Eliminate the Defender

Published on Monday, January 12, 2015 in |

In addition to the twofold attack and the double attack there are more tactic possibilities to capture a piece. Many times you can win a chess piece by first attacking it and then attacking the defending piece. Removing this guard results in leaving the first chess piece unprotected.

    White can not capture the Knight at f4, because it is defended by the Bishop. This Bishop however can be exchanged for White’s Knight at e4, leaving the Knight at f4 unprotected.

White can capture the Knight after 1.Nxd6 cxd6 with 2.Rxf4.

The defender is eliminated by a capture.
    The next diagram is rather similar, but now White is unable to capture the defender. Now the defender can be attacked and driven away by 1.c5. After 1…Be7 the Knight can be captured.

It is more likely that after 1.c5 Black captures the pawn with 1…Bxc5 after which White will capture the Bishop with 2.bxc5.
    A third way to eliminate the defender is by interference. In this third diagram White is able to place a piece between the guard and the guardian by means of 1.d4. After something like 1…Ra3 White can capture the Knight by 2.Rxe3.

At first sight it looks as if Black will capture Black’s Bishop on the next move, but this is not allowed because 2…Rxb3 meets 3.Re8#.
    The previous diagrams showed some examples of ways to remove the guard.

In the diagram on the left it is rather easy to remove the guard, because the guard is defending two pieces at the same time.
The Queen at e7 is both defending the Knight at f6 as the Bishop at a3.
After 1.Bxf6 Qxf6 White can capture the Bishop: 2.Rxa3.

In the last example the Queen is not driven away, but attracted to f6. This possibility to remove the guard is called distracting, resulting in a move to another square.
In this lesson 4 possibilities to eliminate the defender have been shown:
  • Capturing 
  • Attacking
  • Interference
  • Distracting
Next chess lesson: The Pin.

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