But the best is

A Game of Repeated Patterns: The Fork

By Xiao Cheng

You learned the basic chess rules. What to do next?

For a beginner, this Wikipedia page gives a glimpse through all the chess concepts. But that’s like asking a first grader to take a look at all the math terms he will have to learn from first grade until senior year in high school.  Overwhelming!

Let’s simplify the process.

Chess is a game of patterns, and the patterns are often repeated many times over a student’s development.  As a beginner, it is important to study and understand thoroughly a few key patterns to improve and gain confidence.


Beginner’s favorite Chess Pattern – The Fork



White to move. What is the best move?


There are different ways to approach this position, but the best is shown in the following diagram.


But the best is


White’s knight gives black’s king a check and attacks the rook at the same time. After black responds to the check (by moving the king away), white will win black’s rook.
This pattern is called a fork, and it appears in the games of players of all levels.  The strategy for a beginner to improve in chess is to solve many puzzles involving the fork and other patterns. At the same time, it is important to constantly search for the similar patterns during their games.

Practice and repeat! You’re on your way to more chess improvements.  Here is a puzzle for you to try:


Here is a puzzle

White to move and fork


And a bonus question: Besides the knight, what other pieces can form a fork?
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