Chapter 6 of 29 from Garry Kasparov

Discovered Attacks


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

Topics include: Watch for Opponents Discovering Their Power • Kasparov vs Gelfand, 1991 • Double Check: The Most Deadly Discovered Attack • How to Deliver the Final Blow • Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 • The Windmill: Torre vs Lasker, 1925 • Challenge: A Discovered Attack Study

Garry Kasparov

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...

Elevate your game

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 what made him a six-time World Chess Champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

Watch, listen, and learn as Garry teaches you how to improve your chess game.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to submit questions about the class. Garry will also answer select student questions.


Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess