My Tactical Achilles Heel: Discovered Attack

My Tactical Achilles Heel: Discovered Attack

May 21, 2016, 6:06 PM |

The first stage in fixing a problem is recognising you have a problem. If there is one tactical short coming I wish I could recognise faster, better and improve, it's the discovered attack performed on me. In a number of games now I've had examples, particularly of pawns advancing, uncovering a discovered attack from a "diagonal" piece such as a Queen or Bishop.


Playing on the Black side of a Sicilian Richter-Rauzer, I paid little attention to my opponent's 9. Qf3, thinking purely mechanically and strategically in believing my priority was to castle.

Black to Move

Here I played the mechanical 9. ... Be7 intending to castle, failing to appreciate the discovered attack on c6 after 10. e5!

Better for Black was 9. ... Bd7.

After 10. e5!, Black is clearly worse and with best play should lose. However, the rest of the game provided me with practical examples of opportunities to make life more difficult for my opponent in worse positions. Primarily, which pieces should I trade, should I counter attack, what concessions are forced.

Which Trade should I Make?

Black was faced here with a choice of either 13. ... Bxd6 or ... Qxd6. I automatically chose 13. ... Bd6 reasoning I was down a pawn and needed to generate some sort of attack, thus needing to preserve by Queen.

This was wishful and lazy thinking. Simply I had to accept that White's Queen is a monster compared to mine, and my priority should be to exchange it.

Later in the game, it was the White's Queen's mobility which caused havoc against a weakened Black Queen.

By exchanging Queens with 13. ... Qxd6, entering an endgame a pawn down is my best practical attempt in making life more difficult for White.

Overworked Piece

My opponent missed this tactical shot (after which I must resign), though White is still better afterwards.

Tougher Resistance: Make you Opponent earn it

During the game I clearly accepted I am losing. One must adopt the mindset of "how do I make life most difficult for my opponent".

To that degree, one move attacks are not the way. Here I played 22. ... Be5, allowing Bxa7 which had always been looming.

Instead, better was to make the concession with 22. ... c5 blocking the diagonal.

My Game Annotations and Analysis