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Champion Tactics with GM Wolff - Double Attacks

GM Patrick Wolff Puntuació Mitjana: 1506 Tàctiques

A "double attack" occurs when two pieces make two attacks at the same time. The difference between a fork and a double attack is that a fork is one piece attacking two things at the same time, while a double attack is two pieces making two attacks at the same time. The trick to seeing this possibility in any chess position is to look for any situation where one piece is "covered" by another piece, where if the piece where to become "uncovered", it would create a threat.

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  • Lesson 1

    Here is a pretty basic position to illustrate a very common theme. How can white attack two things at once with deadly effect?
  • Lesson 2

    Here's another typical theme that's important to recognize. Where is the double attack here?
  • Lesson 3

    Here's an interesting case where it's not really a double attack, it's a discovered attack that sets up a double attack. Confused? Just look for a way to win material using the fianchettoed Bishop!
  • Lesson 4

    White's last move was to play Bg5. This is a terrible mistake! (White should have played Nf3.) How can black punish white's carelessness?
  • Lesson 5

    White has an amazing way to create two threats at once. Do you see how?
  • Lesson 6

    This position is from a famous game. Clearly the fact that the Rook lies behind the Bishop suggests black might be able to set up a double attack. Also the lineup of the Queen and Rook suggests a skewer. Can you put it all together?
  • Lesson 7

    Black just moved the Bishop from d5 to g2, forking the Rook on f1 and the pawn on h3. What did Black overlook?
  • Lesson 8

    Here's another very standard position to be familiar with. Black has just captured a pawn on d5, thinking that white has left it undefended. But white saw further. What continuation did white see in this position?
  • Lesson 9

    Do you see the double attack latent in this position?
  • Lesson 10

    White has much more active pieces, but black has an extra pawn, and his Knight is attacked. But white has a very pretty win using double attack. Do you see it?
  • Lesson 11

    The lineup of white's Queen and Bishop is very suggestive of a double attack. And white's pieces are quite close to black's King. Can you put these factors together?
  • Lesson 12

    Here is a very important theme to be familiar with. By all rights, White should have much the better position, with more space and more active pieces. But there's a pesky double attack tactic that makes all the difference...
  • Lesson 13

    This position demonstrates a very important theme to be familiar with when the Bishop is hidden behind the Knight like white's Bishop on g2. Do you see a double (or discovered) attack?
  • Lesson 14

    In this sharp position, it might look at first that white's chances are at least as good as black's. But there is a sneaky way to set up a double attack that gives black a way to win. Can you find it?
  • Lesson 15

    This is a position from one of my games. Unfortunately, I was playing black! Can you see the Double/Discovered Attack that I missed?
  • Lesson 16

    Black's position looks good, doesn't it? Good development, good control of the center -- what could be wrong? But there is a double attack hidden in this position, and if white finds it he can win a piece. Do you see it?
  • Lesson 17

    Here is the kind of simple pattern it's essential to know by heart. Black has just played his Queen from d8 to d7, thinking the game is equal. It was until his last move -- now white can set up a winning double attack!
  • Lesson 18

    Here's an exercise that uses double attack to demonstrate a useful pattern for attacking the King. How could white possibly create two threats with one move?
  • Lesson 19

    White uses an important and typical theme to create two simultaneous attacks: one against the Queen, and one against the King.
  • Lesson 20

    Here the double attack is subtly hidden. Yet after just three powerful moves, black is forced to give up a minor piece for nothing.
  • Lesson 21

    Here is another example where the double attack is somewhat subtle. And once again it involves setting up a Queen maneuver.
  • Lesson 22

    The fact that the Rooks are set up against each other along the a-file suggests that perhaps there is a chance to combine that attack with another attack. But how? It takes some imagination to see it. Can you?
  • Lesson 23

    White has a very subtle way to set up a double attack. It's hard to see, and takes a couple of moves to set up, but it's all forced. Can you find it?
  • Lesson 24

    It appears that the Knight is pinned to the Queen, but in fact white has an amazing way to break the pin while creating two threats at once. Can you see how?
  • Lesson 25

    If this exercise were from the "Pins" section we might assume that black is in trouble. If his Bishop moves he exposes the Rook on d7 to capture, yet the defenders of d4 are outnumbered by white's attackers. Is all hope lost?
  • Lesson 26

    The poor position of black's King in the corner allows white to create a pair of decisive threats in just two moves.
  • Lesson 27

    Bonus question: From what opening did this position arise? I'll give the answer at the final position. But for now it's your task to find black's move.
  • Lesson 28

    This position arises in a famous opening trap. By a series of double attacks white can ultimately win material.
  • Lesson 29

    A very sharp position! No less than three pawns on the 7th rank.... But White's a1 rook is inactive and his queen is attacked. What should he play?
  • Lesson 30

    White has fallen behind in development and cannot castle owing to black's bishop on a6 observing the f1 square. Moreover, white's Queen has gotten a bit offsides on g3. How can black exploit all these circumstances?

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