I will be using the rules of chess defined by FIDE (read more about fide on the history page). Chess pieces are set up in a mirrored fashion, with a front frow consisting of pawns and a back row containing the rest of the pieces. The “Board Setup” tab on the right displays an image of the setup. White always moves first, so chess players will use the term “playing as white/black” synonymously for starting first or second. After white moves, black moves, and so on in an alternating fashion. Each of the 6 types of pieces have unique moves, which are displayed in the appropriate tab to the right. It is important to note that the “x” represents squares that pieces can move while not being blocked by another piece, except for the knight, which can move over other pieces.
There are many, and I mean MANY, different tactics that you can employ to give yourself an edge over your opponent. I will be covering a few basic tactics on this website, all of which have a demonstration on the appropriate tab in the bottom content container. It is important to note that each of the examples I give are basic examples of each tactic, for the sake of being easier to understand. A true chess master will use an amalgamation of more complex versions of these tactics together to best their opponent. Advanced demonstrations of these tactics can be found on the resources page.
Forking is probably the most well-known tactic, and easiest to employ. Although most commonly performed with the knight, a fork can be set up with any piece in the game (including the king!). Forking the enemy is when you move your piece in a way that attacks two or more (typically) undefended pieces. When set up properly, your opponent will only have one move on their turn and can only save one piece, therefore forcing a trade. In the example I’ve given on the right, there are actually two forks going on: black moves pawn to G4, attacking both rooks, meaning that white can only save one. HOWEVER, white counter forks black by responding with knight to B6, checking the king and attacking the rook on A8 at the same time. This is one simple example of how forking can be employed in a chess match.
Pinning is when you move your piece in a way that would attack a more valuable piece (often times the king) if not blocked by a piece in between. This effectively makes your opponent unable to move said in between piece, in other words, pins it. Pins can be used both defensively and offensively. In the example give, white moves bishop to F5, which pins black’s knight to the king, because black is now unable to move his knight without exposing his king to white’s bishop.
A discovered attack is when you move a piece to attack, while also attacking another piece that was previously blocked by the piece you just moved (bear with me the example will make sense). In other words, you attack two pieces with one move, making discovered attacks functionally similar to forking. In the example given, white moving their knight to C7 would fork both of black’s rooks, however, black’s queen on C8 prevents this. OR SO YOU THOUGHT! If you look at white’s queen on B3, we realize that moving white’s knight to C7 would also perform a discovered attack on black’s king. Because black is now in check, he is forced to move his king, allowing white’s knight to fork one of black’s rook.
Skewering is the opposite of pinning. Typically when pinning, the more valuable piece is the one behind the piece that is therefore pinned. When skewering, it is the other way around. The more valuable piece is being attacked, and forces your opponent to move it, allowing you to take the piece behind it. In the example given, white moves their bishop to F3, attacking black’s queen. This is a skewer because although black can save his queen by moving it, white is still able to take black’s rook.