In this lesson we're going to look at FORKS AND SKEWERS.|
If you threaten an enemy piece your opponent will probably find a way of defending.
But if you threaten TWO enemy pieces at the same time he may not be able to defend both of them.
First of all, look at this position.|
The WHITE ROOK is ATTACKING the BLACK PAWN on c5.
The BLACK PAWN on b6 is DEFENDING his friend on c5.
So: The WHITE ROOK is the ATTACKER
The BLACK PAWN on c5 is the TARGET
The BLACK PAWN on b6 is the DEFENDER
Now look at this.
The WHITE ROOK is also ATTACKING the BLACK PAWN on f7.
This PAWN is NOT DEFENDED.
So this ATTACK is also a THREAT.
An ATTACK is where a piece COULD capture an enemy piece.
A THREAT is where a piece WANTS TO capture an enemy piece.
The WHITE ROOK is ATTACKING the PAWN on c5 and THREATENING the PAWN on f7.
If you THREATEN an opponent's piece what usually happens?
Usually, your opponent will either move or defend the THREATENED piece.
But if you could THREATEN TWO pieces at the same time what would happen?
Because you can only move one piece at a time, your opponent will only be able to meet one threat.
If you THREATEN two (or more) pieces at the same time in DIFFERENT directions this is what you use.
It's called a FORK.
Not a knife. Not a spoon. A FORK!
Here's what a FORK looks like on a chessboard.
In this position White can move his ROOK from d3 to d7.
On d7 he will THREATEN both BLACK PAWNS.
If the PAWN on b7 moves White will be able to CAPTURE the PAWN on g7.
And if the PAWN on g7 moves White will be able to CAPTURE the PAWN on b7.
PAWNS can use FORKS as well.
Take a look at this.
If the PAWN on d2 moves to d4 he THREATENS both BLACK ROOKS.
If the ROOK on c5 moves White will CAPTURE the ROOK on e5.
And if the ROOK on e5 moves he will CAPTURE the ROOK on c5.
PAWNS may be slow and weak, but they have the power to take on two ROOKS at the same time.
A very similar idea to the FORK is the SKEWER.
A FORK THREATENS two or more pieces in DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.
A SKEWER THREATENS two or more pieces in THE SAME DIRECTION.
If you've played some ROOK AND PAWN games against me you might remember this position.
Maybe you found the best way for White to start.
If you move your ROOK from h1 to h7 you SKEWER all five BLACK PAWNS.
You'll be able to capture a few of them before Black gets a PAWN near the end of the board.
That's the end of the lesson.
What do you want to do now?