A windmill, also known as a seesaw, is a strategic maneuver in chess where a player repeatedly captures their opponent’s pieces while also setting up a sequence of checks that can’t be avoided. This can be an effective tactic as the opponent is forced to respond to each check, leaving their pieces vulnerable to capture. The windmill typically involves a rook and bishop working together to execute the plan.
The most famous example of the windmill tactic is undoubtedly the game between Carlos Torre Repetto and Emanuel Lasker, sometimes dubbed “The Seventh Seal” for its apocalyptic outcome:
I cannot exclude a game from our database that is outstanding in several aspects because:
- The winner sacrificed a queen for a few minor pieces.
- The opening was my favorite King’s Gambit.
- And, most importantly, the game features a windmill with a bishop and a knight.
Yes, I already used this particular game in another article, so the in-game comments were mostly copied and pasted. However, at least I highlighted the windmill part:
The windmill tactic is most effective when the opponent’s pieces are poorly coordinated or when they are in a pin, preventing them from moving out of the way of the checks. However, it can be challenging to set up and execute the windmill, as it often requires careful calculation and anticipation of the opponent’s responses.
The windmill tactic is a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled player and can often lead to a decisive advantage or even checkmate. However, it is not always easy to pull off, and it requires a high level of tactical awareness and foresight to use effectively.