Remove the Guard Tactics

I got a nice e-mail today from one of my newsletter readers…

It was in regard to this position with white to move:

White to Move

From my most recent newsletter, which I sent out today.  You can read it here:

This was a tactic that Larry Wutt of Colorado Springs sent to me from one of his games.

See if you can find the best move for white, if you haven’t already.

Mouyyad writes:

Hi thanks for the emails, I’m a new subscriber.

I have a question about this one. Why would black resign? Don’t they have a material advantage with two rooks and a queen vs q,r, and bishop?

Also can you expand on the tactics of removing the guard and double attack?



My response:

Hey thanks Mouyyad for the e-mail!  Glad to have you as a subscriber :-)
Yeah, I agree with you that black could have played on.  I am guessing since it was a game played over the internet, they just decided to resign, and start a new game perhaps.
After the move 22. Qxe5+, white is going to win the rook on h8 on the next move.  So white gave up a rook for the knight, but then will win back the rook, so will be a knight up.
So it would be Q+B+R vs Q+R.  So I agree black probably could keep playing if they wanted to, but normally a piece up is good enough to win. 
It is really a personal decision.
Remove the guard means that by playing Rxd7, white removed the queen from being able to protect the e5 pawn.  The queen could not guard both the knight on d7, and the pawn on e5.
So with the Qxe5+ the queen was attacking both the King with check, and the rook on h8.  So it was a “double attack“.  There is no way for black to defend both the rook on h8 and get out of check on the same time.
So Larry used both of these tactical ideas to win a piece.
Hope this helps! 

To storm the castle, you sometimes have to remove the guard!


Mouyyad responded:

Yes that does help! Thank you.

One more question, I guess it’s a situational thing where removing the guard is acceptable? In this case the rook took the knight. I’ve always learned that sacrificing a piece for a lower piece isn’t a good idea but in this case it works perfectly. Do you have any tips for recognizing such instances?

My response:

Yeah, I think the main thing is to look for a piece that is doing more than one thing, and can’t do both at the same time.
For example if you look at this diagram with white to move:

The black king is guarding both the f7 pawn, and the queen on d8.
So when white plays Bxf7+ he is doing a “remove the defender” technique.  The King has to take on f7, and then is no longer defending d8.
The King can’t defend both f7 and d8 at the same time.

So after 1. Bxf7 Kxf7 2. Qxd8 white wins a queen and a pawn for a bishop.
In the puzzle that Larry sent the remove the defender technique didn’t win any material, but put the queen on a bad square, so that it could no longer defend against the attack on e5.  The second move is what wins the material (the rook on h8).
Really it is just a matter of practice starting to see these patterns.  The problem Larry sent was kind of challenging, because really it is two different tactics combined to make a combination.

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