Chess Terms
Double Attack

Double Attack

The double attack is a very fundamental tactic in the game of chess. Learning what it is and how to take advantage of it can be the difference between winning or losing a chess match.

What Is A Double Attack In Chess?

A double attack happens when a single move by a player creates two simultaneous threats against their opponent. Different from the fork, those threats can be not only a direct strike on the other player's pieces but also the creation of an even more significant attack like a checkmate.

A queen double attack.
The queen attacks the bishop and threats to deliver checkmate at the same time.

If you would like to learn even more about the double attack, take a look at this video by IM David Pruess.

How To Double Attack In Chess

Double attacks are the basis for many chess tactics. Because a player may move just one piece at a time, it is not always possible to defend against multiple threats. For this reason, this tactic is a powerful weapon that can end a game in the blink of an eye.

In the game below, Aron Nimzowitsch created a devastating double attack that started with a rook sacrifice. His opponent, Rudolf Spielmann, had no choice but to resign.

Having a thorough understanding of the way each piece moves and practicing your board awareness are excellent ways to get better at spotting these types of attacks. Particularly relevant is your skill for identifying unprotected pieces because it often allows you to exploit your opponent's weaknesses.

In this game played between GM Viswanathan Anand and GM Vladimir Kramnik, notice how many of Black's pieces were unprotected. White's pieces, on the other hand, were all supporting each other. Anand used this in his favor and delivered a devastating double attack with his rook that guaranteed his victory.

Test Your Skills

Now that you know what a double attack is and how to take advantage of it, it is time for you to test your skills! Solve the puzzles below to get even better at creating double threats against your opponent.

Can you find a pawn move that will attack two of White's pieces at the same time?

Black has ignored the fact that they have an unprotected bishop in the middle of the board. Is there a way for you to take advantage of that situation?

In this position, Black has back-rank weaknesses. Their queen is currently protecting the rook on f8, but is that enough? Can you find a way to attack both the queen and the critical f8-square?


You are now familiar with the concept of a double attack and its implications for a game of chess. Try our premium membership and go to our Lessons page to learn how to get even better at identifying and applying double attacks to win more games!

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