Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


O Is For Overload III

Posted by Paul Anderson on June 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Game Of The Week


A couple years back, I came up with a method to organize chess tactics.  I called it the DROP Method (  The DROP method is an acronym for the basic kinds of tactics.  It is meant to remind you not to drop your pieces and help you get your opponent to drop theirs.


I said that the DROP Method was a work in progress, and it was.  So, I thought I would revisit each of the four kinds of chess tactics to provide more examples.  The first kind of tactic in the DROP Method is Discovery, which I revisited on May 24th (  The second kind of tactic in the DROP Method is Removal, which I revisited on June 2nd (  The third kind of tactic in the DROP Method is Overload.


Overload is a chess move that attacks a target. 


The Overload is played when the player creates a threat on a target that cannot be defended.  The classic example is choosing a target and piling more attackers on it than supports the defender can muster.  When the number of attackers are greater than the number of supports, material can be won through a series of captures.   Each capture creates a new target until the final support is exhausted and an unguarded target appears.


However, the Overload is, perhaps, the most broad kind of tactic.  Not only does it use multiple attackers on one target, but also it uses a single attacker on multiple targets.  The idea is the same: to gain a target than cannot be defended.  So, most players will become familiar with the different types of Overload:

  • Battery (Overload with multiple attackers on a file or diagonal)
  • Fork (Overload with multiple targets by the Knight)
  • Double Attack (Overload with multiple targets by the other pieces)
  • Over-Worked Piece (Overload with multiple targets)
  • Skewer (Overload with multiple targets where high value piece is in front)


Here is an example from a Tuesday night regular, Koji Del Conte, which he played in one of the Colorado Springs Chess Club's annual events, The Cabin Fever Reliever.


Black to move



See the diagram and answer here:


The Overload is played by noticing that the Knight on d4 is a target of the black Queen and Knight.  However, the Knight on d4 currently has the white Queen and Knight as supports.  With 2 attackers and 2 supports, the target cannot be won, only traded.

By adding more attackers to the target would be the classic Overload, as long as the target cannot get an equal number or more supports.  Black can add another attacker by playing Bc5 but needs to ask himself if that allows white to add another support.  In this case, white can play Bb2 to undo the Overload.

Is there another way to Overload the Knight on d4?


Yes, there is.  It is called a Combination.  While a Tactic is a single move that gains a Strategic Value, a Combination is a series of moves that force an opponent into a Tactic.

"Combinations have always been the most intriguing aspect of Chess.  The masters look for them, the public applauds them, the critics praise them. It is because combinations are possible that Chess is more than a lifeless mathematical exercise. They are the poetry of the game; they are to Chess what melody is to music. They represent the triumph of mind over matter."

(Reuben Fine)

The best move is for black to play Bb4+!  This simple move is not a Tactic to win the King, but rather a Mobility move to set up the Overload on the Knight on d4.  If the black Bishop can get to c3 before the white Bishop gets to b2, then the Overload on the Knight on d4 cannot be undone with another support.

Of course, another way of defending an Overload is just to move the target.  Should white be able to play Nxf5 the issue of supports is pointless.  However, in this case, the Combination of attacking the King and moving to c3 (1...Bb4+ 2. Kf2 Bc3) creates a different Overload.

Moving black's Bishop to d3 creates an Overload called The Double Attack:  the Bishop attacks the Rook and Overloads the Knight.  The Knight on d4 cannot take on f5 without losing the Rook on a1, and the Rook on a1 cannot move without losing the Knight on d4.

Some Combinations are common enough to get their own name.  However, this Combination of check, Double Attack, and win material probably does not.  Memorizing names of Combinations is not that important.  The key is to know the simple one-move Tactics well enough to look for ways to make Combinations.  This skill will move you out the novice category.


O Is For Overload III  


[Event "Cabin Fever Reliever"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2014.02.11"]

[Round "3"]

[White "Pahk, Eugin"]

[Black "Del Conte, Koji"]

[Result "0-1"]

[ECO "C02"]

[WhiteElo "1256"]

[BlackElo "1804"]

[PlyCount "64"]

[EventDate "2014.02.11"]

[TimeControl "1800"]


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. f4 cxd4

6. cxd4 Qb6 7. Nf3 Nge7 8. Nc3 Nf5 9. Bb5 Bd7 10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. b3 c5 12. Ne2

cxd4 13. Nexd4 Bb4+ 14. Bd2 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qxd4 16. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 17. Qd2 Qe4+ 18.

Kf1 Rc8 19. Re1 Qf5 20. Kf2 Rc2 21. Re2 Rxd2 22. Rxd2 Qxf4+ 23. Ke1 Qxe5+ 24.

Kd1 Qa1+ 25. Ke2 Qxh1 26. Kd3 Ke7 27. Kd4 Rc8 28. Rb2 Qd1+ 29. Ke3 Rc3+ 30. Kf2

Bb5 31. Re2 Qxe2+ 32. Kg1 Rc1# 0-1


This Week In Chess


On June 3rd, the Colorado Springs Chess Club held a free, unrated Speed event.  I went unbeaten to claim the 1st place tour points.  In addition, Shirley Herman offered to fund and direct a Rated Blitz tournament after the unrated event had finished.  This time Katie Wise kept me from winning every game, but I survived with a draw when she didn't have enough time to mate me.


Unrated Speed Tournament (RR, G5):

9.0 Paul Anderson

7.0 Katie Wise

6.5 Daniel Herman

5.5 Mark McGough

5.0 Alex Torres

4.0 Koji Del Conte

3.0 Sara Herman

3.0 Earle Wikle

2.0 Anthony Thomason*

0.0 Shirley Herman

* Anthea Carson sub in 3rd round

Rated Blitz (2RR, G5):

9.5 Paul Anderson

7.5 Katie Wise

6.0 Daniel Herman

5.0 Mark McGough

2.0 Koji Del Conte

0.0 Shirley Herman


Tuesday Night Chess Tour Cumulative and 2nd Quarter Standings


1    Paul Anderson    50.20    18.70

2    Daniel Herman    41.33    21.00

3    Richard Buchanan    32.00    8.50

4    Mark McGough    27.87    14.53

5    Koji DelConte    24.00    9.00

6    William Benedek    19.03    9.53

7    Shirley Herman    19.00    7.00

8    Joe Pahk    15.70    2.20

9    Earle Wikle    14.00    9.00

10    Dean Brown    13.50    8.50

11    Imre Barlay    12.00    6.00

12    Katie Wise    9.20    5.20

13    Josh Bloomer    8.00    0.00

14    Sara Herman    7.33    3.33

15    Larry Kledzik    7.00    2.00

16    Mike Makinney    7.00    7.00

17    Mike Madsen    7.00    2.00

18    Anthony Thomason    7.00    7.00

19    Gunnar Andersen    6.50    3.50

20    Eugin Pahk    6.00    0.00

21    Ben Matthews    6.00    2.00

22    Jeff Fox    5.50    5.50

23    Alex Freeman    5.33    0.00

24    Peter Barlay    5.00    3.00

25    Paul Protheroe    5.00    5.00

26    Rezheen Hamid    5.00    5.00

27    Kevin Kaaoush    4.00    1.00

28    Alex Torres    3.00    0.00

29    Mitch Vincent    3.00    3.00

30    Peter Wise    3.00    1.00

31    David Silva    3.00    3.00

32    Richard Brown    2.50    2.50

33    Gary Atkinson    2.00    0.00

34    John Byrne    2.00    0.00

35    Robert Jimenez    2.00    0.00

36    Ron Dotson    2.00    0.00

37    Chris Wynkoop    2.00    0.00

38    Arthur Knize    2.00    2.00

39    Bobby Dzagen    1.00    0.00

40    Adam Metzger    1.00    0.00

41    Web McNairy    1.00    0.00

42    Jeremy Hawks    1.00    1.00

43    Phil Van Hawk    1.00    1.00

44    Brandon Hilliard    1.00    1.00

45    Dragan Plakalovic    1.00    1.00

46    Thomas Mullikin    1.00    1.00

47    Daniel Cabrera    1.00    1.00

Chess Theory Class Now Offered At Air Academy High School!

By Michael Madsen


Did you see the Documentary Brooklyn Castle? If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth your time. The first time I saw it, I realized that America’s students could benefit greatly from having chess in school. I don’t mean simply as a club where a group of students try to cram as many games in as possible during lunch. We need chess as an academic elective course, the same way we have band, art and other elective classes. There are so many positive benefits waiting for students from serious chess study. The biggest one is putting students in a situation where they will naturally and organically begin to think:  deductive, analytic, and calculating kind of thinking. The beauty of chess is that this kind of thinking happens on its own. In fact, you couldn’t stop it from happening. If you were to put a mate in 2 problem in front of a class of students who know the basics of chess, then told them not to look for a solution, well, the human brain wouldn’t be able to resist the enticing reward of finding the forced mate. Chess doesn’t just make students think, it makes them want to think. The clever and seductive nature of chess gets students to develop the same critical thinking and problem solving skills that they need to be successful in their core classes, such as math and science, to name a few.

                After watching Brooklyn Castle I knew I needed to do my part to get Chess taught in schools. Well, it just so happens that I am a math teacher at Air Academy High School in District 20. I’ve been teaching math here for 9 years now, and have always been in charge of the chess club. The chess club has always been fun. Students, most with some knowledge of chess, would meet with me once a week for about 40 minutes, and they’d play; with hanging pieces and back-door checkmates all over the place. Everyone would have a good time, but there just wasn’t enough time for me to teach sound strategies and tactics at the pace and depth that I wanted.  After watching Brooklyn Castle, I presented a course proposal to the D20 Board of Education, and with huge support from my administration and district, was approved to start teaching a new elective class at Air Academy called “Chess Theory."

                This class will launch next school year, fall of 2014. It is a one semester unrestricted elective course, not simply a club. Students will be doing far more than just playing chess against each other. They will be reading and writing about chess strategy and working on tactical puzzles daily. They will be taking quizzes and tests based on their knowledge of chess strategies and tactics and receive evaluations based on their individual growth. The goal of the course is twofold; first, to get them thinking; and second, to give students the fundamental building blocks of chess strategy needed to get them started down the road of playing competitive chess at the tournament level.

Local Chess Player Makes News With Mr. Beer

...Mark McGough got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas. His buddies at work were always talking about making their own beer, but McGough wasn't sure he wanted to go all in with supplies and buying ingredients. And even though he is a chemical engineer, he rather liked the idea that the kit had everything premeasured.

"It turned out great," he said.

The toughest thing about brewing the beer was waiting for it to ferment, he said. For his first batch, he waited two weeks...


Categories: 2014, DROP Method

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

You must be a member to comment on this page. Sign In or Register