Cutting Deeply with the Knife of a Fork

Many chess books teach the tactic of the knight fork. Let’s examine two puzzles from the 1955-published book 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, by the well-known chess author Fred Reinfeld. (Most of the problems in this publication are more challenging that these two.) Answers are given at the bottom of this post.

Knight fork win for White

Diagram-1:  Problem #133 in Reinfeld’s book

Without getting any hints, can you solve this chess puzzle?

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From Page 33 of Reinfeld's book

Diagram-2:  Problem #117

This is another simple problem from 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. Again, no hints. By the way, this chess book is not generally for beginners but can be an excellent training resource for many intermediate tournament players and club players, as long as the reader does not have any problem with the old descriptive chess notation used in this old book. Maybe you’ll get lucky finding a low-priced used copy on Amazon or with some other online book seller.

General Observations on Knight Forks

It’s a common tactic and can often surprise your competitor, if you’re the lucky player to pull off a knight fork. It’s not the only kind of fork, but because the knight is generally less valuable than a queen or rook, it can often be used to advantage. It’s unusual movement, always moving unlike any other piece, it can often be used in forking enemy pieces without itself becoming in danger of immediate capture.

Solutions to Chess Puzzles

Diagram-1:

  1. Rxf8+   Rxf8
  2. Rxf8+   Qxf8
  3. Nxg6+   winning the black queen (the black pawn is pinned)

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Diagram-2:

  1. Qa8+   Kh7
  2. Nf3     and White wins the exchange (capturing a rook at the expense of a knight)

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symbolic knight fork

This is NOT a knight fork

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How to Beat Your Dad at Chess

It was the best of books; it was the worst of books. For average chess beginners or the lower-intermediate-level players, how can this book simultaneously be the best and the worst, this bestseller on the royal game: How to Beat Your Dad at Chess?  It’s complicated.

Play Chess to Win

[Don’t try] stepping through a chess game as if it were dancing to “Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot.” It’s more like dinosaurs attacking.

Reviews of Two Chess Books

The first is not really about defeating your father; the second is not really about defeating a kid. Both are exceptional at teaching you to win a chess game, but only within narrow limits: two different skill levels in chess.

The Knight Fork – a Double Attack

[The knight] can threaten a wide range of targets. . . . [In addition]  the knight’s unique, non-straight pattern of movement . . . allows a knight to attack other pieces without fear of being captured by them . . .

Chess Book for an Early Beginner

How does one become a chess master? Not from learning the rules of the game and then just sitting back in an easy chair to read chess books.

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