Overloading (chess)

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Krasenkow vs. Karpov, 2003
a b c d e f g h
e8 white bishop
g8 black king
a7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
b6 black pawn
f6 black queen
g6 black knight
h6 black pawn
c5 black bishop
d5 white rook
a4 white queen
f3 white pawn
g3 white pawn
e2 black rook
h2 white pawn
f1 white rook
h1 white king
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to play

Overloading is a chess tactic in which a defensive piece is given an additional defensive assignment which it cannot complete without abandoning its original defensive assignment.


Krasenkow vs. Karpov,[1] in the first round of the 2003 Corus chess tournament, reached the diagrammed position with Black to play. As the white rook on f1 is tied to the defense of the pawn on f3, Black won immediately with 1...Re1!, overloading the rook: If 2.Rxe1 or 2.Qc4, then 2...Qxf3#. If 2.Kg2, then similarly, 2...Rxf1 3.Kxf1 Qxf3+ and 4...Qxd5.

An overload was also used in Rotlewi versus Rubinstein.


  1. ^ Krasenkow vs. Karpov, 2003 Chessgames.com