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.
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
In the game pictured at right, 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.
An illustrative position depicting the windmill is depicted below.
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), then it will be a theoretically won position for white (according to endgame tablebases).
- David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed. 1992), Oxford University Press, p. 363. ISBN 0-19-866164-9.
- The Mammoth Book of Chess by Graham Burgess, 3rd ed., 2009, p. 54