reflected pawn and knight

~ Use all the pieces you can

bishop-plus-knight versus lone king

Youtube video: bishop-plus- knight versus a lone king - chess end game: how to win instead of getting only a draw

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colorful bishop

Tactics in Chess Books

We now examine a few tactical themes from three chess books. Solutions to these puzzles, including the easy one of Diagram-1, are found at the bottom of this post.

Beat That Kid in Chess (by Jonathan Whitcomb)

This new chess book for beginners trains the reader through the new NIP method: nearly-identical positions. We’ll not get into that method here, but one diagram is worth noting, for the beginner:

White to move and win

Diagram-1  A simple position for the chess beginner – What can White do?

White has two potential checkmating moves in Diagram-1: One works and the other does not.


Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors (by Lou Hays)

This book has 534 tactical puzzles for intermediate chess players (not necessarily just teenagers). The following one is #254 on page 55, a lovely little two-move combination. It’s not for beginners but is easy for advanced players.

chess tactic from a book

Diagram-2  White to move and win


Chess Endgame Training (by Bernd Rosen)

This book is more for intermediate and advanced players, rather than beginners. The following is Problem #6.3 on page 58, a puzzle that looks on the surface to be very easy. In reality, this can be tricky to solve.

White can win if the right moves are made

Diagram-3  White to move and promote the pawn to become a queen



Solutions to the Chess Puzzles


Qd8# (mate) [not Qxg7+, for the knight would capture the queen]



1. Rxg7+  Kxg7

2. Qd4+  . . . .

After Black gets out of check, the white queen will capture the rook on a7, winning material.



Do NOT push the pawn in this position, for a careful opponent will then get a draw. The way to win is this:

1. Kc7!   Ka8

2. Kb6   Kb8

3. Ka6    Ka8

Now push the pawn forward.

4. b6     Kb8

5. b7      Kc7

6. Ka7   . . . . and the pawn will promote on White’s next move



Beginner Chess Books

Whether as a gift or for personal use, the best chess book to purchase will best fit the skill level of the reader.

Chess Books for Children or Everybody?

From looking at their covers, we might expect these two books to be similar inside; they’re dissimilar, one for experienced chess competitors and the other for raw beginners.

Exercise Your Mind With Chess

According to Wendi Fischer (John Hopkins, School of Education site), “Research shows, there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement. . . .”


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