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Deflection

In this chess lesson Grandmaster Mac analyses an  important tactical concept and a crucial weapon to have in your chess arsenal ; deflection.

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jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var selector = '#' + "rpbchessboard-63e0e223b5f5d-1" + ' .rpbchessboard-chessgameAnchor'; RPBChessboard.renderPGN($(selector), {"pgn":"[Event \"?\"] [Site \"?\"] [Date \"2017.06.16\"] [Round \"?\"] [White \"Deflection!\"] [Black \"?\"] [Result \"*\"] [Annotator \"Mac\"] [SetUp \"1\"] [FEN \"3r1rk1\/pp6\/2p3P1\/6N1\/2n1P3\/2PpqPQ1\/P6R\/R2K4 b - - 0 1\"] [PlyCount \"7\"] [EventDate \"2017.??.??\"] {This position is from a variation of a student’s game. This is one of the most amazing solutions I have ever seen and is the nicest example of Deflection that I have ever come across. What exactly is Deflection? Deflection is attacking or knocking away a defensive piece so that it cannot perform its defensive duty anymore. I have given this puzzle to many players of all ages and ability levels, but I can only remember one person who figured it out on their first guess, NJ GM Joel Benjamin. Part of what is also difficult about this position is accurately assessing how dangerous white’s attack is and if black has time to play a non-tempo gaining move.} 1... Rf4 $3 {[%csl Yb2,Yd2,Yg1][%cal Yh2d2,Yh2b2,Yg3g1] This is the spectacular solution needed! It’s so tempting to look for forcing options here involving checks like Nb2 or perhaps d2 but black needs patience and to improve one last piece. White’s attack along the h-file does not lead to immediate problems for black, so there is time for this slowish move. The beauty behind this move is that both the white Queen and Rook are performing crucial defensive duties that prevent checkmate on several nearby squares. From f4 the rook has a new destination it’s heading to…} (1... d2 $2 {This natural move blows the win and black needs to play accurately to avoid losing!} 2. g7 (2. Nf7 {This move is also good enough for a draw for white. Black must bail out and take the perpetual.} Nb2+ 3. Kc2 Qd3+ 4. Kxb2 Qb5+ 5. Kc2 Qd3+ 6. Kb2 $11) 2... Nb2+ 3. Kc2 Qd3+ 4. Kxb2 Qb5+ $11) ({[#]} 1... Nb2+ $4 2. Rxb2 d2 3. Rxb7 $1 {White is winning here. Black has no checks and no more luck.}) 2. Nf7 {One of white’s many potential moves. It allows black to demonstrate the key winning idea.} (2. Rh8+ Kxh8 3. Qh2+ Kg7 4. Ne6+ Kf6 5. Qxf4+ Kxe6) 2... Rh4 $3 {A truly sensational move! With all that’s going on around the black king, this calm move stops all attacks and also distracts one of white’s defensive pieces from saving the king. The rook is poisoned and should not be captured.} 3. Rxh4 (3. Qxh4 {The second way in which a piece can be deflected from defending a key square.} Qg1+ 4. Qe1 Qxh2 {[%cal Rh2c2]}) 3... Qe2+ 4. Kc1 Qc2# *","nboSquareSize":50,"idoSquareSize":50,"nboCoordinateVisible":true,"idoCoordinateVisible":true,"nboColorset":"greenvintage","idoColorset":"greenvintage","nboPieceset":"new-set-mac","idoPieceset":"new-set-mac","nboAnimated":true,"nboMoveArrowVisible":false,"nboMoveArrowColor":"b","pieceSymbols":"native","navigationBoard":"frame","withFlipButton":true,"withDownloadButton":true}); });

Chess Lessons

Deflection

Most chess games are won or lost due to one player being more tactically alert than their opponent. A great device to have in your tactical toolbox is the idea of Deflection. Deflection is knocking away a defensive piece from performing its duty. This can be done by attacking the piece or luring it off of it’s square and away from what it needs to do. The position from the article is out of one of my student’s games. It’s one of the most difficult and complicated deflections I’ve ever seen but it is a fun way to show off the idea.

Deflection Chess Lesson
Paul Morphy
Duke Karl & Count Isouard
Paris
1858
Philidors Defense

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