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Defence Strategy 4:

Blocking the Attack

Wolverhampton Chess Club

In the sport of Boxing, when one opponent has aimed a fierce punch at the other, the opponent can dodge out of the way. But often, instead of trying to dodge out of the way, the boxer uses one of his boxing gloves as a sort of shield to soften the blow. This is called 'Blocking the punch'.

We can use this idea of 'blocking' on the chess board. Instead of using a glove we use another piece and put that in the path of the attack.


Black to move. In this position White attacks the Black Queen with a rook.

Black moves the Knight in the way, protecting the Queen from attack.

Consider the value of pieces now:

Queen = 9 Pawns

Rook = 5 Pawns

and Knight = 3 Pawns.

So, if White had been able to take the Queen and then the Black King takes the Rook back White gains the value of 4 Pawns (Q9 - R5 = 4).

Now the Knight is BLOCKING the Rook's file and protecting the Queen if White were to capture the Knight with his Rook Black would recapture the Rook with his Queen and therefore Black would gain the value of two pawns from the exchanges(R5 - Kn3 = 2).


White to Move

The Black Bishop is attacking the White Queen.


White avoids the attack by moving the Pawn in the way.


In this example a Knight is used to block the attack.

Black to move. White has atacked the Black Queen with his Rook. The Black Queen has no square to which it can escape, nor can Black capture the attacking Rook without loss.


Black makes his best reply, by moving the Knight to block the file between the White Rook and the Black Queen.