Tactical themes

The Fischer trap: Bxf7+ and Ne6

If you are looking for your second chess book, I may have just the thing. Murray Chandler's How to Beat Your Dad at Chess provides a very useful introduction to chess tactics.

When I first saw the book, I had three reactions. I wished I'd come up with that title. Second, my kids know that it will take more than that book to beat their dad. And third, the title doesn't really express that the book is mostly about 50 specific tactical themes. It does its job so well that the title might well have been, "50 cool tactical shots that will beat your Dad."

The book includes 50 short chapters, each about a different tactical theme. You'll find most of the basic mating combinations such as Legall's mate, Domiano's mate, and Boden's mate. There are also chapters on key sacrifices (eg Bxh7+, Bxh6) and key manoeuvers.

Here are two positions from the book, as well as a few other similar games that I found with a simple database search. I think that you will find these surprisingly useful.

Deadly checkmate #50
How to beat your Dad at Chess


The "Fischer Trap"1.Bxf7+ Kxf7 Otherwise Bxe8 +- 2.Ne6 Trapping the queen 2...Kxe6 Otherwise, white wins the queen. But now it's white to move and mate in two! 3.Qd5+ Kf6 4.Qf5# *

More than just the mating pattern, the book provides examples. Here's a famous one:

Fischer,R - Reshevsky,S [B35]
USA-ch New York (6), 1958

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 Na5 9.e5 Ne8 Diagram

10.Bxf7+ Kxf7 11.Ne6 dxe6 [11...Kxe6 12.Qd5+ Kf5 13.g4+ Kxg4 14.Rg1+ Kh3 (14...Kh5 15.Qg2) 15.Qg2+ Kh4 16.Qg4#] 12.Qxd8+- Nc6 13.Qd2 Bxe5 14.0-0 Nd6 15.Bf4 Nc4 16.Qe2 Bxf4 17.Qxc4 Kg7 18.Ne4 Bc7 19.Nc5 Rf6 20.c3 e5 21.Rad1 Nd8 22.Nd7 Rc6 23.Qh4 Re6 24.Nc5 Rf6 25.Ne4 Rf4 26.Qxe7+ Rf7 27.Qa3 Nc6 28.Nd6 Bxd6 29.Rxd6 Bf5 30.b4 Rff8 31.b5 Nd8 32.Rd5 Nf7 33.Rc5 a6 34.b6 Be4 35.Re1 Bc6 36.Rxc6 bxc6 37.b7 Rab8 38.Qxa6 Nd8 39.Rb1 Rf7 40.h3 Rfxb7 41.Rxb7+ Rxb7 42.Qa8 1-0

And here are two more that I found:

Szabo,J - Witkowski,S [C92]
Dresden Dresden (12), 1959

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 a5 10.a4 b4 11.d4 bxc3 12.bxc3 exd4 13.Nxd4 Nb8 14.Nd2 Nfd7 Diagram

15.Bxf7+ Rxf7 [15...Kxf7 16.Qh5+ Kg8 (16...g6 17.Qxh7+ Ke8 18.Qxg6+ Rf7 19.Ne6+-) 17.Qd5+ Rf7 18.Qxa8] 16.Ne6 Qe8 17.Nxc7 Qd8 18.Nxa8 Bb7 19.Nc4 Bxa8 20.Nxd6 Rf6 [20...Bxd6 21.Qxd6 Qh4 22.Re2+-] 21.Nf5 Re6 22.Qd4 Qf8 23.Bf4 Bxe4 24.Nxg7 Qxg7 25.Rxe4 Qxd4 26.Rxd4 Bf6 27.Rdd1 Re4 28.Bc7 Bxc3 29.Rab1 Re8 30.Rb5 Na6 31.Rxd7 Nxc7 32.Rxc7 Re1+ 33.Kh2 Be5+ 34.Rxe5 Rxe5 35.Ra7 Rf5 36.f3 h5 37.Kg3 Rg5+ 38.Kf2 h4 39.f4 Rd5 40.Kf3 Rd3+ 41.Ke2 Ra3 42.Rxa5 Kf7 43.Rh5 Kf6 44.Rxh4 Kf5 45.Rh5+ Ke4 46.f5 Ra2+ 47.Kf1 Ke3 48.Kg1 Rxa4 49.Kh2 Kf2 50.Rg5 Rf4 51.g3 Rf3 52.Rg4 Ke1 53.Rf4 1-0

Scacco,M (2055) - Messina,E [B77]
Italy op Italy (8), 1996

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Nd7?! 10.0-0-0 Na5 Diagram

11.Bxf7+ Kxf7 [11...Rxf7 12.Ne6 Nb3+ 13.cxb3 Qa5 14.Ng5 Rf8 15.Qd5+ Qxd5 16.Nxd5+-] 12.Ne6 Qe8 [12...Kxe6 13.Qd5+ Kf6 14.Bg5#] 13.Nc7 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qd8 15.Qd5+ e6 16.Qxe6+ Kg7 17.Qxd6 Qh4 18.Nxa8 Nc6 19.Nc7 Nb6 20.Ne6+ Bxe6 21.Qxe6 Rf7 22.Bxb6 axb6 23.Rd7 Qg5+ 24.Kd1 Rxd7+ 25.Qxd7+ Kf8 26.a3 Qe3 27.Qd3 Qc5 28.f4 Na5 29.Qd8+ Kf7 1-0

Books on tactics