Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


O Is For Overload IV

Posted by Paul Anderson on June 2, 2015 at 5:20 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 March 14th ( The second kind of tactic in the DROP Method is Removal, which I revisited on April 20th ( 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 a high value piece is in front)

Here is an example from my most common opponent, Jeff Fox.

White to move

See the diagram and answer here:

The Overload is played by noticing that the Knight on d5 can target Black's King and Bishop by moving to e7.  Since the Bishop is supported by the Rook, this is not a simple Knight fork which wins an unguarded piece.  However, the White Rook on c1 is already in place to create the additional Overload needed to pick up the material.

Is it better to capture with the Knight or the Rook first?

Neither.  There is a better move.  When you string tactics together 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 White to play 19. Nc6!  This is the 3rd Overload possibility.  It is better to reject the 2nd Overload possibility and use the Knight to target the 2 unguarded Rooks, as they cannot protect each other.

Some Combinations are common enough to get their own name.  However, this Combination of back-to-back forks 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 IV


[Event "March Quad"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2002.03.12"]

[Round "1.3"]

[White "Anderson, Paul"]

[Black "Fox, Jeff"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "A42"]

[WhiteElo "1695"]

[BlackElo "1706"]

[PlyCount "65"]

[EventDate "2002.03.12"]

[TimeControl "1800"]


1. c4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. Nc3 c6 5. e4 Nd7 6. Be2 a6 7.

O-O b5 8. a3 Qc7 9. Be3 Ngf6 10. Rc1 Qa5 11. cxb5 axb5 12. Qd2 O-O 13. h3 Rd8

14. Kh2 e5 15. d5 cxd5 16. Nxd5 Nxe4 17. Qxa5 Rxa5 18. Nc7 Ra8 19. Bxb5 Bb7 20.

Bc6 Bxc6 21. Rxc6 d5 22. b4 Rxa3 23. Nxd5 Nb8 24. Ne7+ Kf8 25. Rc7 Ra6 26. b5

Re6 27. Nc6 Nxc6 28. bxc6 Re7 29. Rxe7 Kxe7 30. Bb6 Rc8 31. c7 Bf6 32. Re1 Nxf2

33. Bxf2 1-0


This Week In Chess

On May 26th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club finished the May Swiss 90 (4SS, G/90+30, $10 entry).  4 players battled on 2 boards this evening.

Here are the results:

1 Paul Dou Anderson 12728345 2072 W8 W2 U--- W5 3.0 $15.00 1st

2 Brian Jo Rountree 12477167 1761 W7 L1 W3 W6 3.0 $15.00 1st + $5.00 3rd Rd GOW

3 Mark McGough 11366481 1782 W6 W5 L2 U--- 2.0

4 Jordan Myers 14926940 1577 L5 H--- W7 U--- 1.5

5 Aleksand Bozhenov 15525004 1896 W4 L3 U--- L1 1.0

6 Dean W Brown 10224098 1524 L3 L7 W8 L2 1.0 $10.00 U1700

7 Dan Prutz 12633103 1165 L2 W6 L4 U--- 1.0 $5.00 2nd Rd GOW

8 Justice Myers 14975165 1603 L1 H--- L6 U--- 0.5

Categories: 2015, 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