Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


P Is For Pin

Posted by Paul Anderson on May 15, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Game Of The Week


Last time on the DROP method of tactics, I talked about Overload (  The DROP method is an acronym for the basic kinds of tactics.  It is meant to remind you not to drop your pieces and help you get your opponent to drop theirs. 

The fourth category in the DROP method is Pin.  See, D is for Discovery, R is for Removal, O is for Overload, and P is for Pin.  Together the 4 kinds of tactics spell DROP and should be broad enough to cover all the different tactical ideas out there.  If you have a tactic that you are not sure where it would fit, let me know and I will update the system if necessary.


The Pin is possibly the most common and fundamental chess tactic.  Mark McGough told me that pins comprise close to 80% of all tactics played.  The pin is probably the first tactical idea a chess player learns and often plays it without even knowing it.  Even your opponent will set up pins for you without even knowing it. 

The idea of Pin occurs when a higher value piece is caught behind one of his own lower value pieces.   The lower value piece cannot move without the higher value piece being captured with a loss of material.  Therefore the lower value piece is stuck (as if with a pin) and open to attack. 

There are three kinds of pins. 

The Absolute Pin has the King as the higher value piece and causes the lower value piece to remain absolutely unmovable until the pin is released, due to the rule against allowing a King check. 

The Relative Pin involves any other higher value piece besides the King. 

The Cross Pin is rare and combins two pins on the same piece. 

The key to using Pins is to recognize them when they occur and to find a second threat to capitalize on the piece that cannot move.  It can be as simple as attacking the pinned piece with a pawn.


Here is an example from one of my recent games at the Wednesday Night Panera Tournament.  I have played Richard Brown twice.  Both times were at the Wednesday tournament, and both games revolved around Pins that Richard set up against himself. 

When your opponent sets up the Pin, it is easy to miss it, as I did in this case.  In playing 21...Re7, Richard set up the Pin on his C Rook.  The C Rook becomes the higher vaule piece caught behind the lower value pawn.  If you just remove the C Pawn from the game, white would use his Overload to capture the C Rook or trade Rooks and win the B Bishop. 

Of course, you cannot just remove pieces from a game like that.  However, now that you know the Pin is there, can you find a second threat?



If you found Nd6!, you did better than I did in this game.  However, don't worry if you did not find the tactic.  Tactics flow from good positions.  I often miss tactics in games I win.  It is not my strength.  Plus, this Pin is not easily released.  I later took advantage of this same Pin to win a pawn, go up 2 pawns, and push on for the victory.


P Is For Pin


[Event "May Panera Wednesday"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2012.05.09"]

[Round "2.1"]

[White "Anderson, Paul"]

[Black "Brown, Richard"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "D53"]

[PlyCount "97"]

[EventDate "2012.05.02"]

[TimeControl "5400"]


1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3

Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 b6 8. a3 Bb7 9. Rc1 Na5 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. cxd5 exd5 12.

Bd3 g6 13. O-O Nc4 14. Bxc4 dxc4 15. Ne4 Bg7 16. Nfd2 Re8 17. Rfe1 Qd5 18. f3

Qe6 19. Qxc4 Qxc4 20. Rxc4 Rac8 21. Rec1 Re7 22. Kf2 Bd5 23. R4c2 a6 24. b4 Rd7

25. Nc4 Bxc4 26. Rxc4 Kf8 27. Rc6 a5 28. Rxb6 cxb6 29. Rxc8+ Ke7 30. bxa5 bxa5

31. Ra8 Rd5 32. Nc5 Rxd4 33. exd4 Bxd4+ 34. Ke2 Bxc5 35. Rxa5 Bd6 36. h4 h5 37.

g4 hxg4 38. fxg4 Kf8 39. a4 Bc7 40. Ra8+ Kg7 41. Kf3 Bb6 42. h5 gxh5 43. gxh5

Bd4 44. Rd8 Bc3 45. Rd6 Kf8 46. h6 Ke7 47. Rc6 Bd4 48. a5 Kd7 49. Rc4 1-0


This Week In Chess


On May15th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club held a Swiss event.  The participants played a Quick-rated, Swiss tournament (3SS, G20).  Peter Grigg and Mark McGough went unbeaten to share 1st place.  Here are the results:


Score, Player


2.5 Peter Grigg

2.5 Mark McGough

2.0 Koji Del Conte

2.0 Paul Anderson

1.5 Josh Divine

1.5 Dean Brown

1.0 Daniel Herman

1.0 Shirley Herman

1.0 Mike Madsen

0.0 Wesley Smith

Categories: 2012, DROP Method

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