Four Essential Chess Tactics

Chess tactics for defense and offense are equally important. Below are four interesting tactics for you to explore. You may have seen these situations before. Next time you play chess against the computer, look out for opportunities to apply them. These are: double attack, intermediate move, removing the defender and deflection.

Double Attack

A double attack is a chess tactic that assails two enemy pieces at the same time. If carried out by the same piece, it is known as a fork. The figure that is most capable of achieving this is the queen since she can move in different ways.

A double attack can be very effective. Unless a way is found to delay the attack, the target has no choice but to save one of the attacked pieces and forsake the other. Say a white knight attacks the black king and a black bishop. Since the king always comes first, black has no choice but to forfeit the bishop.

Remove the Defender

Defender refers to a friendly piece that protects another piece because, if the latter is captured, the defender can recapture the one that took it. Before you remove a defender, see what future moves are possible. If there will be an exchange of captures, calculate whether or not you will gain more than you will lose.


This tactic is related to removing the defender. The aim of deflection is to get a defender to abandon its post so as to leave its protected piece vulnerable. Suppose the black king is guarded by one of his rooks. If the rook moves, it will not result in an immediate checkmate, but a few moves on your part would do the trick. You can try to attack the rook to get it to move out of the way. This is deflection.

Another type of deflection is the opposite: Suppose the rook is defending the enemy queen. You put the enemy king in check with a knight within the rook's line. Your opponent is then forced to abandon the queen to capture the knight (and save the king). This gives you the chance to capture the enemy queen with another one of your pieces. You trade a knight for a queen!

Intermediate Move

This is an impressive chess tactic often used as a response against an attack. An intermediate move is one that interrupts a predicted exchange of moves so that the player gains an advantage.

Suppose a knight attacks a rook and bishop of yours. Normally in a fork like this, you have no choice but to relinquish the less valuable piece - the bishop - to save the better one. But suppose you can move the bishop to a position that checks the attacker's king? Then the fork is interrupted! The attack is delayed—they must move their king to safety—and you not only move the bishop out of harm's way, you can do the same with the rook as well. This is the intermediate move chess tactic.

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