An important attacking technique in chess is what we call the TEAM ATTACK.

This involves attacking one of your opponent's pieces with two or more of your pieces.

We usually use this technique when we're attacking pawns, because they're the least mobile pieces so cannot easily run away.

As you know, chess is about ATTACK and DEFENCE.

You attack an enemy pawn so your opponent defends it.

If you've got more pieces than your opponent you'll be able to attack enemy pawns more often than he'll be able to defend them.

So you'll be able to win his pawns, PROMOTE your pawns and get lots of queens!

You can use this idea even at the start of the game. Look at the black pawn on f7.

He's only got the king to defend him.

So sometimes White can go for a quick attack on f7 with two pieces at the start of the game.

Watch this.

Both players start by moving their e-pawns two squares. Now White brings his queen out to h5. Look! He's THREATENING the black pawn on e5.

But look again. He also has f7 as a target. But he needs to find another piece to join the Queen's team.

Black defends the THREAT to the pawn on e5 by using his knight and now the Bishop moves from f1 to c4 to join in the attack on f7.

Now White has TWO pieces attacking the pawn on f7 but Black only has one piece defending him.

You are playing through these moves on your chess board, aren't you?

If Black doesn't see the THREAT this is what happens to him.

It's CHECKMATE by the White Queen.

The Bishop on c4 is supporting the White Queen.

You'll learn much more about this in a later lesson.

This is a good way to start the game. Play these moves on your board.

Both players start by moving their e-pawn two squares.

Next White moves his Knight to f3 to THREATEN the Pawn on e5. Black moves his Knight to c6 to defend the Pawn.

White now moves his Bishop to c4 to target the weak Pawn on f7.

Black replies by moving his Knight from g8 to f6 (this is called the TWO KNIGHTS DEFENCE) and White continues his attack on f7 by moving his Knight from f3 to g5.

Black's only good way to DEFEND the pawn on f7 is to BLOCK the Bishop by moving the pawn from d7 to d5.

Black could also have moved his Bishop from f8 to c5 on his third move. That OPENING is called the GIUOCO PIANO (it means 'quiet game' in Italian) or the ITALIAN GAME.

White can also find another way to attack the black Pawn on e5.

This is called the SCOTCH GAME. White uses his d-pawn to attack e5 a second time.

But Black also has two pieces ready to take the Pawn on d4.

Watch what might happen now: Black captures on d4 with his Pawn. Then White captures the black Pawn with his Knight. Now the black Knight on c6 could capture the Knight, and then the white Queen would in turn capture the Knight.

Play through these moves on your board.


Ruy Lopez was a 16th century Spanish priest.

White again targets e5, but this time he uses his Bishop to attack the Knight which is DEFENDING the Pawn.

You'll learn a lot about all these OPENINGS in later lessons.

One more word of advice.

Sometimes you'll be able to capture the same enemy piece with two (or more) of your pieces.

If your opponent is going to take you back you should always choose the LEAST valuable piece to capture with first, so that you don't lose so many points when he takes you back.

If your opponent CANNOT take you back it's often best to capture with the MOST valuable piece because that's the one that can do the most damage.

That's the end of the lesson.

What do you want to do now?

Do a quiz on this lesson

Repeat the lesson

Return to the menu