It’s important for all chess players to have some tricks up their sleeves! The correct name for these tricks is “Tactics”. There are loads of tactics and we are all good at some special ones. It is most important to fully understand the 4 main tactics. These are called:




Discovered Attacks



First we need to work out what makes up a tactic. Then we need to find some examples so we can see how the tactic is used in a real game. I’m going to start with the tactic that happen the most, Pins. A Pin is when we aim at one of our opponent’s pieces, and that piece can’t move because there is an even bigger target sitting behind it.


Black has a bishop that wants to take white’s queen. But the bishop can’t move or white’s rook on e1 would be giving check. This is a Pin! The bad thing about a pinned piece is that it looks like it’s doing something but it’s not, as it can’t move. Here, black’s bishop desperately wants to take the white queen, but it can’t move!


Test 1: Black can win material here because one of white’s pieces which looks safe isn’t really safe. What can black take safely because of a Pin?


Test 2: This time it’s white to move and they have a deadly Pin. Can you find it?


Test 3: This one is a bit harder. First white has to make a Pin, and then they can win material. So, as white, pin it, and win it!


Solving tactical puzzles is a great way to improve. There is an excellent selection of tactics books at the chess shop, and there are even websites with thousands of puzzles for you to try (though some of these puzzles are so hard, the Chess Kids coaches even get some wrong) like this free site we recommend to our top chess students.

One Response to “What’s Up Your Sleeve?”

  1. August 12, 2013 at 8:27 am, How Good Are Chess Kids Students? | ChessKids said:

    […] you get the answers to the pin tests I set last time? I’ll give you all one more week before I give the answers, and I’ll […]