The weapon you'll learn about in this lesson won't by itself, win you games.

But it will, when used at the right time, get you a good position right from the opening.

Be careful, though. If you use it at the wrong time you'll end up losing!

Step right in and find out more.

Take the Black pieces, if you will, and play the following moves.

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Bf1-c4 Ng8-f6

This is the TWO KNIGHTS DEFENSE. You'll learn much more about it in the next lesson. But first have a look at what might happen if White plays...

4. Nb1-c3, giving the position on your left.

Of course Black could well play something like Bf8-c5, with the sort of position you've seen in the DOUBLE FREDDIE lesson.

But there's something else Black can do which will come as a shock to White if he hasn't seen the idea before.

The move is Nf6xe4!!

Here's the position.

It looks like Black's gone mad!

He's just giving up a Knight for a Pawn, isn't he?

But there's method in his madness.

Read on to find out what happens next.

In fact Black can get his piece back here by using a FORK.

Can you see the move?

Yes, a PAWN FORK wins back the piece.

If White moves the Bishop we take the Knight: if he moves the Knight we take the Bishop.

The best move for White now is Bc4-d3 (Bishops are better than Knights in open positions!) when play might continue
Bc4-d3 d5xe4
Bd3xe4 Bf8-d6 (to defend the e-pawn)

and the position's about equal.

But most people who haven't seen this before play Bc4xd5 to get the pawn back at once.

Black of course plays Qd8xd5.

Now White often plays Ne4-c3 to drive the Queen away.

A good move here would be Qd5-a5, but you can also play Qd5-d8, giving this position.

Stop and look at this position for a minute.

Black has two small advantages here.

Firstly, he has a pawn in the center of the board.

Secondly, he has THE TWO BISHOPS in an open position. I repeat, IN OPEN POSITIONS BISHOPS ARE USUALLY BETTER THAN KNIGHTS. Let's play on a couple of moves and see how Black can set a trap.

Let's suppose that White plays d2-d3 (to get his Bishop out) and Black plays Bc8-g4 (PIN!).

Now White plays Bc1-g5, which just happens to be a mistake. How can Black win a piece here?

f7-f6 Bf8-e7

Qd8xg5 Bg4xf3

Yes, Bg4xf3 wins a piece.

If White takes the Black Bishop, Black takes the White Bishop.

And if White takes the Black Queen, Black takes the White Queen.

Play these variations out on the board yourself if you don't believe me.

And remember the idea - it's very easy to miss the chance to play a move like this in your games.

Returning to this position, there is another move White could try which is worth looking at.

He could play Bc4xf7+ (EXPLOSION ON f7!) to expose Black's King before taking the Knight.

Let's see what happens then.

The game continues:

Bc4xf7+ Ke8xf7

giving this position. (You are playing through these moves on your board, aren't you?)

Now, if Black gets the next two moves right he ends up in a good position.

If you understand about the importance of the CENTER the next move should come as no surprise to you.

Black's best move is d7-d5, giving rise to this position.

Perhaps you think White's doing well because Black's King is exposed.

But you'd be wrong! Black's CONTROL OF THE CENTER gives him a big advantage.

If White plays Ne4-g5+, Black goes Kf7-g8, followed by h7-h6, and, if necessary, Kg8-h7.

And if White plays, say, Ne4-g3, Black can play e5-e4, driving the Knight on f3 back to g1.

OK, remembering what you've learned so far in this lesson, can you suggest a move for White here?

Well remembered!

There are other good moves, of course, but we recommend Nf3xe5 for White here.

And if Nc6xe5, you will of course play d2-d4 (PAWN FORK!).

Right then, here's a position you've seen before.

Is Nf3xe5 a good move for White in this position?

Yes No

Don't know Don't care

No, it's NOT a good move!

Have a look at what happens.

Nf3xe5 Nc6xe5
d2-d4 giving this position

...and, if you look at the board, you see that Black can play Ne5xc4, when he comes out ahead.


If Nf3xe5 OK for White in this position?

Yes No

Don't know Don't care

Yes, in this position it's fine.

Play might continue

Nf3xe5 Nc6xe5

... and (in the diagrammed position) White gets his piece back safely.

And in this position, is it a good idea for Black to play Nf6xe4?

Yes No

Don't know Don't care

Yes, again it's OK for Black.

Here's the position after

Nc3xe4 d6-d5

And Black's getting the piece back again.

What about this position?

Would you advise Black to play Nf6xe4 here?

Yes No

Don't know Don't care

This time it's NOT a good idea!

Here's the position after Black plays the PAWN FORK.

Do you see how White can escape?

Yes, he can play Bc4-b5+ and then move the Knight.

Next question: What about Nf3xe5 for White here?

It's OK It's not OK

Don't know Don't care

Here's the position after the moves

Nf3xe5 Nc6xd4
d2-d4 Bc5xd4

... and do you see White's problem? If he plays Qd1xd4 Black has Ne5-f3 (FORK!!) winning the Queen.

By playing g2-g3 White had weakened the f3 square.

Try another example. How about Nf6xe4 for Black here?

It's OK It's not OK

Don't know Don't care

Yes, this time it IS OK.

Here's the position after Black's played d7-d5.

Each time you have to CALCULATE to check whether or not the position is OK.

Guessing isn't good enough.

Recognizing something you've seen before will help, but on its own it isn't good enough.

To conclude the lesson, a quick quiz based on games where the FORK TRICK was played.

In this position, White played d4xe5. Was that a good idea?

Why not, it's a free piece.
Certainly not!!

No, it wasn't a good move! For your next question, what did Black play here?

Yes, he played Qf6-b6 (Diagram) and it's CHECKMATE after White's put a couple of pieces in the way.

You always have to be VERY CAREFUL when you're playing chess!!

It looks like White's doing quite well here.

But it's Black's move. Any idea what he should play?

Have a look at the position.

An AMBUSH - the Knight CHECKS the King and after g2xf3, Black has Qf6xd4.

White's last move - f2-f4 - was careless. You have to learn to look for all your opponent's CHECKS, CAPTURES and THREATS before playing your move.


You have now completed the FORK TRICK assignment.