Chess is not only a sport and a science, it is also a form of art. In the words of Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch:
“Chess, like music, like love, can make people happy.”
Beautiful combinations have the power to awe us and one of the most pleasing aspects of the game is a creative tactical combination. I found a great example to illustrate the point.
The position is from the game A Bannik – D Bronstein, played in Riga 1958:
Black to move. What would you do?
Black combines 4 tactical ideas in this creative combination:
First tactical idea: A skewer
The move Rh1+ is a skewer since moving the king out of check will expose white’s queen. Therefore white does not have a choice but to capture the Rh1 with his king.
Second tactical idea: Coercion
Coercion involves forcing your opponent to move a piece to a square where it will be vulnerable to another tactical motif. In this case, being forced to h1, the white king becomes vulnerable to to a fork as well as a pin.
Third tactical idea: A Pin
White’s rook becomes immobile due to the absolute pin by black’s queen. This means the rook absolutely cannot move and allows black to exploit a 4th tactical idea – a fork.
Fourth tactical idea: A Fork (double attack)
A fork (or double attack) involves making more than one threat at the same time. Since it is usually hard (or impossible) to defend against multiple threats, forks are a very effective tactical motif. The above diagram show how black attacks two targets with one move. Nxg3+ attacks both the white king and queen. White loses the queen since the king must get out of check.
I hope you find this tactic as pleasing as I did when I first noticed it. Learn more about training chess tactics here.