In the middle of a chess game there are what I like to call level one thinking tactics where you can pin your opponents pieces down or you can fork your opponents king and queen. Then there are tactics that I like to call level two where you have to go beyond the obvious, think outside the box, and really start to think like a chess player.

The X-ray is a classic example of level two thinking in chess. It can be in the form of a pin, a skewer, or on its own, but an X-ray looks to attack a specific square indirectly.

It is always important to not only look at where all your pieces are directly attacking but at the same time where they are indirectly attacking or defending. In the example to the right the bishop on f3 is indirectly defending/attacking the pawn on b7. White can freely take with his knight because of his bishop on f3’s indirect defense of the b7 square.

This tactic can be one of the strongest tactics that you will find in chess. If you can master x-rays you will get the most out of all your chess pieces.

Watch the video below to watch more detailed explanations of x-rays.