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In the previous chapter, we have learnt that removing a piece under attack is a safe possibility against a threat.

Protecting a piece under attack is also a very solid way to remove a threat. And protecting pieces is a very important notion in chess, as we will see in this article.

The generic protection principle

Note that it was also possible for White to protect the Rook by moving the other Rook to d1.

Be careful with the concept of protection, it only works if your piece is less powerful than the threatening one (remember the value of the pieces in Chess !). In this example, White should just have moved the Queen away.

Common protection patterns

Some of the following examples are well-known cases of mutual protection between pawns and pieces. The following diagrams are going to show:

  • Mutual protection of two Knights
  • Mutual protection of two Rooks
  • Pawn chain

You may wonder why protecting pieces is important. Very simply, if all your pieces are spread across the chessboard without any protection, it is easier for your opponent to create tactical threats, which means more analysis to do on your side, and higher risk to blunder a piece.

On the other hand, if all your pieces are protected by default, it is harder for your opponent to create threats out of nothing, and easier for you to keep the game under control. This is just a practical piece of advice for your games.

The logical follow-up to piece protection is how to exchange pieces in Chess, the topic of the next article. See you there !

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