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Champion Tactics with GM Wolff - Discovered Check & Double Check

GM Patrick Wolff Avg Rating: 1339 Tactics

These are a specific kind of Double Attack or Discovered Attack. A "Discovered Check" happens when one piece moves away and "uncovers" check against the king by the piece behind it. "Double Check" is the same thing, except that the piece moving away also puts the king into check, so the king is attacked by two pieces at once. Discovered check sometimes is used in an attack against the king, sometimes is used to win material, and sometimes is used to do both. Double check is usually focused on attacking the king. So you will see many more direct attacks against the king in this topic than you have seen in the first three topics. If you have the opportunity to give discovered check or double check then you should look long and hard at how to get the most out of it. And you should try to avoid giving your opponent the opportunity to give discovered check or double check! No king is ever completely safe when one of these is lurking.

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  • Lesson 1

    White has just moved the Knight to d4, thinking he is safe from any immediate discovered check. Can you find the flaw in white's reasoning?
  • Lesson 2

    Material is even, and it looks like black has white's far-advanced passed pawn under control. But does he?
  • Lesson 3

    White is behind the exchange, but he has the chance to give discovered or double check. How can white make the most of that opportunity?
  • Lesson 4

    Both sides are attacking the other's King, so this position is dangerous for both sides. But black has the opportunity to force victory right now. Do you see how?
  • Lesson 5

    Both Kings are in a very precarious position. How can white use discovered or double check to land the knockout blow first?
  • Lesson 6

    Black has just played his Bishop from f6 to g7, to drive the Queen away from its powerful post on h6. So what do you think -- does white have to move the Queen away?
  • Lesson 7

    The lineup of the Rook and Knight on the last rank, and the proximity of the Queen to black's King are all very suggestive. Can you figure out how to put it all together?
  • Lesson 8

    Black's last move was to capture the e4 pawn with the Knight, thinking that this provides a defense by exchanging pieces. What has black overlooked?
  • Lesson 9

    Black's King looks exposed, but then so do white's pawns, and black's Queen is very active -- in fact Black threatens 1...Qg1 leading to checkmate! Can you find a way to force the attack home using discovered or double check?
  • Lesson 10

    Black attacks white's d-pawn, which is pinned to white's Queen, so black hopes to win the pawn. How can white turn the tables on black?
  • Lesson 11

    White has sacrificed a pawn for a very active position. Do you see the move to take advantage of all the piece activity white has?
  • Lesson 12

    If the e4 pawn where not there, white would be checkmated quickly. Does that give you a clue about how to attack white's King?
  • Lesson 13

    It doesn't look like black is in any danger here, but in fact it's checkmate in four moves! Do you see how?
  • Lesson 14

    White has a large lead in development, but Black thinks white has no way to exploit it. What do you think?
  • Lesson 15

    Black has sacrificed a pawn for an attack, but white seems to be in a good position to defend, and white even threatens his own discovered check. How can black land a knockout blow first?
  • Lesson 16

    It may seem hard to believe that discovered or double check will have a devastating effect here. Look at all the possibilities...
  • Lesson 17

    In this super-sharp position both sides are attacking. It's hard to see who is better, until you see that white has forced checkmate!
  • Lesson 18

    Both sides are attacking, so your move had better be as powerful as possible! This is where discovered check can really help...
  • Lesson 19

    Here the winning idea is first set in place by deflecting a key defender, then setting up a powerful discovered/double check.
  • Lesson 20

    White has a Queen for a Rook, but several pieces are attacked, and black is threatening to promote the pawn on b2 to a Queen. Nevertheless, there is a single discovered check that wins. Can you find it?
  • Lesson 21

    It takes two discovered checks to finally drive the stake into black's King. Can you find them both?
  • Lesson 22

    No doubt white expected black to just recapture the Knight at c6 but he was in for a rude surprise. Do you see how?
  • Lesson 23

    It's not hard to see that white's piece placement is very awkward, but on the other hand he is only one move (Rh2) away from substantially easing the situation. How can black exploit his present superiority?
  • Lesson 24

    The attack looks very nice but your Bc4 is pinned and threatened with capture with check. Can you carry on without it?
  • Lesson 25

    Black threatens Qh4+ and Qh2# but before that can happen white has a way to instantly concentrate all his pieces in a decisive attack of his own. Do you see how?
  • Lesson 26

    Black has a piece less -- but he has the right pieces! Figure out how he can win immediately.
  • Lesson 27

    An oldie but goodie. White to play and win.
  • Lesson 28

    Sometimes the same discovered check repeats over and over in a device known as a "mill." Here white can set up a winning mill despite standing a piece down. Can you show how?
  • Lesson 29

    A common situation: White checked Qh5, black blocked g6, white took the pawn, Ne5xg6, relying on the pin on the h-file (if hxg6 then Qxh8). Then black played Nf6. Usually white must play a move like Qh4 but here he has something unusually strong.
  • Lesson 30

    You are white. Your opponent believes that his last move, ...Nc6, is winning your pinned Bishop. Disabuse him of that notion.
  • Lesson 31

    This is a striking and difficult exercise. White wins with a discovered check and it's hard to see how that's possible. Which piece is going to be giving the check?
  • Lesson 32

    It is not hard to see that if white's Knight were not at e4 he could play Qh7#. However, moving the Knight to create this threat would at the same time grant black the reply ...Nf6, defending the mate. What to do?
  • Lesson 33

    How can white use double check to smash through to black's King?

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