# Tactics (chess)

Under tactics in chess all considerations are understood to be around the concrete calculation of trains rotate and move orders that result from a given position.

It differs from strategy , which involves more long-term considerations such as job evaluation or drawing up a plan. Tactics often result in material gain , checkmate or stalemate . It is also to be distinguished from the variant calculation, which can be part of tactics, but also occurs in strategy or positional play.

## General

In game theory , chess is a strategy game with perfect information . This means that a player basically knows all the possible moves that are available to him and his opponent. He can therefore calculate in advance which positions can result. Each half move of a player changes the position, so that different possibilities arise from each new position. This can be represented graphically by a "variant tree". For reasons of combinatorics , after just a few moves there are many possible positions. While chess computers or computer chess programs can calculate and evaluate all of these positions to a certain depth, human players reduce the calculation effort (consciously or unconsciously) through various techniques. Many of the possible moves are nonsensical from the start. By only concentrating on the move candidates that are potentially useful, the variant tree becomes considerably leaner. In addition, experienced players can recognize certain patterns in positions from which they can read tactical possibilities without having to judge all pieces and all possible moves. These two capabilities , selecting the right Zugkandidaten and as chunking called pattern recognition , explain why Master Player in extremely short time controls can play a surprisingly high level, although it has been proven little more crunch numbers as a hobby player.

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Damiano's defense after 4th Qh5 +

The position in the diagram should serve as an example for calculating the variants, which according to Damiano's defense from 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 ?! 3. Nxe5 fxe5 4. Qh5 + has emerged. The game could continue as follows:

1st - 4th ... 5. ... 6th ... 7th ... 8th. ... 9. ...
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 fxe5 4. Qh5 + 4.… g6 5. Qxe5 + 5.… Kf7 6. Qxh8 Black has lost material.
5.… Be7 6. Qxh8 Black has lost material.
5.… Ne7 6. Qxh8 Black has lost material.
5.… Qe7 6. Qxh8 6.… Qxe4 + 7. Kd1 Black has lost material.
7. Be2 7.… Qxg2 8. Rf1 8.… Qxh2
6.… Nf6 Black has lost material, but White's queen is in danger.
4.… Ke7 5. Qxe5 + 5.… Kf7 6. Bc4 + 6.… d5 7. Bxd5 + 7.… Kg6 8. Qf5 + 8.… Kh6 9. d4 + 9.… g5
8. h4 8.… h5 9. Bxb7
8.… h6 9. Bxb7
6.… Kg6 7. Qf5 + 7.… Kh6 8. d4 + 8.… g5 9. h4 9.… Kh5
9.… Be7

Moves that conform to the rules but are obviously nonsensical have been omitted for the sake of clarity.

When White sacrificed his knight on move three of the game , he had to make sure that all the variants listed here are advantageous for him. In addition, Black could have rejected the knight sacrifice with 3.… Qe7, which would have resulted in even more variations. In more complicated positions and without forced moves, the variant tree branches out even more. An exact move-by-move calculation is only possible for the human mind for a few consecutive moves. For longer-term considerations, a chess player must therefore rely on his experience, his feelings and his strategic skills.

## Tactical motives

In each game, some elementary "tools" are used to achieve tactical goals. Six well-known tactical motifs are briefly summarized here. It is always white who uses a tactical motif in his favor.

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The white bishop ties the black rook. This means that the rook cannot move because otherwise it would put its own king in check as soon as it opens the marked diagonal. White can capture the rook on the next move.

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The white knight attacks two black pieces (king and rook) at the same time. Since only one of the two pieces can move away, namely the king, Black loses the other piece on the next move.

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The black king stands between his own queen and the opponent's rook. Because of the check by the rook he has to move away and the queen is captured on the next move.

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If the knight moves to one of the two marked squares, he attacks the queen and at the same time opens the rook line with check. Black has to fend off the chess and therefore loses the queen.

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The black bishop is overloaded because he cannot cover the rook and the pawn at the same time. If White captures the rook, the bishop must hit back and leave the pawn defenseless. This is then beaten by the knight.

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If the black rook were not on f8 but on g8, the white knight on f7 could give a stifled mate . White therefore sacrifices his queen in order to direct the rook to the g8-square: 1. Qg8 +! Rxg8 2.Nf7 #.

More motifs
• Exchange : The mutual capture of equal pieces
• Distraction : Similar to the distraction , but with the aim of scare away a disturbing figure
• Battery : doubling of two figures along their common line of action
• Domination : catching figures
• Checkmate : The rook checkmates the opposing king who is trapped on the main rank behind his own pawn.
• Double attack : Attack two targets at the same time
• Opening up (of lines, rows or diagonals) and exposing space
• Sacrifice : Voluntary loss of material to gain some other benefit
• Clearance : clearing fields in order to occupy them with other figures
• X-ray attack : Interplay of two figures through an opposing figure in between
• Sub- transformation: converting a pawn into a knight, bishop or rook
• Pursuit : Multiple attacks on a piece by an opposing stone from which it cannot escape
• Annihilation of Defense : Hit a defensive piece to cancel its effect
• Zugzwang : The obligation to make a move that may be disadvantageous because you cannot stop pulling
• Dilemma : Multiple repetitions of the trigger chess
• Intermediate move: A move (often a check) that forces the opponent to react immediately and thus thwarted his planned sequence of moves.

## Combinations

Sequences of moves that begin with a surprising move for the opponent (often with a victim) and after relatively few moves that belong together achieve a usable success in a winning or a draw sense , are called combinations . They often use several of the tactical motives listed above and restrict the opponent through threats, chess bids, etc. to such an extent that he has little leeway. Combinations are at the heart of chess tactics. Therefore, positions in which combinations are more or less in the air are called "tactical", while positions that require more long-term planning are called "strategic". These names were also transferred to chess players. Masters who are or were known for their ingenious combinations are called "tacticians". Famous tacticians in chess history were e.g. B. Paul Morphy , Alexander Alekhine , Michail Tal , Bobby Fischer or Garri Kasparow .

Tal - Lutikow , Tallinn 1964
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Position after 13.… De7

The game example Tal - Lutikow (see diagram) shows a particularly beautiful combination in which several tactical motifs are used. Black has just offered to swap queens . Instead of accepting it, White moves 14. Nxd5 Qxa3 . Even now White does not take back, but makes an intermediate move : 15. Nc7 + . With this fork White attacks the king and the black rook on a8 at the same time. 15.… Ke7 16. The1 !? . Once again White refrains from capturing the queen on a3 and restoring material equilibrium. So it's a victim . In addition, the black bishop is tied up by the tower . 16.… Qc5 17. Rxe6 + Kf8 18. Rxf6 + - an eviction sacrifice with which White releases a square for his knight, which after 18.… gxf6 enables the fork 19. Ne6 + . Even after 18.… Ke7, the queen would stand because of the retraction Re5 +. After the end of the combination, White restored the material equilibrium, although in the meantime he had sacrificed a queen and a quality. In the following, Tal managed to use the positional advantage (e.g. due to Black's uncertain king position). In the end, however, the game was decided in favor of Tal by an ugly mistake by Black.

## literature

There is extensive literature on the field of chess tactics , so only a small selection of basic titles can be mentioned here:

## Individual evidence

1. The whole game for replay at chessgames.com, accessed on January 21, 2019.