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Tactical patterns in Chess are what will give you a material advantage. After the Fork pattern, the pin is another fundamental Chess pattern you need to know.

Absolute Pin

More generally in Chess, we say that a pin is a situation brought on by an attacking piece in which a defending piece cannot move without exposing a more valuable defending piece on its other side to capture by the attacking piece. In the above example, the defending piece is the Knight, which cannot move because it would expose the King.

The pin can come in several flavors, here are a few of them.

Now you might say: “Very well, a pin is a setup in which some moves of the defending side are forbidden, but how does it connect to getting a material advantage ?” And you would be right !

The following example shows you how the Pin helps you to take a material advantage in Chess.

Under the right circumstances, it is often enough to attack a pinned piece to be able to capture it on the next move. In the above example, Black was helpless trying to save his Knight. A pin is not a tactic in itself, but it can be used in many tactical situations. It is therefore a dangerous weapon.

Relative Pin

Breaking A Pin

Winning A Chess Game Thanks To The Pin

Let’s continue with a few questions to check how good well you have understood the pin.

A pin can also be used efficiently to build an attack on the opposing King.

Complex Chess Situations Involving A Pin

A Pin does not always appear as clearly, the following example shows a piece that can not move.

The previous example shows the pin pattern in connection with a Skewer: this is a bit more complex than the typical Pin pattern !

Another example happens in a common variation of the French defense.

The previous example is instructive for your Chess games: even if having a Pin looks good, it does not always translate into an advantage. You have to check the concrete lines first !

A final example, the most complex of this chapter, to finish with…

In the last example, the Pin was combined with the pattern of In-between move. It is this move that allowed White to break the Pin and prove that it was finally irrelevant.


From basic positions to very complex examples, I have shown you several positions including a pin. What you have to remember is that it is usually something favorable for the attacking side, yet precise lines must always be calculated in order to find potential exceptions.

Last, the Pin is often seen in combination with other tactical patterns such as double threat, deflection or discovered attack. Once you master them all you will be able to combine them harmoniously.

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