The quickest way for a beginner to improve their chess, is to learn the basics of chess tactics. On this page you will learn the most important tactical motifs that a beginner should know.
What Are the Tactics of Chess?
The tactics that typically appear in chess games often resemble recognizable patterns. In chess circles, such patterns are also referred to as themes, motifs or tactical ideas. It’s useful for a beginner to study these tactics because it teaches you how to exploit the targets in your opponent’s position. If your opponent makes a mistake, it’s your tactical skill that will help you take advantage of it.
5 Chess Tactics Patterns a Beginner Should Know
It becomes a lot easier to win more games when you know a few common chess tactics. Here’s examples of the 5 most important tactical motifs a beginner should know.
A pin occurs when an attacked piece can’t move since doing so would expose another, more valuable, target. Because of it’s limited (or no) mobility, you can often find a way to take advantage of a pinned piece.
Skewers are related to pins, but they aren’t the same. In the case of a skewer the higher-valued piece is first in the line of attack. Moving the skewered piece will expose a lower-valued piece (or target) behind it. A skewer tactic is sometimes referred to as a “reversed pin”.
Cheat Sheet for Beginners
Get my free Cheat Sheet for Beginners. Chess can be very confusing to a beginner. What should your next move be? And why? This cheat sheet is a training tool that will help you understand what you should try to achieve at various stages of the game.
Double Attack (Fork)
A fork, or double-attack, occurs when you make 2 or more simultaneous threats. It’s a very useful tactical idea because it’s hard (or sometimes impossible) for your opponent to defend against multiple threats at the same time.
Removing the Defender
When a piece or important square is defended, then that piece or square can become vulnerable once you remove its defender. This is usually done by a trade, threat or sacrifice that removes the defending piece.
A discovered attack occurs when moving a piece reveals a strong threat from a piece hiding behind it. The power of a discovered attack often lies in the fact that you can use it to set up a double attack.
NEXT: Beginner Chess Puzzles
It’s important to practice what you’ve learn’t. You can try solve the 10 easy chess problems to further practice your skill.