Attacking a pinned piece

Published on Friday, January 23, 2015 in |

In the previous series of lessons we have introduced the pin. A pin can be used as a direct way to win a piece. This is illustrated in the first diagram. White has pinned the Bishop and Black is only allowed to move his King. White will capture the black Bishop on the next move.

During this series of lessons we will see some possibilities to exploit the weakness of the pinned piece. In most cases it will be more difficult to win the pinned piece, but attacking a pinned piece in order to capture it in the end is probably one of the easiests ways to gain an advantage of the pin. The pinned piece is unable to move, which makes it rather vulnerable.

The first possibility to attack a pinned piece is by moving a pawn ahead. Let’s have a look at the next diagram.


White is able to win the black Bishop by the pawn move f3.
It is always a good idea to look for pawn moves to attack the pinned piece.
If no appropriate pawn moves can be found we have to look for other pieces to attack the pinned piece, but then we have to take into account the value of the pieces. In addition try to pay attention to the possibilities for the opposite site to defend itself against these attacks. Let’s have a look at the next diagram.


White has pinned the black Bishop. The black Bishop can not immediately be captured, because it is defended by the Knight. White has no pawns that are able to attack the pinned piece, but he may attack the Bishop with his own Knight.
By playing 1.Nd2 White will win the Bishop. After 1.Ng5 Black will play 1…Nc4+, but fortunately for White after 2.Kc3 Black is out of threats and White will win the Bishop after e.g. 2…Na5 3.Nxe4.
Sometimes after adding an attacker your opponent will add a defender. Such a race may be very typical for a real life game. Instead of adding an attacker you may also drive a defender away. An easy example can be found in the next diagram.

After the move 1.b4 Black has to chose between loosing the Knight or loosing the Bishop.

Our next chess lesson is about the square rule, one of lessons needed to understand the pawn endgame.

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