Chess Tips: Which Forked Piece to Capture

A fork is when you are able to threaten two pieces at the same time with ONE of your pieces. Knights are notorious for being able to do this, especially against rooks. For an example, you have your knight forking two rooks. Does it matter which of the two rooks you capture? Are you sure? Should you capture one of the forked pieces immediately?

These are the types of questions that you need to know the answers to if you want to consistently win games. When to capture a forked piece depends on what your opponent does with them. If your opponent leaves the pieces sitting there you can simply wait. If your opponent moves one of the two forked pieces then the answer is simple. Take the piece that you still threaten and take it now. But what if your opponent threatens your forking piece?

Using the example mentioned, let us suppose that your knight is now under attack and you must act. Which of the two rooks do you capture? The answer is to capture the rook that is doing the least on the board. If one of the rooks is simply stuck on the back row and the other rook is pinning one of your pieces, then capture the rook stuck on the back row. This will result in your opponent taking your knight with the other rook, thus unpinning your pinned piece, or it will result in you getting a “free” capture because your opponent simply allows you to take the rook. Always take the piece that is doing the least amount of work and always wait to capture until you are forced to capture, or until your opponent removes one of the forked pieces.

Explore Variety

An inexperienced chess player may be well served to learn an opening and stick with it until he or she learns the basic concepts of chess. Once you have mastered the basics, or once you seem to be at a sticking point in your rankings it is time to try different things. In order to have a well-rounded game it is important that you learn and experiment with a variety of tactics and strategies. Getting stuck in a rut will keep you at the same rating that you have been at. An old saying that I like says, “If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.” In short, you will not improve your chess game unless you learn new ideas to improve your game.

That opening that you have been using for a year now is a functional opening, but now it is time to learn other openings and to experiment with them to see if they work for you or not. If you are using the same end game strategies that you used in your first dozen chess games, then it is time to learn some new end game strategies. The more that you know about chess and the various concepts the better your game will be.

It is easy for all of us to get stuck into a rut because many of us think “If something works why change it?” The reason to change your methods is because they may not be the best methods or techniques. The more you learn about chess and the options available, the more versatile you can be during your games. Knowledge is power and the game of chess has mountains of knowledge available for us to learn.

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