Sunday, 31 October 2010

Junior Club Week 4: Discovered attack

When two of your pieces are on the same line (rank, file or Diagonal) if one of the pieces can move to reveal an attack against an enemy target, then that enemy piece Discovers it is under attack.  Often this allows your piece that has just moved to complete its own attack.  This tactic is especially powerful if one of the enemy pieces under attack is the king!

In the following diagram black seems to be ok.  But white's bishop is pointing at the black king, almost as though the bishop has superman like X-ray vision seeing straight through his own rook.  Can you guess what white played?

Did you spot 1. Re4?  The rook moves and reveals an attack from the bishop and the black king Discovers he is in check.  As black has to respond to the check the attack on the queen by the moved rook proves decisive.  Black's best is 1...Qxc5, but after pawn takes queen black can resign.

The Discovered attack requires two of your pieces to work as a team.  A rook on an open file blocked by one of its own minor pieces (Bishop or Knight) are particularly effective at executing this tactic.

In the following position the rook's X-ray vision is fixed on the black king.  When the white knight moves black's king Discovers it is in check and must respond to the check.  This will give the knight a free move.  What would you play as white?

Nine points if you wanted to play Nc4 (pictured below) or Nc6 as both allow the knight to capture the queen after black moves his king or blocks the check.  Note that even though the black pawn attacks the knight black doesn't have time to capture it.
Two points for Ng6 as the knight does get to capture the rook on h8, but always look for the best move!

There is a special case of a discovered attack, Double check.  That is when the piece moving calls check as well as discovering a check on the enemy king.

In the above position white wins with 1.Nf7 checking with the knight and discovering a check with the rook on h2 (see diagram below).  Black can not respond to both checks and 1.Nf7 is actually checkmate.  Note 1.Nf5?? is a blunder, at first glance it looks as though the knight can take the queen next go, but the black queen can take the checking rook 1...Rxh2 calling checkmate himself.  Remember to look for the best move.

Some examples from my games.
In the below position I am black and have just played pawn f6 trying to evict white's bishop.  I didn't see the X-ray eyed bishop.  Rod Gilpin (Club president) did and played Nxe7, double check from the knight and discovered check by the bishop on b3,  and wins a queen.

The next position is from one of my Morra gambit games.  The rook stands in line with the enemy queen, always dangerous.  Nb6 wins a rook.  Discovered attacks do not need to contain a check.

My last example from my games is against a open strength player.  What would you play?

Did you spot the pawn check after 1.e6 revealing a discovered attack on black's rook?  Ouch!!

Finally a puzzle.  This puzzle is from "303 Tactical Chess Puzzles" by Fred Wilson and Bruce Alberston.
Try to solve it, I will publish the answer with my next post.  If you can't wait for then and can't find the answer email me 
Clue: First you need to create the possibility of a discovery.  Remember two of your pieces on a line (rank, file, or Diagonal) pointing at an enemy piece.

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  •  Spot any mistakes with this post, 
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  •  Want any advice on creating a junior club
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