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Forcing checks

Ordinary chess players are often in awe about the amazing combinations masters can come up with. How do these top players do this? The key is in knowing what themes to look for. And the good news is: you can do it too! Well, you won’t be an instant grandmaster, but with a bit of practice and study you will know what themes to look for as well.

For example, a master may look for ways of forking his opponent’s pieces. If this is not immediately possible, he will think of a combination (often several moves long) that results in a fork.

Every chess player can come up with amazingly complex combinations. How? By learning to think in terms of forcing moves. Forcing moves are moves that force your opponent to choose from a (very) limited set of options.

There are five major types of forcing moves:

  • Checks
  • Captures
  • Attacking pieces (threaten to win material)
  • Mate threats
  • Pawn promotions

What do you have to do?

This exercise lets you practice the first type of forcing moves: giving check. Use checks to win material.

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