April’s Chess Combination of the Month

This month’s chess combination comes from a nice win I had over “Flash,” the number two ranked player on VelocityChess.com. Each Month I will select one combination that I played in a real game to examine in detail for the benefit of my students and readers.

Black to move
Black to move


When it is your turn, the first thing you should do is examine all checks, captures and threats. In this position, we have one check-capture, four checks, three captures and several more threatening moves. If you take the time to identify all these possibilities and run through any automatic or nearly automatic replies, you will automatically begin to spot brilliant tactical combinations. It’s that easy!


I chose to play Nc4+!
I chose to play Nc4+!


This is precisely the kind of move you might miss if you do not force yourself to examine all checks without regard to how silly the move may seem at first glance.


Flash plays dxc4?
Flash plays dxc4?


If this wasn’t a blitz game I am sure Flash would have played something like: Kd2-d1 Qf6xc3 Re1xe8+ Ra8xe8 Ra1-a2 Bh7xd3 c2xd3 Qc3xd3+ Ra2-d2 Qd3-b3+ Rd2-c2 Nc4xa3 Nf3-d2 Re8-d8 Bg2-e4 Qb3xh3 Kd1-e1 Na3xc2+ Qc1xc2 c7-c6 Qc2-d1 Qh3-c3 Qd1-c2 Qc3xc2 Be4xc2 a7-a5 Ke1-d1 b7-b5 Kd1-c1 a5-a4 Nd2-b1 Rd8-e8 Bc2-d3 b5-b4 Nb1-d2 Kg8-f8 Nd2-c4 a4-a3 Kc1-b1 Kf8-e7 Kb1-a2 Ke7-e6 Ka2-b3 c6-c5 Nc4-a5 f7-f6 Bd3-c4+ Ke6-d6 Na5-b7+ Kd6-c6 Nb7-a5+ Kc6-b6

But as you can see, Black is still crushing white. So, in a sense, Flash did us a little favor by simplifying the result into a nice and neat mating attack.


I played Ra-d8+. This develops the unemployed rook with a threat.
I played Ra-d8+. This develops the unemployed rook with a threat.


White's move of Nd4 is forced.
White’s move of Nd4 is forced.


Now examine all of the checks, captures and threats again.


Correct is Rxd4+!
Correct is Rxd4+!


cxd4 is a forced response.
cxd4 is a forced response.


and Qxd4 is mate.
and Qxd4 is mate.


I hope you enjoyed April’s Chess Combination of the Month. If you missed it, feel free to check out March’s Chess Combination of the Month. On a side note, I must say that www.VelocityChess.com is evolving into a great online chess site. You can see my original review of Velocity Chess from this link. Right now if you open an account, they will deposit 2,500 vChips in your bank– redeemable for giftcards! bit.ly/1gCnVPp

Below is the entire game so that you can see the combination in context:

[Event “Blitz”]
[Site “VelocityChess.com”]
[Date “2014.04.16”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Flash”]
[Black “Chris.Torres.524596”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1917”]
[ECO “C40”]
[Opening “Elephant Gambit”]
[Variation “Maroczy”]
[WhiteElo “2610”]
[TimeControl “5+0”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 Bd6 4. Qe2 Nf6 5. Nc3 O-O 6. d3 h6 7. Be3 Bb4 8.
a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nxd5 10. Bd2 Bg4 11. h3 Bf5 12. g3 Re8 13. g4 Nf4 14. Qd1
Bh7 15. Bxf4 exf4+ 16. Kd2 Nc6 17. Bg2 Qf6 18. Re1 Na5 19. Qc1 Nc4+ 20.
dxc4 Rad8+ 21. Nd4 Rxd4+ 22. cxd4 Qxd4# 0-1


Chris Torres is NorCal's most popular chess coach.
Chris Torres is NorCal’s most popular chess coach.

Chris Torres will be teaching with Susan Polgar and many other great instructors at the 2014 Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Sign up today!




Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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