We all know that counter attack is an effective technique to defend, but most beginners coaches ignore it at an early stage as they believe that this concept is hard for kids to learn. Here my opinion is different and I believe that you can teach the concept of counter attack with the help of simple words and meaningful examples. The only requirement is that kids are aware of the absolute value of the pieces and are able to identify direct threats. In this case I define direct threats not as complex tactics, but things like a rook attacking unprotected knight.
Again while teaching kids we should use simple terminology and my definition for counter attack for kids is this: “When you have been attacked, rather than saving your piece you can attack one of your opponent’s pieces of the same or higher value.”
Here are some simple examples which can make the point very clear to students:
You can save knight by moving away but there is another way in that you can attack his bishop. Kids actually love this because they prefer attack to defence, and when they learn this I have seen some delight on their faces.
It is also necessary to show them examples where counter attack won’t work!! Otherwise your student may counter attack his opponent’s king when he is in check!
In this example you can counter attack with your knight by playing it on b5 or b1 but the problem is that you are a attacking piece of lower value and as a result you will lose 2 points. Here is a nice video by an IM on our counter attack theme.