The Fearsome Fork

David Petty 1 Apr 13, 2011 9159 reads

This is a quick guide to a video series:

This series starts out with material appropriate for beginners but over the course of 8 videos begins to delve into more advanced concepts.

This series focuses on one of the most basic chess tactics: the fork, in which one piece attacks two or more pieces. After defining the fork, the series introduces the main types of targets to look for when planning a fork. After identifying several types of targets, the students are shown example games in which they can practice identifying these targets, and of course, use these targets to make fearsome forks!

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The Fearsome Fork 1: What is a Fork? - Introduces the idea of a fork: an attacked piece can run away, but attack two pieces at once and the chances that they both escape go way down!

The Fearsome Fork 2: The Loose Piece - This video begins training the students about different types of targets to aim for. The main focus of this video is the "loose", or "undefended piece."

The Fearsome Fork 3: The Expensive Piece - This video reminds students that some chess pieces are relatively more valuable than others. Therefore, you can fork pieces even if they are defended...so long as they are "expensive" enough! 

The Fearsome Fork 4: The Underdefended Piece - Some pieces may look well-defended, but if you carefully count both the "attackers" and "defenders," such a safe-looking piece may in fact be "underdefended."

The Fearsome Fork 5: Clash of Two Brothers - Now that the students have learned three important types of targets: "loose," "expensive," and "underdefended" pieces, a short game between two chess playing brothers provides them with ample opportunity to practice target-locating and, of course, forking said targets!

The Fearsome Fork 6: The Playful Squirrel's Fork - IM David Pruess guest stars in the Fork Series to show a very short but very sweet example of forking in one of his own games.

The Fearsome Fork 7: Endless Forks! - An amazing example game in which the powerful queen is trapped by three pieces, all of which are themselves "hanging," but are guarded by the tricky power of a knight fork!

The Fearsome Fork 8: Forks Using Invisible Threats! - We learn about one more hard to see target..."invisible threats!" This video shows that you don't always have to be attacking two tangible pieces to make a fork. In fact, you can make a fork simply by threatening to move to two different critical squares. 

Well! After watching the entire series, the student should have a firm grasp of both forks, and also the different types of targets to look for in forking. If your student enjoyed this series on a basic tactic like the fork, the perfect place to point them to next is The Piercing Pin series.

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