Tactics: Double Attack

February 11, 2020 0 By Sebastian Fry


There’s a lot more going on here than you might think. Today we’re gonna talk about double attacks. It’s like two for the price of one! And I bet your parents are all about some sales. In this position White could, of course, just capture this pawn and that would be great, but we’re going for something more. What we want to do is attack two of Black’s big pieces at the same time. And a little hint today, it’s usually going to be a good idea to look for pieces that are not defended. For instance, this rook. What’s guarding that rook? Well, nothing! It’s not hanging yet but it will be soon. I would advise you not to focus on things like this pawn. This pawn is being defended several times, and remember in our previous video, if it has two defenders, you would actually need three attackers just to consider capturing it. So, when you’re focusing on double attacks, you’d like to look for pieces that are not defended. A double attack is just aiming at two pieces with one. I’ve got a really good move here for White. Let’s have White travel up with his queen to the square, d3. What are we double attacking? Well, the rook of course! But also, don’t forget the king. And if you aim at the king, it doesn’t matter if he’s defended, because he always has to get himself out of check. When Black blocks the check, I think that’s one of his only ways to do so, then we simply capture the rook for free. Notice, Black did not have time to save his rook because he was required to get out of check. That’s the beauty of the double attack! There were some other ways that White could have made a double attack here. But I don’t think he has any other good double attacks with the queen. For instance, if you try to move your queen to the square, a4, that kind of looks good, doesn’t it? You’re attacking the rook and the bishop. But Black actually has several good responses. Black could miraculously save all of his friends with the move, Rb7. And of course, you don’t want to capture the bishop because if you do the rook’s going to come over and get you. And we learned in our last video the queen is worth nine points and the bishop is only worth three so White’s actually losing six points. Same thing with capturing the knight. The rook is there for backup. We have one attacker and we have one defender. That means we should not be capturing. You need more attackers and defenders. Now some of you are yelling at your screen right now because you noticed there’s actually an even better move. This rook, instead of guarding the bishop, could come all the way down to the square, b1. And White is in check. Once he puts his queen and his rook in the way they’re both gonna get captured. And we have ourselves a back rank checkmate, something we saw many videos ago. A very common way to lose a game if you’re not careful, going back to the beginning position. Double attacks are even stronger when they include a check. Because Black has to get his king out of danger. There was one more good double attack in this position. It involves the rook! Pause your videos and figure out… Where could the white rook move to aim at two black pieces at once? You probably found the move, Rc7. And of course it helps a lot that neither the knight nor the bishop have a defender. If the bishop moves we take the knight and if the knight moves we take the bishop. That’s pretty simple. I’d like to show you one more example of double attack. In this very common opening position. I like this move, Ne4. We usually don’t move pieces twice in the opening but we’re setting up a very sneaky double attack. White often captures the black knight. And when Black captures back, what I’ve seen a lot of players do here, is move this pawn to square, e3. That helps the bishop get out. It even helps the knight get out! But remember what I told you a few minutes ago, when pieces are not defended often double attacks happen to those pieces. Take a look at this bishop up here on g5. He’s kind of all by himself, isn’t he? We also said that you should always be looking to attack the king. Double attacks are the strongest when they also involve a check. So, you see my two red squares bishop and the king Pause your videos. Find a move for Black. How can Black make a double attack? This super sneaky move Qa5, she’s traveling to the left but she’s aiming at the king and the bishop both of which are on the right side of the board. When White gets his king out of check it doesn’t matter how he does it the Queen will swoop over and capture a free bishop. In fact this exact same idea has been used to win many chess games. This is another very common chess position where Black often brings the knight out to aim. At this point now it looks like that pawn is hanging and it would not be a bad idea if White simply defended the pawn. I’m thinking of a move like pawn to d3. That’s a very good move and a very reasonable move but White can actually set a really sneaky trap. Let’s have White pretend he doesn’t see his pawns in danger and just allows Black to capture it. When the knight captures what’s guarding this Knight that’s right nothing and we said to always focus on the King. Didn’t we find a way for White to aim at the king and the knight at the same time, hmm? Well, we’re gonna use that same idea that Black just used this time. We’re gonna use it against Black. Qa4#, we’re traveling to the left. We’re aiming back to the right on the diagonal. And on the rank no matter what Black does to get out of check, he’s gonna block with something. That’s having block with the bishop But our queens not gonna stay there for long. Our queen’s gonna swoop over and capture this knight. I know we’re bringing the Queen out early. but if it’s to get $3 off the chessboard I would certainly do it I would walk really far to get $3 in life ok? Remember this idea. If you aim at two pieces with one it’s a double attack and that’s a great way to pick off you the enemy pieces.