Sports & Games

Skewers

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 17:07 min

Garry believes in the power of geometry. Through these positions, he shows how you can get the best out of your pieces—even the weak ones.

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Skewer can also be called an x-ray attack. It's an attack by a line piece, queen, rook, or bishop. And normally, the piece under direct attack is a more valuable one that one is behind. And when this valuable piece has to move, then the less valuable is being lost. We saw one of the types of the skewer in the lesson about double attacks. We can look again at the situation, where black king and queen are on the same row. And the rook attacks. Black king is in check. When king moves, then the rook grabs the queen. So that's one of the forms of a skewer. So we can also look for another form of the skewer. It's with a bishop. And we can start actually with one that, if we tried to explain it in Russian terms, that would be called differently, , kind of a line attack. It doesn't make much sense in English. But even if we have two pieces of the same value on the same diagonal-- so let's put two kings just to make it position legal. Both knights are under attack. One is directly. The other one is indirectly. And it's also a skewer. If white king would be on d3, then it could go on e4 protecting this knight. And then, it would be more like a pin. But we'll talk about that later. But let's now look at the classical skewer, where bishop is attacking two pieces and causing damage, irreparable damage, to the opponent. Here is the position. And obviously, we can use the bishop to put it from d2 to c3 attacking the queen, and then also the rook. This is classical skewer. We have a much more valuable piece under direct attack. It has to move. And then, the less valuable piece, in this case, is the rook. It's less valuable. But it's enough for us to win the game. But there's something else I wanted to mention. When you see a good move-- and of course, in our case, skewer bishop from d2 to c3 is winning-- just spend another second, maybe two seconds, and look whether there's something else maybe even stronger, even more powerful. Just imagine for a moment the bishop is not on d2 but on e1. It still makes the move Bc3 perfectly legal. And it's winning the rook. But there's also another option. Because we look at queen and king at the same diagonal. You can put this bishop on g3, this time pinning the queen and winning the queen. So just always look at position, trying to maximize the effect of your attack. OK, with bishop on d2, it's only Bc3. With bishop on e1, you have an even more powerful move. There's also a few practical things that we can learn about a skewer. And one is an endgame. So very often, we have this pattern in the rooks' endgames. And rooks' endgames are probably most popular endgames, happen very often, even in the games of the beginners. And we have this position with white king on f2, rook on a7, pawn on b6. And black rook was on a1, pawn on a2. ...


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At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Don't really know anything about chess but found this class incredibly informative.

Absolutely Amazing ! Learning So much really wonderful. Did not expect it to be so enticing and mindblowing!

This class not only gave me tools to be immediately better at chess but also got me thinking in chess at a much better level. I am amazed at how good Kasparov is at teaching chess.

Very good and complete, i'm a fan of Kasparov style of comunication and learned a lot in this Masterclass


Comments

A fellow student

In the study example with poisoned rook there is one not analyzed variant. After Ra4 check and b5 was Rb5 check but except black Qeen beats b5 there is almost an escape for black king with Kc6. Then after Ba4 black to avoid a discovered attack can put Qc7, and in my opinion only b4 can give white a win because black can't avoid discovered check.

NACHO M.

There is a little but *Important" mistake in the translation. Check the video at 10´51''

A fellow student

Thought it was a good lesson, however, chess is a complex game and you don't know what the other person will do all the time. Whenever you are playing chess you should evaluate the whole board and not just focus on one tactic. I would like it if Kasparov had one tactic most of the video and then another more wholistic approach at the end for a small part of the video.

Doug S.

I can't pause an examine positions. There is too many other screens appearing to overlay the board. Can you fix this? We should be able to stop the video and see the board positions clearly. That's not the case.

A fellow student

I could really use some more in depth instructions on the pdf. like in the skewer practice, do I find 5 in all of them? also maybe the puzzles can be labeled by difficulty, so I can work my way up. thank you

Brian A.

I found Rf5 and the complete solution to the challenge. I literally cheered out loud in happiness when the solution was given! Such an awesome puzzle and this course is mind blowing!! I love it!!!!!!!

A fellow student

Loving these but why are you missing clear instructions "white to move" or "black to move" in every video. I'm finding myself REALLY having to pay attention to figure it out.

Rick S.

When Kasparov shows a board position, he should first say White (or black) to move, otherwise hard to understand his initial point. Also when describing historical games, should say who was playing which side right at the beginning. Just some feedback. I love the course so far, really interesting.

A fellow student

When you pause the videos, the chessboard is covered by the "You're Watching" and "Up Next" information. This makes it impossible to do the studies without a physical board. This is a major inconvenience.

A fellow student

This course is really good. I learned a lot from it. Although I would wish there were more studies to solve on double attack