Deadly Chess Tactics


Chessable Blog
Table of Contents

Our ongoing series continues today with an examination of more deadly chess tactics.

In the previous installment, we looked at Removing the Guard, Double Attack, and Discovered Check.

Deadly Moves in Chess

This time we have three more deadly moves in chess, all of which will help you sharpen your tactical vision.

Highlighted course

The Woodpecker Method

Tactic 1: The Overloaded Piece

A piece or pawn that is trying to do too much at once is in danger of being overloaded.

Here is a simple example of the tactic in action.

Chess Tactics Overloaded Piece

White to play

The black bishop is defending the rook on c5 and also the pawn on g7. The pawn needs a defender as White’s queen and bishop are lined up very nicely along the long diagonal, with the g-pawn firmly in their sights.

The bishop is overloaded and cannot cope with two threats.

White plays 1 Rxc5, winning a rook.

Overloaded Piece

The point is that if Black plays 1 …Bxc5 the bishop will no longer be protecting g7. Then White will deliver checkmate with 2 Qxg7.

Tactic 2: The Windmill

The windmill does not happen very often, but when it does it can be absolutely devastating.

This deadly chess tactic involves forcing the opponent’s king backward and forwards between two squares and winning material using a series of checks and discovered checks.

It is sometimes called the seesaw.

Deadly Chess Tactics WindmillWhite to play

This doesn’t look good for White. He is material down, his king is in trouble and the rook is under attack.

Everything changes thanks to the windmill.

1 Rxg7+ Kh8

2 Rxc7+

Deadly Tactic

This is the point. Every time the rook moves away from g7 it unleashes a discovered check by the bishop. White will use this idea repeatedly to capture as many black pieces and pawns as possible.

Do not allow the length of the following line put you off. Once the windmill starts it is easy to follow the sequence of moves.

2 …Kg8

3 Rg7+ Kh8

4 Rxb7+ Kg8

5 Rg7+ Kh8

6 Rxa7+ Kg8

7 Rg7+ Kh8

8 Rh7+ Kg8

9 Rxh4

Winning for White

Compare this diagram with the first one of the windmill and it is easy to see the force of the tactic.

Tactic 3: The X-ray Attack

The next of our deadly chess tactics demonstrates the ‘super power’ of one piece being able to project its force through an opponent’s piece and into another one located behind it.

Here is the tactic in action.

Chess Tactic X-ray Attack

White to play

White could play 1 Rxd7 but after the reply of 1 …Qxd7 the game is completely equal.

White goes deeper – in more ways than one.

1 Qxd8+!

X-ray AttackBlack’s reply is forced.

1 …Rxd8

Deadly Chess Tactics Back rank checkmate

2 Rxd8 checkmate.

The white rook utilised an X-ray attack on it’s counterpart on d8.

Improve Your Chess Tactics

The three tactics covered today may not happen as frequently as some of the others in this series but their destructive power is plain to see.

The rarest of the three is the windmill. All chess players would love to end the resistance of their opponents with this tactic and if you absorb the basic idea then you will be prepared for when the opportunity presents itself.

Meanwhile, if you would like to investigate more deadly chess tactics or chess traps then it is time to head for our Chessable tactics courses


Highlighted course

Winning Chess Strategies

Was this helpful? Share it with a friend :)

4.9 with 3.65K user reviews

Check them on individual course pages