Intermediate move (2 moves)
Master this and many more motifs
Sometimes you can capture an opponent's piece, but capturing it comes with a disadvantage, for example if your opponent has other threats, or if the piece which can make the capture is currently pinned. An intermediate move is a move that you play instead, which changes the situation so that you can make the capture later without that disadvantage.
White can capture the unprotected bishop on h3 with the bishop on f1.
However, Black is also threatening to capture the unprotected knight on a5 with the queen on d2.
Bxh3 Qxa5 would just be an exchange of pieces.
Instead of capturing immediately, White can win with the intermediate move Nb3!
The knight counter attacks the queen, and after the queen runs away, White can pick up the bishop with Bxh3.
Note that Black isn't able to run away with the queen and protect the bishop at the same time. If there wasn't a pawn on h6, Black could play Qh6 and protect the bishop.
White can capture Black's queen with gxh4.
However, Black is also attacking White's queen with the rook on f3.
gxh4 Rxd3 would just be an exchange of pieces.
Instead of capturing immediately, White can win with the intermediate move Qxf3!
The rook is protected, but if Black recaptures with Bxf3, White can win the queen back with gxh4.
This kind of move where a piece is lost, but captures something else before it is taken is sometimes called a "desperado" move. Don't confuse this with the "desperado" sacrifice which results in stalemate if the piece is captured.
Sometimes intermediate move can include other motifs, as in the following example:
White can capture Black's queen with axb5.
However, Black could then capture White's queen as well with Rxe4, and White would have gained nothing.
Qxe8 does not work, because Black can recapture with the queen, which would be no longer attacked on e8.
Instead of capturing immediately, White can win with the intermediate move Rb8!
White is pinning the rook, and attacking it a second time.
If Black captures the rook with Rxb8, the rook is deflected from attacking the queen, and White wins with axb5.
And if Black protects the rook with Rff8, White can win with axb5 Rxe4 Rxf8+.
When you can capture an opponent's piece, don't just grab it. Make sure that your opponent doesn't have any threats. Those threats can exist before your move, or only after your move. If such threats exist, consider an intermediate move or check.
An intermediate check is an intermediate move which is a check. An intermediate move can sometimes be a counter attack, and intermediate check is always a counter attack on the king.