An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Loose Pieces Drop Off – Practical Chess

In his book “Secrets of Practical Chess”, John Nunn coined the phrase “Loose Pieces Drop Off”. Here is a little example that I think illustrates this rule well:

cerassee – DDT3000, ICC, 15 minutes per game

 image Black to Move.
White just played 21. Ba5? and seemingly created a threat to the rook on d8. However making aggressive moves before finishing development (White’s rooks have not moved yet!) is dangerous, and Black was able to exploit exactly that. As a hint – consider that Bd3 is attacked by the rook from d8, the knight on c4 is already attacked by Be6. Now also Ba5 is unprotected. Black should be able to exploit all this “looseness” of White pieces and he did… How?


  1. That's a terrific little turn of phrase -- a succinct and vivid mental image, immediately graspable; exactly the sort of thing that chess writing needs more of, especially instructional work aimed at novices.
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  2. My thought was R:d3 Q:d3 Qb5.

  3. @Jerry - yeah that was it. Both Ba5 and Nc4 are hanging, so Black wins back the second piece for the rook.


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