Windmill (chess)

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In chess, a windmill is a tactic in which a combination of discovered checks and regular checks, usually by a rook and a bishop, can win massive amounts of material. This tactic is also sometimes referred to as a see-saw.[1]


Examples[edit]

Torre-Repetto vs. Lasker, Moscow 1925
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
e8 black rook
f8 black knight
g8 black king
a7 black pawn
b7 black bishop
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
d6 black pawn
e6 black pawn
h6 black pawn
b5 black queen
g5 white bishop
h5 white queen
b4 white pawn
d4 white pawn
e3 white knight
g3 white rook
a2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
e1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White plays 25.Bf6!, sacrificing his queen in order to set up the windmill, and ends up ahead in material.

In the game pictured at right,[2] Carlos Torre-Repetto makes use of the windmill tactic against Emanuel Lasker to win two pawns and a bishop and enter into a winning endgame (although the bishop had to be given back). The move 25. Bf6!, hanging the queen, sets up the windmill. Black must accept the sacrifice, as his own queen is unprotected, and any attempt to stop the windmill would simply give White the queen. Then 25. ... Qxh5 26. Rxg7+ Kh8 27. Rxf7+ Discovered check, by the bishop. White simply repeats the regular check/discovered check pattern, taking as many pieces as he can with his rook. 27. ...Kg8 28. Rg7+ Kh8 29. Rxb7+ Kg8 30. Rg7+ Kh8 31. Rg5+ Kh7 32. Rxh5 White concludes the windmill by taking the black queen.

Another example is in Bobby Fischer's Game of the Century, from moves 18 to 23. In this case, the windmill involved a knight and a bishop.

An illustrative position depicting the windmill is depicted below.[3]

Matsukevich
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black knight
h8 black king
b7 black bishop
c7 black knight
d7 black bishop
e7 black knight
f7 black bishop
g7 white rook
g6 black bishop
h6 black knight
g5 black knight
g4 black bishop
c3 white bishop
g3 black knight
b2 white king
g2 black bishop
a1 black rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Illustrative position, White to move

There could follow: 1. Rxg6+ Kh7 2. Rg7+ Kh8 3. Rxg5+ Kh7 4. Rg7+ Kh8 5. Rxf7+ Kg8 6. Rg7+ Kh8 7. Rxe7+ Kg8 8. Rg7+ Kh8 9. Rxg4+ Kh7 10. Rg7+ Kh8 11. Rxg3+ Kh7 12. Rg7+ Kh8 13. Rxd7+ Kg8 14. Rg7+ Kh8 15. Rxc7+ Kg8 16. Rg7+ Kh8 17. Rxb7+ Kg8 18. Rg7+ Kh8 19. Rxg2+ Kh7 20. Rg7+ Kh8 21. Kxa1 and now Black must lose one of his two remaining knights (on f8 and h6).

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed. 1992), Oxford University Press, p. 363. ISBN 0-19-866164-9.
  2. ^ Chessgames.com
  3. ^ The Mammoth Book of Chess by Graham Burgess, 3rd ed., 2009, p. 54

External links[edit]