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Introduction to Chess Tactics: Discovered attack

A discovered attack occurs when a piece moves to reveal an attack by a second piece. If the attack is check, this is known as a discovered check. Discovered attacks can be a powerful method of winning material, as they potentially allow you to make two attacks simultanously - one with the piece you move, and another from the piece you uncovered. Here is an example of how this works in practice:

It works just as well if the piece moving away makes the threat that must be dealt with, leaving the uncovered piece free to capture. The next example shows a possibility that comes up frequently, so you should take care to look out for it in your own games.

There is another way you can win material with a discovered attack. Sometimes, an enemy piece might be too well protected to capture under normal circumstances, but if you can capture it with a discovered attack, your opponent has to spend a move dealing with the uncovered threat, allowing you to retreat your piece to safety again.

Double check

Sometimes both the piece that moves away, and the piece that is uncovered, give a check to the enemy king at the same time. This is called a double check, and it is powerful because the only way to escape from a double check is by moving the king - both attacking pieces cannot be blocked or captured at the same time. Here is an example of how deadly a double check can be:

The windmill

The windmill (sometimes also known as the see-saw) is a tactical combination involving a series of checks and discovered checks, usually by a rook and bishop, which can win large amounts of material. A notable example of the windmill occurred in the game Torre-Repetto vs Lasker, Moscow 1925:

Your turn

Now it's your turn to test your knowledge of discovered attacks.

Incorrect Move Sorry, that's the wrong answer. Click 'continue' to try again.
Nice Try Your move was good, but there is a better one.
Solved! Well done, that's the correct answer!
Black to move
Incorrect Move Sorry, that's the wrong answer. Click 'continue' to try again.
Nice Try Your move was good, but there is a better one.
Solved! Well done, that's the correct answer!
White to move
Incorrect Move Sorry, that's the wrong answer. Click 'continue' to try again.
Nice Try Your move was good, but there is a better one.
Solved! Well done, that's the correct answer!
White to move
Incorrect Move Sorry, that's the wrong answer. Click 'continue' to try again.
Nice Try Your move was good, but there is a better one.
Solved! Well done, that's the correct answer!
White to move
Incorrect Move Sorry, that's the wrong answer. Click 'continue' to try again.
Nice Try Your move was good, but there is a better one.
Solved! Well done, that's the correct answer!
White to move
Incorrect Move Sorry, that's the wrong answer. Click 'continue' to try again.
Nice Try Your move was good, but there is a better one.
Solved! Well done, that's the correct answer!
Black to move

Suggested Books

For more information, why not try one of the suggested reading options below?

Introduction to chess tactics Back to Contents << Removing the guard Decoys >>
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