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A Discovered Attack in Chess is a specific way to create two threats in one move: this is in fact another type of Double Attack, like the Fork in Chess.

What Is A Discovered Attack

A discovered attack is an attack revealed when one piece moves out of the way of another, and it is a very powerful tactic as well.

The Knight has uncovered the Rook: in the final position, the black King is in check.

As the black King was able to escape easily, it seems that this was not that dangerous, right ?

I agree with you that in the previous position, the discovered check was indeed not deadly. But imagine if the moving piece is creating a threat as well.

Now I am going to show you a few positions featuring a discovered attack. Try to solve them ! The next one is a classic from the French defense.

The previous discovered attack is common in some lines of the French defense, when Black captures d4 a bit too quickly !

Setting Up A Discovered Attack

The discovered attack does not often appears out of the blue. More often that not, a preparatory move is needed to set up the stage !

Discovered attacks have been played in many top level games. They are arguably harder to see, but this makes them even more interesting to study !

In the first example, Kasparov plays his first move to create the right conditions.

Double Check

The double Check is a particular example of discovered attack. I already discuss it in my lesson about Checkmate for beginners.

If it was only that, the double check would not be particularly dangerous. The thing is that, to defend agains the check, the defending side can only move the King, even if one or even two pieces are attacked.

This particularity of the double check allows some beautiful checkmates, one being the smothered mate.

This particular combination featuring a double check and a smothered mate is not totally uncommon: you may be able to play it on your own games. Stay aware !

Finally, some combinations featuring a double check belong to the most famous beauty prizes, like the following example.


Discovered attacks are a powerful weapon. You can set your pieces to maximize your chances to make discovered attacks arise:

  • put your Rooks on open files
  • put your Bishops on good diagonals

Then, opportunities of discovered attacks will appear by themselves, created naturally by moving your pieces to the right squares. Of course, discovered attacks are often combined with other tactical patterns in real games, Skewers and Pins share some common characteristics for instance !

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