Dr. Alexey Root taught forks using problems from Bruce Pandolfini’s Beginning Chess (New York: Fireside, 1993). Dr. Root demonstrated a sample fork position and had students define what a fork is in chess. Then pairs of students set up positions following instructions such as “W: Kf1, Qd1, B: Ke8, Ne4, Pe7. White to move.” After studying the position, students wrote the answer in algebraic notation.
Then students raised their hands for Dr. Root to check their answers. Students understood that it was best not to show the answer (correct move) on the board, because then a neighboring pair could copy that answer. Also, visualizing the answer without touching the chessmen was good practice for the upcoming November 15 tournament. Two pairs in the advanced group were able to complete six of the 10 problems. Most pairs completed three or four problems. Next week’s lesson will continue with the remaining fork problems.