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These three scenarios are based on one of the featured games from the 2004 world championship. Players happen to be concentrating attention on one side of the board. In each of these scenarios, white has made a move and black needs to consider its response.

White has moved its Knight forward to threaten black’s Bishop and Pawn.

State of play for white: Wt. could take bk.Bishop and then move to the inside rank to attack bk.Queen on its next move. Wt.Knight would be protected by wt.Pawn, so could ignore bk.Rook, but not reserve bk.Bishop. But for bk.Queen, wt.Knight could fork a check and capture a Rook.

State of play for black: Bk’s immediate priority is to protect its forward Bishop and prevent wt. from advancing its forward Pawn. Pulling the threatened bk.Bishop back one cell seems to be the best option.


White has moved its Knight forward to protect its Pawn.


State of play for white: The wt.Pawn on the outside rank is vulnerable, and wt. must avert an attack on the (third) open rank. Wt’s main problem is that its Queen is out of play, and must be brought into the game. The forward wt.Knight and wt.Bishop need to stay put for the time being.


State of play for black: Bk. must anticipate white moving its forward Rook to the (third) open rank, and needs to counter this tactic by moving the Rook and Queen onto that rank. The forward Rook must block the wt.Pawn’s advance.



White has advanced the Pawn on the outer rank to protect the white Rook.


State of play for white: Wt. could take the Pawn with wt.Knight, and threaten bk.Queen. If bk.Bishop takes wt.Knight, then wt.Rook moves to the inner rank for check, but wt. will have to sacrifice its Queen to protect the King from bk.Rook. The best option may be a Rook trade-off.


State of play for black: Bk. must protect its last Rook. Moving it and the Queen to the outer rank makes a late charge on wt.King possible. But wt.Rook will take bk.Knight, and wt.Knight could scupper bk’s escape plan.