Chess: The Invisible Attack, Holding Pieces Hostage and Sacrificing Your Queen

When you advance to an intermediate level of chess, it’s important that you know how to make moves that are dual purpose. This means you can defend your pieces while attacking those of your opponent. A great example of this is to block your opponent’s pawn while at the same time opening a path for your queen or rook.
The Invisible Attack

An invisible attack is an unexpected move that fakes out your opponent, whether he is a novice, intermediate or advanced player. Invisible attacks are indirect, so your opponent isn’t watching for it and hasn’t built up a defense against it. These attacks are rare and give you a great opportunity.

In chess, you normally move a piece when you attack one of your opponent’s pieces. With the invisible attack, you leave your piece where it is and move one of your other pieces that have been blocking that piece’s attack. Most often your opponent will be carefully watching your move and won’t realize that an attack is taking place by a piece that hasn’t moved. This is a great way to attack two of your opponent’s pieces at the same time. The piece you move attacks an opponent’s piece, as does the piece that you didn’t move.

You also must know how to defend your pieces against an invisible attack. The best advice here is to always be alert and inspect the board thoroughly after your opponent has made his move. Don’t focus on only the piece that’s been moved because it’s possible your opponent may have opened an invisible attack. If he has, you need to be aware of it.

Invisible attacks are hard to spot if you don’t specifically look for them. In order to defend against them you will need to be aware that they are coming well in advance.

Holding an Opponent’s Piece Hostage

Holding one of your opponent’s pieces hostage is a great way to get yourself out of a dilemma. There are going to be times when your opponent attacks one of your pieces that are unprotected. You know your opponent is out to get that piece and you believe that it’s lost. Don’t give up; instead take one of your opponent’s pieces hostage.

Inspect the board, looking for an opponent’s piece that you can attack and remove from the board. Can you move your queen or rook to attack one of his unprotected bishops or knights? If so, make the move, and then tell him you will spare his piece if he spares yours. He may choose to take your piece anyway. If he does, take his piece. But…he may feel that he can’t afford to lose that bishop or knight and he’ll use his move to get the piece out of harm’s way. If you moved correctly, it’s possible that your piece that was attacked is now protected.

Sacrificing Your Queen

If one of your opponent’s pieces, such as a rook or bishop is on a square that you must use in order to secure checkmate, make a sacrifice. This is a strategy that has been honored for centuries. You move your queen into a position where she can be captured in order to get your opponent to move his piece. Experienced players will recognize the move, but others will not. Be sure to inspect the board thoroughly for all possible future moves before sacrificing your queen. Is the end goal checkmate or capturing your opponent’s queen? Be sure you plan well before making a queen sacrifice. You don’t want to give her up only to find that you’ve been out-thwarted.

Follow the tips in this article to attack your opponent and defend your pieces. The results will surprise your opponent and possibly even yourself. By Mary M. Alward.

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