Chess Combinations for Lower-Intermediate Players

The old chess book on tactics 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations — that may not be the ideal training resource for the lower-intermediate player (with a strength equivalent of a USCF rating of about 1000-1200), but it can be helpful.

sacrifices and combinations in chess

The following chess puzzle is an example, typical for this chess book.

chess combination in a book

White to move

For a tournament chess player rated around 1000-1200, the above position may not appear to have any combination available for White, if that player had encountered it over the board. If he or she had some tactical practice, however, and was told that it was “White to move and win,” that could be different.

Let’s look at this position as a master might perceive it:

  1. There’s a potential pin of the black queen by White moving Rg4
  2. There’s a potential mate in two for White: Qxf7+, etc

The first possibility fails because the black queen could capture a rook at g4. The second one fails because the black queen is protecting f7. Notice that both of those involve the black queen. That piece cannot actually move to g4 without allowing the mate in two, therefore Rg4 is the winning move for White.

Many other chess combinations can be found through that kind of logical reasoning.



Kinds of Chess Books

Some publications are for the advanced tournament player, but more of them are for average or intermediate competitors. Others books are for post-beginners or for novices.

Best Chess Book for a Beginner

“Beat That Kid in Chess” differs by emphasizing the simple basics that give the biggest rewards, so you’ll quickly make real progress.


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