G.Garcia: Converting an Advantage in the Endgame

    White has a structural advantage in that all his pieces are on more active squares than Black's. Material is even, though, and after the last move pair b6 axb6, White gave away his extra pawn. Strong players often trade one advantage for another one,...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • The Knight Fork in the Opening

    Black didn't see your threat. How can you pounce?

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Connected Passed pawns

    In this ending, White has a rook and four pawns against Black's five pawns. Yet Black has two connected passed pawns on the sixth rank which are quite difficult to stop for White. How shall Black continue to maximize the power of the passed pawns?

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Weaving a Mating Net

    In this position White's active pieces more than compensate for Black's extra pawn. White has a strong attack against Black's king along the h- file, but White must play accurately to reach the desired goal. Black would like to exchange a few pieces as...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Passed Pawns of Different Strengths

    White has achieved an active position with all of his three pieces eyeing the f8-square. Yet, while White is trying to get to Black's king and/or promote his e-pawn, both of his passed central pawns are currently hanging. White must continue actively...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Queen Trade Quest Quenched

    White has grabbed the initiative early in the game and has opened the h-file before castling. It is instructive to see that strong masters often know when they can delay castling in order to exploit a slight inaccuracy in their opponent's opening play....

    • 3 utmaningar
  • A Fragile Center

    Material is even in this early middlegame position, yet the placement of White's and Black pieces differ in their effectiveness. White's bishop on b2 is biting granite on c3 while both Black's bishop at b7 and the queen on a8 are blocked by their own...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • The Pinned Knight on the d-file

    This position arose in a last round game at the National Open between myself (playing White) and Arizona master Spencer Lower (playing Black). Material is equal and a lot of features in this position are symmetrical. The pawns are exactly on the opposite...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Passed Pawns against a Piece

    In this ending, Black only has a pawn for a rook. At first glance, one may think that it cannot be sufficient compensation, especially since the two passed c-pawns are doubled. There are some unique tactical resources in this position, however, that allow...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Impatient Mating Attack

    Black, who had just taken a rook on f1 with the bishop and was confident that that defense was sufficient. How should Black best react to the queen check at h5?

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Strike While the Iron is Hot

    Rook endings are notorious for their tactical tricks. This is especially true when there are many pawns remaining on the board. Rooks are often very slow to move from square x to square y if there are a lot of closed lines in the way. In the following...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Pawn Push Propels Penetration

    This position occurred in a recent tournament in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Zapata, an experienced grandmaster playing Black, has successfully placed his pieces on nearly ideal squares after White too hastily exchanged bishops at g7 and queens at g5. All...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Fonaroff, New York 1904

    In this position Capablanca demonstrates several important tactical themes. Some strong masters have suggested that with a knight on f5 one always wins an attack. While this is a gross simplification, the f5-square is certainly a very nice attacking square...

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Jaffe, New York 1910

    White has a lot of pressure on the kingside. This position illustrates the combinational theme of removing a defender.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Raubitscheck, New York 1909

    As well as being a chess genius, Capablanca was very well-rounded. Fluent in several languages, he even found time to play on the baseball team while studying at Columbia University.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Alatortzev-Capablanca, Moscow 1935

    This is another nice combination by Capablanca. The great Cuban once said that you must lose 100 times before you become a strong player. So take your losses as lessons.

    • 9 utmaningar
  • Raubitscheck-Capablanca, New York 1906

    Black has sacrificed a piece to get this position. Another sacrifice is coming up.

    • 4 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Yates, Barcelona 1929

    Capablanca's advice is always worth remembering. He once wrote: "When you have the advantage and your opponent has a passive piece set-up, one should not hurry matters. With each move the likelihood of an error from the defending side increases." However,...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Corzo-Capablanca, Havana 1900

    Capablanca learned how to play chess at the age of 4 after watching his father play with a friend. The next time the two adults played, the youngster told his father that he made an illegal move. He then challenged his father and beat him! The rest is...

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Spielmann-Capablanca, Bad Kissingen 1928

    Both sides attack each other's queen. Black is able to take advantage of this.

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Steiner, Los Angeles 1933

    This game features a king hunt. Capablanca once wrote: "Direct and violent attacks against the king must be carried out en masse, with full force, to ensure their success. The opposition must be overcome at all cost; the attack cannot be broken off, since...

    • 9 utmaningar
  • Nimzovitch-Capablanca, New York 1927

    Capablanca said: "The main thing is the coordination of the pieces, and this is where most players are weak. Many try to attack with one piece here and another there without any concerted action. You must coordinate the action of your pieces, and this...

    • 8 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Souza Campos, Sao Paulo Simul 1927

    White checkmates Black in 9 moves, but you can find each move if you think logically.

    • 9 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Lasker, Berlin 1914

    This is a study based on a skittles game played between the two chess greats, Lasker and Capablanca, on the eve of World War 1. They played an informal ten game match at a cafe in which each move had to be played within 5 seconds. Capablanca won that...

    • 6 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Lasker, Havana 1921

    This game is from the 1921 world championship match between Lasker and Capablanca. It is essential that every chess player who wishes to improve study the games of Capablanca. He also wrote some very good books from which much can be learned. For example,...

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Euwe, Nottingham 1936

    Euwe, who was World Champion at the time, has just blundered in a slightly superior position. How does Lasker take advantage of the oversight?

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Delmar, Cambridge Springs 1907

    This problem illustrates the combinational theme of deflection. Lasker once wrote: "By some ardent enthusiasts chess has been elevated into a science or an art. It is neither; but its principal characteristic seems to be - what human nature mostly delights...

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Chigorin-Lasker, St.Petersburg 1895/96

    Chigorin was the top Russian player before the communist revolution.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Henneberger and Rivier, Bern 1919

    Emanuel Lasker was born in 1868 and lived most of his life in Berlin. The rise of Hitler forced him to leave his homeland. Lasker moved to Moscow in 1935 and two years later to New York. He died there in 1941.

    • 4 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Mieses, Paris 1900

    The great chess master Rudolf Spielmann wrote of Lasker: "Lasker is always unafraid, always ready for the struggle. To me, this is a sign of true greatness."

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Marshall-Lasker, New York 1907

    Black has sacrificed a rook for a mating attack on the White king. Frank Marshall was the United States Champion for several decades.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Tarrasch, Nuremberg 1896

    "Einstein, who once met Lasker through a good friend of mine, told me he considered him the finest mind with whom he had come in contact in his later years. The only thing that he found a bit strange was that Lasker, no matter what they happened to be...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Reti, New York 1924

    Lasker looked to be past his prime when he lost the World Championship to Capablanca in 1921, but he rebounded and took first place at New York 1924 - one of the strongest tournaments of all times.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Steinitz, St.Petersburg 1895

    Black seems to have a solid position, but White's pieces are more centralized and only need some extra scope. Lasker finds an amazing way to break through. A master of all phases of the game, Lasker was adept at both tactics and positional play. He often...

    • 6 utmaningar
  • Wolf-Lasker, Maerisch-Ostrau 1923

    Black's pieces exert a great deal of pressure on White's weakened kingside. All of White's pieces are very passive. Especially the bishop on g2 could be mistaken for a pawn!

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Study by Lasker

    White wins by a clever stroke in which the power of the passed pawn on b7 is demonstrated.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-Lasker, St.Petersburg 1895

    The pin and double attack will be the key combinational themes of this problem. White's pieces are placed rather awkwardly.

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Chigorin-Lasker, London 1899

    Black has sacrificed the exchange for a ferocious attack on the White king. Lasker has more than enough compensation in the form of a powerful bishop pair, pressure on the a-file, the safer king, and an extra pawn. Now he needs to put on the final touches....

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Pillsbury-Lasker, St.Petersburg 1896

    This is the conclusion of one of the most famous combinations of all time.

    • 7 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-Lasker, Nuremberg 1896

    Lasker is down a pawn, but all of his pieces are aimed at the White king. White, on the other hand, hopes that his kingside holds together, while the lone queen goes cherry picking on the queenside. Show why it wasn't harvest season yet!

    • 8 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Steinitz, Moscow 1896/97

    All of White's pieces are aggressively placed. A combination looms on the horizon.

    • 7 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Bauer, USA 1908

    Black's major pieces are out of play off on the side of the board. White takes advantage of this with a direct assault on the Black king.

    • 8 utmaningar
  • Porges-Lasker, Nuremberg 1896

    Black has pressure on the kingside, but White wants to exchange Black's strong knight. What is the best way to keep the initiative?

    • 8 utmaningar
  • Janowski-Lasker, Paris 1909

    Black has strong pressure on the kingside and needs to find a way to continue his attack. In this position, Janowski's split kingside pawns should spur your creativity.

    • 4 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Bauer, Amsterdam 1889

    When you play chess and try to improve, always remember what Lasker wrote: "In the beginning of the game, ignore the search for combinations, abstain from violent moves, aim for small advantages, accumulate them, and only after having attained these ends...

    • 8 utmaningar
  • Bernstein-Capablanca, Moscow 1914

    Capablanca combines the combinational themes of double attack and deflection of defender.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Rossolimo, Paris 1938

    This problem illustrates the theme of discovered attack. All of the pieces are hanging, but it's White to move.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Bogoljubov-Capablanca, Bad Kissingen 1928

    Capablanca illustrates the theme of clearing space.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Vassaux, Buenos Aires Olympiad 1939

    White's pieces are aiming at Black's king, while Black's queen is out of play. Capablanca shows how to use a tempo in order to gain time for the attack.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Mieses, Berlin 1931

    Capablanca combines the combinational themes of double attack and pin. When attacking the king, don't forget about the possibility of reaching a winning ending.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Capablanca-Ribera, Barcelona 1935

    White has sacrificed a whole rook and now needs to put on the finishing touches of the combination.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Lasker-Steinitz, Moscow 1896

    White's pieces are on the back rank and in disharmony. This will often spell trouble.

    • 1 utmaning
  • Steinitz-Hirschfeld, London 1871

    Black is up two pieces for a rook, but his pieces are somewhat loose. The theme of this combination will be removal of the defender. One piece is protecting another piece. If the first piece can be removed, then the piece needing protection will fall.

    • 1 utmaning
  • Steinitz-Schlesser, London 1863

    The theme of this combination is to deflect a Black piece away from a key square. This piece is the key to Black's defense. Remove that piece and the defense collapses. Black's problems are caused by the exposed position of his king.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Hanham-Steinitz, New York 1894

    White seems to be in good shape as Black's queen is attacked. If the queen moves, then 2.Rxf8+ wins.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Reiner-Steinitz, Viden 1860

    White is seriously underdeveloped and is barely holding on. The winning theme is deflection. One hard working piece makes the defense possible for White. Remove that piece, and the defense falls apart.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-N.N., London 1868

    Black's king is in a very exposed position, while his development lags a lot. Steinitz finds a magnificent way to take advantage of this.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Murphy-Steinitz, London 1866

    White currently has four pawns for a piece. But this is not a good trade for White as his pawns are not of much importance in this middlegame position. More importantly, White's king is stuck in the center and very exposed, yet the center pawns seem to...

    • 5 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-N.N

    Steinitz played this game at rook odds. Nowadays it is very uncommon for anyone to start a game with less material. Black has done little with his extra rook on a8. Instead of developing his pieces, the king was already forced to move and is not safe.

    • 4 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-Ware

    This position demonstrates the disadvantage of bringing the queen out too early, as it can be harassed by the minor pieces.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-N.N., 1861

    This is a short, but very tricky combination. White has a decisive advantage as Black's rooks are dormant while White's can be used against Black's king.

    • 4 utmaningar
  • Zukertort-Steinitz, St.Louis 1886

    Black's queen and bishops combine for a deadly attack on White's exposed king.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-Blackburne, London 1876

    White's queen and bishop are very strongly placed on the kingside, but another piece needs to be activated to make the attack effective.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • N.N.-Steinitz, USA 1890

    This game features a king hunt. Black is down a rook and a knight for a couple of pawns, but White's kingside is not very safe.

    • 6 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-Chigorin, Hastings 1895

    Black is up a pawn, but his king is very exposed. Note that all of Black's heavy pieces are far off on the queenside. Can White take advantage of this?

    • 6 utmaningar
  • Dubois-Steinitz, London 1862

    Black is down a piece, but he has a very strong attack with the doubled rooks on the h-file. However, he must work out a concrete winning variation, else White may escape.

    • 6 utmaningar
  • Steinitz-Mongredien, London 1863

    The pawn structure in the center favors White, whereas the open h-file and White's active pieces also give White an attack on the kingside.

    • 8 utmaningar
  • Spassky-Averkin, USSR Championship 1973

    Spassky demonstrates two themes in the following combination, including double attack.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Opocensky-Alekhine, Paris 1925

    Alekhine was playing in a tournament in Mannheim, Germany when the First World War broke out. He was interned as a citizen of hostile powers. Rumor has it that he escaped from the Germans and made his way back to Russia. He joined the Russian army, was...

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Petrosian-Ivkov, USSR-Yugoslav match 1979

    Petrosian was born of Armenian parents in 1929 in Tbilisi, USSR. He was orphaned during the war and had to sweep streets in order to live.

    • 3 utmaningar
  • Potunno-Alekhine, Montevideo 1938

    Alekhine died in 1946 in a hotel room in Lisbon. Many denounced him as a Nazi sympathizer. He died in poverty after years of using his genius to become rich.

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Euwe-Thomas, Hastings 1934

    "...in chess, as in any conflict, success lies in attack."

    • 2 utmaningar
  • Timman-Karpov, London 1984

    Karpov was born in 1951 in a small town in the Ural Mountains where he, like Capablanca, learned chess at the age of four.

    • 6 utmaningar
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