Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


Double Trouble

Posted by Paul Anderson on April 4, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Game Of The Week


"For he that is not against us is on our part."

Mark 9:40 (KJV)

Here is a position from my game with an up and coming young chess player, Jason Loving. It was black to move here but just imagine that it was white to move and find the best move.



Answer: Discovery. 

Nxd5+ creates a double threat by attacking the black king with the white knight and the black queen with the white queen. 

Since the queen will fall, it is best for her to take out the knight and end both threats, but with a huge loss of material.  The other tactic is a fork (Qg5+), which creates a double threat by attacking the black king and a black pawn with the white queen. However, this tactic is not successful as the king can answer check and defend the pawn with one move.

I think tactics have been on my mind so much recently because I have been arguing with Tim Brennan about the definition of a tactic.  Tim Brennan and I have been friends long enough now that I can’t remember when we met. 

It had to be before May 2005, as that is the first time he shows up in my database. He always seems to like my statistics, and I definitely like my stats against him (7 wins, 0 losses, 1 draw). 

He started a webpage and newsletter about chess called Tactics Time ( this year.  I figured it was going to be good, as he has written for my webpage and newsletter for 6 years in my Tim Brennan Week ( and has always done an excellent job. 

However, my initial response to him invading my territory was much like the Apostles, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”  I was the guy running a chess webpage and newsletter out of Colorado Springs.  That is my thing.  There can’t be two.  Of course, I realized that just because we weren’t on the same team didn’t mean we weren’t working towards the same goal.


Regarding tactics, Tim is a bit different in his thinking than myself.  He is more liberal.  I am more conservative.  He believes that all tactics contain double threats, yet includes such ideas as zugzwang and zwischenzug. 

I am far more orthodox.  I like to think of tactics as single moves that attempt to take advantage of material value.  Of course, coming up with a definition into which I can cram all the tactical ideas out there is not easy.  It is like trying to unify all the laws of physics into one grand equation to describe the universe.


For example, the pin is one of the basic and most fundamental of the chess tactics. However, when does it become a tactic? In my mind, it doesn’t have a double threat. 

You pin pieces all the time, sometimes unintentionally.  Then your opponent unpins the piece.  Was a tactic played, just unsuccessfully? 

Or did the tactic never materialize because the double threat didn’t occur (like the pawn push to win the pinned piece)?  Is the double threat a fundamental part of a tactic? Or is it just the part that makes it successful?


This was on my mind as I played this game.  In fact, Jason even used the term “double threat” in the post mortem when he described 14. Qd2.  But it bothered me that it didn’t work.  How can you create a double threat and not win something?  Isn’t the double threat what makes the tactic work?  I had played Qd2 intentionally trying to set up a double threat and get an advantage out of it.


When Jason reached for his rook, I could hardly contain myself.  I thought that I really shouldn’t be at the table now, as he is going to see my excitement.  However, if I leave now, that might tip him off too, as why would I leave the table right when he is making his move? 

So, I sat there with my hand over my mouth trying to muffle the squeals of delight, as I imagined my brilliant tactic appearing in another issue of Tactics Time. 

I know the game was only G90, but it still felt like Jason hovered over that rook for about 2 hours.  His idea was Rhd8.  He would allow the fork (Qg5+) and move the king out of check to not only protect the pawn but also get his king out of the center and connect his rooks. However, something made him pull that hand back.


It is interesting to note that the fork tactic was the most obvious threat for both Jason and I. I had almost rejected playing Qd2 as the fork tactic wasn’t that strong and it would leave my knight pinned to the queen.  Only when I realized that the relative pin was actually part of the discovered check tactic did I decide to play it. 

I figured that I was threatening a fork on one side of the board and a discovery on the other side of the board.  I had a double threat.

Tim said that was the basis of all tactics.  It had to be winning.  I was so disappointed when Jason finally played Kd7 and answered both threats with one move.  I felt like I was mislead by all of Tim’s double talk.


Double Trouble


[Event "December Panera"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2011.12.08"]

[Round "2.1"]

[White "Anderson, Paul"]

[Black "Loving, Jason"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "A45"]

[WhiteElo "1962"]

[BlackElo "1862"]

[PlyCount "41"]

[EventDate "2011.12.01"]

[TimeControl "5400"]


1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 Ne4 3. Bh4 d5 4. f3 Nd6 5. Nc3 c6 6.

e3 Bf5 7. Bd3 Qa5 8. Nge2 Nd7 9. O-O Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. e4 Be7 12. Bxe7 Kxe7

13. Rae1 Nb6 14. Qd2 Kd7 15. b3 Rad8 16. Qd3 a6 17. a3 Na8 18. Ra1 Nc7 19. Na4

b6 20. Nec3 b5 21. b4 1-0


This Week In Chess


On April 3rd, the Colorado Springs Chess Club held a Speed event.  The participants played in a double, round-robin tournament (2 RR, G5).  NM Josh Bloomer scored enough to top the field.  Here are the results:


Score, Player


12.0 Josh Bloomer

11.0 Buck Buchanan

11.0 Paul Anderson

7.0 Mark McGough

6.0 Jeff Fox

6.0 Koji Del Conte

2.0 Wesley Smith

1.0 Mike LaCombe

Results of 2012 CO Class‏

By Jerry Maier


Hi All, 

Please disseminate via your usual channels.  Rick-thanks for loading to the CSCA website. 

Event ID, Event Name, City, State, Players, Local %

201204013502, 2012 COLORADO CLASS, MANITOU SPRINGS,CO,  69, 44.9%

'Local' means that based on current USCF records a player lived within 25 miles of the tournament site. The USCF rating report includes the Norms. 

Categories: 2012

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