As we have seen in the previous lesson the Queen is one of the pieces that is often involved in these double attacks. Most of the time it is relatively easy to find a square from which the Queen attacks two other pieces. But a double attack isn’t limited to an attack on pieces.
In this tutorial the following targets are distinguished:
- King: Checking the King is different from all other moves, because the King has to be moved out of check
- Piece: One or both of the targets can be a Piece.
- Square: Even a square can be attacked.
- pawn: Winning a pawn may be enough to win the game.
Let’s look at two examples:
It is White’s turn to move.
In such an endgame the Queen is almost always able to capture the Knight by means of a double attack at the King and the Knight. The move 1.Qe4
looks like a double attack but fails, because of 1…Nf5
.Do you see the right move for White?
White will win the Knight.
The diagram on the left is an example of a double attack on a square and a Piece. The involved square is h8 and the attacked Piece is the Knight on a7. White attacks both targets with 1.Qd4.Even in the situation that Black has an additional Rook on h8 this is called an attack on a square and a piece, because only the most important targets are mentioned. And in this case it doesn’t matter that White is attacking a Rook.
Why is this square so important that Black has to give his Knight?
White threatens mate at h8.
So in order to find all the possible Queen forks you have to search for all the undefended Pieces (or pawns), all the possibilities to place the King in check and all the squares that can be used to mate the King.
If you manage to find a fork attacking both the King as well as such a square you have found a mate in two.
This series of chess lessons continues with the Elimination of the Defender.
The power of the Knight increases.
As we have seen in the general lesson about forks any piece can create a fork. The Knight fork however is the most common reason for losing material. The unusual way the Knight moves means that knight forks are often overlooked.
The figure on the left is another way to show the moves of the Knight. The Knight can move to all the squares within the indicated area that can not be reached by a Queen from the position of the Knight. Within this area the Knight and the Queen are complementary pieces.
But this also means that if a Knight is attacking a piece the same piece is always unable to capture the Knight.
In the next figure the Knight is able to check the King on e7 and f6. This means that Black’s Queen can’t be placed on all the indicated squares, because it can immediately be captured or the resulting Knight fork will assure that Black loses his Queen. The same is true for a Rook or an unprotected Bishop.
It is very clear that the influence of the Knight isn’t limited to the original 8 squares.
But if Black places the Queen on a square like a6 or c2 the number of unsave squares for the Rooks is increased again.
For Knight forks the same targets exist as mentioned with the Queen fork.
Do you remember all the targets?
Then try to find the Knight fork in the following diagram.
You will probably find the Knight fork 1.Nd7 almost immediately, but that is not the right solution, because we can find a much better Knight fork.
You can make the solution visible by selecting the text between the two square brackets.
[ 1.Ng4 attacks the Queen but also threatens the mate in one 2.Nh6. Therefor Black has to defend against the mate 1…h5 after which White can capture the Queen 2.Nxf2 ]
This seems to be a good time for some exercises. Do you want to do some Knight fork exercises or do you prefer the mate in two puzzles.
Knight fork exercises
As we have seen in our lesson about the fork any piece can create a fork, even a pawn or a King. However the most common fork is the Knight fork. The way the Knight moves makes it more likely that the threat is overlooked.
I have created some knight fork exercises, but before trying to solve these it may be a good idea to re-read the lessons mentioned above.
If you like some more exercises you may also be interested in the mate in one or mate in two problems.