Bishop fork

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A bishop fork is a move with a bishop that attacks two or more pieces at the same time.

About forks

Forks are the most common tactics that win material. With a fork you make a move with one of your pieces. After the move, this piece is attacking two (or more) of your opponent''s pieces at the same time. Very often, your opponent won''t be able to defend against both threats with the next move, and you can capture one of the attacked pieces.

When you start learning forks, you have to look at all possible moves to determine which pieces are going to be attacked by that move. With more and more practice, you will be able to quickly see which attacking moves are possible, and you will spot many forks immediately and without effort. Some forks can be more difficult to see, if they involve the whole board, diagonal backward moves or attacks, or in complicated positions where a lot of moves and attacks are possible. If there are any unprotected pieces, forks (as well as some other tactics and combinations) are much more likely. Therefore, it is always a good idea to look for unprotected pieces and any way to attack those.

About bishop forks

Bishops can move very quickly about the board if there are some open diagonals. Bishops can only attack up to three pieces at the same time.


White can win material with the bishop fork Be6, attacking the rook on c8 and the unprotected knight on g4 at the same time. Black has no way to defend against both threats.

This is the most common type of bishop fork, where the bishop moves on one diagonal, and the attacked pieces are on opposite sides of the crossing diagonal.

Black can win material with the bishop fork Bxd4+, delivering check and attacking the rook on e5 at the same time.

Here the attacks are on crossing diagonals. This can happen if the move that delivers the fork also captures a piece that was previously blocking one of the attacks.

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