More Chess Nonetheless Chess Books Book for Beginners More NIP
© 2015 Jonathan Whitcomb
Chess positions that may appear, on the surface, to be the same - Training in tactics
Nearly-Identical Positions
Diagram One
Diagram Two
The diagram on the left shows a well- known opening trap, as it’s about to be sprung: Nxe5! If black captures the queen, white mates in two moves: Bxf7+, followed by Nd5#. By the way, black cannot win a piece by refusing the queen and instead capturing with Nxe5, for after the white queen captures the bishop at h5, black’s capture of the bishop at c4 would be answered by Qb5+ (the black knight at c4 would be lost). Tactics like this depend on details in a chess position, and that’s why the NIP method (nearly-identical positions) can help a player to be aware of important tactics.
No look at the second diagram. Does it appear familiar? Can white spring the trap of sacrificing the queen to get a checkmate? No, it’s not the same position, with black’s other knight being developed instead of the queen knight. This example may be overly simplistic but it makes a point for the nearly- identical-position (NIP) training in chess. Learning tactics through a careful combination of similar chess positions can improve performance. Chess students can learn to see the board position more clearly if they are given nearly-identical positions, one of which involves a tactic and the other of which does not. This is one method used in the book Beat That Kid in Chess (for early beginners) by Jonathan Whitcomb.