Chess Fork Attack:
Part of the Chess Tactics Guide

Chess Tactics Guide
Chess Fork Attack
[Introduction]


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Chess Tactics Teaser - Fork AttackAlso known as a Double Attack, Fork Attacks take place when one Pawn or Piece directly threatens two enemy pieces, from a single square.

Fork Attacks can be performed by any of the following:

  • Pawn
  • Knight
  • Bishop
  • Rook
  • Queen

However, being a slow mover, the Pawn will likely see fewer Fork Attacks opportunities than the Knight, Bishop, Rook, or Queen.

As for the King, while not impossible, it's highly unlikely this piece will be able to pull off a Fork Attacks, because of the greater likelihood of being placed in Check, or even Checkmated.

Furthermore, Forks can be either Relative, which means their attack includes Pawns or Pieces, but excludes the enemy King, or Absolute, meaning one of the attacked Pieces is the enemy King.

Below, you can access a series of mocked-up Fork Attacks, for each of the five pieces, with both a Relative and Absolute alternative ...

Chess Fork Attack Index

Relative Fork Attacks
These include attacks on any of the Pieces, but excluding the enemy King. See one Relative Fork example played by a Pawn and each applicable Piece, respectively ...

  1. Relative Pawn Fork (page 2)
    Relative Fork Attack, Teaser, Pawn Fork Attack Example.White's b-Pawn (red square) can create the Relative Fork on b4 (green square), against Black's two pieces, positioned to favor a double attack by a Pawn.

  2. Relative Knight Fork (page 3)
    Relative Fork Attack, Teaser, Knight Fork Attack Example.White's Ne1 (red square) can create the Relative Fork, following its L-shaped pattern of movement to d3 (green square).

    Note the T-shaped pattern from the highlighted green square to Black's two vulnerable pieces (yellow squares). This is a classic situation for a Knight Fork.

  3. Relative Bishop Fork (page 4)
    Relative Fork Attack, Teaser, Bishop Fork Attack Example.White's Bg3 (red square) can create the Relative Fork on e5, since both of Black's pieces are positioned in a diagonal line, on the same-colour diagonal squares as White's dark-Bishop.

    Crucially, neither Black's Knight or Rook can defend each other from a direct attack along a diagonal, so enabling the Bishop Fork.

  4. Relative Rook Fork (page 5)
    Relative Fork Attack, Teaser, Rook Fork Attack Example.White's Re1 (red square) can create the Relative Fork on e4, since both of Black's pieces are positioned in a straight and within the Rook's attacking range.

    In contrast with the Bishop Fork, Black's pieces are ones incapable of defending themselves or each other from a straight-line attack, which permits the Rook Fork.

  5. Relative Queen Fork (page 6)
    Relative Fork Attack, Teaser, Queen Fork Attack Example.White's Qg3 (red square) can create a Relative Fork on b3, being in line to attack both Black pieces (yellow squares), but out of range of the Black Rook's straight-line mobility AND the Black Bishop's diagonal-line mobility.

    Pawns, Knights, Bishops and Rooks are all potentially vulnerable to Relative Queen Forks.

Absolute Fork Attacks
These include attacks on any of the Pieces, but one of the attacked Pieces IS the enemy King. See one Absolute Fork example played by a Pawn and each applicable Piece, respectively ...

  1. Absolute Pawn Fork (page 2)
    Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Pawn Fork Attack Example.White's e-Pawn (red square) can create the Absolute Fork on e5 (green square), against Black's two pieces (yellow squares), which are positioned to favor a double attack by a Pawn.

    It's only made possible by White's Re2, which prevents Black's King from making the capture, and likely losing his Queen to the LESS-valuable Rook.

  2. Absolute Knight Fork (page 3)
    Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Knight Fork Attack Example.White's Nh5 (red square) can create the Absolute Fork on f6 (green square), against Black's two pieces (yellow squares).

    Note the the T-shaped pattern between Black's pieces and the highlighted green square, which is within range of the Knight's L-shaped maneuver.


  3. Absolute Bishop Fork (page 4)
    Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Bishop Fork Attack Example.White's Bb3 (red square) can create the Absolute Fork on e6 (green square), against Black's two pieces (yellow squares), which are incapable of defending themselves, or each other.

    Neither Kc8 nor Nc6 can reach Be6 in one move; while Rf5 can't attack diagonally.

  4. Absolute Rook Fork (page 5)
    Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Rook Fork Attack Example.White's Re4 (red square) can create the Absolute Fork on e8 (green square), against Black's two pieces (yellow squares), which are incapable of defending themselves, or each other in that position.

    Kb8 can't reach e8 in one move; Bg8 cannot capture along the straights.

  5. Absolute Queen Fork (page 6)
    Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Queen Fork Attack Example.White's Qg3 (red square) can create the Absolute Fork on e8 (green square), against Black's two pieces (yellow squares).

    Black can at least block the check with ...Re6-b6, with the Black c7-Pawn in position to capture the Queen (if Qxb6). There's still a bit of work to do for both sides, in this example.

Special Absolute Fork Attacks
These attacks share the same characteristic of standard Absolute Forks, but they're a bit more special due to what they attack. As such, they've been named ...

  1. Royal Fork Attack (page 2)
    Special Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Royal Fork Example.White's Nf4 (red square) can create the Royal Fork on e6 (green square), against Black's King and Queen (yellow squares).

    It's called a Royal Fork because it exclusively attacks both Royal Pieces.

  2. Grand Fork Attack (page 3)
    Special Absolute Fork Attack, Teaser, Grand Fork Example.White's Ng4 (red square) can create the Grand Fork on f6 (green square), against Black's King, Queen and Rook (yellow squares).

    It's called a Grand Fork because it attacks all of the heavy, or 'big' pieces ... with grand, meaning BIG.

Chess Tactics - Chess Fork Attack - Graphic


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