Teichmann said chess is 99% tactics.
I wouldn’t quite agree.
But I do agree with the point he obviously tried to make – that tactics is a very important part of the game.
For this reason tactics training should also have high priority in your training program.
Recently I came across a slightly unusual but highly instructive tactic and I recommend you study this one closely.
Here it is:
If you follow a good calculation process, you already know you should always consider all the forcing moves (checks, captures and threats) first. In this case black is in check so he has only 3 legal options:
- Kh8 or
1… Qxg6 clearly doesn’t work since black will play fxg6+ (or hxg6+) followed by Rxb3 and black will be behind in material. The correct move here is Kh8. 1… Kh8 is also bad since after 2. Rxb3 Qxb3 3. Qxe8+ also loses material for black.
If you haven’t solved this one yet, another reason why Kh8 is much better than Kg8 will soon become clear). After the moves Kh8, Rxb3 we now reached this position:
Again, you should always consider all checks, captures and threats first. Black has no checks here. He has two captures though:
- Qxg6 (to which white will simply respond fxg6 or hxg6 and black will be behind in material.
- Qxb3 (to which white will respond Qxe8+, Qg8 and material will be equal).
But, you should also consider all threats. Black has two moves here that create strong threats via a discovered attack:
- Qf8 (a discovered attack against Qg6) and
- Qg8! (a discovered attack against the Qg6 which also keeps the threat Qxb3!)
Now the reason why Kh8 was better than Kg8 becomes clear. Kh8 kept the g8-square open for black’s queen.
Following the correct thinking process will go a long way in helping you finding tactics such as this one in your own game.
If you didn’t solve this puzzle by using a good calculation technique I recommend you review it. The pattern is quite unusual. Regular tactics training is very important but also keep in mind to follow a good calculation technique.