The Discovered Check, Reloaded
The discovered check is a key weapon in every attacking player's arsenal.
To be sure, it has received excellent coverage in chess literature, its potency examined from every angle.
However, players still frequently tend to underrate its power. In this article, I would like to rectify this underestimation.
Here is an especially piquant (and fairly unknown) illustration:
A brilliantly conducted attack! White sacrificed a knight solely to open an avenue to the king, setting up a beautiful mating discovery on f6.
The main lesson of this game is clear: you should not hesitate to give up a litany of material in order to set up a discovered check, especially one at close quarters. In the following stunning game, Black had to give up an entire queen to take the sting out of White's discovered check.
It is worth mentioning that while material was still approximately equal after the discovered check, Black's monarch was simply too exposed.
Wasting no time, Kosashvili activated the dormant rook, and Black was powerless against the second wave of the attack.
And now, I will challenge you to solve the following two exercises, both of which beautifully demonstrate the might of the discovered check:
To be sure, 34.e4 was not an easy move to find, but with Black's king so vulnerable and both of White's heavy pieces optimally placed, a discovered check was all that he needed in order to round off the attack.
As IM Oliver Reeh notes in his annotations, in the final position, "all of White's pieces are hanging, and yet Black is hopelessly lost."
And all because of -- wait for it -- an unstoppable discovered check!
RELATED STUDY MATERIAL
- Read GM Naroditsky's last article: How To Play A Counterblow.
- Watch GM Victor Mikhalevski's video: How to Develop Initiative: Part 1!
- Take a lesson on discovered check in the Chess Mentor.
- Practice your tactics in the Tactics Trainer.
- Looking for articles with deeper analysis? Try our magazine: The Master's Bulletin.