Winning Chess Tactics – by Yasser Seirawan

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Winning Chess Tactics – by Yasser Seirawan

We’re going through a great book for chess tactics that will greatly help your chess game! It’s by one of the great chess coaches and GM Yasser Seirawan who often appears on the Chess Brah Youtube channel.

Have a look at the book (called Winning Chess Tactics by Yasser Seirawan) and follow our study tips on!

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Part 1 Tactics and Combinations

Chapter 1: Definitions

Silman’s Rules of Recognition:
Silman insists that combinations cannot exist without one or more of the following present:

1. A weakened (or open) king. When a king has poor pawn cover, has no defenders, or is otherwise weak, a combination is probably in the works.

2. A stalemated king. When a King has no legal moves, tactics that produce checks also result in checkmate.

3. Undefended Pieces (not pawns). Any unguarded piece is subject to destruction by a double attack or fork.

4. Inadequately guarded pieces. Such a piece appears to be safe, but a sudden double attack can place the piece in jeopardy by adding another attacker.

If you notice one or more of these factors on the board, Silman contents that you should look for a combination. However, if none of these factors are present, it is doubtful that a combination will materialise.

Chapter 2: The Double Attack:

A double attack is an attack against two pieces or pawns at the same time.

i) Discovered Attack: A Queen, Rook, or Bishop lies in wait so that it can attack when another piece or pawn of its own colors moves out of its way.
Diagrams 1 – 4

ii) Discovered checks: The most effective type of discovered attack involves checking the enemy king. This type of discovered attack is even stronger if it includes a double attack. Because of the check, the opponent is helpless to prevent the other attacking piece or pawn from devouring its victim
Diagrams 5 – 7

It’s not a good idea to leave your Queen opposite a Rook, no matter how many pieces are between them!

When you are ahead in material, it is a good idea to make trades.
Why? Because as the number of pieces you have on the board decreases, the relative importance of a material advantage – even one pawn – increases.

iii) Double Checks: the most powerful type of discovered attack is the double-check. This type of check tends to be very strong because it checks the King with two pieces. The King is forced to move, and the enemy is thus frozen for at least one move.
Diagrams 8 – 9

iv) Tests:
Test your might.
Tests 1 – 8

v) Forks: are tactical maneuvers in which a piece of pawn attacks two enemy pieces or pawns at the same time.
-> Knight Forks: Diagrams 10 – 11
-> Bishop Forks: Diagram 12
-> Rook Forks: Diagram 13
-> Queen Forks: Diagram 14
-> King Forks: Diagram 15

vi) Forks as combinations:
Diagram 16 – 25

vii) Tests:
Test 9 – 16

viii) Double Attack by Pawns:
Pawns are one of the paradoxes of chess: The fact that pawns are considered weak makes the much-stronger pieces and the major pieces fear them.
-> Pawns Forks: Diagram 26 – 27
-> Discovered Attacks with Pawns: Diagrams 28

ix) Tests:
Test 17 – 19

Chapter 3: The Pin

Chapter 4: The Skewer

Chapter 5: King Tactics and Combinations

Chapter 6: Deflection

Chapter 7: Battery on an Open File or Diagonal

Chapter 8: The Power of Pawns

Chapter 9: The Decoy

Chapter 10: Clearance Sacrifice

Chapter 11: X-Rays and Windmills

Chapter 12: Swischenzug

Chapter 13: Other kinds of draws

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A.J. McMahon


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A novelist for Young Adults and Children. I am an extremely avid reader of science fiction and Korean literature, and love talking about books. I have worked and lived in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. I have TOPIK level 5 and enjoy reading Korean novels in Korean as well.


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