Now that you know how to move the pieces and to capture the free pieces your opponent is offering it is time to spend some time on a lesson about how to deal with an attacked piece.
What is Defending in Chess?
In Chess, defending is when you move a piece to a position that defends another piece from being captured.
Of course, the piece being defended could still be captured, but you’ll have the option of capturing the piece on the next move. When a piece isn’t defended by another piece, or multiple pieces, it’s known as a free piece.
Defending in Chess important to be doing with all of your pieces most of the time throughout the game. Some pieces need multiple defenders as they may be attacked by multiple pieces. Not only pieces, but squares need to be defended as well. If an opposing piece lands on a certain square, it could give you a disadvantage or even force a loss.
How To Defend
If one of your pieces is being attacked, we have to then see how the attacked piece can be defended if there isn’t currently a defender. There are at least four possible ways to defend a piece so it isn’t captured, at least not for free.
Capture – the attacking piece
Defend – If your opponent captures the piece you can recapture his piece.
Block – Place another piece or pawn between the two pieces.
Evade – Move away the attacked piece.
The first way of defending a piece is my favorite. If you’re able to, you can defend a piece by simply capturing the attacking piece. Below are two positions that illustrate how to defend with a capture.
In both of the diagrams below the black Bishop on d6 is attacking the white Bishop on b4 and in both cases white is able to capture the black Bishop, but in the second diagram black is able to recapture white’s Bishop with his Rook.
In fact this second diagram is a rather complex situation in which white has a lot of possibilities to escape capture.
The Black Bishop on d6 is attacking White’s Bishop on b4. Black isn’t defending the Bishop so White can capture the piece and be up an entire piece which is a big material advantage.
Again, the Black Bishop on d6 is attacking White’s Bishop on b4. But this time Black is able to recapture White’s Bishop with the Rook on
The second way to defend a piece is by simply defending it by moving another piece to defend the piece from being captured. The two positions below illustrate how to defend a piece with another piece.
In the position below, Black’s Bishop is being attacked. The Bishop can be defended with the Rook by moving it to a7.
In the second diagram the white Bishop can be defended by moving the Knight to f1. It is important to know the value of the pieces when you defend or exchange pieces.
The third possibility to defend a piece is by blocking the attacking piece from the piece it was attacking. You can block the piece by moving another piece placing it in between the attacker and the attacked piece.
Pawns are perfect for this since pawns are worth so little. If you can block an attacking Bishop to save a Knight, it would be ideal.
In this position, the black Queen is attacked and it is not allowed to move the Queen on another file, because the King will be in check. It is possible to defend the Queen by moving the King to b7, but this will result in an exchange of the Queen for a Rook. The best move is placing the Bishop from e8 to b5.
In the second diagram the Queen is attacked by the Bishop on g5. In this diagram more blocking opportunities exist, but the most often played move is Be7.
The fourth way to defend a piece in Chess in by evading the attacking piece. Evading is commonly the best way of defending a piece since moving another piece also changes the entire position which means other attacks could potentially open up or leave other pieces undefended.
The two positions below are positions where using the evade method of defense is the best way.
In this position, the Knight is being attacked by the Rook. It’s best to evade the Rook by moving the Knight. With Nb4, you would evade the capture and also attack the Rook in the same move.
White’s rook is being attacked by the bishop. The Rook could move to any square to evade being captured.