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You may wonder why we are interested in tactical patterns such as the double attack. Here is why: once you have a material advantage in a Chess game, the roadmap is to exchange pieces, which will ultimately help you to create a passed pawn, that will be promoted and lead to a trivial Queen VS King checkmate (for instance).

But how to get this material advantage ?

This is where Chess Tactics come into play. We have already checked a few common tactical patterns: the fork, and the skewer are typical examples. This article deals with the Double Attack.

A double attack is a single move to present his opponent with two dangers. The idea is that your opponent only has time to address one of these threats. Fork, as seen before, is an example of a double attack, but the topic of this chapter is to study it as a generic pattern (the fork, or the discovered attack, are only particular cases).

How To Set Up A Double Attack

Let’s check together another example.

How To Defend Against A Double Attack

Like any other tactical pattern, a double attack is not a death sentence: very often, the defending side has convincing arguments to keep the position balanced

Moving A Piece That Defends Another Weakness

If a player can attack several targets in one move, why couldn’t his opponent defend several targets in one move ? That is the whole idea behind this chapter.

Making An In-Between Move

As always, you can dismiss a threat if you have more serious threat in store. An in-between move, also called zwischenzug, is often the perfect solution to counter a double threat, if you have that possibility !

And after those few moves, Black has managed to handle White’s attack perfectly. In the final position, it is even Black that is pushing for an advantage !


Be very careful not to expose yourself to a double attack : keep your pieces protected, or be sure to be able to reply to a multiple threat, similarly to the last examples we saw.

When you are on the attacking side, always check undefended pieces: they are often opportunities to create double threats or attacks, and they may help you to win the game.

I hope you will find many opportunities to play double attacks in your own games. Stay tuned, as we will continue reviewing other tactical patterns such as the discovered attack, the deflection, and removing the defender.

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