The ‘knight’ chess piece is one of the ‘minor’ pieces in the game of chess, and the knight is one of the most potent chess pieces that a player gets to play with. The knight’s most unique aspect comes down to how it moves across the chessboard.
In order to strengthen your overall gameplay standards and improve your chances of setting up for checkmates, having a deep understanding of the knight’s characteristics becomes imperative.
A knight helps a chess player develop a strong formation in the opening rounds of a game. In traditional chess sets, the knight chess piece is shaped in the form of a horse. Each chess competitor starts with two knights at the start of a chess game.
They are positioned in between the rooks and the bishops, on both sides of the king and the queen. A knight has a value of three points, which is the same as that of the bishop.
How Does the Knight Move in Chess
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of a knight is the manner in which it makes its movement across the board. Knights move in an ‘L’ shape, unlike all other chess pieces. In other words, a knight will take two steps vertically and then take the third step horizontally or the first two steps horizontally and vertically.
Another exciting facet of the knight is its capacity to be able to jump over other chess pieces while in motion. It does not matter to the moving knight whether it has to jump over friendly or enemy pieces. As long as it is moving, it can leap over any chess piece on the board. A knight captures enemy pieces by occupying their spots.
When a knight has started moving from a white square, it will end up on a black tile. The reverse takes place when it begins its journey from a black square. In the latter case, it will eventually end up on a white block.
How Does the Knight Move in Chess: Principles to Apply in your Game
Over the ages, great chess players confessed that their game was significantly elevated because of their grasp of the fundamental principles of the knight chess piece. Becoming a competent chess professional will not be an easy affair unless you get sharp with your knight movements.
So, let us check out the key features of the knight chess piece that make it a standout piece on the board.
Make Sure You Occupy the Centre of the Chess Board
First and foremost, due to its limited range of motion, a good chess play will involve placing the knights in and around the centre of the chess board as quickly as possible. Moving only in an ‘L’-shaped path, knights are the most effective from the centre of the board.
This is because they get a broader reach in all directions from the central part of the board. If you place a knight somewhere on the margins, its efficacy will diminish exponentially. If you notice the next time you play a game, keeping the knights in the centre will give them control over several squares. On the other hand, a knight resting on the edge will threaten just three or four tiles.
In a similar vein, if you place a knight at any of the corners of the board, it will get to choose from only two possible moves.
Keep a Lookout for Outposts at All Times
We have already established that a knight is the most lethal when positioned in the centre of the chessboard. That being said, you must remember that, at times, these centre squares could become vulnerable. You have to ensure that your centrally located chess knights are not in the line of attack from the rival pieces. The rival pawns are the biggest threat to a knight when it is placed somewhere in the centre.
Keeping this in mind, you must be clever enough to find a chess block that is the least affected by the advancing enemy pawn structure. The blocks in and around the centre of the board where it is least to be attacked by rival chess pieces are called ‘outposts’.
Be wary of reading your opponent’s gameplay and figure out where exactly to place your knights to keep them safe from any onslaughts. Always remember that if you keep one or two ‘outposts’ under your control for a more significant part of the game, chances are high you will secure a victory over your opponent in the long run.
Do Not Delay in Developing Your Knights
A great many chess players like to bring their knights out from their starting positions early on in the game. This is a great habit, one which pays back valuable dividends. Knights being the only chess pieces that can come out to the central part of the board even before pawns can, you should take advantage of this distinctive facet.
Nothing can stop a white knight from stepping out of its rest position and becoming the very first piece on the main playing field. Taking control over the centre of the chess board is one of the cardinal necessities of playing a good game of chess, and knights provide the means to achieve this end.
One more advantage of playing your knights early is making space for enabling your king’s ‘castling’. While going for the kingside castling, both the bishop and the knight standing between the king and the rook must be removed. Likewise, to fulfil a queenside castling, the bishop, the knight, and the queen need to move out of the space between the king and the rook.
Execute ‘Fork’ Attacks while Being Wary of Traps
Seeing as the knight moves across the chess board in a peculiar ‘L’–shaped path, you should take maximum advantage of the same as a player. Only a knight can execute a ‘fork’ attack in gameplay. A ‘fork’ attack is an instance when two rival chess pieces are attacked by a knight in a single move. Imagine if you can manage to do this on the enemy king and the queen at the same; it will create havoc in your opponent’s camp.
Always be on the lookout for rival bishops while charging up and down with your knights. Knights are the most susceptible to bishops on the board at any given time, and bishops tend to cut off the number of tiles a knight can attempt to cover.
Learn More About Chess Pieces and Strategies on Square Off
With that, we have come to the end of our piece on ‘How does the knight move in chess’. Continue learning about chess by visiting the Square Off website and browsing through our wide array of blog topics. You may search for subjects like ‘how does the rook move in chess’ and ‘how does the king move in chess’.
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