Combination (chess)

Combination (chess)

In chess, a combination is a sequence of moves, often initiated by a sacrifice, which leaves the opponent few options and results in tangible gain. At most points in a chess game, each player has several reasonable options from which to choose, which makes it difficult to plan ahead except in strategic terms. Combinations, in contrast to the norm, are sufficiently forcing that one can calculate exactly how advantage will be achieved against any defense. Indeed, it is usually necessary to see several moves ahead in exact detail before launching a combination, or else the initial sacrifice would not be undertaken.

Contents

Definition

In 1952/53, the editors of Shakhmaty v SSSR decided on this definition: A combination is a forced sequence of moves which uses tactical means and exploits specific peculiarities of the position to achieve a certain goal. (Golombek 1977)

Irving Chernev said:

What is a combination? A combination is a blend of ideas – pins, forks, discovered checks, double attacks – which endow the pieces with magical power. It is a series of staggering blows before the knockout. It is the climatic scene in the play appearing on the board. It is the touch of enchantment that gives life to inanimate pieces. It is all this and more – A combination is the heart of chess (Chernev 1960).

Example

A combination is usually built out of more fundamental chess tactics such as forks, pins, skewers, undermining, discovered attacks, etc. Thus a combination must be at least three moves long, but the longer it takes to recoup the initial sacrifice, the more impressive the combination. The position below from a game between G. Stepanov and Peter Romanovsky begins a combination which illustrates several forks and skewers.[1]

Stepanov vs. Romanovskij, Leningrad 1926
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8  black rook  black king  black bishop  black king  black king  black king  black king  black king 8
7  black pawn  black king  black king  black pawn  black king  black king  black king  black pawn 7
6  black king  black pawn  black knight  black king  black pawn  black king  black king  black king 6
5  black king  black king  black king  black king  black king  black king  black king  black king 5
4  black king  white pawn  white pawn  black king  black king  black king  black king  black king 4
3  white pawn  black king  black king  white king  black king  black rook  black king  black king 3
2  black king  black king  white queen  black king  black king  black king  black king  white pawn 2
1  white rook  black king  black king  black king  black king  white bishop  black king  black king 1
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
White to play

Black has just played 1... Rxf3+. Retreating with 2.Ke2 would allow 2...Nd4+, a royal fork attacking both White's king and queen and winning the queen. Similarly, 2.Kd2 would allow 2...Rf2+ (skewering the white king and queen) 3.Be2 Rxe2+! 4.Kxe2 Nd4+, again winning the queen. White accordingly chose 2.Ke4, but resigned after 2...d5+!. White still could not take the black rook without losing his queen, but the alternative 3.cxd5 exd5+ 4. Kxd5 Be6+ would leave White with no good defense. Taking the bishop with 5.Kxe6 allows the long-threatened fork 5...Nd4+, while taking the knight with 5.Kxc6 allows the skewer 5...Rc8+ followed by 6...Rxc2. Retreating with 5.Ke4 permits the black bishop to skewer the white king and queen with 5...Bf5+, so White has only one option left: 5.Kd6.

After 5.Kd6, Black would have played 5... Rd8+. White couldn't take the bishop or the knight for exactly the same reasons as before (after 6.Kxe6 Nd4+ 7. Ke7, Black comes out a rook ahead with 7... Nxc2 8.Kxd8 Nxa1), which leaves one legal move, namely 6.Kc7, but then 6... Rf7+ absolutely forces the white king to take the black knight, allowing the skewer 7... Rc8+ followed by 8...Rxc2.

See also

Notes

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Combination (disambiguation) — In mathematics, a combination is a collection of things in no specific order. Combination may also refer to: Combination (chess), a relatively long sequence of chess moves Combo (video games), a set of actions performed in sequence Striking… …   Wikipedia

  • Chess (musical) — Chess Concept Album Cover Music Benny Andersson Björn Ulvaeus Lyrics Tim Rice Björn Ulvaeus …   Wikipedia

  • Chess strategy — is the aspect of chess playing that is concerned with the evaluation of chess positions and the setting of goals and long term plans for future play. While evaluating a position strategically, a player must take into account such factors as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Chess (poem) — Chess Front page of the 1585 edition Author Jan Kochanowski Original Title Szachy Country Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth …   Wikipedia

  • Chess with different armies — (or Betza chess[1]) is a chess variant in which two sides use different sets of fairy pieces. There are several armies of equal strength to choose from, including standard FIDE army. In all armies kings and pawns are the same as in FIDE chess,… …   Wikipedia

  • Chess — This article is about the Western board game. For other chess games or other uses, see Chess (disambiguation). Chess From left to right: a whit …   Wikipedia

  • Chess theory — The game of chess is commonly divided into three phases: the opening, middlegame, and endgame.[1] As to each of these phases, especially the opening and endgame, there is a large body of theory as how the game should be played. Those who write… …   Wikipedia

  • Chess problem — Part of a series on Puzzles …   Wikipedia

  • Chess aesthetics — Aesthetics or beauty in chess is generally appreciated by both players and composers. This is evident, for example, in brilliancy prizes[1][2][3] awarded to some games in certain tournaments and also in the world of chess composition. There are… …   Wikipedia

  • Chess variant — Gliński s hexagonal chess – one of many chess variants A chess variant is a game related to, derived from or inspired by chess.[1] The difference from chess might include one or more of the following: different board (larger or smaller, non… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”