Nigel Short has been competing at the top level for 5 decades and counting. During this time, he’s beaten every World Champion from Karpov to Carlsen, and become the only Englishman to have challenged for the title, taking on Kasparov in their controversial 1993 match.
His razor-sharp, creative tactical ability has been a major factor in his success. In his new Master Method course, “The Short Way To Mastering Tactics”, GM Nigel Short challenges students to find the strongest moves and explains the mechanics of tactical combinations, showing you how to improve both your calculation and pattern recognition and transforming you into a master tactician. Nigel reveals how rich, tactical positions are created and how to calculate the winning lines.
In this exclusive free preview, Nigel talks about attacking the king. Attack is one of the most important and vital areas of the game of chess. Without attacking, you will never checkmate your opponent or gain enough material advantage to claim a victory.
Tactics should not be underestimated. Sure, everyone tells players to practice tactics, tactics tactics, every day, but that is for good reason. Tactics alone can boost your Elo rating significantly, and in Nigel’s opinion is probably the most important and main way you can get better at the game – and he should know with a successful career as not only a player, but a coach as well!
In this video, Nigel analyses a game he played against Jonathan Penrose in the 1977 British Championship which shows that in order to play good tactics, you need to put your pieces on the best squares. For example, put your rooks on open or semi-open files. Tactics are easier to find when you bring all your available pieces into the attack!
Next, Nigel looks at a second game, this time his victory over Glenn Flear from the same British Championship – a game that further demonstrates how to look for attacking tactics when your pieces are well placed.
Attacking Chess Tactics – Short vs Penrose
Let’s take a look at some of the tactics and possible ideas from the Short – Penrose game. Jumping straight to the first tactical position, we reach the position in the diagram on the left. White has just played 7. d4, but doesn’t that leave e4 hanging? No, thanks to a nice tactic. Can you find it?
If Black took the pawn with …Nxe4, White could play 8. Qe2, attacking two pieces!
Now let’s look at the diagram on the right. This is the position in the game after White has just played 18. Nxb5. What is White threatening?
White threatens to play 19. Qxa8 Qxa8 20. Nc7+, forking, and winning, the queen!
As you can see, tactics can appear throughout a game, so keep your eye out for them.
Okay, let’s see another tactical opportunity from this game. Take a look at the diagram below, on the left.
Here, White can play 28. Ne8+, forking the king and queen. After 28…Rxe8 29. Rxd7, White threatens both mate, and the queen. So, Black must play 29…Re7 30. Rxc7 Rxh7 31. Rxh7 and Black is hopelessly down on material, the game is won by White.
This last tactic teaches us an important lesson – always look for the most forcing moves! Additionally, look how all of White’s pieces worked together. When you have developed all your pieces to their best squares, the tactical opportunities make themselves available.
There were some other tactical ideas in this game, so be sure to watch the whole video to see them, and Nigel’s analysis of another game as well.
So, what’s the number 1 thing you could do to get better at chess? Tactics! In the full Master Method course, “The Short Way To Mastering Tactics”, Nigel Short reveals how you can become a master tactician. Click here to get instant access with 50% off.