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 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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Smothered Mate in Chess

Winning a game in Chess gives pleasure. When we manage to checkmate our opponent the joy is of a unique level. There are a lot of unique patterns in chess which lead to checkmate. Today we will look at one such pattern which is called Smothered Mate.  It is a forcing pattern of checks with the combination of a Queen and Knight which force the opponent King in corner and we sacrifice our queen and deliver checkmate with our Knight.


Final Position of Smothered Mate.


Now we see a position.



The above sequence of Queen and Knight checks leads to a forced checkmate!


Now I present a few puzzles.

White to Play
Black to play
White to Play
White to Play



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Best chess websites and applications to solve tactics

As I previously mentioned in my article, Chess tactics is an excellent way to improve your chess skill. It improves your calculation ability and overall thinking process. Players should solve atleast 10 tactics per day. There are many websites and apps to solve tactics. Most website offer paid subscription but there are some which are absolutely or partially free. All websites have their own rating system for puzzles. The puzzle will come as per your strength. All websites mentioned below have there owned application also, but there are certain applications that are only meant for solving tactics.  The following are some websites/apps to solve tactics.

Websites to solve chess tactics is the most popular chess website in the world because many top players play on this website, this site gain popularity. offers premium membership to use unlimited tactics but there is a free plan in which you can solve 5 puzzles daily. It also offers a puzzle rush in which you have to solve puzzles until you go wrong 3 times. In puzzle rush mode there is time mode and survival mode also. In time mode you will get 3 or 5 minutes to solve puzzles and you have to try to solve maximum puzzles as you can and in survival mode, you will get unlimited time. I think is best to give positions as per individual can visit website through here


Lichess is a completely free chess website to use and is also the second-largest chess website in the world as per Alexa ranking for websites. Lichess also provides unlimited tactics for solving for free. Most of the tactics on lichess created by the server itself from lichess server real games. You can visit the website through here


Chess24 company is owned by world champion Magnus Carlsen company Play Magnus. Chess24 have also tactics trainer in which they give 5 tactics per day for free. In paid membership, you will get unlimited tactics and quality video series by various grandmasters. Chess 24 can do improvement in tactics tools and make more user friendly. Currently, chess24 is offering a 40% discount on premium memberships. You can visit the website here.


Chessbase is one of the oldest chess websites. Frederic Friedel is the owner of this website and it is famous for there ChessBase software. But recently a few years ago, they have launched ChessBase premium membership with many benefits. If you are an Indian citizen then you will get the membership at less price. One of the benefits is the tactics trainer. Chessbase tactics are usually easy to compare to other websites. But they have one benefit that for every move you will get rating points. This feature is still not available at or chess24 or any other application. You can visit the website from here

Applications to solve tactics

Tactics frenzy

This is the best application I ever saw in the play store. This is new application launched by team play Magnus, a company owned by Magnus Carlsen. This application gives free service partially. You have to pay if you want to access full benefits. This application background music is best and overall puzzle quality is also good. somehow I feel it is quite hard to solve puzzles on this application.


ichess also is a free application that provides many free positions to solve. This application is mostly beneficial for beginner and intermediate level players. There are in-app purchases also in which they provide different 100 problem packs. The price of that is also moderate. In paid packs you will get a lot of different positions and types of puzzle, you can check out from here

Chess king

This is one of the most popular chess companies in the play store. They have many applications covering different aspects of the game, there is this series of applications which covers tactics coming from the specific opening and also created applications covering players like Vishy Anand, Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, Alekhine Alexander, Sergey Karjakin, Lasker. Their application has mostly paid access. I like the chess study application of them. In that, they provided 100 free positions of beautiful chess studies created by famous composers and if you want full access then you can purchase from the application.


Now I wish to recommend when to use these applications.

1- When warming up for the round I recommend ChessBase and lichess tactics

2- When you are at home it is best to solve and chess24 tactics

3- When you are travelling and when you don’t have access to the internet I recommend to solve ichess or checking application since you can download content on the device

If you know any other websites or applications to solve chess tactics then let me know in the comment section. If you like this article then comment and subscribe to our newsletter.

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