The Complete Guide to Chess Tactics

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Self-paced course

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Certification program





FIDE CM Kingscrusher has one goal of the course. And that is to make you a much stronger tactician than ever before in your life. You should be in a much better position by training with this course to create beautiful chess combinations on the chessboard which feature a wide range of patterns and demonstrate amazing calculation ability.  In short, the goal of the course is to make you a very strong chess tactician and help you enjoy your chess to the absolute maximum.

This course has a structure which is essentially is " process" and " patterns".

PROCESS: The Art of Chess Calculation

The " process" aspect is the art of chess calculation. Even if you didn't know a single tactical pattern by name, you could still play amazing tactics just with great calculation which the course gives you a solid foundation in. Yes, even if you didn't know your forks from your pins, the "Process" part of the course as in the art of calculation would still enable you to play great chess combinations using an entire orchestra of tactical patterns without even knowing their names.

But training yourself on patterns will enhance your art of calculation and you will be able to name the key tactical patterns which are important for searching them out to practice and discuss with others as well as prompt during your calculations.

" Process" is like the software of your chess mind. " Patterns" are like the Content for that software. You need both the software and the content to be really effective as a tactician!.







Patterns help feed the process of calculation. Your goal often is to create a maximum differential between the strengths of your position which can be realised from very strong calculation skills and the downsides of the opponent's position which often requires a trained intuition and eye for potential downsides to ensure you are even aware combinational solutions might exist.


PATTERNS: Tactical Patterns, Mating Patterns, Weakness of Position patterns.

The "patterns" aspect is divided into three key "pattern" areas:

Bold ones below represent really key and frequent visitors to most people's games

Tactical Patterns (alphabetically)

These tactical patterns are very useful to practice and help internalise.

  1. Absolute Pin

  2. Advanced Pawn

  3. Annihilation of Defence

  4. Alekhine’s Gun

  5. Attraction

  6. Battery

  7. Blockading defensive resources

  8. Capture

  9. Capture the Defender

  10. Checks - gaining key tempo e.g. winning material via checks

  11. Clearance

  12. Combine and Win tactics

  13. Connected passed pawns

  14. Counterplay management move

  15. Counter Threat

  16. Cross-check

  17. Cross-pin

  18. Decoy

  19. Deflection

  20. Demolition of Pawns around opponent's king

  21. Demolition of Pawn Structure

  22. Desperado

  23. Discovered Attack

  24. Domination

  25. Double Attack

  26. Double Check

  27. Draw Tactics

  28. Endgame Tactics

  29. Exchange sacrifice

  30. f2 (or f7) weakness

  31. Forcing Moves

  32. Fork

  33. Goal Hanging Tactics e.g. N on f5 (also see Thorn pawn)

  34. Greek Gift Sacrifice

  35. Indirect Defense

  36. Interference

  37. Intermediate move (synonym: Zuichenzug)

  38. King Aggression in Endgames

  39. King Chase

  40. Liberational tactics

  41. Opposition

  42. Overload the defender

  43. Weakness of last move

  44. Passed pawn creation

  45. Pawn-Fork

  46. Pawn Tactics

  47. Pawn Breakthrough

  48. Perpetual Attack

  49. Perpetual Check

  50. Pins - Absolute

  51. Pins - Relative

  52. Pins - Celebration

  53. Positional Tactic

  54. Prophylaxis move

  55. Removing King Escape Squares

  56. Rook lift

  57. Sacrifice (Positional)

  58. Sacrifice (calculated)

  59. Simplification

  60. Queen and Bishop Battery

  61. Quiet but killer move (greatly used in Alekhine combinations)

  62. Relative Pin

  63. Remove the Defender

  64. Sacrifice

  65. Simplification

  66. Situational Pin

  67. Soft spot sacrifice

  68. Strategic Crush tactic - e.g. locking in bishop, good knight

  69. Skewer

  70. Stalemate Tactics

  71. Tempo Tactics

  72. Thorn Pawns

  73. Threat making

  74. Trapped Piece

  75. Triangulation

  76. Two Rooks Battery

  77. Two Rooks on 7th Rank

  78. Under-promotion

  79. Weak Back-Rank

  80. Weakness of last move

  81. Windmill

  82. X-Ray

  83. X-Ray Attack

  84. X-Ray Defense

  85. Zugzwang

  86. Zwischenzug

Mating Patterns (alphabetically)

These mating patterns are useful to practice and help internalise.

  1. Anastasia's mate

  2. Anderssen's mate

  3. Arabian mate

  4. Back-rank mate

  5. Bishop and knight mate

  6. Blackburne's mate

  7. Blind swine mate

  8. Boden's mate

  9. Box mate (Rook mate)

  10. Combine and Win Mate

  11. Corner mate

  12. Cozio's mate

  13. Damiano's bishop mate

  14. Damiano's mate

  15. David and Goliath mate

  16. Double bishop mate

  17. Dovetail mate

  18. Epaulette mate

  19. Fool’s mate

  20. Greco's mate

  21. Hook mate

  22. Kill Box mate

  23. King and two bishops mate

  24. King and two knights mate

  25. Ladder checkmate

  26. Légal mate

  27. Lolli's mate

  28. Max Lange's mate

  29. Mayet's mate

  30. Morphy's mate

  31. Opera mate

  32. Pillsbury's mate

  33. Queen mate

  34. Réti's mate

  35. Smothered mate

  36. Support mate

  37. Suffocation mate

  38. Swallow's tail mate

"Opponent Downsides" aka "Tactical Issues" aka "Tactical Liabilities" aka "Weakness of Position" Patterns

These help you intuitively identify if a combination may exist in the position.

  1. Awkward Pieces (trappable)

  2. King Safety Issues e.g. Back rank

  3. Loose pieces (unprotected)

  4. Overworked pieces

  5. Pieces away from King

  6. Tactical Liabilities in general

  7. Weaknesses in general


Tryfon Gavriel – FIDE Chess Candidate Master

Skills you will gain

Learning outcomes

Post this credential on your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV, and don’t forget to celebrate your achievement by sharing it across your social networks or mentioning it during your performance review

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