Dominated Pieces

Dominated pieces are those pieces that cannot move without being captured. They may or may not be captured. It is a similar concept to trapped pieces or smothered pieces. However, it usually refers to situations where a piece is dominated by the enemyís pieces.

A classic dominated piece is a Knight that is dominated by the Bishop. This mostly occurs when the Knight is on the edge of the board (either the sides or the top/bottom ranks). A bishop can sometimes control all of the squares where the Knight can move to, although the Bishop cannot actually capture the Knight because itís on an opposite color square, after all!

Diagram: Bishop dominates Knight

Rooks can also dominate Knights, on some of the squares on the edge of the board (but not all edge squares).

Diagram: Rook Dominates Knight in the Corner

Bishops are occasionally dominated by a Knight. But itís less common than the reverse.

Rooks are hard to dominate. But a pawn on the 7th supporting a Bishop can dominate a Rook by trapping it on the Queening square. Again, the Rook is stuck, but cannot be captured by the Bishop.

Diagram: Bishop and Pawn Dominate Rook

Queens are even harder to dominate. But sometimes a Queen might get dominated if it is forced to block the Queening square of a pawn on the 7th rank.

Related Chess Tactics

Read more about these related chess strategies: