Absolute Pin vs Relative Pin


fig 1.

Above in figure 1. We have a queen attacking in several directions from b2 The queen attacks diagonally up and to the right through c3, d4, e5, at e5 it hits the rook and no longer directly attacks along this diagonal, but it does continue to pin the rook to whatever black piece may be behind the rook along the same diagonal, in this case f6 is empty, g7 is empty and h8 is occupied by the king, so the queen pins the e5 rook to the black king. This is an absolute pin as long as the king is behind the rook on the same diagonal. The rook cannot move until the king finds a new square that isn’t g7 or f6. It is absolute because the rook cannot move out of the way, only if it were a bishop could it move along the diagonal pin in this instance.

Since the queen also moves like a rook, b3 is also attacked, which is blacks bishop! The bishop is pinned to the rook on b8. This is not an absolute pin because the bishop can move freely without breaking the rules of chess, if black doesn’t mind risking the rook behind the line of attack from the queen it is perfectly acceptable to move the b3 bishop. This is a relative pin. The bishop on b3 is relatively pinned to the rook on b8. It is not an absolute pin because the bishop can break the pin without incurring fire on his king.

In this theoretical position black would want to save his rook with the other rook and allowing the bishop to be captured. With good play black may draw since two rooks might fend off the queen long enough for the 50 move rule to kick in, or a 3 fold repetition.

Image Source: Arlington chess club.


When a piece is in an absolute pin it can sometimes move, but only along the line of attack from the pinning piece and the king whether that be a diagonal (bishop and queen mooves), or a straight line (rook and queen moves). Provided the piece is in a diagggonal pin and a diagonal moving piece it can capture the piece causing the pin (theoretically for certain), and if the pinning attack is given by a rook or queen and is a rook type attack then the piece in pin if it is a rook can capture the attacking pinning piece, or alternatively move along that pin.

In a relative pin the piece that is pinned can still move in all of it’s regular ways except moving it may incure damage to other pieces!!


fig 2.

Above you can see the rook attacks the bishop on d6 and behind it is the queen!! Black pieces does not want to move his bishop right now but he can if he chooses because the queen is a relative piece and can be lost but not for good reason!! Instead black would want to move his queen out of the pin and then find a square for his bishop or continue as normal. From this we can learn that pins are bad if it is your piece that is pinned.

Again it is a relative pin!! The bishop can move but would prefer not to.


fig 3.

Above the rook on h3 has an absolute pin on the bishop on h6. The bishop cannot move legally according to the known rules of chess because black would make a move leaving himself in check.

Being white to move white would like to exploit that pin with g4-g5, and next move taking h6 getting a bishop for the pawn, also harming blacks king safety causing him to open the lines of attack to his king.

If it were black to move I would suggest moving the king to g8 possibly breaking the pin and relieving the bishop.

16 Day till World Chess Championships Match! Carlsen vs Karjakin


I am looking forward to the WCC WorldChess match between Magnus Carlsen and Serjey Karjakin.

It looks like Serjey is big on 1. e4, much like Bobby Fischer. Source: http://www.chessgames.com/player/sergey_karjakin.html

Magnus Carlsen is a formidable player with nearly always the highest elo worldwide, http://chess-db.com/public/pinfo.jsp?id=1503014

Magnus boasts an incredible 2853 elo (subject to change), while Serjey Carjakin falls short of 2800 by a mere 28 points at 2772. Source: http://www.chessgames.com/player/sergey_karjakin.html

With the white pieces, Serjey has most of his games as e4 against either the Sicilian or the Ruy Lopez, and it looks like Carlsen is a good match because as black he plays the Sicilian and the Ruy Lopez (aka the Spanish opening).To be honest I am a fan of both of those openings.

Seeing as Serjey is an almost exclusive e4 player (as move one), I would suggest that Carlsen’s best bet will be his Nimzo-Indian, and queen pawns game aka 1. d4!.

Here is one of Carlsen’s better games as white with 1. d4


Usually developing the c1 bishop to f4 right away, it will be nice to see how Serjey plays against this

Magnus Carlsen games recent/2016.


To be honest, I don’t find the bishop d4 method very inspiring, it is as if he is trying to play it safe, just short of putting a condom over his king, along with c3, and e3 it’s really solid but quite boring for early tactics. But if playing it safe works then by all means stick with it. Except that no chess opening is safe!!!

The good news is that neither players are closed position players so we will see some fireworks, maybe on and off the board (IE chess drama).

Serjey is quite a good attacking player,


Hopefully he will have the stamina for the match to keep up with Carlsen.


Serjey Karjakin became a master at 11 years 11 months old. Karjakin achieved 2 GM norms in 2002 and has been acheiving ever since, Serjey is only 26 years of age so naturally Carlsen will have more experience behind his belt.

27 days till World Chess Championship 2016

Today is October 15th of the year 2016. It is yet 27 days till the 2016 WCC match of Magnus Carlen vs Sergey Karjakin.

Magnus Carlsen is good icon for the ame of chess, He is very much unlike Bobby Fischer (1972), who after wnning the WCC, abandoned tournament play. Magnus is a good strong man with the stamina and endurance to win the former World Chess Championship match (2014) against Viswanathan Anand.

Here he is with the white pieces in game 2, playing the Ruy Lopez.

Fidé Elo rating system

Fidé is the standard association for ranking International chess player’s into categories of master, International master and Grandmaster and giving them an official Fide Elo rating.

Chess Openings: King Pawn Openings

If you have ever had a chess mentor, they will almost always tell you not to play rook pawn openings, but rather play for the center. Many early chess engines give a higher weighted value to pawns and pieces that occupy the center rather than the pieces that occupy the sides or the corners of the board. This is entirely logical since the most action and possibilities lay in the center 8 or 16 squares of the board.

As a rule of thumb, not a hard rule it is generally acceptable to open with a center pawn, either the king pawn (the pawn in front of the king), or the queen pawn (the d2 pawn that starts infront of the queen). Usually 2 squares. From there you will want to develop your pieces and castle (or put the king on a long term safe square). That is usually the goal of the opening, to control the center develop two pieces then hide your king by castling it out of the center of the board, which is especially important in open positions, an open position is when one pair of pawns are traded off, the more pawns off the board the more open the positions are. Another very acceptable opening first move is to develop the knight to f3, ie Nf3 or Nf6 (black). Another acceptable pawn opening is the queen bishop pawn. Usually you want to move your pawns two squares.

Most openings fall under 1. e4 (king pawn opening), 1.d4 (queen pawn opening), 1. c4 (queen bishop pawn opening) or Nf3 (The king’s knight opening)

Many opening’s have names! Let’s learn those chess opening names!

Here is whites first move in all King Pawn openings! 1. e4

White may choose e4 on the first move but on the reply black is doing the steering!

Black may reply 1 .. e5, which is called the king pawns opening, inside the king pawns opening white can steer the game towards the Ruy Lopez but once he has commited to e5 he cannot easily turn the game into a Sicilian because the Sicilian is 1. e4 c5! and is entirely a different position.

1. The King Pawns Game

The King’s pawn opening will be further characterized by the next few moves whether it be 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 The Vienna 1. e4 e5 d2. d4 – The Scotch, 1.e4 e5 2. Bc4 – The Bishops opening, 1.e4 e5 2. f4 – The King’s Gambit, 1. e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 – The Ruy Lopez (Bobby Fischer’s favorite), 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 Bc4 Bc5 – The Classical.

But even on the first reply black can change the entire game away from any of the King Pawns game Openings discarding all of the study that white did for 1. e4 e5, by simply playing anything different! All the theory that white studied for the Scotch is now thrown out the window along with the king’s gambit and all the opening’s I listed above!

The Sicilian 1. e4 c5!

In master chess the Sicilian is blacks best reply, statistically against 1. e4 with the best results for black stealing back the steering wheel of the opening and winning the best against white. (Or rather losing the least and getting draws).

The Pirc Defense 1 e4 d6!

Another thing black may have up his sleeve is the Pirc Defense Bobby Fischer used this in one of his games in the world chess championship against Boris Spassky, and he did very well with it. That goes to show the importance of having a broad opening repertoire in chess. I have a whole book dedicated to the Pirc Defense and I have skimmed through it a few times.

The Scandinavian 1. e4 d5!

Black may have more nasty tricks up his sleeve if you see this! This opening has been annoying white kings pawn opening players for hundreds of years! If white captures e4xd5 it is instantly an open position and it draws blacks queen out to attack white right away with no perfect refutation that traps the queen on the open board! But bringing the queen out early is considered a ‘nono’ but not completely forbidden, white must now be careful of checks and more aware not to hang the g2 pawn in some variations leading to losing positions or even losing the h1 rook. Although the reason it can be good for white is that white will gain a few piece development tempi by attacking the queen with knights and bishops which is good in theory. ie 2. Nc3!

The French Defense 1. e4 e6!

If white plays e4 one of your best bets as black is the French defense which starts e6, then typically continues 2. d4 d5! and black is pretty well equal with good chances to steer the game in his favor if white plays carelessly.

The Alekhine Defense1. e4 Nc6!?

One of the more dubious looking openings, black can play his knight and attack the pawn on e4 white white might want to save his pawn by moving it and putting the black knight on the run! But there’s no obvious way to win the knight as it has quite a few safe squares to fall back on, it just wont be able to go back to f6 very easily, which is kind of bad because for most black players the f6 square is a good home for the black knight fending off the white queen from h5 and controlling the center delightfully usually unabated but not for this move!

The Caro Kann 1. e4 c6!

One of Anatoly Karpov’s favorite reply’s against 1. e4 was the multifaceted Caro-Kann opening, with the Caro-Kann black will play defensively but unlike the Sicilian it’s not easy to trade off the d4 pawn for the c-file pawn! Black can choose to play closed and long drawn out games making white have to wait to win! Black can choose an open game if white plays 1 e4 c6 2. d4! d5! or keep thing’s closed and play 2.. d6.

Poisoned Pawn #2


Spassky vs Fischer 1972, Reykjavick.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6
7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 

Is Qxb2 a poisoned pawn?