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X-Ray Tactic-- OTB Examples
Compiled by ChessCoachClark

The X-Ray tactic should be part of your toolbox of chess techniques. The X-Ray has three chessmen all on the same line in either of two ways. First, when there are two attackers and one target/defender, where the target is between the two attackers. This situation is the offensive form and the attackers cannot "see" each other. Second, when an attacker is between two defenders. This situation is the defensive form and the defenders cannot "see" each other.

You also need to realize that you need to spend a little more time learning it then, since you can play it to attack one piece or to protect one of your own. You would be using the X-Ray as a Double Attack or for mutual protection, that is, two levels of protection for one chessman.

Only line pieces can carry out an X-Ray tactic and those are the Queen, Rook and Bishop. It can only be done on the ranks, files or diagonals and then over several squares on one of those lines. So, the Pawn, Knight and King are not able to handle the X-Ray technique.

This game collection features some games that I find interesting and which demonstrate the X-Ray tactic well. I use other games as well when teaching, but they are not available at, yet.

ACB = The Art of Combination, by Maxim Blokh

TCSC = Tactical Chess Training, by Shamkovich and Cartier

ICNT = Improve Your Chess Now, by Jonathan Tisdall

ChessCoachClark (CCC) originated this game collection and he updates it on occasion. This project is a work in progress, culling games from various sources, including several chess training books and personal research. The games are ordered by date (oldest first), not by importance.

Be well.
Be safe.

Back Rank Mate is stopped by 33. Rc1-- X-Ray Rooks
McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 
(B32) Sicilian, 37 moves, 0-1

X-Ray with Queen and Rook mates the Black King; ACB #507
Chigorin vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1903 
(C31) King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit, 31 moves, 1-0

Ends with mate, but also a Defensive X-Ray tactic!
Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch, 1914  
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 0-1

Beautiful X-Ray tactic with Queen and Bishop
Euwe vs Loman, 1923 
(A09) Reti Opening, 18 moves, 1-0

Maybe an indirect X-Ray, but it wins Queen (Undermining)
Nenarokov vs N Grigoriev, 1924
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 44 moves, 1-0

Vertical X-Ray with Queen and Rook; ICNT, p. 209
Z Nilsson vs Geller, 1954 
(B62) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, 23 moves, 0-1

Black Rooks put X-Ray on White Rook at 33. ... Rb8
L Lane vs T Zatulovskaya, 1961 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 65 moves, 0-1

Continuation ... Kxh5 Rxh7# is an X-Ray Mate!
Lombardy vs Spiridonov, 1964 
(A10) English, 33 moves, 1-0

X-Ray between Queen and Bishop Allows Checkmate on Next Move
S Platzack vs J van Baarle, 1967 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 24 moves, 0-1

Black puts his Rook into White X-Ray Rooks to force resignation
Chiburdanidze vs Psakhis, 1980 
(B97) Sicilian, Najdorf, 35 moves, 0-1

28. Na7 puts the Knight in X-Ray with its Rook for protection
Adorjan vs J Rodgaard, 1985 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 35 moves, 1-0

X-Ray between Queen and Rook effects the checkmate
Rozentalis vs Dokhoian, 1986 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

29. Rc1 makes a Defensive X-Ray tactic
Oll vs Psakhis, 1987 
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 30 moves, 0-1

X-Ray with Queen and Rook forces the resignation
Tisdall vs J Polgar, 1988 
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 33 moves, 0-1

TCSC #31
Piket vs S Martinovic, 1989 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 31 moves, 1-0

TCSC #83
C Hansen vs K Georgiev, 1992 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 36 moves, 0-1

TCSC #156
C Hansen vs Bagaturov, 1993 
(E92) King's Indian, 41 moves, 1-0

TCSC #145
Anand vs F Izeta Txabarri, 1993 
(B07) Pirc, 26 moves, 1-0

TCSC #163
Kasparov vs Timman, 1994 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 30 moves, 1-0

TCSC #204
Shirov vs Bareev, 1994 
(C00) French Defense, 15 moves, 1-0

TCSC #215
Tiviakov vs Yermolinsky, 1994
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 41 moves, 1-0

Continuation Kf2 Bh4# is an X-Ray Mate!
A Strikovic vs Suba, 1994 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 27 moves, 0-1

Game concludes with X-Ray with Queen and Rook
Z Almasi vs Korchnoi, 1996 
(C18) French, Winawer, 33 moves, 1-0

Pending X-Ray after Promotion
Grischuk vs Fressinet, 2000 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 33 moves, 1-0

Beautiful demonstration of an X-Ray attack at the end
Chandler vs A Fernandes, 2001 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 28 moves, 1-0

26. ... Rxf2 brings an X-Ray with Rooks
G Meins vs L Gutman, 2004 
(A51) Budapest Gambit, 38 moves, 0-1

Royal Fork (moot), then X-Ray after 37. ... fxe6 38. Rc7+
Ivanchuk vs Van Wely, 2007 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 37 moves, 1-0

If 32. ... Re1+ then X-Ray allows for mate next move
N Arora vs B Samhouri, 2008 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 32 moves, 0-1

X-Ray Sacrifice with Barrage allow for checkmate in two
F Libiszewski vs S Peric, 2008 
(C10) French, 34 moves, 1-0

An X-Ray tactic protects the Black Knight and ends the game
Svidler vs Gelfand, 2009 
(A28) English, 56 moves, 0-1

18. c6 X-Ray by Bishop and Pawn attacks Black Queen and Knight
A Gupta vs Robson, 2010 
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 80 moves, 1-0

Game ends as an X-Ray Mate!
J Celis vs F Pancevski, 2012 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 37 moves, 0-1

42. Rb1 makes an X-Ray Defensive tactic to protect the b Pawn
Aronian vs Karjakin, 2014 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 61 moves, 1-0

44. Rc4 makes Attacking X-Ray and Defensive X-Ray!
R Praggnanandhaa vs D Howell, 2017 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 64 moves, 1-0

X-Ray Mate in 10 from Stockfish; other mates pending also.
Menno P van Koningsveld vs R Weyerstrass, 2009
(C18) French, Winawer, 56 moves, 1-0

35 games

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