The Piercing Pin

David Petty 1 Apr 29, 2011 8241 reads
This is a quick guide to a video series:

This series starts out with material appropriate for beginners but over the course of 12 videos begins to delve into more advanced concepts.

This series focuses on one of the most common chess tactics: the pin, in which one piece is attacked, but if it were to move away, a more valuable piece behind it would be exposed to attack. After defining what a pin is, and which pieces can create pins, the series discusses common techniques used in conjunction with pins to win material, and how to defend oneself against a pin.

Starting with the ninth video, the series becomes more advanced. Several example games are presented in which cleverly used pins turn the tide of battle. A good understanding of the ideas discussed in videos 1-8 is recommended before proceeding with The Piercing Pin 9. 

Not what you were looking for? Back to the Video Series Guide!

The Piercing Pin 1: What is a Pin? - This video quickly reviews the three different lines of the chess board: the rank, file, and diagonal. Then it introduces the idea of a pin: when two pieces from the same team are lined up on the same line, you can attack one, and if it moves off the line to escape, you can catch the one behind!

The Piercing Pin 2: Who Can Make Pins? - Every chess piece can make a fork. Not so with pins. It turns out only three pieces in the chess army have the power to make a piercing pin. Can you figure out which three? 

The Piercing Pin 3: Attack the Pinned Piece! - Sometimes a simple pin is enough to win a piece. However, more commonly your opponent will defend a pinned piece, and if you want to win the day, you'll need to learn how to "attack the pinned piece!"

The Piercing Pin 4: Pin the Attacked Piece - Last time we learned about "attacking the pinned piece." This time we switch the order around and practice "pinning the attacked piece."

The Piercing Pin 5: A Pinned Piece Does Not Protect - We focused in the last two videos on piling up many attackers against a pinned piece and winning it with overwhelming force. This video points out a different technique that uses the pin to win material.

The Piercing Pin 6: Breaking Pins - What do you do when your opponent pins one of your pieces? Why, you "Break the Pin," of course! Watch this video to start learning how to defend yourself against pins thrown your way.

The Piercing Pin 7: Escaping the Pin - Last video we learned how to "Break Pins." In this video, we learn other common techniques for wriggling out of the paralyzing grasp of the piercing pin.

The Piercing Pin 8: Absolute and Relative Pins - There are actually two different types of pin, the "Absolute Pin" and the "Relative Pin!" This video clears up the difference and explains why it's always important to know which kind of pin you're looking at in your own game.

Up until this point, the videos in the pin series have been suitable for beginners as well as more advanced students. Starting with The Piercing Pin 9, the videos become more advanced, and are recommended for students rated 800 and up. This is partially due to an increase in presentation speed within the videos, as well as a synthesis of material from all eight previous videos which less experienced players may find hard to follow.

The Piercing Pin 9: X Marks the Spot! - As promised, it's time to finally put our knowledge of pins to the test. This video shows an amazing game in which the painful power of the pin pressures Black into an early grave.

The Piercing Pin 10: Pins All Over the Place - What happens when both sides try to pin each other to death? Many of you may have wondered what happens when pin meets pin on the battlefield. Wonder no longer and tune in to see a game with pins all over the place! 

The Piercing Pin 11: Long Term Pins - Sometimes quick results aren't the only way to benefit from a Piercing Pin. Pins are also useful for creating "long term pressure." Not sure what that means? Tune in to see how white uses a single pin to slowly rip open black's castle and then deliver checkmate! 

The Piercing Pin 12: Pin Pressure - We return to the common Giuoco Piano opening from the previous video and see another example in which white's powerful pin on the knight in front of the black castle once again creates first pressure and ultimately cracks open the castle wall leading to checkmate.

Well! After watching the entire series, the student should have a firm grasp of what a pin is, the two different types of pin, common techniques for using a pin to win material or provoke weaknesses in the enemy camp, and the different methods of neutralizing a pin should they find themselves on the receiving end. If your student enjoyed this series, the perfect place to point them to next is The Scintillating Skewer series.