These intermediate level tactics are slightly less common than the ones covered in the section “Chess Tactics for Beginners”, but they are very important none the less.
7 Tactical Patterns That Intermediate Level Players Should Know
On the intermediate level the majority of chess games are won or lost by means of tactical combinations. That is why it makes sense to study intermediate level tactics. Here’s examples of 7 important tactical motifs that an intermediate level chess player should know.
Advanced Pawn Tactics
Advanced pawn tactics are based on the fact that you will probably win the game if you can find a way to promote your advanced pawn. This often implies a sacrifice that will help you achieve the objective.
Attraction tactics are when you lure (or force) an enemy piece onto a square where it will become vulnerable to another tactical ideas. This often involves a piece-exchange that “attracts” an enemy piece to the square where it becomes the subject of your follow-up tactic.
The interesting thing about a double check is that the only way to get out of check is to move the king. It’s not possible to capture or block two checking pieces with one move. The diagram below illustrates the fact:
The majority of tactical patterns involve the larger pieces and therefore it’s easy to overlook the tactical potential of the humble pawn. That is why it makes sense to pay special attention to pawn tactics.
Here’s an example:
When a chess piece becomes severely limited in it’s mobility, such piece is often vulnerable to tactics, particularly to being trapped.
A weak back-rank refers to the situation where is a castled king is trapped behind their own shield of pawns and rely on a rook or queen to defend the back rank. This means you can sometimes overload the piece that is supposed to defend the weak back-rank.
A zwichenzug or “in-between-move” tactic, refers to the situation where you achieve an objective by playing a intermediate move (usually a threatening move such as a check, threat or capture). It’s best explained by means of an example:
NEXT: Intermediate Chess Puzzles
Once you’ve worked through these tactics, it will be a good idea to try the 14 intermediate level chess puzzles. (It’s only through practice that you can further develop your tactical skills!)