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This is the first article of a long series to come about tactical patterns. If you are reading this, you probably already know how pieces are moving, the value of pieces in Chess, standard checkmate patterns like the h7 mate or the back rank mate, and how to checkmate your opponent with a Queen or a Rook.

As you have probably already understood, material is key in Chess: indeed, getting a significant material advantage will often lead, after a few pieces exchanges, to a winning endgame. This endgame will then result in a position where you just have to checkmate your opponent with Queen.

But how to get this material advantage in the first place ?

This is the topic of this new series of articles about tactical patterns. A tactical pattern like a fork, a skewer, a discovered attack will result in a material advantage. How ? Discover the secret behind the most important tactical pattern: the fork.

The next example is a very common pattern of Knight fork that you must always remain aware of.

Now, some more positions to help you get used to fork patterns !

A knight fork may be the most common way of winning material. The unusual way the Knight moves makes it easy to overlook the danger. When your opponent has a Knight, watch out for the Knight fork !

The previous example shows that Forks are not always delivered by Knights ! But forks are not always so obvious to spot, here is a final and elegant example in which the final fork must be prepared…

The fork is the most common tactic in Chess. This will win you a lot of games and lose a lot of other games. Always be aware and never miss a fork opportunity !

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