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Alonso Zapata:

Follow the Checks

There is a popular adage in the chess clubs of my country that says: "Give check- maybe it'll be a checkmate!"

Concept:

Combinations could be defined and understood in many ways. The former World Champion Mikhail Botvinik defined the combination as a “sequence of forced moves with sacrifices”. All the them have the same idea and the same character of forcing moves, the check possibly being the most forced move of all. Although the result is a little surprising, many of the combinations can be solved just by observing and following the checks around, making the Classification of Combination by Themes fall into the second place. When we feel that the position deserves a tactical treatment (listen here to your intuition), and if the combinations appear, we should first choose the analysis order of the potential variations by instinct. Then, go on to review and calculate the sequences of checks. A very good advice in many cases is starting with the strongest pieces, in descending order of worth. Per my experience, most of the combinations could be in the subject of following the checks, and to achieve success play against the defenders (creating weaknesses by deflecting or removing them). I would like to encourage my dearest readers to analyze and find solutions to the different combinations mentioned in this article by yourself.

combinations mentioned in this article by yourself. Carlsen : Karjakin New York (play-off - 4) 2016

Carlsen : Karjakin New York (play-off - 4) 2016

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9-+-+-+k+0

9+-+-vlpzp-0

9-zp-zp-+-+0

9+-+-+R+P0

9-+-+PwQ-+0

9+-+-+P+-0

9r+-+-wq-zP0

9+-tR-+-+K0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play - surprise on the second move! This is the last game (Round 4) from the World Championship - Rapid playoff. Following the checks, you will find quickly winning idea, awesome, and crushing move - the single best move of the year! 49.Tc8 Kh7 50.Dh6!!

A

picture perfect move!!!

 

If

50.Dh6 gh6 (50

Kh6

51.Th8#) 51.Tf7#

1:0.

Gongora Reyes : Blanco Ronquillo Cuba 2004

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9-+r+-vlr+0

9+q+-+kzpp0

9p+-zpNsn-+0

9+p+P+PwQ-0

9P+n+-+-+0

9+-+-+-+-0

9-zPPvL-+PzP0

9tR-+-tR-mK-0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play - surprise on the first and second move!

9tR-+-tR-mK-0 xiiiiiiiiy White to play - surprise on the first and second move! FIDE Surveys –
9tR-+-tR-mK-0 xiiiiiiiiy White to play - surprise on the first and second move! FIDE Surveys –

1.Dg6!!

Follow the checks - starting with the strongest piece in this case works best! 1 Ke7

1

hg6

2.Sg5#.

2.Df7!!

Again, deal a check with the strongest piece! 2.Df7 Kf7 3.Sg5# 1:0.

Seirawan : Lobron Amsterdam 1983

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9-+-+-+k+0

9tR-+-+pzp-0

9-+-+-wq-zp0

9+-+-+-+-0

9-+-+L+-+0

9+rtr-zP-zPl0

9-wQ-+-zP-zP0

9+-tR-+-mK-0

xiiiiiiiiy

Black to play. There are weaknesses of both kings in the 1st and 8th rank. The idea of following the checks served white to find the solution quickly. 22 Df2!!+ Queen's check.

23.Kf2

23.Df2 Deflection! And 23

Tf1#.

Tb2 23

Tc1 24.Df1

24.Kf3 Tc1 25.Ta8 Tc8 0:1.

Rodriguez Or. : Olafsson F. Las Palmas 1978

Reasons:

- weakness of white castle;

- weak white squares (f3, g2);

- weakness of the 1st row;

- 2 pieces misplaced (Qa2, Re2).

When

placement the check appears:

you

take

a

look

at

the

Queen's

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9-+-+-+-+0

9+-zp-+-+-0

9-+-+PvL-sn0

9zP-zP-+qzPP0

9Q+-+RzP-mK0

9+-+-+-tR-0

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Black to play. 1 Dg2! This check has several functions:

- releases the square f3 to the Knight;

- obstructs the square g2;

- deflects the Rg1 from the 1st rank defense. 2.Tg2 Sf3 Knight's check. 3.Kh1 Td1 Rook's check. 4.Tg1 Tg1# Typical coordination of N and R. 0:1.

Antimirov : Shestak URSS 1982

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9zpp+-+-zpp0

9-+-+L+-+0

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9-zp-+-sn-+0

9+-+-+P+-0

9PzPQ+-mK-+0

9+-+r+-+R0

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Black to play. The position looks weird and difficult to play because both Kings are defenseless, so

The position looks weird and difficult to play because both Kings are defenseless, so FIDE Surveys
The position looks weird and difficult to play because both Kings are defenseless, so FIDE Surveys

the black side must be fast. Since starting with the black Queen's check is not a good idea, suddenly the absurd Rook's check becomes visible.

Tf1!! 1

A surprise move for players who do not look

for possible checks! Not 1

Th1?, because it

will be a draw after 2.Dc5= (2.Dc8=). Do

not use 1

Dh1?,

because of 2.Df5=.

2.Tf1

2.Kg3 Tf3#; 2.Ke3 Df3 wins; 2.Kf1 Dh1 3.Kf2 Dh2 wins the Queen.

Dh2 2

3.Ke3 Dc2 4.Kf4 Dh2+ 0:1.

Kindermann : Skrobek Warszawa 1983

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9+-+-+p+p0

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9+-+P+p+Q0

9q+Nsn-+-+0

9+-zpL+-+-0

9P+-+-+-zP0

9+-mKR+-+R0

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Bauer : Gollner Berlin 1956

Attracts attention that, when we study tactics books, curiously, in most combinations, the theme of the sequence of the checks, defines, or is a very important part of the winning plan.

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9r+-+n+-+0

9zpp+-wq-zpk0

9-+p+LsnRzp0

9+-+-+-+-0

9-+p+-zP-+0

9+P+-+-+P0

9PvL-+-+QmK0

9+-+-+-+-0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play. There are three checks. We quickly discard Bg8 and Rg7. Suddenly appears:

1.Th6! gh6

No use 1

Kh6

because the successive

checks, lead to checkmate 2.Dg5 Kh7 3.Dh4 Kg6 4.f5#. And looking at:

2.Dg8!

1

Lh6!!

Deflecting the Knight to the eventual escape

We decided for this movement, once, we have analyzed and ruled out the erroneous

square g8. 2 Sg8

analyzes. Starting with the Queen checks, we

Becomes visible the surprising!

soon discard them: 1

Da3??

and 1

Dc2??

3.Lf5# 1:0.

2.Lc2 Se2?? 3.De2. There is a possible checkmate with the knight in e2 if we deflect

Beautiful checkmate with the bishops, helped by the defensive pieces that

the defenders!

 

surrounded the king!

2.Dh6

 

The Queen deviates from the defense of the square e2.

2

Dc2!!

3.Lc2 Se2# 0:1.

  The Queen deviates from the defense of the square e2. 2 Dc2!! 3.Lc2 Se2# 0:1.
  The Queen deviates from the defense of the square e2. 2 Dc2!! 3.Lc2 Se2# 0:1.
  The Queen deviates from the defense of the square e2. 2 Dc2!! 3.Lc2 Se2# 0:1.
  The Queen deviates from the defense of the square e2. 2 Dc2!! 3.Lc2 Se2# 0:1.

Zapata : Schussler

32.Sf6!! gf6 (32

Kf7

33.Td7+) 33.Tf8 Kf8

Santa Clara 1996

34.Df6 Ke8 (34

Df7

35.Td8#) 35.De6 Kf8

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9r+-+-tr-+0

9+-+-+pmkp0

9-+p+nsnp+0

9zp-+-wQ-+-0

9Pzp-wqP+-+0

9+-+L+PsN-0

9-zPP+-zP-+0

9+-mKR+-+R0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play. If we follow the advice, suddenly appears a sequence of devastating checks! 20.Sf5! gf5 21.Tdg1 My opponent resigns at this moment. The checkmate becomes unstoppable due to 21.Tdg1 Kh8 22.Th7 Kh7 23.Dh2 1:0.

Zapata : Efimenko San Marino 2006

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9-+-tR-trk+0

9tr-wq-+-zpp0

9p+-+p+-+0

9+-+-+p+N0

9-+PwQlzP-+0

9zPp+-+-+-0

9-zP-+-+PzP0

9+-+R+-mK-0

xiiiiiiiiy

36.Dg8 Df8 37.Td8+) 36.Df6

Ke8 37.Td6+. Gives a decisive advantage!

(35

De7??

There is little black resistance after: 37

Dc5

(37

De7

38.Te6+) 38.Kh1 Te7 (38

Td7

39.De6 Te7 40.Dg8#; 38

39.Dd6 Tg7 40.De6 Kf8

41.Kg1 Tg2 42.Kf1+) 39.Dh8 Kf7 40.Tf6#.

Df7 32

35.c5±.

Tc7 35

Tf6 39.Sh5 Tf7 40.Te8 Tf8 41.T8e7 Tf7

42.Te8 Tf8 43.T8e7 ½.

39.Kg2 Tg7

40.Kf3+; 38

Lg2

Dd6

33.Sg3 La8 34.Te1 Te7 35.De5

36.Te6= Tc4 37.Te7 Df6 38.Df6

Adams : Ju Wenjun Gibraltar 2017

In the recent tournament of Gibraltar Masters, Adams found the best continuation, just by following the checks. You can recreate it on your own by finding the winning sequence.

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9lvl-+-+p+0

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9-zp-+N+-+0

9+-+-vL-+-0

9-zPP+-zPPzP0

9+-+R+-mK-0

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27.Lh6 Kf7

27

30.Te1 Kf6 31.Te6#) 30.Sf5 gf5 31.Te5#.

Kg8

28.Se7 Kf7 29.Sg5 Ke8 (29

Ke7

White to play.

28.Sg5

32.Td6?

28.Td7 Kg8 (28

Ke6

29.Te7 Kf5 30.Td5

In this critical position. I made a mistake and should have been focused on all possible checks! I should have played the winning idea:

Kg4 31.h3 Kh4 32.Lg5#) 29.Se7 Kf7 30.Sd5 Ke6 31.Te7 Kf5 32.Sd6 Kg4 33.Te4 Sf4 34.Sf6 Kh4 35.Tf4#.

28

Kf6

29.Td6 Kf5

Kf7 30.Sd5 Ke6 31.Te7 Kf5 32.Sd6 Kg4 33.Te4 Sf4 34.Sf6 Kh4 35.Tf4#. 28 Kf6 29.Td6 Kf5
Kf7 30.Sd5 Ke6 31.Te7 Kf5 32.Sd6 Kg4 33.Te4 Sf4 34.Sf6 Kh4 35.Tf4#. 28 Kf6 29.Td6 Kf5

Ke5 29

33.h3#.

30.T1d5 Kg4 31.h3 Kf4

31

32.Sf3

Even faster if you play: 32.Tf6!! Sf6 33.g3#; 32.Se6 Ke4.

g5 32

30.T1d5 Kf4 31.Sf3 g5 32.Lg5 Kg4

Kh4

32.Sf3#.

33.Lg5 Ke4 34.Sd2# 1:0.

Aleksandrov : Zaitsev USSR 1973

You will see a nice example of how to win when you follow the checks and deflect/remove the defenders.

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9-+k+r+-tr0

9zppsn-+-zpq0

9l+-+-+-+0

9+-+-+p+-0

9-+-+-wQn+0

9+-sN-vL-zP-0

9-zP-+-zPL+0

9+-tRR+-mK-0

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White to play.

1.Dc7! Kc7 2.Sb5 Kb8 3.Td8!! With the idea to deflect the Rook defender.

If

3.Lf4 Te5!

3

Td8

4.Lf4 Ka8

4

Se5

5.Le5.

5.Sc7 Kb8 6.Sa6 Now removing the defender!

Ka8 6

A crushing blow!

10.Ta1# 1:0.

9

7.Sc7 Kb8 8.Sd5 Ka8 9.Sb6

ab6

crushing blow! 10.Ta1# 1:0. 9 7.Sc7 Kb8 8.Sd5 Ka8 9.Sb6 ab6 Steinitz : Bardeleben Hastings 1895

Steinitz : Bardeleben Hastings 1895

A very famous game that does not need presentation.

- Weakness of both Kings.

- Weakness of the 1st rank.

- Hanging pieces.

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9r+r+k+-+0

9zpp+qsn-+p0

9-+-+-zpp+0

9+-+p+-sN-0

9-+-+-+Q+0

9+-+-+-+-0

9PzP-+-zPPzP0

9+-tR-tR-mK-0

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White to play. 1.Te7! Kf8!

Ke7

4.Sc5+)

2.Tc8

Tc8 3.Dc8. Following the "walk" of the Rook in the 7th rank seems a fantasy, but it's definitely no fiction!

2.Tf7! Kg8

(4.Tc1!?+)

4

1

Ke7

Kb8

2.Te1

Kd6

(2

Kd8

4.Se6

3.Se6

De7

3.Db4

Kc7

5.Df4 Tc7 6.Sc7+; 1

Df7 2

3.Tc8.

3.Tg7! Kh8

 

Kf8 3

4.Sh7 Wins.

 

4.Th7!

4.Th7

Kg8

5.Tg7!

Kh8

(5

Kf8

6.Sh7)

6.Dh4 Kg7 7.Dh7 Kf8 8.Dh8 Ke7 9.Dg7

Ke8

12.Dd6#;

Kd6 9

11.Df7

14.Dd6#. 1:0.

De8 13.Sf7 Kd7

10.Df6 De6 11.De6#) 10.Dg8 Ke7

Kd7

(9

Kd8

Kd8

10.Df8

12.Df8

De8

11.Sf7

De8 13.Sf7 Kd7 10.Df6 De6 11.De6#) 10.Dg8 Ke7 Kd7 (9 Kd8 Kd8 10.Df8 12.Df8 De8 11.Sf7
De8 13.Sf7 Kd7 10.Df6 De6 11.De6#) 10.Dg8 Ke7 Kd7 (9 Kd8 Kd8 10.Df8 12.Df8 De8 11.Sf7

Schmidt : Richter sr Heidelberg 1946

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9r+l+-tr-+0

9+-+psNpmkp0

9-+-zpn+p+0

9+-zpN+-+P0

9-+PsnP+-+0

9wq-+-wQP+-0

9-+-+LmKP+0

9+R+-+-+R0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play. When you begin to analyze this position, many things will occur to you. In this case, Black King's weakness over the h file and the Black squares' weaknesses due to the Bishop's absence. This analysis should start by following your intuition and the checks. This reveals that the Queen's sacrificing check in h6 looks very attractive and somehow creates a very dangerous checkmate net. At this moment, you need to support your ideas with precise calculation. 1.Dh6! Kh6

due to the continuous

Loses quickly 1

checks: 2.Dh7! Kh7 3.hg6 Kg7 4.Th7#.

2.hg6

This check opens the column.

Kg5 2

The King cannot go back 2

Kg7 because of

3.Th7#. Follow the Rook's checks:

3.Th5! Kh5 There are several checks, the best is:

4.f4!

Controlling the important square g5.

4

It does not change much after 4 Follow the Bishop's check 5.Lf3 Sf3. Now comes the Rook: 6.Th1 Sh4, followed by the Knight's check: 7.Sf6 Kh6 8.Th4 Kg7. Key moment. The Knight's check deflects the

Kh8

Se2

Rook of the square f7. 9.Se8! Te8 10.Th7 Kf6 11.Tf7#.

5.Sf6

It Is the only check that keeps the control of the g4 square.

Kh6 5

The Rook's arrival decides the fight. 6.Th1 Kg7 This crucial situation should have been analyzed before the Queen ended up sacrificed.

7.Se8!

Is the correct check, because it deflects the Rook from the f7 square defense.

Te8 7

The Rook's checks end with a checkmate!

8.Th7 Kf6 9.Tf7# 1:0.

Galier : Hermann Germany 1965

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9r+-+-+kvl0

9+lzp-+p+p0

9-+-+-+-vL0

9+p+n+N+-0

9p+-zP-+-+0

9zP-+Q+-+-0

9LzPP+-wqPzP0

9+-+-trR+K0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play. White must act quickly because of the weakness of his own king. Following the concept, there are only two checks, but you must find the correct order.

1.Se7!

Not 1.Dg3? Dg3 2.Se7, because of 2

Se7 1

If

Queen's check:

then 2.Tf2 wins. Following the

Te7.

1

Te7

2.Dg3! Dg3 Once the Queen is deflected - checkmate! 3.Lf7# 1:0.

the Te7. 1 Te7 2.Dg3! Dg3 Once the Queen is deflected - checkmate! 3.Lf7# 1:0. FIDE
the Te7. 1 Te7 2.Dg3! Dg3 Once the Queen is deflected - checkmate! 3.Lf7# 1:0. FIDE

Lasker Ed. : Thomas London, 1912

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9rsn-+-trk+0

9zplzppwq-zpp0

9-zp-+pvl-+0

9+-+-sN-+Q0

9-+-zPN+-+0

9+-+L+-+-0

9PzPP+-zPPzP0

9tR-+-mK-+R0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play. Attraction motive - another famous game where the successive checks lead to check mate. The white pieces point to the castling in square h7. We started with the Queen's checks:

1.Dh7!

This check attracts the King into an ambush!

1

Kh7

2.Sf6

Calculation exercise Zapata, 2016.

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9r+-tr-mkntR0

9+-+-+-zp-0

9-zp-wq-+P+0

9+-vl-+-wQ-0

9-+-+-zpP+0

9zpP+-zpP+R0

9-+-+-+-zP0

9+K+-+-+-0

xiiiiiiiiy

White to play. Follow the checks - it's an excellent calculation exercise. You should analyze this position mentally, without moving the pieces, all the way to the end. White to play and checkmate in 25 moves! 1.Tg8 Kg8 2.Th8 Kh8 3.Dh4 Kg8 4.Dh7 Kf8 5.Dh8 Ke7 6.Dg7 Ke6 7.Df7 Ke5 8.Df5 Kd4 9.De4 Kc3 10.Dc2 Kd4

Kb4 10

11.Dc4 Ke5 12.De4 Kf6 13.Df5 Kg7

11.Dc4 Ka5 12.Da4#.

Double check.

13

Ke7

14.Df7#.

2 Kh6 It is not possible to go back 2

Kh8,

due to

14.Df7 Kh6 15.Dh7 Kg5 16.h4 Kf6 17.Df7 Ke5 18.Df5 Kd4 19.De4 Kc3 20.Dc2 Kd4

3.Sg6#.

21.Dc4 Ke5 22.De4 Kf6 23.Df5 Kg7

3.Seg4

23

Ke7

24.Df7#.

The successive checks take the King away from the safety of the castle, and it is not common for the King to wander around out of his haven - wandering around to the other side of the board to receive a checkmate.

3

Kf4

6.h4#) 6.00#) 5.g3 Kh3

6.Lf1 (6.00!? y 7.¤f2#) 6

5.g3 Kf3 (5

Also gets a checkmate 4.f4 Kh4 (4

Kg5

4.h4

Kg5

Lg2 7.Sf2#.

4

6.00 and 7.Nh2#; 6.Kf1 and 7.Nh2#.

Kg2 6

8.000#. 1:0.

Kf4

5.g3 Kf3 6.Le2

7.Th2 Kg1 8.Kd2#

24.Df7 Kh8 25.Dh7# 1:0.

6 8.0 – 0 – 0#. 1:0. Kf4 5.g3 Kf3 6.Le2 7.Th2 Kg1 8.Kd2# 24.Df7 Kh8
6 8.0 – 0 – 0#. 1:0. Kf4 5.g3 Kf3 6.Le2 7.Th2 Kg1 8.Kd2# 24.Df7 Kh8