Basic tactics in chess part 4- Discovered Check

Till now we saw tactics with all sorts of frontal attacks. Pins, Forks, Skweres, Double attacks. All of them were done with the attacker having one piece which attacks the target. Today we will see how to do surprise attacks in chess. Discovered check and Discovered attack

Frontal attacks are easy to expect and judge and also easy to prevent. Hidden or surprise attacks need to be predicted and for this, it is really a task for the defender to ensure that he is not on the receiving end of something nasty! In wars, a surprise attack was a common tactic that was done to dismantle opponents harmony of forces.

So, similarly, when you are playing a game of chess, the position is totally under control, and suddenly there comes a check which leads to either heavy material loss or direct checkmate. Discovered check and discovered attack is a lethal weapon in chess tactics. One must have a good practice of the same.

Discovered check and discovered attack is a theme where a long-range piece (Queen, Rook, Bishop) is behind a piece that cannot directly give a check or attack the targeted piece. For example, if the opponent’s King is on e8, And we want to give a discovered check from the same e-file, then the piece between the opponent’s and our Queen/Rook needs to be a bishop or a Knight or sometimes a pawn.

Positions –

Today we see a few positions on the discovered check as well as the discovered attack which will be followed by a popular opening trap! So let’s get started with the same –

Basic position of discovered check

In the above position, white moves his bishop and gives a check.

White to play

The above position arises from petroff defence which is a popular opening now a days. Also the position comes after a blunder from black side.

Black to play

Black can win material with a check. So check wisely!

White to play

Here white has a clear way to win Queen with a discovered check.

Again, white to play. This position pans out from French Defense advance variation. Grabbing material early on in the game is bad and here is a good example of it.

So lets see on how do we reach both positions where discovered check leads to decisive advantage.

Petroff Defence Trap-

I remember when I was playing chess in my club, Someone did beat me with this trap. I felt very bad but soon I got a few victories with the same moves!

1.e4-e5  2.Nf3-Nf6 (This is called the petroff defence while Nc6 protecting e5 pawn is also a natural reply.) 3.Nxe5-Nxe4?!(Already a dubious move. The correct reply is 3. …-d6 4. Nf3-Nxe4) 4.Qe2!(Setting a trap) Nf6??(falling in the trap!) 5.Nd6++(Discovered check as well as discovered attack on the d8 Queen) Be7 6.Nxd8 (Queen lost.)

French Defence Trap-

I have played french defence for most of my life and this opening trap is quite common. Beginners often fall for it.

1.e4-e6 2.d4-d5 3.e5(Here white has a lot of options like Nc3,Nd2,Bd3,exd5 etc)-c5 4.c3-Nc6 5.Nf3-Qb6 6.Bd3(A sneeky trap which is misjudged as a pawn blunder.)-cxd4 7.cxd4-Nxd4? 8.Nxd4-Qxd4?? 9.Bb5+!(Discovered attack on the Queen on d4!)-Kd8 10.Qxd4.(and black loses his queen and also the game soon.) Now lets see, how black could have correctly reacted. 7.cxd4-Bd7! and this move will stop Bb5+ in future and now black is ready to grab the pawn on d4. This is a theoretical position in french defence advance variation.

So you can try both the traps, They are quite easy to miss. I would love to hear from all of you regarding your opinions on discovered check themes.

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Basic Tactics in Chess Part 3 – Fork & Double Attack

Fork and double attack are the most common ideas in chess. When you attack two pieces with one move. When you attack two pieces with a knight move, it is called a fork. The double attack is when you attack two pieces with a Queen, Rook or a Bishop. There is no general reason for it. So let’s dive straight to the positions.

Nc7+! An amazing move to make. This is called “The Royal Fork!”. Its called especially when it attacks more than 2 pieces at a time.

Another position where bishop attacks the rooks.
The e5 pawn attacking 2 pieces at a time
White to play, spot a double attack
White to play,


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Basic tactics in chess part 2 – Skewer in chess

In our previous article, you saw the information related to pin, it also included how to use pin and trivia which will be answered at the end of this article. We also bring your trivia on today’s topic. Today we will see skewer.

The skewer is exactly the opposite of the pin. How is it so? As we know in a pin, the strongest piece is behind while a weaker piece is in front of it. Here the stronger piece is in front while the weaker piece is at the back. Let me show it to you with a simple example.

In the above position, the white rook is attacking the queen, and when the queen moves, the knight on a5 can be captured for free.
A few more examples of skweres –

Black to Play

Here Black starts with 1…-Qg8+ 2.Qxg8-Rxg8 3.Kf1-Rh1+ 4.Ke2-Rxa1.

Black to play

Here just 1…-Qh8+ 2.Kf5-Qxc3.

Skewer turns out to be a common idea in the endgame and a lot of endgames are decided with this trick. Let us look at the following examples.

White to play

A common way to win this position is 1.Ra8-Rxh7 2.Ra7+-Ke8 3.Rxh7

Black to play

Here just 1…-Re6+ 2.Kf4-Rxe2.

That’s all for the part of skewers.

Today’s trivia –

White to play

Answer to the previous trivia based on pins

White should not capture as it is a famous opening trap –

d4-d5 c4 e6- Nc4-Nf6 Bg5-Nbd7 cxd5-exd5 Nxd5?-Nxd5! Bxd8-Bb4+ Qd2-Kxd8 and black will be a piece up.

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Basic tactics in chess Part 1 – Pins in Chess

Once you are familiar with the movement of pieces and the general rules regarding chess. You have to level up your game by learning the basic tactics. As they say, strategy and tactics go hand in hand. So first we should learn tactics that will assist our strategies.
So from now, we start a series of articles on basic tactics.

Pins in Chess –

Black to play

Try to think in the above position what can be the best move. Here you can move your Queen to b7 and freeze the Rook on e4.

Pins in chess is like just imagine – someone tied your hands with rope. Now you know that you have hands, you can even sense them, but you cannot use them. Similarly, when you pin an opponent piece, then it is not possible to move it as either it will be an illegal move or it will lead to material loss.

Absolute pin –

An absolute pin is a position where the pinned piece is in front of the king. So in this scenario, if it moves, then it will be a check to the king. It is illegal to have your king in check with your opponent to move. Examples of absolute pin –

White to play
The White Rook pins the Black Knight
White to play
Pinning the knight
Black protects it with a pawn and white attacks it with his pawn!
The Famous – Nimzo Indian Defence starting with a pin!

Relative pin –

A relative pin is a position where the pinned piece is in front of a major piece and not a king. So if the piece moves, it will lead to loss of material. But as in relative pin, the piece can move so sometimes it might lead to a reverse tactic.

As a Black knight can move, it is called a relative pin

Let’s see a few ideas you can use by pins in chess –

using the advantage of an absolute pin, white threats to mate with Qxg7
Black prevents it with g6 and white plays Qh6 and now the checkmate is unavoidable

Puzzle –

White to play, can white play Nxd5

The answer will be posted in the next article of this series.

The above were a few examples and ideas on pins in chess, I hope you all liked it and would visit again for another tactic in store for you.

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Alexander Alekhine – Alekhine’s Gun

Did you just read “Gun” in a chess article? Yes, Yes you read it right. It is indeed about something resembling a gun. Today I am sharing with you one of my favourite strategic ideas. So first I will share a few words about the creator of this strategy. Alekhine’s Gun is a concept named after Alexander Alekhine. Alexander Alekhine was the 4th World Chess Champion. He contributed heavily to chess literature by creating masterpieces. Alekhine’s handling of the following position always brings me joy for the beauty of the sequence. of moves and ideas behind it.


Before you look into the answer, try to think from white’s perspective of what could be a strategy he can use to attack the Knight on c6 and win material. One hint I can give is to try to provide logical defensive moves from black’s side and you will be able to reach the solution.

Here Alekhine playing with white pieces, constructed the Alekhine’s Gun! He played Rc2-Qe8 Rac1-Rab8 Qe3-Rc7 Rc3-Qd7 R1c2-Kf8 Qc1{Completion of Alekhine’s Gun. This formation of two Rooks in front of a Queen is deadly when the target cannot move!}Rbc8 Ba4-b5 Bxb5-Ke8 Ba4-Kd8 h4![Black is paralysed. His pieces cannot move. Once pawns are blocked. It forces resignation.

Now I give you 2 positions to try and find how to execute the knowledge we got from above.

White to play

In the above position, Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov followed the steps of his predecessors to apply the same theme. Try giving a shot at it yourself.

White to play

A recent example from previous year’s Online olympiad, Current World Junior Chess Champion in women’s category, Polina Shuvalova is playing white and she also found a perfect sequence to apply the Alekhine’s Gun.

Above is a video of explanation of Alekhine playing the masterpiece.


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