A tactical situation in which a piece holds down an enemy piece, forced to protect a more valuable piece behind it or its King.
There are two types of pins:
1) Absolute pin = the pinned piece cannot move because by doing so, it would expose the King. That is not allowed by the rules of chess
2) Relative pin = the pinned piece protects a more valuable piece behind it. The pinned piece can move if so desired and that is used to surprise the opponent
1) Absolute pin: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 (the Knight cannot be moved since Ke1 would be in check)
2) Relative pin: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 (the Knight can be moved but then a Queen is lost). A nice example of the dangers of this type of pin is given by the possible continuation: 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.0-0 Nd4? 6.Nxe5!! (the pin is deliberately broken and Queen sacrificed) Bxd1 7.Bxf7+ Ke7 8.Nd5#.