Removing Defender – A Defensive Chess Move for Your Chess Piece

When you place one of your chess pieces so it attacks a square occupied by another of your pieces, the first mentioned piece is said to be guarding or defending the other. When your chess opponent captures the defended piece, you could then recapture with the guarding piece.

Keep in mind that if you have a chess piece that is pinned to your king by an enemy piece, it can only guard other enemy pieces against capturing by the enemy king, but not from any other of your opponent’s pieces, since it is unable to move or capture.

If for example you make a threat against one of your opponent’s pieces, like perhaps your knight attacks his enemy bishop, and the enemy bishop is loose. The opponent can then respond either by moving his or her bishop or by defending it. If your opponents choose to guard it, you now have an alternative offensive focus besides the bishop: the guard itself. In other words, plan: removing defender.

Undermining this can become your first task at hand or it can hover as a long-term ongoing issue in the game. As time goes by, more of these issues come up: at any given moment several of your chess pieces may be aimed at several enemy pieces, pawns, and possible mating squares belonging to your opponent.

A crucial question in every of these positions is whether these points you have under attack can be made vulnerable. These positions may all have defenders, but can the guards be captured, blocked, or perhaps lured and driven away?

Let’s take look at capturing the guard with your knight: by simply taking it, its protectorate becomes loose. The better practice usually is to try and avoid planting a knight in your opponent’s territory until you have created a suitable space for it: a square that will be protected by a pawn. It would be too dramatic to state call this a rule; like everything else in chess, it depends on your position, and sometimes the plusses of putting your knight in a more dangerous position outweigh the costs. The important thing to remember is just to keep the dangers involved in protecting pieces with the pieces in mind.

In essence, removing defender requires you as a chess player to think backwards. You will notice a piece you might be able to capture but see that it has protection. Instead of letting go of the idea you ask how the piece is defended and whether you can perhaps change that. Thus you never stop a trail of thought with the conclusion that a piece is defended; you always finish the thought: defended by what?

You should have noticed that pieces tend to be particularly vulnerable when they are defended by other chess pieces rather than by pawns. But as this article proves, even an enemy piece defended by a pawn may present an opportunity to gain material.