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Decoy - chess

Honfi vs. Barczay, Kecskemet 1977
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Black to move

In chess, decoying is the tactic of ensnaring a piece, usually the king or queen, by forcing it to move to a poisoned square with a sacrifice on that square.


In the diagram, with Black to play, illustrates two separate decoys. First, the white queen is set up on c4 for a knight fork: 1... Rxc4! 2. Qxc4. Next, the fork is executed by removing the sole defender of the a3-square: 2... Qxb2!+ 3. Rxb2 Na3+ 4. Kc1. Finally, a zwischenzug decoys the king to b2: 4... Bxb2+. After either 5.Kxb2 Nxc4+ 6.Kc3 Rxe4, or 5.Kd1 Nxc4, Black is two pawns ahead and should win comfortably.

Perhaps the most celebrated game featuring a decoy theme is Petrosian vs. Pachman, Bled 1961, which also involved a queen sacrifice.

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