So you’ve learned the basics of Chess. You’ve learned how to set up the pieces, learned how to move them, and also learned how to capture the enemy pieces! Now is the perfect time to start learning the basic chess tactics!
The former are the essential parts of learning how to play Chess. The next step, undoubtedly, to level up your game is to master the basic chess tactics.
Learning these basic Chess tactics will help you capture the enemy pieces rapidly and build the confidence to win against similarly leveled opponents!
What are Chess Tactics? And Why is it Important to Learn them?
Chess tactics are basically a set of moves that you play against your opponent to give them an immediate threat.
Threatening your opponent immediately through tactics could involve a threat to capture their high-valued piece, a check to the opponent’s king, and sometimes even a checkmate threat!
In any case, tactics will give you the opportunity to exploit the enemy’s targets and weaknesses and create pressure on them.
If your opponent makes a mistake, you will immediately have the upper hand eventually helping you win the game!
Make sure you do not confuse yourself between the 2 different concepts of Chess tactics and Chess strategies.
Chess strategies are used to build a long-term advantage in a Chess game, unlike Chess tactics which pose an immediate threat to your opponent.
Are you ready to level up your game by learning Chess tactics? Keep reading to have a thorough understanding of the Chess tactics explained using examples.
4 Basic Chess Tactics that Every Kid Must Know
The fork is one of the most basic Chess tactics where your one single piece attacks 2 or more enemy pieces.
To have a clear understanding of what is fork – imagine a pawn attacking 2 enemy pieces diagonally at the same time.
Suppose the enemy pieces that you’re attacking are – a knight and a bishop and your pawn is supported by another pawn.
Since your enemy cannot move both the pieces in a single move, they have to sacrifice at least one of them.
Even if they capture the pawn, the defending pawn can easily capture the enemy’s piece and you will have a clear material advantage!
Knights are the most common pieces that are used to fork the enemy pieces because of their unique movement and jumping ability.
Although, you can use any of your pieces to play the fork tactic against your opponent. The bottomline is just that you must always end up with some material advantage!
2. Discovered Attack
The discovered attack in Chess is when you move one of your pieces out of the way to reveal a blocked attack by your different piece.
For example – Suppose your rook is watching the opponent’s queen on a file but it is blocked by your own bishop.
Now if you move your bishop out of your rook’s way, it directly attacks the enemy queen!
Note that if the attacked piece in this kind of situation is a king, the tactic is called a discovered check.
Also, when both of your pieces, the moving piece, and the attacking piece give a check to the enemy’s king, it is known as the double check!
Double check is very effective because it forces the opponent to move the king since they cannot defend the king from 2 attacks in a single move.
Yayy! You just learned 2 more Chess tactics by learning the discovered attack.
The pin is a Chess tactic when you attack an enemy’s piece such that if they move it, it exposes their more valued piece behind it.
Take the same example mentioned above for the discovered attack. Your rook is placed on a file and it is watching the opponent’s queen but it is blocked by your bishop.
Now just replace your bishop with the enemy’s bishop and you make a pin!
If your opponent moves their bishop, they expose their queen to be captured by your rook, thus stopping their bishop to move anywhere on the board.
This was an example of a relative pin where a more valued piece was potentially exposed behind a lesser valued piece. Moving the lesser valued piece by your opponent would be a legal move but it would win you points.
The other variation of this Chess tactic is an absolute pin where the higher valued piece is a king. In this case, moving the defending piece would absolutely be an illegal move!
Did you notice that the king, pawn, and knights cannot pin? This is because only pieces like a queen, bishop, and rook which can move indefinitely in horizontal, vertical, and diagonal squares can give a pin.
The skewer Chess tactic is similar to the pin and sometimes it is often known as a “reverse pin.”
When you pin your opponent’s piece, the lowered valued piece is directly under attack and if your opponent moves it, they lose the higher valued piece behind it.
In skewer, the position of the opponent’s pieces is interchanged. The higher valued piece is directly under attack and the lower valued piece is behind it.
The goal of playing this Chess tactic is to gain a material advantage by capturing the opponent’s unguarded lower-valued piece. It’s easy to capture the piece in skewer because the opponent is compelled to move the higher valued piece that is attacked by you.
Let’s put this in an example – Let’s say your opponent’s rook is unguarded and it is aligned on the same diagonal with their own queen.
Now if you attack your opponent’s queen using a bishop with a strong defense, your opponent will be compelled to move the queen.
If they move the queen, you can capture the rook behind it and if they don’t, you can simply take their queen!
Just like pin, the 2 variations in skewer are the absolute skewer and relative skewer.
If the higher valued piece is a king, it’s an absolute skewer, and if it’s any other piece, the tactic is known as a relative skewer.
Again, just like in pin, only bishop, queen, and rooks can be used for this Chess tactic since they can move indefinitely in a straight line horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.
How to set up Chess pieces, how to move the Chess pieces, and how to capture your opponent’s pieces on the Chessboard are the most fundamental things to learn in Chess.
The next step to level up your Chess game is to learn the basic Chess tactics that give immediate threat to your opponent.
Some of the basic Chess tactics are the fork, discovered attack, discovered check, double check, pin, and skewer.
Now you’ve learned the basic Chess tactics and you’re ready to start winning!