Tactics 101: Fearsome Forks

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By: Nathaniel_Fernandes | Posted: August 17, 2020 | Updated: 7/16/2021
This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Tactics


  • A fork is when one piece attacks multiple enemy pieces
  • Every chess piece can fork
  • The best forkers are Knights, Queens, and pawns

The purpose of the Tactics 101 series is to teach you basic tactics so you can build your pattern recognition skills. Tactics are the building blocks of successful attacks, spectacular combinations, and checkmating patterns.

Forks: The Basics

The one tactic every player must know is the fork. No, this isn’t what goes next to your spoon at dinner :P. A fork is a chess tactic where one of your pieces attacks multiple enemy pieces.

Forks are especially deadly because your opponent cannot deal with two+ threats at once, so something must give.

For example, here are some forks.

Every piece on the board can fork because they can all attack in multiple directions at once. The best forker is the Knight because it can lash out in 8 different directions simultaneously.

Forks are a type of double attack (when you attack multiple pieces). They are perhaps the most common type of tactic so it pays to know it.

The best way to practice forks is by doing practice puzzles consistently. A great place to practice tactics for free is on’s tactics training.

Special forks

One special type of fork is the “Royal Fork” where any piece forks the King and Queen simultaneously. Shown below is the “Family Fork” – the Knight attacks the entire Royal Family!

Family Fork Alert! Ooofff, I wouldn’t want to be Black here

Here is a video of the most famous forks, for your viewing pleasure.

Forks: Opening Traps

NM Bruce Pandolfini wrote an excellent book The Winning Way which details 100+ traps in common openings, most of which are forks!

Cover Photo Credit

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

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