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Features

September 26, 2013

Knight sacrifices all to bring victory

The Knights Templar was formed at the beginning of the 12th century. They were renowned for their “squadron charge.” A small group of heavily armed Knights Templar would gallop at full speed at the enemy’s front lines — often with success. With this hint in mind, please try to find white’s winning attack.

White’s Knight Templar at d5 bravely gallops at full speed into the enemy’s front lines at f6. Capturing this gallant knight leads to certain doom, as white’s queen bursts through on f6, checking black and forcing the king to g8.

White’s rook now checks from g3. Black sacrifices its knight and then its queen before white’s queen mates black from g7 with the support of its g3 rook.

If the brave knight’s sacrifice on f6 is declined, the knight either wins black’s queen, or the knight and rook on h3 mate black.

That is, the knight supports a rook capture on h7. Because the rook is protected and because the knight prevents the black king from moving to g8, black is mated. Black’s best response is to move its knight to g5, guarding h7 but abandoning its queen to the knight. In this line, black’s losses are too heavy and the game is over.

Eventually the Knights Templar were charged with heresy and many were burned at the stake. In chess, an unsound sacrifice may feel heretical and make your cheeks burn, but the only smoke you’ll see is that emitting from your ears.

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