A decoy or deflection typically lure an opponent's piece away from a square. What is it called when you sacrifice in order to lure/force an opponent to a certain square in order to prevent another piece escaping?

A (pretty bad) example, Black rook D1, forces queen captures D1 which now allows queen F2 mate. The reason this is a bad example is because black doesn't actually need to squash the king in by luring a piece to D1, since that square is already covered by the rook on D8.

The key idea is that we want to squash the opponent's pieces around their king. (note that it's a bit like some smothered mates, but in this case not every square around the king is covered, hence not a perfect smothered mate).

The best term I can come up with is 'partial smothered mate'

enter image description here

| improve this question | | | | |

What you are looking for is called "attraction". That is, you attract a piece to a specific square. One of the most famous types of attraction is seen in this example:

 [FEN "r1b2rk1/pp2pp1p/1qp3p1/4Q3/1n1N4/1P6/PBP2PPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 1"]

 1. Qg7+ Kxg7 2. Nf5+ Kg8 3. Nh6#

Here is a nice link with another example.

This is also exactly a deflection since you deflected the queen away from f2. By the way, 1...Bf2 2. Qxf2 Rd1 also the same.

Here are two examples of what Rewan Demontay described as "self-blocking" below. In the first, a study by Nimzovich, it is what I believe the OP is asking for. The other is another type of self-blocking move, but it is not the opponent that forces it. This is more common in some endgame tactics to draw where one side walls the king in so it will be a stalemate.

 [FEN "5rn1/2N1npk1/R7/4P3/8/4P3/Q7/K6R w - - 0 1"]

 1. Rg6+ $3 fxg6 (1... Nxg6 2. Qxf7+ Rxf7 (2... Kxf7 3. Rh7#) 3. Ne6#) 2. Qf7+ $3 Rxf7 (2... Kxf7 3. Rh7#) 3. Ne6#

Here is the other self-block, but for another reason.

 [FEN "8/r6k/3r3p/5p1K/5P2/p6P/Q7/8 w - - 0 0"]

 1. h4 Rd1 2. Qf7+ Rxf7 {Stalemate}
| improve this answer | | | | |
  • 1
    Thanks very much. This is very interesting. However, I'm specifically looking at cases where an opponent's piece is lured into a position that prevents another piece (e.g. a king) from using that square – stevec Jan 18 at 16:22
  • 2
    It still is going to be called attraction, but you are looking for a subset that I do not believe has its own name. Even attraction itself is considered a subset of decoy per the "Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations". It is getting so refined at that point, that no one has bothered to create a separate category. – PhishMaster Jan 18 at 16:26
  • 1
    @user5783745 Not that I expect people to start refining combination books that much, but if they did, I would recommend the term "jamming" since "obstruction" is already a term. – PhishMaster Jan 18 at 16:39
  • But if you're moving a piece to a square, you necessarily had that square covered already... well, except in edge cases like pawn promotion. – D M Jan 18 at 16:40
  • That second puzzle was amazing, and i've seen quite many. – Isac Jan 20 at 18:53

As far as I know, the term for a sacrifice that causes a player to block an escape square called a “selfblock,” altough it is a type of selfblock.

For a composed example, here is one that shows the idea. White sacfrifices a pawn on e4 and a rook on d4, and this causes Black to move their pieces to those squares, thus taking away escape squares from the Black king.

[Title "Johann Christoffel Van Gool, Le Journal de Genève 1979"]
[FEN "2n1QN2/2Np1pk1/1b1p1p2/1Kp1B1p1/1R3p2/2P1r3/1r1nPRb1/1B5q w - - 0 1"]

1. Nfe6+ dxe6 2. Nxe6+ fxe6 3. Bxf6+ Kxf6 4. Rxf4+ gxf4 5. Qf8+ Ke5 6. Qxf4+ Kd5 7. Qg5+ Re5 8. e4+ Bxe4 9. Qxd2+ Rxd2 10. Ba2+ Rxa2 11. Rd4+ cxd4 12. c4#

I found a game where this actually occurs, pulled from this chessgames collection created by notyetagm.

[Title "Tigran Levonovich Petrosian-Ara Minasian, 66th Armenian Championship, Yerevan Armenia, 3/19/2006"]
[FEN ""]
[startply "56"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Qe2 Ng5 6. Nxg5 Qxg5 7. d4 Qe7 8. dxe5 Nd4 9. Qd3 Qxe5 10. Bd2 Ne6 11. Re1 Qd6 12. Qh3 Be7 13. Bd3 c6 14. Nc3 Qc7 15. f4 g6 16. g4 O-O 17. f5 Ng5 18. Qe3 Bf6 19. Rf1 d5 20. fxg6 d4 21. gxh7+ Kg7 22. Qe1 dxc3 23. Bxc3 Qb6+ 24. Kh1 Bd4 25. Qh4 Ne6 26. Qf6+ Bxf6 27. Bxf6+ Kh6 28. Rf5 Ng7 29. Rh5+ Nxh5 30. g5#

White sacrifices their rook to h5 with a check, which in turn causes Black to move their knight there, depriving the king of an escape square, aka a selfblock.

| improve this answer | | | | |
  • 1
    Even if you give it a name, as notyetagm made up, you just showed that the collection of examples is so small, that it really is just a made-up name. When I went looking, I looked at the tables of contents of about 15 general tactics books looking for a grouping that would fit, just in case I missed, or forgot, something. It is a decent naming, but you will still not find it in tactics books. – PhishMaster Jan 18 at 21:13
  • 1
    Not including Russian books, I have a digital library of approximately 1900 chess books. In them, the term self-blocking occurs only 8 times. Only twice does it occur in combination type positions. So while it is a general term sometimes used to describe things in chess, it is so rare that it is not a term used to specifically define a specific type of tactic. I am going to add them to my answer above. – PhishMaster Jan 18 at 21:39
  • 1
    It’s an actual chess term, not something one person made up. For example, see this YACPBD collection of them. Chessbase also has a small article on the term. But you are correct that the certain type of selfblock the OP asks for is a rarish sub-type. – Rewan Demontay Jan 18 at 22:21
  • 1
    I am saying that it is just English that adeptly describes what is happening, but it is not common enough to be a pure chess term. – PhishMaster Jan 18 at 22:22
  • 1
    @PhishMaster Speaking of Russian books, there is a term for such tactics, namely блокировка (not to be confused with блокада - block), and may be roughly translated as blocking. I admit I never seen it in English chess literature. – user58697 Jan 20 at 2:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.