You now know quite a few ways to win pieces through DOUBLE ATTACKS.


You've also learned about sacrificing to get CHECKMATE.

In this lesson we're going to put them together to make COMBINATIONS.

You've done some of these before, where you worked backwards from the end of the combination.

This time you've got to start at the beginning of the combination and find the winning move.

Don't forget to use a CCTV when you look at the chessboard: CHECKS, CAPTURES AND THREATS (especially DOUBLE THREATS) lead to VICTORY.

You're going to have to LOOK AHEAD to find the winning move, so don't just reject a move because it loses a piece.

Here's your first question.

It's BLACK to play. Look very carefully and see if you can find the winning move.

The winning move is Qc5-e3! Congratulations if you found that move!

This is a FORK - Black THREATENS the Rook on e1 and the Knight on g5.

It's also a DECOY - if White takes the Queen Black can score an easy CHECKMATE.

But it looks like White can move the Knight to DEFEND the Rook - Ng5-f3.

Here's the position after Ng5-f3 - can you see how Black can win quickly here?

Yes, it's another QUEEN SACRIFICE.

If the Knight takes the Queen it's another DECOY, clearing the f-file and again allowing the Rook to mate on f1.

So White could trying blocking the check with his Knight instead.

With an extra Rook anything sensible will win, but you should try to do so as quickly and cleanly as possible.

So, can you tell me the quickest way for Black to win this position?

Now it's easy, isn't it?


This time White has no choice but to take it and Black plays a CHECKMATE next move.

It's not looking good for White here: he's down by a Bishop for a Pawn.

What would you advise him to play?

Yes, White can indeed just take the Bishop, because he's creating a DISCOVERED ATTACK on the Queen.

So, if Black takes the Rook, either with his Rook or his Pawn, White can just take the Black Queen.

But before you take the Bishop you have to see something else as well.

What happens if Black, instead of taking the Rook, takes the Queen?

This is where we stand - you have to look beyond the obvious move to see White's best move here.

This is an idea you probably haven't seen before, so if you got it right, well done!!

Taking the Queen at once is no good: the Rook is PINNED so Black can play Re8xe1+.

Instead, we play an INTERMEDIATE MOVE (there's a German word for this: ZWISCHENZUG) before recapturing the Queen.

Black has to get out of check, and now we can take the Queen safely, when we're a pawn ahead in the ENDING.

Going back to the start, after Re5xe6, Black could also exchange his Queen for two Rooks: 1... Qc3xe1 2. Re6xe1 Re8xe1+ 3. Kg1-h2, reaching this position.

Here White has a Queen and an extra Pawn against two Rooks so it looks about equal.

Not so, because White has TWO THREATS here. One is against the Pawn on f7, but do you see the other one?

Let's suppose Black defends the f7 pawn with Rd8-d7.

This is an idea you definitely HAVE seen before: White to play and win!

Yes, it's our old friend the QUEEN FORK!!

I hope you managed to find it!!

These QUEEN FORKS really do happen time and time again and, if you're not looking for them you can easily miss them.

Don't forget to look out for them in your games - both for you and for your opponent!

You'll need a clue for this one - White's first move is not easy to find! Look for a capture - of a piece that's VERY well protected!

A sensational move (found by Jonathan Penrose, the top English player in the 1950s and 1960s)!

The Knight can be taken four ways!

Meanwhile White has many threats:

1. to capture on e7

2. to play Re2xe6, and if Qd7xe6 then Nd5-c7+ (A DECOY leading to a FORK!)

3. to play Nd5xb6 (a FORK using the PIN of the pawn on a7!)

We'll look in turn at each of Black's four captures.

For a very easy point, what happens if Black takes with the Queen, reaching this position?

Checkmate in 1: the Queen next to the King!

If Black takes with the e-pawn White has several ways to win - but we'd like the quickest (and most obvious).

Bd3xg6+ and Bd3-f5 both also won, but I'm afraid you don't score any points for either move.

The move we wanted was Re2xe7+, which leads to mate.

For example, if the King moves to d8 then Re7xd7+ Kd8xd7 Qa3-e7+ mates in a few moves time - see if you can work it out for yourself.

So what if he takes with the c-pawn instead, giving the position on your left?

The move we wanted was Bd3-b5, giving this position.

First of all it's a PIN - the Bishop is PINNING the Black Queen to the King.

It's also a DECOY - if the Queen takes the Bishop, Qa3xe7 is again CHECKMATE!

The only other way to get out of the PIN is Ne7-c6 - do you see what happens then?

Of course the Bishop takes the Knight - and Black has the same problem all over again!

Finally, Black could take on d5 with the Knight, giving this position.

Over to you for White's next move.

Another easy point for you, I hope!

The Knight has moved away from g6 - now Black's only move is Qd7-f7 - and Her Majesty will die next move!

The next example's a little bit easier. Bobby Fischer's White Rook is being threatened.

What should he do about it?

The White Rook breaks into Black's position. Black could now take the Rook in two ways.

WITHOUT MOVING THE PIECES I want you to tell me what you'd play for WHITE if Black plays Qd8xf6.

That's right - a KNIGHT FORK!

White DECOYS the Black Queen onto a square where his Knight can FORK the enemy King and Queen.

I hope you managed to see that coming without moving the pieces!

But what happens if Black takes with the King instead?

This time, again WITHOUT MOVING THE PIECES, I'd like you to tell me what White would play if Black played Kg7xf6.

This time the Black King has been decoyed into a SKEWER!


Either the Queen is DECOYED into a FORK or the King is DECOYED into a SKEWER.


Regular practise in finding the best moves in positions like this will help you get used to finding these ideas in your own games!

The brilliant Mikhail Tal was one of the greatest attacking players of all time.

Can you see how he forced his opponent to resign here? This is a theme you haven't seen before!

Well done if you found Qe6xf5!

For an easy final point, but WITHOUT MOVING THE PIECES, what would White do if Black played g6xf5?

Yes, it's another KNIGHT FORK!!


His Queen was occupying the square the Knight wanted to go to, so he moved the Queen out of the way, gaining time (and a piece) by making a CAPTURE at the same time.

This gave his Knight the chance to make a FAMILY FORK!

Solving puzzles like this really will help your chess.

Try to spend some time every week solving chess puzzles.

You can find more puzzles at chessKIDS academy - but there are also many books of puzzles which you could buy and work through.


You have now completed the SACRIFICAL COMBINATIONS assignment.