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Sports & Games


Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 16:28 min

Not all pins are created equal. Understanding their effectiveness means understanding the power of paralyzing your opponent’s pieces, especially in the endgame.

Garry Kasparov
Teaches Chess
Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.
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Pin is very important element of strategy and tactics. And almost in every game, we could see pins on both sides. It's not as deadly as skewer, because you can stay there. It's sometimes the pin could last for many moves without causing real damage. But still, let's look at the structure, how it works. That's the simple form. We have bishop on big diagonal, on b2. Knight on f6, and put black queen hiding behind this knight. So it's a pin. We can call it a relative pin, because black knight can move. Though, I don't think you want to do it, because the queen is there, so it's a pin. And it happens many times. For instance, in many openings, you have black queen standing on d8, knight on f6, and bishop on g5, for instance. That happens many, many, many games, many openings. So again, there's nothing to be afraid of. Just remember that if you have a more valuable piece behind less valuable piece, just be aware. It could be just another form of pin that has more decisive effect. It's kind of a relative pin, so this is a position that I could put in. So now, black rook is on c5. It's pinned by white rook on g5. And of course black rook can take white rook. But then the pawn would be promoted. So that's an important tool, important tactical element. Sometimes in the endgames, or even in middlegames, you use this form of pin to advance either your pawn or just to get something, by deflecting opponent's piece from doing something important, like in this case, preventing our pawn from from promotion. But there are also something which we call absolute pins. For instance, absolute, because in this case rook is pinned, and it cannot move legally, because the king is behind it. So that's why this rook is paralyzed. This pin definitely is more dangerous, because it not only limits the potential of your pieces, but also it may cause other serious, serious problems. Because by using the pin, your opponent can create threats in the surrounding areas. Let's look at a couple of examples how we can use pin as a mechanism to achieve our goals. So let's start with a simple position. If you look at this endgame, it seems roughly even. Even black has an extra pawn. But there's a trick that white can use based on the pin concept. And also the fact that our pawn-- if we play white-- so our pawn h6 is advanced. That's why we can force the exchange of rooks after Rg8+, Kc7, Rg7. Then after the exchange our pawn will advance. So black has to defend this rook. So it can go Ng5. And then we bring our bishop. We continue this attack. We are trying to force this exchange. And you see the pin. Legally, black rook cannot leave the seventh rank, so it goes on d7. It desperately tries to stay its course. But we continue the attack. We're still pushing this rook. It goes back on f7, hoping desperately for repetition of the moves. But now we att...

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At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Well worth the money. Loved it to learn from the former world champion. Simul sessions were not filmed correctly, more the analysis, so those 4 sessions were a complete waste. Other than that, it was awesome.

Good explanation of how to create and use various skewer attacks

I am not a chess expert, but I learned useful things to keep in mind when playing and I enjoyed Mr. Kasparov's method of explaining. (I had a little trouble with his accent.)

I have learned the patterns to look for in a real game.


Haiqing W.

In the example around 1:40 min why doesn't the king just move down to b6? (Then its protecting the rook and attacking the pawn with both king an rook).


i'm not a chess player by any measures, but i am really enjoying this series and learning a lot and have actually found myself in daily life situations thinking about moves, patterns, geometry etc. looking forward to the next classes!

A fellow student

In Russian bishops are called Elephant or Elephant's what ???? Can't quite make out the second part of the phrase. Very interesting! I'd love to know if the other pieces are named so conceptually differently as well--expands the way I think about them and their functions and possibilities.

Christopher A.

Please stop covering the board when paused. This makes the challenges useless as one cannot see the board!

Nikola S.

Could you please fix the full-screen issue where small part of the board is not visible (this is the case in both Google Chrome and Firefox)? This is the case in all lessons for me. Also, whenever I pause a video to try and solve the position, there is an overlay that I have to hide. This is quite annoying because I pause the videos often. It would be nice if I could change the default settings to never show the overlay when I pause the video.


Painful that you cannot pause during the study challenges without seeing ads for other videos.

A fellow student

This material is excellent but the camera and board work are sorely lacking. The overhead shots have Kasparov moving the white pieces from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen. Likewise the on-screen board has white at the top and black at the bottom. This makes it much more difficult to set up my board at home. It would be much better of we had White at the bottom of the screen moving up. In other words the 1st rank should be at the bottom with the A rank on the left.

Gary P.

I like to use pins to break up my opponents position and give him a weak white or dark square complex on either wing as this usually leads to a telling advantage in the endgame.

Flavia E.

Does anyone know where to buy the chess pieces and board from his video? It's stunning. Thank you!

Nathan M.

Quick Question: has anyone used the office hours? Doesn’t look like there is any content, questions being asked, etc.