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Removing the Defender Tactic-- OTB Examples
Compiled by ChessCoachClark
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You should have heard that you need to coordinate your chessmen, but it is also important to notice how your opponent is coordinating their chessmen and see if you can take advantage of any weaknesses there.

Removing the Defender is one tactic that can readily serve this purpose. Also called Removing the Guard, Annihilation of Defense (whew!), Undermining and Driving Off, Destruction and other names, it is an essential tactic to learn and use wherever you can.

Once you find a relationship of protection between two pieces, attack the one with support and then look for a way to displace the protector, even if that piece is protected. By pulling away that supporter (here's the idea of undermining), your first attack could win you that piece. So, a little "chain reaction thinking" may get big results. The big idea is that having only one level of protection can be a weakness.

Remember that a successful tactic often spells a winning advantage or even a checkmate process for the aggressive player.

This game collection is a project in progress, culling OTB (over the board) examples from several chess training books. The games are listed in chronological order, not in order of importance or relevance.

6. ... d4 removes Knight, then Bishop falls to Queen Fork/Check
A Simons vs E Lowe, 1849 
(B20) Sicilian, 7 moves, 0-1

30. ... Qxh2+ removes protection of f2 to allow Smothered Mate
R Slade vs D Hooper, 1947 
(B83) Sicilian, 31 moves, 0-1

Last move removes King from defending his Queen; 52. Qc3+ wins
Short vs Vaganian, 1989 
(C18) French, Winawer, 51 moves, 1-0

56. ...Ne7 57. Bxe7+ Kicks the King away, then Kg7 58. Qx8
Bologan vs J Garcia Padron, 1993 
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 56 moves, 1-0

31. ... Rxg2! Removes the Guard; Arabian Mate pending
Oll vs Svidler, 1997 
(B06) Robatsch, 31 moves, 0-1

30. ... Rxf2+ removes Pawn and leads to mate in continuation
Van Wely vs Judit Polgar, 1997 
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 30 moves, 0-1

32. ... Qxf5 wins a Rook as "Ice cream!" (En Prise, that is)
J L Chabanon vs C Bauer, 1997 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 32 moves, 0-1

24. Qxh7+ Removes the Guard of f7, then special Smothered Mate
I Yagupov vs R Khusnullin, 1999 
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 25 moves, 1-0

27. ... Nxg2 takes Knight's protector; leads to free piece soon
B Socko vs Nakamura, 2002 
(B07) Pirc, 29 moves, 0-1

24. Qxh5! removes Knight and leads to Discovered Check
J C Alvarez Marquez vs T Nyback, 2002 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 27 moves, 1-0

After 59. ... Be6, Bishop can't protect g2, so Promotion looms
T Polak vs V Laznicka, 2006
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 59 moves, 0-1

Rook Check at the end wins the White Queen
C Nettleton vs R Phillips, 2018 
(A04) Reti Opening, 30 moves, 0-1

12 games

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