In this post, we’ll go in depth on the knight piece in chess. We’ll discuss how it the knight is used, how it moves, it’s strengths and weaknesses, and general strategy that knights are used for.
Chess is a board game that has been played for centuries. It is considered to be one of the most popular board games in history. As a result, there are many different types of pieces on the chessboard and it can seem confusing at first if you’re not familiar with how all the pieces move or what they do.
Principles For Knights
In general, there are some principles to guide you on how to use knights in your strategy. Like all Chess Principles, they can be broken and should not always be followed 100% of the time. It always depends on the overall position on the board.
Knights are worth 3 points, the same value of Bishops. Each player gets two knight pieces, which are used in a game of chess to capture other pieces.
The knight piece can jump over pieces in order to get to the piece that it wants to capture. It is the only piece that can move through other pieces on the board, giving it a distinct strategic advantage compared to other pieces. However it’s also one of the weakest pieces ahead of the king and pawn, because of the limited way that it can actually move.
Knights before Bishops
This principle is referring to piece development. In chess openings, you generally want to develop your Knights before developing your Bishops. This puts you in position to attack the center of the board as well as any pawns you have in the center. Bishops wouldn’t be able to do this without moving them more than once.
Knight forks are some of the most powerful attacking tactics in Chess. Since Knights move in a much different way than any other piece on the board, they excel at attacking. Forking the enemy King and another piece is one of the most common and game changing tactics.
How To Avoid Knight Forks
Remember this rule: Knights can only move on the opposite color of the color they are on at any position in time.
So if the knight is on a dark square, it can only move to the white squares around it. So if you just worry about staying on a white square around the knight, you’ll be safe from forks.
If the knight moves from a white square to a dark square, now the same rule applies. And again, just make sure to keep both pieces on opposite colored squares and you’ll be safe.
How Knights Move
As a beginner, the knight will cause you the most trouble. Simply because the knight moves in the most complicated way out of all the other chess pieces. It may not be that complex in general, but for a beginner, you just haven’t played enough yet to be able to instantly register where the knight can move that quickly yet.
So let’s simplify it.
Knights in chess can move in an L-shaped manner over the board, either two squares horizontally and one square vertically, or one square horizontally and two squares vertically.
The knight piece is the only piece that moves this way. In order to capture pieces on the board, it can jump over other pieces and land next to a piece that it wants to capture.
This is incredibly useful for certain moves within chess, but it can also be difficult as knights can easily get stuck and blocked in certain situations because of the way it can move.
The unique movement of the knight piece can be a powerful tool for capturing pieces within chess. Because of how it can jump over other pieces while moving, the knight piece is used to efficiently capture enemy pieces. For example, if you want to move a piece from one end of the board to another, it’s usually much faster and more efficient to move just one piece rather than moving multiple pieces in order to maneuver around pieces on the board. The knight piece can move in an L-shaped manner over the board and then capture a piece towards the end of the L that it has formed. This strategy is known as a double-leap.
Another benefit is that the knight piece can help in trying to trap the enemy king in a state of check. While it’s fairly easy for kings to avoid things coming from its sides or diagonal rows, the L-shaped attack of the knight adds an extra layer of strategy that opponent’s will have to think about very quickly, giving you a competitive edge in certain situations on the board.
The knight piece is one of the weakest pieces on the board, because of the way that it can jump over other pieces. This means that a lot of times, knights will get stuck against other features on the board. This limits their movement and can make them more predictable than they’re worth.
Another potential weakness is that knights are limited to this L-shape. Rooks, Queens, and Bishops can move an unlimited number of spaces in certain directions, but Knights are restricted to that single L-shape. This poses as an issue for trying to get knights from one end of the board to the other. Additionally, your opponent can easily box your knight in, in a way that will limit them from being able to move at all, essentially making them dead weight on the board, and hurting your overall strategy in trying to protect your king.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do Knights move in L shape?
There is no precise reason for this. But the Knight represents the cavalry in a Kingdom. A man on a horse was able to flank the enemy. Hence the Knight’s ability to jump over pieces.
Can Knight jump over 2 pieces?
Knights move two squares up, down, left, or right, and 1 square up, down, right, or left. This means a Knight can “jump” over two pieces.
Is a Knight better than a Bishop?
Knights in general, are not better than Bishops. Knights and Bishops have the same piece value of 3 points. So one Knight has the same value as three pawns.
The knight can be a very powerful piece to have on the chessboard. Its unique movement can be used to your advantage, as well as the fact that it can capture other pieces in the game of chess. However, it is a fairly weak piece and should not be overestimated because of its limitations in range of motion.
There are many master chess players that utilize knights, but the strategy requires a lot of thought and scenario modeling, all at a very quick pace.
I hope this guide on how to use Knights in Chess helped you. If you want to master the use of the other pieces as well, you can read their guides: