Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

The Skewer with Captain Tactics


Cap'n Tactics




Hello me old ship mates.
Today we talk about the SKEWER.

The SKEWER is where you attack a piece and when it moves
the piece on the same diagonal or line is taken.

This here be a SKEWER.



White has just played Rd2+. The King moves and White plays RxR.

Here is a White Bishop Skewering the Black Queen.



The King has to move and White plays BxQ.


An x-ray attack is the Politically Correct term used by land lubbers for this
tactic but proper chess players call it a Skewer. "Stick him in the guts!"

The Skewer Team
Only 3 pieces can give a skewer. Here they are order of Skewer ability.
The Bishop, the Rook and the Queen.

Remember me mates that the true Skewer attacks a stronger or more
valuable piece and when it moves you take the piece behind it.
So it's no good trying to skewer a Bishop and Knight with a Queen
as the Bishop has no need to move.

Skewers can happen at any time during the game but
they more generally seen in the endgame with the Rook
skewering a King with check.

Look at this well known and often seen position.










Black draws by continually checking the King.
If the King heads for g2 then Black moves the Rook to h6/h5
and when the White King moves up the g-file to chase it
then the Rook moves back to h1 and starts checking again.
This is a standard draw.

However men you must note carefully the placing of the Black King.
If he strays on c7 then the game is lost thanks to the Skewer.










White can now play 1.Ra8! Rxh7 2.Ra7+ Skewering the Black Rook.



Let us see the Skewer in action in this following short game.
R.Pitschak - J.Rejfir, Moravska, 1933


[Click here to see The Skewer]
R.Pitschak - J.Rejfir

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bb5 Qa5 9.Qb3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Rd8 11.Bd2 Qb4 12.Nxd5 Qxb3 13.Bxc6+ bxc6 14.Nc7+ Kd7 15.axb3 Kxc7 16.Ba5+


And White wins the exchange with an easy win.



So get out there men and Skewer things.

Edinburgh Chess League
D.Begg - J.O'Neil Dragons 2 v Pentland Hills 1.

It started life as a Pirc with Black about to decide how to poke the centre.
Black chose 8...a6 but I don't like it. It feels slow, action in the centre is needed.










8...c6 to take the bite out of coming e5 when that Knight drops back to f6.
8...c5 centre nibbling is also a try.

Later this happened. It's always a moment when White has played e4-e5.
Black often has a critical decision to exchange on e5 or not.










11...dxe5 12.dxe5 and b4 looks interesting and buys back the
wasted tempo with 8...a6. One just has to work out it's OK as in
these tit for tat captures the 2nd side usually comes off worse.
Here it looks OK (good analysis yes?) as after bxc3 Black hits the Queen.

The Pirc is an attacking defence and Black must always be on the look out
to create complications and problems. Anything to upset the natural
flow of White's game.

After 11...Ne8 White was on top and Black cramped up.

Playing from a crowded position with your pieces confined takes
a particular skill and one slip in a bid for freedom can be fatal.

Black tried to break the chains too quickly (12...g5) and should have been walloped.

White to play.










13.Bxg5 hxg5 14.Qxg5 and White has 15.Qh4 coming. It's simply wins.










I'm a wee bit surprised that one was missed it just leaps out at you.

Play then progressed with Black trying to get into the game.
Unfortunately for him White kept the heat on the Kingside and Black's
counterplay was curtailed as he was forced to swap off the White pieces
when they took up aggresive positions.

White even had time to create play on the Queenside to swing his a1 Rook
to the Kingside via a4 and soon the attackers outnumbered the defenders.

Up popped a forced mate in 5. White saw it. Game over.












[Click here to replay the game]
D.Begg - J.O'Neil

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be3 0-0 6.Qd2 Ng4 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 a6 9.Bd3 b5 10.h3 Nf6 11.e5 Ne8 12.Nd5 g5 13.Bg3 e6 14.Ne3 Bb7 15.a4 bxa4 16.Rxa4 Nd7 17.h4 Bxf3 18.gxf3 dxe5 19.dxe5 gxh4 20.Raxh4 f5 21.exf6 Nexf6 22.Ng4 Nxg4 23.Rxg4 Nf6 24.Rxg7+ Kxg7 25.Qxh6+ Kf7 26.Bg6+ Ke7 27.Qg7+


Finally I came across this game played in the Edinburgh league.
I do not know who Black is (Angus?) but White is Shaun Howard.

White picks up a piece with a double attack and we then await the wrap up.
He elects for the numerical swap off. The plan being when everything
is swapped off White will be left with the lone extra piece.
It's called technique and there is often very little one can do about it.

You either allow the exchange or let your opponent's piece take up the best squares.

Shaun then plays the other trump card the piece up player has in his hand.
He gives back the extra piece for an overwhelming advantage, in this case passed d & e-pawns.

Too much and it was over a few moves later.
The odd feature of this game is that after 37 moves White finishes the game with
all his pawns still on the board. The d-pawn is eventually exchanged for a new Queen.


[Click here to replay the game]
S.Howard. Angus?

1.d4 d5 2.Bg5 Nd7 3.Nf3 Ngf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Qb6 6.Qc1 e6 7.a3 Bd6 8.Be2 Qc7 9.Bh4 b6 10.Bg3 Bb7 11.Bd3 c5 12.Be2 c4 13.Nb5 Qc6 14.Nxd6+ Kd8 15.Nxf7+ Ke7 16.Nxh8 Rxh8 17.Qd2 a5 18.Bh4 Rc8 19.Ne5 Qc7 20.Nxd7 Qxd7 21.Bxf6+ Kxf6 22.0-0 Kf7 23.Bf3 Kg8 24.Rfe1 Rf8 25.e4 Qb5 26.Rab1 Qe8 27.exd5 Qg6 28.Be4 Qg4 29.h3 Qh4 30.dxe6 Bxe4 31.Rxe4 Qxe4 32.Re1 Qh4 33.d5 c3 34.bxc3 h6 35.d6 Rf6 36.d7 Rg6 37.d8Q+



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