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Sports & Gaming

Discovered Attacks

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 15:58 min

Missing a discovered attack can have dramatic consequences. Garry’s examples reveal how even top players can overlook this surprising move.

Garry Kasparov
Teaches Chess
Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.
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Discovered tactics is a very dangerous form of attack, because it's discovered. Because it's not revealed before it's actually played on the board. And we have to be very careful, watching for opponents' pieces suddenly just to unleash their power. Let's just look at the mechanism first. So I'll just a few pieces on board. Let's put this bishop here and a couple of pawns. So now we have two black pieces. And we can show how it can work. So let's say we have king on e8, rook on a8. And if White pushes the pawn e5, that's a discovered attack on the rook. It's an attack, but of course rook can move. This is not the end of the game. This is not deadly. But just imagine that if we just put the king here. Then it's the same move e5, but because it's check and it's discovered attack on the rook, that leads to a material advantage for White. So Black is loosing the rook. We can just replace the pieces. Put rook on f6, king on a8. e5 again-- it's a discovered attack. It's a check now, attacking the rook. Of course, Black can limit the damage by taking the bishop. But still, White wins an exchange. So we understand the mechanism. Any line piece could participate in this attack-- bishop, rook, or queen. And probably the most dangerous one, the knight, is in front of these pieces. It jumps. And very often, it causes havoc in the enemy's camp, especially for the beginners. I can tell you that discovered attack, discovered checks are quite often missed even by the top players. And I can show the game I played in 1991 in Paris in the rapid tournament again as Boris Gelfand. It was a roughly even game. But then Boris made a terrible blunder, missing the discovered check. So here was the position. I had two rooks. Boris had a queen. So he pushed my bishop, attacked my bishop. I brought my bishop back so I could ambush here. And instead of attacking my bishop, Boris decided to exchange the pawns, missing this deadly check, discovered check. It's not just a check, but it also opens the rook. And Black lost its queen. So that's why always beware about these discovered attacks, discovered checks. Because if you miss it, it could lead to dramatic, deadly consequences. The danger of the discovered attack is that you don't see the piece that is behind and is a part of this attack. Because one piece moves-- move forward or to the side-- and opens another piece. And as in, for instance, in this case with Boris, it just not only opens the bishop, but it also opens the rook. So if discovered attack is a discovered check at the same time, then you should realize that by opening up one piece, your opponent can open another piece. Or you could open another piece and gain time to win the material or to cause some other damage to your opponent. So here is the situation. White sacrificed an exch...

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At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Challenging as a beginner in chess to understand but researching and going back to some of Garry's lessons he is detailed in explaining diffent chess scenarios. Great masterclass

It's amazing how well Kasparov can explain tactics and strategies to a lay audience. This is a fantastic class!

i have a lot of other materials for improvement. Thesis a great overview, and you get to hear it from a charismatic former champion. It's Gary's personality that shines through the details.

Amazing. The chess was mainly over my head, but the endgames, especially, were fascinating. Garry is very relatable, and his insights on strategy vs. tactics, realizing your potential, and dealing with / learning from failure were worth the price of admission.


A fellow student

just wondering, for the study position 7:20, can't white first Qe1 check and then after black moves king move Rf2 so that white loses a rook but still has material advantage?

Carl Fredrik N.

At the end of the position with dobbel check with knight and queen (5:29 is the end) Garry shows that black king will take knight on e7. I don't find this a given. Yes, it is indeed tempting, but as I see it there is another move that black king can make. After Ne7 it's a dobbel check - from knight and the discovered check from queen. Black goes Kf7. White goes Qh5#. In the video it is here Garry takes knight with king. Another move would be Kf6. White then plays Bg5. Black king is forced to move to g7. White knight takes f5 check, and it's another discovered attack for the bishop to black's queen. It only prolongs the inevitable, unfortunatly for black, but I see value in stalling the loss of the queen. Sometimes the opponent just misses his or her opportunity by doing the wrong move.

The board should be reversed on the challenge. It was not obvious that the pawn couldn't be promoted. And, it wasn't obvious that it was white's move - although that is less problematic.

Chad H.

Well I came back and demolished someone with a skewer so this lesson was super helpful. I sacrificed a rook to setup the skewer. Two thumbs up!

Majid K.

I used some of Garry,s tactics during my chess tournament and I came in 7th and I won 2 points which was the most I ever gotten

Daniel B.

In the discovered practice positions #3, why is it a bad move to move Bd4. This could end in checkmate. Can someone please explain what could go wrong? It threatens the queen, and it would defend Rb6 in the case of needing to block a check. Then the queen should be able to attack f3 or f2 for a check mate because it gets protected by Rf8

Luculent L.

I really with these videos, but they need to list the starting sides, and side to move next when a position is shown.

A fellow student

Again a great lesson by GM Kasparov (my favorite all time player). I wish there is some sacrifice lesson. I heard sometimes that's the quintessence of chess attacks.

Vikki M.

This is a confusing set up because it is from the viewpoint of the black. It needs to be reversed because it looks like the white pawn is about to promote itself and I couldn't understand how it wasn't going to be checkmate against black in two to three moves. I then realised you had the example set-up the opposite to what is recommended in most chess books. Type chess board grid into Google images and see what you get.

Dan S.

it would be nice if the pdf examples had pgn files for the starting positions.