vendredi 24 janvier 2014

Discovered attack

This is another blog post about the basic tactical patterns everybody must know. Today we are going to study the Discovered Attack. This attack is another way of forcing your opponent to deal with 2 different threats at the same time. I have already explained why this is so efficient in my blog post about double threat.

So, let's start with the definition: a discovered attack is an attack revealed when one piece moves out of the way of another, discovering this second pieces' attacking potential. This is a very poweful tactic.
This post is inspired from the corresponding Chess Trainer lesson.

 Now if the Knight moves, the attacking range of the Rook is discovered:

In this case, the black King can easily move to get away from the check. So this particular discovered attack does not look that dangerous for sure !
Now imagine if the moving piece also creates a threat, wouldn't it change radically the position's evaluation ?

 Here is what can follow:

1. Nb4+
a deadly discovered attack, the black King is attacked by the Rook and the black Queen is attacked by the Knight.
1...  Qd6
A desperate attempt to deal with both threats
2. Rxd6+
 White captures the Queen and wins the game

 As usual, it is your turn to think now ! Look at the following position and try to find the winning move. Don't jump to the solution too fast or you won't learn anything !


1. Bb5+
The range of the d1-Queen has suddenly increased with that Bishop move !
1... Nd7
The check has to be dealt with first
2. Qxd4 
 And now White is a full Queen ahead !

 Another example, fin the correct move:


1. Bxb6
Simple but powerful ! The Queen is attacked and Black has no time to save the Knight as well.
1... axb6
Other possibilities are losing as well: 1... Qxe1+ 2. Qxe1 and White has a huge material advantage, whereas moving the Queen away simply loses the Knight
2. Rxe8 
 White has captured the Queen at the price of a Rook.

Finally, our last example shows that not only Rooks are involved in discovered attacks:


1... d4+
Of course !  Check and attack to the Queen at the same time
2. Kg1
2... dxc3 
 Black is one queen up.

 Discovered attacks are very common on diagonals as well. That is why the fianchetto is usually a powerful way to develop the Bishops.

In conclusion, discovered attacks are a powerful weapon.
You can set your pieces to maximize your chances to make discovered attacks arise:
  •  put your Rooks on open files
  • put your Bishops on good diagonals
Want to see more discovered attacks ? The Darlington Chess Club has also made an excellent blog post about this topic. I encourage you to go have a look to this, you will find more examples.

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