Philidor’s Legacy

Philidor’s Legacy

Philidor was a very strong chess player who lived between 1726 and 1795.    He made a lot of contributions to chess including:

  • The importance of looking after your pawn structure
  • Philidor’s Defence which starts 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6
  • Analysis of some very important rook and pawn endings.

He was also famous for Philidor’s Legacy.   This is a tactic that comes up surprisingly often in games.   It is both useful and very pretty!

A few things to note:

  • The knight can start on d6, e5 as well as g5 in this position
  • if the rook was on f8 then black’s best move is to give up the rook for the knight; that loses material but avoids mate
  • If black has a queen on the back rank instead of a rook it doesn’t work.   The black queen would be on g8 at the end and black would just play Qxf7.