Well, I hope you all had a great Christmas! and now that it is over and we move towards the new year I thought we could look at something else. We covered a lot of material in the previous six posts. Now it’s time to put that knowledge to practice. The first five are relatively simple to get you warmed up, the last five are more challenging. Also, I will not be stating which tactic is involved in each. Solving them is going to take some concentration and time. Try to give yourself 5-10 minutes for each puzzle, and make a note of the tactical theme that is used. The first move of each solution is provided at the bottom of the page. Some puzzles have one move answers while others require you to calculate variations. I will leave the calculation of variations as an exercise for the player.
Black to move
White to move
White to move
Black to move
White to move
White to move
White to move
White to move
White to move
Black to move
1) Bg4 (skewer)
2) Rxe6 (pin)
5) e5(pawn fork)
Our customers rely on us to sell only the best backgammon sets, sourced from the worlds finest manufacturers. This is why we spend a great deal of time carefully selecting suppliers, and examining their products to ensure we only select the best. Providing our customers with the best backgammon sets that the board game industry has to offer – and this is why Hector Saxe is one of our most valued suppliers of quality backgammon sets.
We sell a variety of Hector Saxe standard competition sets and we are continually impressed by their quality, durability and sophistication.
The Paris based manufacturer has been producing and supplying luxury backgammon sets since 1978. Their factory is located on the outskirts of Paris, with outlets situated in the heart of the city.
What makes Hector Saxe Special?
If you ever come across a backgammon set that is made from the finest cowhide, croc or snake skin chances are that it will have a Hector Saxe logo embossed inside the casing. Hector Saxe is well known for creating handmade backgammon sets that are as exciting to look at as they are to play on.
Hector Saxe’s classic designs are superb. Especially their faux leather sets that are particularly popular with professional backgammon players. The quality and finish of these sets is extremely high – they are hand sealed and jointed whilst the interiors are made from the softest padded felt.
Most sets include 30 playing pieces and they are all carefully made – some with a Mother of Pearl effect which adds an additional air of sophistication. Even the dice holders are expertly made. Each holder comes covered in the same material as the set, to create a perfect match.
For example, if a Hector Saxe backgammon set has an inlay of brown or tan faux leather the dice cups will be covered and colour matched accordingly. All Hector Saxe backgammon sets are available in a variety of colours and materials – with faux leather sets being some of our most popular sellers. It is obvious why Hector Saxe has products which are so popular; with backgammon enthusiasts as well as consumers.
We stock a wide variety of Hector Saxe products and we regularly receive positive feedback from customers who have bought these backgammon sets from us.
In this post of the tactics series I’ll discuss X-rays and windmills. Despite their descriptive names, these two tactics are relatively rare. Let me say if you succeed in trapping your opponent in a windmill you can win his entire army!
The X-ray tactic occurs when a piece ‘sees through’ an enemy piece towards a certain target. Let’s look at an example:
Here notice the white rook on the d-file. At first glance it looks like the d8 square is adequately protected by black. However whites rook is really attacking that square by ‘seeing through’ black’s rook on d7. White plays 1. Qxd8! which leads to checkmate. As I mentioned, the X-ray is not seen too frequently in games. However it is important to notice how closely this tactic is related to the pin. In this case black’s rook on d7 is pinned to defense of the d8 square.
Although rarely seen, the windmill is one of the most powerful tactics in chess. It’s a series of checks and discovered checks where the opponent has no time to escape. The following diagram is an example of a long combination. Try to practice your visualization by seeing as far as you can.
Here white plays 1. Bf6! and black responds with 1…Qxh5. Then the following moves occur:
2. Rxg7+ Kh8
3. Rxf7+ Kg8
4. Rg7+ Kh8
5. Rxb7+ Kg8
6. Rg7+ Kh8
7. Rg5+ Kh7
Then we are left with the diagram below:
Notice how the rook moved back and forth and caputured the enemy pieces. Also notice how the black king was unable to escape the devastating discovered checks. In the next move white will capture blacks queen.
I hope that everyone enjoyed this tactics series and gained some knowledge from it. It’s not enough however to just study the diagrams in these posts you must practice consistently to improve your tactical play. That takes solving lots of puzzles and analyzing your games. In the next post I will provide several puzzles that contain the tactics we have discussed for you to solve!
Considered to be the masters of the sleek and the elegant, Italfama is an Italian based board game manufacturer who produce chess boards and chess pieces.
We knew we were going to be supplying something special when we received our first samples from Italfama. Their handcrafted chess boards and pieces were so impressive that we knew we had to bring their products to our customers.
Chess Designs at their Best
When we want the best chest boards that are available these are the manufacturers that we turn to. And when we say that they make best chess boards, we mean it. Italfama has taken the art of luxury chess design to the next (and let’s not hope ultimate) level. They are based in Florence and make a huge variety of chess sets for chess enthusiasts and consumers. Needless to say, their products are more than just board games. They are works of art that you can not only play with, but also make superb display pieces.
Their boards are often combined with some of our luxury chess pieces to create beautiful chess sets – product combinations that are unique. Our customers also agree, as is apparent from the amazing reviews we’ve had. Of course, because each set is intricately designed from the smallest pawn to the most finely finished board, Italfama chess products are also some of the most exclusive. Their unique and elegant inlays are enough to impress even the most critical chess connoisseurs, and alongside their beautiful boards Italfama also make beautiful metal chess pieces.
What makes Italfama Special
Italfama has been in business for over 30 years. All of the chess pieces and boards are designed and fabricated by professional craftsmen with years of experience. The Pièce de résistance amongst their range of impressive products are their high gloss chess boards that have to be seen to be believed.
Pretty Pieces all in a Row
All of the Italfama chess pieces are handcrafted in Italy and are made from metals like brass, nickel, gold and silver. Each piece is hand finished and polished, with felt pads added to protect the playing surface. They are simply stunning.
We’ve always been able to depend on this supplier, they produce some of the most stunning products, hand crafted in Italy. As suppliers they are extremely reliable, their products are high quality, and are nicely presented and well packaged. Each product is beautifully finished and they are one of our favourite suppliers, we highly recommend them!
In my opinion these two tactics are overlooked and not studied in enough detail. Imagine that you’re in the middle of a tough chess match. You notice that you can make a strong capture or check, unfortunately however one of your own pieces is in the way. That’s where a clearance sacrifice comes into play. We sacrifice one of our own pieces to clear a square, rank, or diagonal. Here two examples.
If whites rook were not in the way he could play 1. Qg7#. So how can white clear his rook out of the way? He can simply move it, but that would give black time to defend. There is one move however that leads to blacks defeat quite quickly. That move is 1. Rh7+. No matter how black captures, white plays Qg7#. A common theme in clearance sacrifices is to move the obstructing piece out of the way with check. Since our opponent must deal with the checking move it allows us to accomplish our goal. In the next diagram we can see an example by the great player Mikhail Tal.
It’s unfortunate for white that his queen is on the e6 square. If she weren’t there then white could play the knight fork Ne6+(remember forks?) Is there a solution to this problem? Tal thought there was and found 1. Qxf5! White captures the knight and clears the square at the same time. After this move black resigned.
Interference is a tactic where we disrupt the harmony of the enemy forces. Here is the classic example of interference from a brilliancy prize game.
White has some bank rank threats. Unfortunately blacks rook seems to be defending the bank rank fine. Richard Reti found a way to breakthrough with 1. Bf7+ Kh8 2. Be8!! There is no defense to the threat. Notice how whites bishop interferes with blacks bank rank defense. Interference tactics are somewhat rare, but they do happen. Interference can really be likened to the opposite of a clearance sacrifice. We put one of our pieces in harms way to accomplish a certain goal.
If you don’t already play chess with a chess clock and you a want to become serious about chess, it’s time to consider investing in one. DGT have been our primary chess clock supplier since 2008 and have proven to be extremely reliable.
DGT – a History
The Netherland based company was initially created in 1992 by Albert Vasse and Ben Bulsink as DGT Projects. The company’s main products are electronic timers, digital clocks and electronic boards for draughts and chess. The introduction of DGT’s digital chess clock range started in 1994 and since then the company have continued to expand by manufacturing electronic chess boards. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Why Chess Clocks?
Most professional chess players claim that a chess clock is just as important as the type of board and pieces that they use. For one, if it wasn’t for chess clocks, you would never see the end of a chess game. The presence of a clock means that players have to be both decisive and focused, as well as time conscious.
Electronic chess clocks are great training tools, and if you are trying to improve your game, perhaps moving from absolute amateur to accomplished professional, are a must when working on your chess skills.
Of course they also ensure that players have a fair game especially in Lightening or Blitz chess – a player loses if they use up all of the time that is allotted to them.
What Makes DGT Special?
The fact that the company supplies chess timers to some of the most famous chess players and tournaments is one of the many reasons why DGT products are so popular. Some of their chess clocks are so advanced that they allow four to six players to play simultaneously. In fact, it is this feature that has made them one of the most sought after suppliers of high end digital chess clocks.
Many of DGT’s chess clocks are calibrated according to the latest FIDE regulations – allowing even casual players the chance to play like pros. These DGT clocks are extremely reliable and ensure accurate readings throughout play. They are ideal for clubs and schools, and are sold alongside a variety of value DGT clocks, which are also good. Don’t be surprised if you see a DGT timer on every playing table when you visit your next high profile chess tournament!