Basic tactics in chess part 2 – Skewer in chess

In our previous article, you saw the information related to pin, it also included how to use pin and trivia which will be answered at the end of this article. We also bring your trivia on today’s topic. Today we will see skewer.

The skewer is exactly the opposite of the pin. How is it so? As we know in a pin, the strongest piece is behind while a weaker piece is in front of it. Here the stronger piece is in front while the weaker piece is at the back. Let me show it to you with a simple example.

In the above position, the white rook is attacking the queen, and when the queen moves, the knight on a5 can be captured for free.
A few more examples of skweres –

Black to Play

Here Black starts with 1…-Qg8+ 2.Qxg8-Rxg8 3.Kf1-Rh1+ 4.Ke2-Rxa1.

Black to play

Here just 1…-Qh8+ 2.Kf5-Qxc3.

Skewer turns out to be a common idea in the endgame and a lot of endgames are decided with this trick. Let us look at the following examples.

White to play

A common way to win this position is 1.Ra8-Rxh7 2.Ra7+-Ke8 3.Rxh7

Black to play

Here just 1…-Re6+ 2.Kf4-Rxe2.

That’s all for the part of skewers.

Today’s trivia –

White to play

Answer to the previous trivia based on pins

White should not capture as it is a famous opening trap –

d4-d5 c4 e6- Nc4-Nf6 Bg5-Nbd7 cxd5-exd5 Nxd5?-Nxd5! Bxd8-Bb4+ Qd2-Kxd8 and black will be a piece up.

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Basic tactics in chess Part 1 – Pins in Chess

Once you are familiar with the movement of pieces and the general rules regarding chess. You have to level up your game by learning the basic tactics. As they say, strategy and tactics go hand in hand. So first we should learn tactics that will assist our strategies.
So from now, we start a series of articles on basic tactics.

Pins in Chess –

Black to play

Try to think in the above position what can be the best move. Here you can move your Queen to b7 and freeze the Rook on e4.

Pins in chess is like just imagine – someone tied your hands with rope. Now you know that you have hands, you can even sense them, but you cannot use them. Similarly, when you pin an opponent piece, then it is not possible to move it as either it will be an illegal move or it will lead to material loss.

Absolute pin –

An absolute pin is a position where the pinned piece is in front of the king. So in this scenario, if it moves, then it will be a check to the king. It is illegal to have your king in check with your opponent to move. Examples of absolute pin –

White to play
The White Rook pins the Black Knight
White to play
Pinning the knight
Black protects it with a pawn and white attacks it with his pawn!
The Famous – Nimzo Indian Defence starting with a pin!

Relative pin –

A relative pin is a position where the pinned piece is in front of a major piece and not a king. So if the piece moves, it will lead to loss of material. But as in relative pin, the piece can move so sometimes it might lead to a reverse tactic.

As a Black knight can move, it is called a relative pin

Let’s see a few ideas you can use by pins in chess –

using the advantage of an absolute pin, white threats to mate with Qxg7
Black prevents it with g6 and white plays Qh6 and now the checkmate is unavoidable

Puzzle –

White to play, can white play Nxd5

The answer will be posted in the next article of this series.

The above were a few examples and ideas on pins in chess, I hope you all liked it and would visit again for another tactic in store for you.

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Alexander Alekhine – Alekhine’s Gun

Did you just read “Gun” in a chess article? Yes, Yes you read it right. It is indeed about something resembling a gun. Today I am sharing with you one of my favourite strategic ideas. So first I will share a few words about the creator of this strategy. Alekhine’s Gun is a concept named after Alexander Alekhine. Alexander Alekhine was the 4th World Chess Champion. He contributed heavily to chess literature by creating masterpieces. Alekhine’s handling of the following position always brings me joy for the beauty of the sequence. of moves and ideas behind it.


Before you look into the answer, try to think from white’s perspective of what could be a strategy he can use to attack the Knight on c6 and win material. One hint I can give is to try to provide logical defensive moves from black’s side and you will be able to reach the solution.

Here Alekhine playing with white pieces, constructed the Alekhine’s Gun! He played Rc2-Qe8 Rac1-Rab8 Qe3-Rc7 Rc3-Qd7 R1c2-Kf8 Qc1{Completion of Alekhine’s Gun. This formation of two Rooks in front of a Queen is deadly when the target cannot move!}Rbc8 Ba4-b5 Bxb5-Ke8 Ba4-Kd8 h4![Black is paralysed. His pieces cannot move. Once pawns are blocked. It forces resignation.

Now I give you 2 positions to try and find how to execute the knowledge we got from above.

White to play

In the above position, Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov followed the steps of his predecessors to apply the same theme. Try giving a shot at it yourself.

White to play

A recent example from previous year’s Online olympiad, Current World Junior Chess Champion in women’s category, Polina Shuvalova is playing white and she also found a perfect sequence to apply the Alekhine’s Gun.

Above is a video of explanation of Alekhine playing the masterpiece.


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Studies in chess

When was the last time you took engine assistance to check a position for the correct evaluation? How often do you do that? If you feel that you want to get your habit of checking engine under control j will recommend you to solve studies. So what are studies? Studies in chess which is also known as compositions in chess are unique positions. These positions are very instructive for the following reasons

1. They have a forced win.
2. There is only one solution to the position.
3. The idea is not so obvious
4. Each time you learn a new pattern
5. There are a lot of positions which engine cannot solve which proves that nothing can substitute a human brain!
6. There is no restriction to composition.

So basically studies are widely used as a tool to a calculation by Grandmasters and also they recommend studies for improving calculation. Solving studies is a lot of fun as there are a lot of lines with best possible Defence and after hitting them, then you reach to a solution which is the correct answer.

I will recommend Domination in 2545 endgames by Kasparian. The positions are structured patterns.

Try solving the following position

white to play



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Smothered Mate in Chess

Winning a game in Chess gives pleasure. When we manage to checkmate our opponent the joy is of a unique level. There are a lot of unique patterns in chess which lead to checkmate. Today we will look at one such pattern which is called Smothered Mate.  It is a forcing pattern of checks with the combination of a Queen and Knight which force the opponent King in corner and we sacrifice our queen and deliver checkmate with our Knight.


Final Position of Smothered Mate.


Now we see a position.



The above sequence of Queen and Knight checks leads to a forced checkmate!


Now I present a few puzzles.

White to Play
Black to play
White to Play
White to Play



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