Jun 252012

The knight is a great piece for attacking particularly early in the game. The knight fork (where a knight pins a greater value piece in place such as a rook or a queen whilst delivering check and forcing the king to move) is one of the great strategic wins in a game.

Here are some tips for making the best of your knights in chess play:

Get them in the middle of the board

Your knights are at their most mobile in the centre of the board and that means they are also at their most dangerous. Their movement becomes very limited at the edges of the board and you should really be looking to keep them central, unless your situation calls for the increased risk of moving them out of the way.

Get on the attack

Knights are excellent for finding holes in your opponents early defensive structures and you shouldn’t be afraid to exploit this. In early play knights probably have more value than bishops (whose movement is restricted by the amount of pieces in play), later on you should be happy to trade off knights against bishops to reduce your opponents range.

Look for the fork

It’s a common failing in chess players even those of a reasonable standard not to see a knight fork – even when you telegraph your intent. Don’t be afraid to get right into your opponents space and pin their high value pieces against their king.

Watch out for pawns

The knight’s worst enemy is the pawn, these can very subtly restrict the movement of your piece and dramatically reduce its value. Where possible look to take this threat out early and clear the way for a knight blitz

Don’t defend the king with a knight

The knight usually makes for a bad defensive piece, because of the peculiarities of the moves it makes you usually have to make several knight moves to make minor adjustments to its defensive capacity – so when you can avoid it, use your knights to plunder rather than protect.

Related posts:

  1. 10 Rules for a Great Chess Opening
  2. Chess – Endgame Tricks and Tips
  3. The Three Keys to Chess Success
  4. The Rules of Chess
  5. The Knight’s Tour: Part One

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