It is common knowledge in the game of chess that a “tactic” is a series of short term maneuvers which have specific goals in mind. All players, beginners to grand masters, need and use different types of tactics that will help them win the game. Typical tactics will fall into patterns you can recognize in many different varying positions. The three basic types of tactics you need to learn are the fork, pin, and skewer. These three tactics are for everyone to use, especially the beginning chess player, as these three prove to be the most useful. Once you learn and understand these three basic tactics, you will be able to easily see and anticipate them from your opponent—you will be able to use them to your advantage.
The “fork” tactic is when a single chess piece of yours is able to attack two chess pieces of your opponent at the same time. For example, one pawn piece of yours can either attack one of the two opponent’s pieces within the pawn’s attack range. Also, when an attack is against two enemy pieces at the same time by two of your pieces, it is called a “double attack”.
The next of the three tactics you need to learn is the “pin” tactic. The “pin” tactic is when you attack an opponent’s piece, and that targeted piece cannot move without revealing another piece behind it to capture. You essentially are “pinning” the first piece to the piece behind it. The only pieces that can pin other pieces are the rook, bishop, and queen. However, if you are ever a victim of a “pin” from your opponent, follow these four tips to escape the “pin”.
1.Block the pin by moving another piece of yours between the piece being pinned and the pinning piece.
2.Move the piece that is being pinned by your opponent’s pinning piece.
3.Capture the piece that is doing the pinning.
4.Attack the opponent’s piece to force your opponent to move it away.
The “skewer” is very similar to the “pin” tactic but this time, you attack your opponent by forcing the targeted opponent’s piece to move away in order for you to capture the more valuable piece behind the “skewered” piece. To some chess players, this is also known as the “bully move,” where you have your piece bully its way on the board to make your opponent decide which piece they will need to give up to you.
Continue to practice to recognize and memorize these tactics in order to win your opponents pieces that you target during the game and eventually the “checkmate”. The key to becoming a better chess player is to understand these aforementioned tactics. The beginning chess player should always remember that the back row of your pieces are critical in winning the game, so by moving them out at a first chance is critical. The quicker those pieces in the back row have been moved out, the quicker you can apply your own tactics and strategies that will help you gain a checkmate against your opponent.