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Chess Tactical Motifs
34 Tactical Motifs from ChessTempo.com
Terms in this set (34)
The threat of pawn promotion is often seen at the heart of tactical possibilites. Resources required to prevent the promotion are not available to help elsewhere on the board and this can be exploited to create tactical opportunities.
Occurs when a player entices a piece to a square (often using a sacrifice) where it will later come under attack. This can sometimes also be called a Decoy tactic, although some users apply that to luring a piece AWAY from a square instead of towards one.
A tactical line where the correct move sequence prevents the opponent from giving perpetual check.
A tactical line where the correct move sequence requires you to avoid stalemating the opponent king.
Back Rank Mate
Occurs when the opponent mates a king that is trapped on the back rank by it's own pawns and has no pieces to interpose or take the opponent's attacking piece (usually a rook or queen).
Occurs where one piece is forced to a position where it blocks the path of another.
The player captures an opponent piece that was previously defending a piece or square, leading to the previously defended piece or square to come under attack.
This comes in two forms, the first is where a player moves one of their own pieces to clear a square for another of their pieces. The second form occurs when one player forces a piece away from a diagonal, rank or file (often using a sacrifice) to make way for another piece to utilise or attack the cleared path. discovered attacks.
Occurs when a player forces a piece to a square, without sacrifice, where it will later come under attack.
A tactic occurring due to a mistake in evaluating the material balance arising after a series of takes.
The opponent has a serious threat, and you must meet it in the correct manner. Other methods of meeting the threat do not win.
A situation in which both sides have a piece (or pieces) hanging, and you capture material with your hanging piece in order to gain a more favourable material balance at the end of the sequence of captures.
Occurs when a player moves a piece which opens up an attack that was previously blocked by the moving piece. This attack may be on either another piece or an important square.
Involves forcing the opponent to move a piece that was previously guarding important squares or pieces.
A move that checks the opponent king with two pieces at the same time.
This is not really a tactical motif as such, but is used to explain positions where mate or other tactics are possible due to the exposed nature of the opponents king.
Occurs when one player's piece attacks multiple opponent pieces (or important squares). The opponent can't counter all threats so loses material.
This is not a real tactical motif. It describes the initial position of a problem in which the opponent has left a piece to be taken for free, or has left a more valuable piece to be taken by a piece of lesser value.
The player cuts the line between an opponent bishop, rook or queen and a square or piece it is defending by either interposing one of the player's pieces, or forcing the opponent to interpose their own piece.
Occurs when a defensive piece is required to protect more than one piece or square at a time, but can only perform one of the defensive tasks adequately, and almost always include a distraction tactic.
The opponent loses material due to having to protect their king from being mated. This should not be applied to problems where the king is actually mated.
Occurs when an attacked piece cannot move without exposing a more valuable piece or square behind it to attack.
A move which is not forcing, i.e. a move which does not directly attack or capture an enemy piece. In tactics problems it is often used to control important squares or guard your own pieces from future capture, before launching a more direct attack in subsequent moves.
A move where the player deliberately loses a piece to gain advantage in subsequent moves, usually resulting in an imminent material gain and is often used in combination with other tactical motifs.
Occurs when a player decides to swap material to emphasise an advantage already gained. Often used tactically in the endgame to assist in pawn promotion.
The player attacks a piece of the opponent, which cannot move without exposing a less valuable square or piece behind it to attack. The front piece usually moves, allowing the piece behind it to be captured.
Occurs when a piece is unable to escape an attack due to being hemmed in by their own pieces. The term is usually applied to the situation where a knight mates a king trapped behind it's pawns and hemmed in by a Rook or other piece.
When a piece has no safe squares to escape to thus making it highly susceptible to capture.
Removing a pin on a piece so it can be used for tactical advantage.
A sacrifice made by the opponent on the false assumption that they will later get the material back.
Weak Back Rank
In some situations back rank mate might not be possible , but the threat of a bank rank mate may be enough for a player to win material.
Occurs when one piece attacks a square or piece through another piece. Note that this is not the same as a skewer as the relative value of the piece being attacked through is irrelevant.
(a German word meaning compulsion to move) refers to the situation where a player would prefer not to make a move as all legal moves would make the player's position worse.
(a German word for between move or intermediate move) refers to a tactic where the player postpones an anticipated move in order to make a forcing intermediate move, which results in the anticipated move being stronger when executed. The intermediate move is often overlooked by the opponent
This set is often in folders with...
Chess Openings and Tactical Motifs
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