Figure[White to move]

Simple Skewers Through the Queen.

Now let's look at some skewers that run through the queen rather than the king. Start with the same general searching strategy: scan the board for enemy pieces on the same line. Here White sees Black’s queen and bishop on the same diagonal with nothing between them. Take note of this general visual pattern; it is common, and cries out for a skewer—if White can run a piece through the queen with protection against capture. Here White has Bb4, where the bishop takes protection from the pawn on a3. Black must move his queen rather than protect it, and once he does this the bishop on e7 is loose and is taken for free with BxB, which also forks the rooks on d8 and g5.

Take note, too, of how the bishop became loose. If you see a piece protected only by its queen, that means the piece is aligned with its queen—and that you may have a nascent tactical opportunity. This is especially important as the queen moves farther out onto the board, since then skewers become increasingly possible.