Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


O Is For Overload V

Posted by Paul Anderson on May 17, 2016 at 5:45 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 3rd (  The second kind of tactic in the DROP Method is Removal, which I revisited on May 8th (  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 the Colorado Springs Chess Club's Tuesday night event, the May Swiss 90.  This position was created by a couple of newcomers to the club.

Black to move

See the diagram and answer here:

I found this position interesting because it is not your typical tactic.  Tactics are attacking moves that gain material in most cases.  However, here is an exception to the rule.  The best move is Ne5.

The common tactic played by the Knight is the fork.  The fork occurs when the Knight attacks two pieces at the same time, usually of higher value.  Since the Knight captures (and moves) in an unusual way, it cannot be captured by any other piece that it threatens (as long as it is not another Knight).  The fork gains material because only one piece can be saved from the double threat of capture.

However, this example is not a double threat of capture by the Knight.  Rather the Knight attacks the Queen and defends the mate threat on f7.  The Knight does do 2 things with one move, but only one of those things threatens to win material.  Clearly, White should save the Queen from capture and the Knight gains nothing.

Unfortunately, White had offered a sacrifice of a Knight on the previous move in the hopes of getting a mate.  This turned out to be a bad plan.

When a player is not forced into checkmate but rather plays a move that allows his opponent to checkmate it is called a Helpmate.  A common example is the 2 Knights and King vs King endgame.  The 2 Knights cannot force a checkmate, but the defender can move to the wrong square and help with the mate.

Well, this is the same idea.  White's plan to offer the sacrifice of the Knight gave Black the opportunity to play what one might call a Helptactic.

"Help your pieces so they can help you."

(Paul Morphy)

With a piece under attack already, Black can find a move that attacks and defends to win material.  Ne5 is one move that accomplishes this goal.  There is another move that does the same idea.

O Is For Overload V


[Event "CSCC May Swiss 90"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2016.05.10"]

[Round "2.7"]

[White "Kilpatrick, John"]

[Black "Rupp, Dan"]

[Result "0-1"]

[ECO "D02"]

[BlackElo "962"]

[PlyCount "64"]

[EventDate "2016.05.03"]

[TimeControl "5400+30"]


1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. Ng5 e5

6. e4 exd4 7. Qf3 Nf6 8. Nxd5 O-O 9. Bc4 Be6 10. Nxe6 fxe6 11. Bg5 exd5 12.

Bxd5+ Kh8 13. O-O Nb4 14. Qh3 Nbxd5 15. e5 a5 16. Qb3 b6 17. c4 Nb4 18. a3 Nc6

19. Qb5 Qd7 20. Rfe1 Rae8 21. exf6 Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Bxf6 23. Qa6 Bxg5 24. h3 Qf5

25. Rf1 Be3 26. Qb7 Bxf2+ 27. Rxf2 Qxf2+ 28. Kh2 d3 29. Qxc6 d2 30. Qf3 Rxf3

31. a4 d1=Q 32. b4 Qfg1# 0-1


This Week In Chess

On May 10th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club held a USCF-rated event (4SS, G/90+30). 11 players joined.

Standings. May Swiss 90: Open

# Name ID Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Tot Prize

1 Brian Jo Rountree 12477167 1824 W10 W8 2.0

2 Richard Buchanan 10273030 2000 W4 D3 1.5

3 Mark McGough 11366481 1854 W9 D2 1.5

4 Scott Ch Williams 15755696 1189 L2 W10 1.0

5 Paul D Anderson 12728345 2047 D8 H--- 1.0

6 Dean W Brown 10224098 1513 U--- W11 1.0

7 Peter Barlay 14700831 1902 U--- W9 1.0

8 Alexander Freeman 14201087 1776 D5 L1 0.5

9 Daniel J Rupp 15768473 962 L3 L7 0.0

10 John Mark Kilpatrick 16043600 unr. L1 L4 0.0

11 Douglas N Clark 15941617 578 U--- L6 0.0

Categories: 2016, DROP Method

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