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Weteschnik, page 160: <The X-ray attack is a special case of the reloader: one piece ia sacrificed on a certain square and the second occupies it after the first has been eliminated.>

The <X-RAY> is simply a particular application of the general theory that <<<a line piece threatens EVERY SINGLE SQUARE (ESS) on its lines>>>.

Examples of the <X-RAY> tactic. The <X-RAY> tactic consists of adding an attacker to a target square by putting it on the same line as a defending line piece. When the defending piece is forced to that square the line of action of the attacker is extended to the target square.

Here is a great example of the <X-RAY> tactic, taken from the end of the famous 2 ♘a3!? Sicilian game Zvjaginsev vs Khalifman, 2005. Black resigned after 37 ♕a8+, shown below.

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Why did Black resign? Because after Black plays 37 ... ♕d8 to get out of check, White has the powerful x-ray 38 ♖e8+!

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and now Black loses in all lines:

38 ... ♕x♖ 39 ♕x♕#
38 ... ♔f7 39 ♖x♕ ♖x♖ 40 ♕x♗+-


Van Wely vs Ivanchuk, 2008

Black to play: 21 ... ?

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Here Ivanchuk (Black) played the crushing 21 ... ♘g4-h2!, based on the tactical theme <X-RAY>.

Position after 21 ... ♘g4-h2! 0-1

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The point is that the Black e5-bishop <X-RAYS> the critical h2-square -THRU- the White f4-bishop <DEFENDER> of this square. So Black effectively has -THREE- pieces attacking this square (Black h4-queen, g4-knight, -AND- e5-bishop) versus only -TWO- White defenders (White g1-king, f4-bishop).

21 ... ♘g4-h2! <FORKS> the White f3-queen and f1-rook and is <TABOO> since its capture by the White f4-bishop leads to Black <RELOADING> on the h2-square with mate, as shown below.

(VAR) Position after 22 ♗f4x♘h2?? ♕h4x♗h2#

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37 Qa8+ Qd8 38 Re8+! x-ray across the 8th rank
Zvjaginsev vs Khalifman, 2005 
(B20) Sicilian, 37 moves, 1-0

28 Rf4?? Qxb2?? 29 Qf8+! x-ray down the f-file
A Thorgrimsdottir vs M A Stefanidi, 2003 
(B70) Sicilian, Dragon Variation, 29 moves, 1-0

X-Rays galore
Tal vs W R Chandler, 1974 
(B01) Scandinavian, 22 moves, 1-0

29 ... RxPc3? opens c-file for White to play x-ray 30 Qxc8+!
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907  
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 0-1

11 ... QxPd4? opens the d-file for the White d1-queen, 12 Nd6+!
Petrosian vs N Sorokin, 1944 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 23 moves, 1-0

38 Re7+! White b7-queen controls e7-square thru Black c7-queen
Ivanchuk vs Van Wely, 2007 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 37 moves, 1-0

26 QxNb2?? Ra1+! Black c3-queen controls a1 thru White b2-queen
F Berend vs Navara, 2007 
(B48) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 28 moves, 0-1

27 b2xa3?? Re8xRe2! Black a2-queen goes through White d2-queen
L Babujian vs Mamedyarov, 2005 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 32 moves, 0-1

32 ... Nd5xc3! Black e5-queen controls c3 thru White d4-queen
J Polgar vs Ponomariov, 2007 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 45 moves, 0-1

35 ... Rh8xh4! Black d8-queen controls h4 thru White g5-queen
Anand vs Ponomariov, 2007 
(C18) French, Winawer, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

28 .. Bg7-d4+! Black d8-rook controls d4 through White d7-rook
Mamedyarov vs Carlsen, 2007 
(A57) Benko Gambit, 58 moves, 0-1

35 Qd2-c3 White f1-rook defends d1-knight thru Black e1-rook
P Nikolic vs Kramnik, 1998 
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 35 moves, 0-1

21 ... Rd5-e5! Black e5-rook defends e8-rook thru White e6-rook
Keres vs Capablanca, 1939 
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

42 ... Qf4-f3!! queen controls h1-mating square thru g2-bishop
Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 43 moves, 0-1

44 Rf1-f7+! White d7-rook defends f7-rook thru Black e7-rook
Kasparov vs Salov, 1992 
(B31) Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation, 54 moves, 1-0

21 ... Ng4-h2! Black e5-bishop controls h2 thru White f4-bishop
Van Wely vs Ivanchuk, 2008 
(A04) Reti Opening, 21 moves, 0-1

24 Qd4-e4! defends the g2-mating square thru the Black e4-queen
Carlsen vs Anand, 2008 
(A20) English, 48 moves, 1-0

33 Qf3xf7+! White d7-rook controls f7-square thru Black e7-rook
I Cheparinov vs E Alekseev, 2008 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 35 moves, 1-0

22 Rc3xc4? Nd5-c3! Black c8-rook controls c3 thru White c4-rook
O Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1914 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 29 moves, 0-1

35 ... Re4-g4! Black g2-queen controls g4 thru White g3-queen
Anand vs Aronian, 2009 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 53 moves, 0-1

30 ... Bb5-d3+! Black f3-rook controls d3-square thru e3-rook
L Dominguez vs Carlsen, 2009 
(B78) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long, 54 moves, 0-1

43 - Qe4xf4+! Black c1-bishop controls f4-sq thru White e3-pawn
V Laznicka vs Mamedyarov, 2009 
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 49 moves, 0-1

22 ... Ne4xBg3?? opens x-ray attack of f3-queen for 23 Ra1-a8+!
Le Quang Liem vs Nepomniachtchi, 2010 
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 60 moves, 1-0

37 Rh5xg5+ White g1-rook supports g5-rook thru Black g4-rook
D Howell vs Van Wely, 2010 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 40 moves, 1-0

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