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Overloading is sometimes referred to as a Chess Tactic ... It's not really, it's more of an oversight by the player who demands too much of a single piece.

Sometimes known as an "Overworked Piece", this situation arises when a Chess Piece is given more than one critical assignment - such as defending two pieces at the same time.

So, while not a Tactic in itself, it is a situation for you to look out for and exploit, wherever possible, as these examples show ...

Example 1

Battle Log - Header Graphic
  1. ... Re1
  2. Rxe1 ... Qxf3#

Historical Game:
Krasenkow-Karpov, Corus Chess Tournament, 2003

Krasenkow (White) had just moved his King to the h1 square ...

Now, if you look at White's f1 Rook, it's has two assignments - one, to guard the King; two, to guard the f3 Pawn, which is under pressure from Black's Queen.

It's a clear case of Overloading, and Karpov (Black) knows it ...

Move 29, Black drops his Rook down to e1, threatening White's f1 Rook.

In the actual game, White Resigned at this point. Here's what he foresaw:

Move 30, White knows he would have to use his Rook to capture (x) Black's Rook, on e1 ...

Black would then march his Queen downwards, capturing (x) White's Pawn, on f3 and "Checking" White's King.

Because of Black's c5 Bishop guarding the g1 square, White's King would have nowhere to escape, thus the resulting "Checkmate" (#) - Black would Win, hence White's choice to Resign.

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Example 2

Battle Log - Header Graphic
  1. ... Bd8
  2. Qb2 ... Nd3

Move 1, Black sends his Bishop to d8, to try and scare off the advance of White's Queen.

Move 2, White thinks he sees an opportunity for a strong attacking formation, by sending his Queen to b2 and doubling-up with the b-file Rook ...

But White has misjudged the situation and, subsequently Overloads that Rook ...

Black notices, too, and sends his mid-board kNight to d3, creating a three-way Fork Attack against White's f4 Bishop, b4 Rook and b2 Queen.

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Example 3

Battle Log - Header Graphic
  1. Qh3 ... Re7

Move 1, White drops his Queen down to h3; Black seeks to double-up on the e-file and protect his Queen at the same time, by side-stepping his Rook, to e7.

However, this proves to be costly, as it now Overloads that Rook into protecting both his Queen AND the c7 Pawn, the latter of which is under attack from White's g3 Bishop.

Not only that, but Black's c7 Pawn is also under attack from White's c3 Rook.

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Overloading Can Be Exploited With These Cunning Chess Tactics
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