Overload in chess- chess overload

A chess piece is in overload when it has more than one guarding task to do. The piece that is experiencing overload can then be taken advantage of by capturing one of the chess pieces it is guarding or occupying a square it is guarding forcing it to leave its other guard job.

Queen Overload

When a queen must ensure too much of tasks of protection, it is said to be in overload. Then she loses a great part of her liberty of action. The powerful queen is able to defend many pieces; but it is exactly the importance of her role, which explains why she should be kept free and not be placed in overload.

The Queen is very often in overload particularly because of her power and the fact that her value is crucial and therefore she can consequently be vulnerable to this position. If an overload Queen is threatened and has to move to leave the line of attack, some of her protection tasks will not be accomplished any more. The overprotection tactic, according to Nimzovich's ideas, can be the best solution for this problem. If you find that your queen is attacked, remember that the attacker usually must have protection; so take a moment to ask whether its guardian has other responsibilities as well.

Knight Overload

A knight is said to be in overload when it must ensure too many different tasks of protection. It then loses a large part of its freedom of movement. But this case is not as characteristic as that of the queen in overload. Nevertheless, you should keep the following in mind: generally pawns or pieces that are defended by an attacked knight are not placed on the attack trajectory.

Bishop Overload

A bishop is also said to be in overload when it must ensure too many different tasks of protection. It can then no longer move around freely. Bishops are not as often in overload as queens, knights and rooks. When a bishop has an important protection role it is often limited in its action. The most favorable case is when your bishop protects and is protected by a pawn of the same color, which gives it free diagonal control.

There are many methods of preventing overload. You can try loosening a square or a piece instead of overburdening a very important piece. One way is to loosen a piece is to capture the guard. Another way is to make a capture on the contested square, allow a recapture to take place, and see if the chess piece left standing is loose. Still another way is to ask yourself whether the guard also is protecting another piece that you might take.

You can of course also take advantage when your opponent’s pieces are in overload. When a piece is guarded, we look whether the guard also is guarding any other targets—another piece, or a forking or mating square. If it is, the guard is in overload as it has too many defensive responsibilities. You should then decide which of the two protected pieces you should try to capture first.