A few recent chess books may have outdone 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, by Fred Reinfeld, in the numbers of their diagrams, but the older publication lead the way. It still stands as a classic in this form of chess book.
It alternates between “white moves first” and “black moves first” with the following twenty tactical themes:
- Knight fork
- Double attack
- Discovered attack
- Discovered check
- Double check
- Overworked piece
- Removing the guard
- Queening Combination
- Vulnerable first rank
- Queen sacrifice
- X-ray attack
- Surprise move
- Defensive combination
- Trapped piece
- Helpless king
- Weak castled position
What a treasure of tactics for this chess book that was published six decades ago!
Here is one example from 1001 Winning Chess sacrifices and Combinations:
Diagram-1 with white to move
Do you see the combination available for white in Diagram-1? If you don’t and would rather just look at the solution, scroll down a bit.
Notice that white could checkmate the black king with Nf6, except the black queen is protecting f6. Can the black queen be removed from protecting that square?
Notice that the white queen would be able to sacrifice itself to obtain that mate by moving Qg4+, except that the white rook at e2 is in the way. Is there a way to move that rook without allowing black time to guard against the queen-sacrifice combination?
Here is the solution, according to the above needs:
- Re8+ Rxe8
- Qg4+ Black must give up the queen to avoid immediate mate. White wins.
Notice that after Qg4+ only one move by black will prevent immediate checkmate: Ng5, after which black will have two minor pieces en prize and the black king is still in danger. It will be hopeless for the defender.
Written by Murray Chandler, Susan Polgar, and John Nunn
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