Windmill (chess)

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In chess, a windmill, or seesaw,[1][2] is a tactic in which a combination of discovered checks and regular checks, usually by a rook and a bishop, often forcing the opposing king to move back and forth between two squares, can win massive amounts of material.


Torre Repetto vs. Lasker, Moscow 1925
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
White played 25.Bf6!, sacrificing his queen in order to set up the windmill, and ended up ahead in material.

In the game pictured at right,[3] 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.


  1. ^ Edward Winter. "The Chess Seesaw".
  2. ^ David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed. 1992), Oxford University Press, p. 363. ISBN 0-19-866164-9.
  3. ^