In chess, a pin is when a piece can not move without exposing a more valuable piece to a capture. Pins are especially effective in chess, and can be combined with other tactics. If an opponent’s piece is pinned, don’t waste time – attack it!
You can make use of pins in any phase of the game – in fact many openings use this tactic to disturb the opponent’s piece development.
In this video, IM Valeri Lilov discusses the power of the pin in chess and how you can make use of this idea in your own games. Valeri offers a number of positions and shows you how to utilise the pin not only as a straight forward move, but also when pins come into effect at the end of a tactic, or how a pin can completely turn a position around in your favour.
It is no surprise that tactics are the key to winning chess games all the way up to a rating of about 2200 Elo. If you are under 1800 rated, tactics are the absolutely must-study element! Many chess players don’t have the foundation that they can build upon. Not only you need to understand tactical elements, but you also should be able to apply them in your games.
That’s where majority of chess players struggle. Many amateur players may know what pins are, for example, but don’t make the most of them in their game or don’t find it easy to find such tactics in the first place. Master players perfect these critical elements of their game and see the patterns. They see the big picture, not just pieces. IM Valeri Lilov will help you to do the same, and you’ll stop losing games because of tactical oversights and helping you become a better tactical player.
Chess Tactics – Pinning
Let’s take a look at a couple of tactics that explore the theme of the pin. First up, let’s examine the position on the left.
It looks bad for White, with a serious pin on the queen on e3. Many amateur players would consider resigning here. But that would be a mistake… White has a beautiful counter-tactic that makes use of the pin. Can you find it? Take a minute or two to analyze the position.
White can play the move b6+. Black can not capture that pawn with the rook otherwise the queen is lost. ..Kb8 is also impossible as Rd8+ would win. What about …Kxb6? White can follow this up with a pinning move, Rh6. Now, whether Black captures the rook or not, Black is completely lost. The pin is so powerful that what looked like a losing position is transformed into a win!
Okay, time for another example. See the diagram on the right.
White looks very good here, with decent development and with a nice position. What can White do next? Look for the most forcing moves first – checks and captures.
The answer is Rd8+. This forces a response from Black. …Kxd8 leads to Qxe4 and Black loses the queen! White’s queen is safe from recapture because a new pin has been created – the bishop pins the knight down against the king!
Fundamental Chess Tactics
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