How To Get Better At Chess Tactics

Chess, often described as a war game played on a 64-square battlefield, is filled with tactical skirmishes. Mastering chess tactics is crucial to improving your gameplay. From unleashing surprise attacks to developing a swift defense, chess tactics can determine the outcome of your game. Let’s take a closer look at how to improve your understanding and implementation of chess tactics.

Understanding Chess Tactics

Tactics in chess refer to sequences of moves, typically limited in scope, that provide an immediate or tangible advantage. The advantage could be material (capturing or gaining pieces), positional (improving the position of your pieces or pawns), or strategic (carrying out a plan).


A fork is a tactic where a single piece makes two or more direct attacks simultaneously. The most devastating fork is often the knight’s fork, due to the knight’s unique movement ability.

For instance, if a white knight on e5 checks a black king on g8 while also attacking a black queen on d7, that’s a classic example of a knight fork.


A pin occurs when an attacking piece threatens a defending piece that cannot move without exposing a more valuable piece behind it.

For instance, imagine a white bishop on g5 pinning a black knight on f6 to the black queen on d8. If it’s black’s move, moving the knight would expose the queen to capture, making this a pin situation.


A skewer is an attack on two pieces in a line. The difference between a skewer and a pin is that in a skewer, the more valuable piece is in front.

For example, a white rook on d1 might skewer a black queen on d8 and a black king on e8. The black queen must move, exposing the king to capture.

Discovered Attacks:

A discovered attack happens when a piece moves and uncovers an attack by another piece. These can be incredibly powerful, especially when coupled with a check.

For example, if a white bishop on c4 moves to b3, giving check, and simultaneously uncovers an attack by the white queen on d1 against a black rook on d8, that would be a potent discovered attack.

Improving Your Chess Tactics

Solve Chess Puzzles:

Chess puzzles, available in books and online platforms like and Lichess, can greatly improve your tactical skills. They help reinforce your pattern recognition ability, which is crucial in spotting tactical opportunities.

Analyze Your Games:

After playing a game, take the time to analyze it. Look for missed tactical opportunities and try to understand why you didn’t spot them during the game. Over time, this practice will help you spot these opportunities more readily.

Study Grandmaster Games:

Grandmaster games are a treasure trove of tactical ideas. Choose games that are annotated and explained, so you can understand the thought process behind each move.

Use Tactical Training Tools:

Many online chess platforms have dedicated sections for tactical training. These tools can help you practice identifying and exploiting typical tactical patterns.


Improving your chess tactics isn’t just about learning the concepts; it’s about bringing them alive on the chessboard. It’s a journey, and like any journey, it comes with challenges, surprises, and moments of triumph. Dedicate time to solve puzzles, learn from grandmasters, and most importantly, play the game regularly. Each move you make, each game you play, brings you one step closer to becoming a better player. So, be patient, stay curious, and enjoy every checkmate along the way. Here’s to your exciting journey through the exhilarating world of chess tactics. Happy gaming!