Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


P Is For Pin IV

Posted by Paul Anderson on June 16, 2015 at 4:25 PM

Game Of The Week

A couple years back, I came up with a method to organize chess tactics. I called it the DROP Method ( 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.

I said that the DROP Method was a work in progress, and it was. So, I thought I would revisit each of the four kinds of chess tactics to provide more examples.

Pin is a chess move that immobilizes an opponent's piece.

The Pin is different from the other kinds of tactics in that it does not create multiple threats. Its main function is to prevent a piece from moving. A Pin on a target allows that target to be attacked by a lower value piece. A Pin on a support allows the capture of the piece the support is guarding.

"The defensive power of a pinned piece is only imaginary."

(Aaron Nimzovich)

The Pin works by threatening a low value piece that has a higher value piece behind it. The low value piece is stuck (as if with a pin) to the higher value piece due to the loss of material should the low value piece move and allow the capture of the higher value piece.

If the higher value piece is the King, the low value piece is absolutely immobilized, as the rules of Chess do not allow moves where the King could be captured. Otherwise the Pin is relative, as the opponent can actually move the low value piece if he is willing to accept the loss of material. The other types of Pins are rare:

  • Absolute (Pins a target to the King)
  • Relative (Pins a low value target to a higher value piece)
  • Cross (Multiple Pins on one piece)
  • Cross-check (blocks check and counter-checks)

Here is an example from the Colorado Springs Chess Club's Tuesday night event:  June Mating Game.  Shirley Herman scored a big upset by drawing Brian Rountree with a 800 rating point disadvantage but better clock management skills.

With seconds left on his clock, Brian has to solve the problem of the Pin on his Rook on f5.  He makes the wrong choice, and Shirley uses a well-timed draw offer to split the point.

Black to move

See the diagram and answer here:

The Pin does not exist yet in this position.  However, with the White Queen on c2 and the Black King on h7 with the Black Rook in between, all the pieces are in place for an Absolute Pin.  The target is the Black Rook which can be immobilized by the Queen once the White Rook leaves the diagonal.  Then an attack by a lower value piece (Pawn to g4) can win material.

Should Black capture the Rook on e4, he has just set up the Pin for White (34...Rxe4 35.Qxe4).

Should Black try to move the Rook on f5, he has just set up White for a Discovery (34...R5f8 35.Rxe8+ Kh8 36.Rxd8 winning the Queen).

However, Black can use his own Absolute Pin to save the Rook.  First, the Rook on e8 guards the f5 Rook.  Then the Queen can move to g5 when White tries to get the lower value piece in place (Pawn to g4) to take advantage of the pinned Rook on f5.  Now the Queen immobilizes the Pawn until the Rook can be saved.

P Is For Pin IV


[Event "June Mating Game"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2015.06.09"]

[Round "2.3"]

[White "Herman, Shirley"]

[Black "Rountree, Brian"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[ECO "A53"]

[WhiteElo "1088"]

[BlackElo "1841"]

[PlyCount "69"]

[EventDate "2015.06.09"]

[TimeControl "1800"]


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O

6. d5 c5 7. Bd2 b5 8. Bc3 b4 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Qc2 Bf5 11. e4 Bxe4 12. Qc1 Qa5

13. Nbd2 Bf5 14. Nb3 Qb6 15. O-O Nd7 16. Qh6 Bg7 17. Qd2 Nf6 18. Ng5 h6 19. Nf3

a5 20. Bd3 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 a4 22. Nc1 Nd7 23. Rb1 a3 24. b3 Rae8 25. Ne2 e5 26.

Ng3 f5 27. Rbe1 Nf6 28. Nh4 e4 29. Qc2 Kh7 30. h3 Qd8 31. Re3 Nd7 32. Nhxf5

gxf5 33. Nxf5 Rxf5 34. Rxe4 Rxe4 35. Qxe4 1/2-1/2


This Week In Chess

On June 9th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club started the June Mating Game (4SS, G/30; d/10, $5 entry). 8 players battled on 4 boards this evening.

Here are the results:

Standings. 2015 June Mating Game

# Name ID Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Tot Prize

1 Paul Dou Anderson 12728345 2062 W6 W4 2.0

2 Daniel Herman 14345456 1866 W5 W3 2.0

3 Aleksand Bozhenov 15525004 1893 W7 L2 1.0

4 Mark McGough 11366481 1865 W8 L1 1.0

5 Dean W Brown 10224098 1500 L2 W8 1.0

6 Brian Jo Rountree 12477167 1841 L1 D7 0.5

7 Shirley Herman 14812654 1088 L3 D6 0.5

8 Scott Williams 15755696 unr. L4 L5 0.0

Categories: DROP Method, 2015

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