Move Two! Chapter 10

After a brief diversion we return to Move Two! We’ve now reached Chapter 10: Simple Combinations.

Earlier tactics chapters introduced the idea of looking ahead and applied the concept to finding checkmate combinations.

Now we extend the idea to consider combinations which win material by COMBINING the tactical ideas introduced earlier in the course: forks, pins, discovered attacks, removing the defender and so on.

We start by looking at two positions from games played by Richmond Junior Club members. Have a look at them yourself before reading the chapter.

The first example is relatively simple. Can you find the best move for Black here?

Again the first move is not so hard, but we also want to know your planned continuation if Black finds his best defence. This position is a good example of the sort of calculation you should be doing every move of every game if you want to become a good player.

Further examples taken from master games provide more practice in finding simple combinations. We emphasize the idea of looking for forcing moves: CHECKS, CAPTURES and THREATS.

Readers then have a chance to test themselves with a ten question test. There are hints as to the tactical devices involved to help you.

If you want to be a really good tactician, you’ll need to do a lot more than that, but there are many excellent books and websites for you to choose from if you want to practise solving tactical puzzles on a regular basis.

Although Move Two! concentrates on openings starting with 1. e4 e5, for reasons explained in Nigel’s article last Thursday, if you play in tournaments you’ll meet opponents who prefer other first moves. So our Activities section in this chapter gives you some quick recommendations on how to meet White’s popular alternative first moves.

Finally in Chapter 10, Masters of the Universe reaches one of the big ones: the great Bobby Fischer. As always, we have a brief biographical note followed by two short games.

Richard James

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About Richard James

Richard James is a professional chess teacher and writer living in Twickenham, and working mostly with younger children and beginners. He was the co-founder of Richmond Junior Chess Club in 1975 and its director until 2005. He is the webmaster of chessKIDS academy ( or and, most recently, the author of Chess for Kids and The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids, both published by Right Way Books. Richard is currently the Curriculum Consultant for Chess in Schools and Communities ( as well as teaching chess in local schools and doing private tuition. He has been a member of Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club since 1966 and currently has an ECF grade of 177.