From Garry Kasparov's MasterClass


Garry believes in the power of geometry. Through these positions, he shows how you can get the best out of your pieces—even the weak ones.

Topics include: X-Ray Attack • Classical Skewer • Skewers in Endgames • Kasparov vs Beliavsky, 1992 • Understanding Geometry • Challenge: A Skewer Study


Garry believes in the power of geometry. Through these positions, he shows how you can get the best out of your pieces—even the weak ones.

Topics include: X-Ray Attack • Classical Skewer • Skewers in Endgames • Kasparov vs Beliavsky, 1992 • Understanding Geometry • Challenge: A Skewer Study

Garry Kasparov

Teaches Chess

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Skewer can also be called an x-ray attack. It's an attack by a line piece, queen, rook, or bishop. And normally, the piece under direct attack is a more valuable one that one is behind. And when this valuable piece has to move, then the less valuable is being lost. We saw one of the types of the skewer in the lesson about double attacks. We can look again at the situation, where black king and queen are on the same row. And the rook attacks. Black king is in check. When king moves, then the rook grabs the queen. So that's one of the forms of a skewer. So we can also look for another form of the skewer. It's with a bishop. And we can start actually with one that, if we tried to explain it in Russian terms, that would be called differently, [RUSSIAN], kind of a line attack. It doesn't make much sense in English. But even if we have two pieces of the same value on the same diagonal-- so let's put two kings just to make it position legal. Both knights are under attack. One is directly. The other one is indirectly. And it's also a skewer. If white king would be on d3, then it could go on e4 protecting this knight. And then, it would be more like a pin. But we'll talk about that later. But let's now look at the classical skewer, where bishop is attacking two pieces and causing damage, irreparable damage, to the opponent. Here is the position. And obviously, we can use the bishop to put it from d2 to c3 attacking the queen, and then also the rook. This is classical skewer. We have a much more valuable piece under direct attack. It has to move. And then, the less valuable piece, in this case, is the rook. It's less valuable. But it's enough for us to win the game. But there's something else I wanted to mention. When you see a good move-- and of course, in our case, skewer bishop from d2 to c3 is winning-- just spend another second, maybe two seconds, and look whether there's something else maybe even stronger, even more powerful. Just imagine for a moment the bishop is not on d2 but on e1. It still makes the move Bc3 perfectly legal. And it's winning the rook. But there's also another option. Because we look at queen and king at the same diagonal. You can put this bishop on g3, this time pinning the queen and winning the queen. So just always look at position, trying to maximize the effect of your attack. OK, with bishop on d2, it's only Bc3. With bishop on e1, you have an even more powerful move. There's also a few practical things that we can learn about a skewer. And one is an endgame. So very often, we have this pattern in the rooks' endgames. And rooks' endgames are probably most popular endgames, happen very often, even in the games of the beginners. And we have this position with white king on f2, rook on a7, pawn on b6. And black rook was on a1, pawn on a2. ...

Elevate your game

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.

I think it was generally very instructive and good for a wide range of players. It is focused on how to think and mostly gives inspiration and shows the beuty of the game and different geometrical patterns more than specific theory about openings. The endgame principles are very good and can quickly improve your rating if you pay attention. A big thanks to Gary for sharing his passion!

It is truly a once in a life time opportunity to take classes from the IMMORTAL KASPAROV

Garry Kasparov's Master Class has opened my mind to concepts that I hadn't considered before. I had many moments when the light went on after so long in darkness. Thank you Garry! Thank you MasterClass!

This masterclass makes me to get interested on chess continuously, and also improve my sight on chess board. I would recommend this lecture for everyone who are interested in chess.


Rick S.

When Kasparov shows a board position, he should first say White (or black) to move, otherwise hard to understand his initial point. Also when describing historical games, should say who was playing which side right at the beginning. Just some feedback. I love the course so far, really interesting.

A fellow student

When you pause the videos, the chessboard is covered by the "You're Watching" and "Up Next" information. This makes it impossible to do the studies without a physical board. This is a major inconvenience.

A fellow student

This course is really good. I learned a lot from it. Although I would wish there were more studies to solve on double attack

A fellow student

Wow, I am so happy I was able to find the quiet move!!!!!! Although, I have to admit I was solving the problem on a board. I didn't visualize everything. Still, quite happy with myself! :D

Geoff S.

The idea of a poisoned piece is very interesting. I've seen lines with poisoned pawns such as the poisoned pawn variation in the Winawer french, but the idea of a poisoned piece opens up a whole new world of possibilities! I've never been comfortable sacrificing pieces, even when it looks good, because I'm always paranoid that the sacrifice won't work and I'll just end up down a piece. This doesn't seem like it can possibly fail though, and that's what I love about it. Great lesson Garry!


Having some difficulty with the challenges. I love them and honestly hope that they are used much more frequently as this class continues. I am however having a lot of difficulty with blacks moves, as the white player i understand what the best move is based on the lesson and am able to move correctly however black options on their turns may seem very limited to a very experienced player but to a player who simply enjoys chess as a very occasional hobby that id like to start taking much more seriously, blacks moves seem wide open to me and thus i can never get to step 3 or 4 of the position because ive always moved black into a incorrect position. Is anyone else having this experience? loving this class so far and trying to get the most out of it!

Michael E.

The skewer is a tactic I've appreciated, but struggled to incorporate into my repertoire. This notion of seeing the geometry in the position opens my eyes to more possibilities in creating the desired conditions for a lovely skewer. And seeing how quiet moves (rook sacrifice in this lesson) can bring about about the desired position is awe-inspiring. Such beauty in quiet moves. Thank you, Garry.

Barry O.

Your sheer passion and enthusiasm motivate me to really get into chess in a deeper way.Thank you so much Gary.As I still am a beginner in many ways I don't feel ready to comment too much yet.

Juan Z.

The key takeaways from this lesson for me are the "poison pill or piece" and to "look for the maximum outcome". The first one is a defense tactic that invites the opponent to take the "poison pill or piece" and then suffer the consequence of a significant loss (higher value piece like the queen); I found this approach very creative. The second key takeaway, "look for the maximum outcome", tells me not to waste time and take care of business quickly. Great lesson Gary!

A fellow student

I think it is a nice exercise but there's a couple ways, including the "best move" that leaves white without both the rook and the bishop, for example in the "best move" if blacks take the rook with the Queen, then white Bishop takes the queen, but the black king will take the white Bishop and then all we have is a leading Pawn for white.