Ever had it where you get a really good position and your tactical radar starts going crazy? You know there’s a win here somewhere… but when you play the obvious moves your opponent somehow escapes.

Trust your intuition – there probably was a win… but it slipped away. This tip will reduce those frustrations and help you win more games.

It’s called “reversing the move-order”, a name which pretty much sums up the whole idea.

When you spot a combination but it doesn’t quite work as you want it to, try changing the move order. Here’s a simple example:

ReverseMoveOrderAll White’s pieces are aimed at the enemy King. There must be a winning combination.

Let’s start with the obvious 1.Rxh6+ Kg7 now what? 2.Rh7+ Kf6 and the King escapes.

Ok, 1.Rxh6+ Kg7 2.Rg5+ oops, …Kxh6.

But if we reverse the move order, 1.Rg5! wins …Nf5 2.Bxf5 exf5 3.Rxh6#.

This is a very useful idea to remember, you’ll find it helps in many different types of combinations. It’s also worth noting that removing escape squares (as with 1.Rg5!) is often better than playing immediate checks when on a King hunt.

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