Sports & Games

Double Attacks - Part 1

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 21:26 min

The double attack is a simple concept that can often be deadly. Garry offers elegant examples to show its power—and how to defend yourself from it.

Garry Kasparov
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Double attack is a pretty simple concept. But it could be deadly. It could decide the game. And we first should look at a few situations where double attack leads to winning material. So let's start with position with black rook on c4. Black knight is on e6. And now if we place our bishop-- consider we're playing White-- on d5, so it attacks both the rook and the knight. And unless, other black pieces can either come to rescue, material loss is inevitable. We can have another situation. So this is now-- we can look at the rook. Rook in the center-- for instance, let's put it on d5 again-- attacks two white pieces, black pieces, knight on a5, bishop on h5. They all at the edge of the board. And again, unless something else happens, the material loss is inevitable. Because rook attacks both of them. But, of course, every other piece can also make a double attack. And most picturesque is a pawn and the knight. And let's look what happens, When we have pawn powered by the knight and pieces that are being attacked is a king and a queen. So king on b6. Black queen is on d6. And pawn on c4 now moves to c5. And it's a check. And you can see, it's a fork. Attacks the king and a queen. Knight protects the pawn. And material loss is inevitable. Black loses her queen. But we can make it a little bit more complicated and even more interesting. So if white knight is not on b3 but on c3, it does not support the pawn any longer. So if pawn moves on c5, it's a sacrifice. But it's not a real sacrifice. Because by sacrificing this pawn, white forces one of the black pieces to move to the c5 square. Thus creating an opportunity for knight fork. So if queen takes this pawn, then knight goes on a4. And we could see, it's a fork. Now if black king takes this pawn, then knight goes on e4. And it's another fork. Just as a rule, you should always remember that if two pieces-- your opponent's pieces-- are standing at the squares of the same color and close to each other, there's always an opportunity for your knight to cause damage by forking them. A double attack is not the end of world. So we look at the attacking motion, but we also think about defense. The pawn is the least valuable piece. Though I would warn you against underestimating the value of each pawn. The stronger you are getting, more important each pawn is. And while we analyze endgames, you will see how much power a pawn can demonstrate in some endgames and how complicated these endgames. But when we are looking at some dynamic situations, obviously pawn could be a good tool to bring the opponent's pieces in an awkward situation where the rest of your army can go after them and cause real damage. In chess, I would be very cautious in evaluating everything in material values. Because sometimes, the spirit prevails. And that's w...

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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.

Thanks to Garry Kasparov, I now know a wider variety of moves and have a new insatiable desire to learn more about chess.

Garry is not only a great chess player but he is also a great teacher. Thank you for sharing your mind. This is the closest I can get to having one of the greatest chess master as my personal trainer in the game of chess.

I feel it was a great class. It really inspired me. Tomorrow I will watch Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana play live in London. So it was a double reason to finish this course. I have always concentrated on openings, Kasparov in this course stressed the need for studying end games.

Confirms what I knew from decades of play--the talent lies not just in knowing what to look for but in being able to SEE it before your opponent.


Mike D.

Wierd to see h on the left and a on the right (and the black king on the white queen square).

A fellow student

For all the people asking to remove the overlay when the video is paused, there's a very simple way: Just use the «Hide details» button placed on the left superior corner of the screen. That will do. :)

A fellow student

Please remove the overlay when the video is paused - it's impossible to pause and look at the details.

Charles W.

Material is interesting.... but is there a way to pause the video to study the board setup without the screen dimming and a pop-up image about "Up Next" appearing. If there is not, that might be a deal breaker and go for the refund. The dimming and the pop-up seriously limit the functionality of a course whose basis is to study problem images.


Hey every one, Although I saw the answer key for this session, I can not understand the logic of the fifth (last) exercise. Can anyone explain me . Thanks,

Claude G.

I kind of feel like he doesn't know what level to explain things at haha. It's kind of funny really, sometimes he is accidentally talking on a very high level and then he catches himself and thinks he needs to explain how the pieces move. Obviously this is for every level but it is a little weird trying to cater to that variety of potential viewers

Robert L.

I once recognized Gary at a hot dog stand in NYC I wasn't sure it was him but I walked up to Gary and I asked if he was Gary Kasparov, he validated my suspicion but denied my request for a picture. :(

Ben G.

The black pieces on the black board on top of a black table make it very difficult to see.

Ron G.

Thank you for a great lesson, it's very cool to get a perspective on the way one should think of the game and play the game - very useful lesson

Christian S.

Most great competitors are not excellent teachers. I'm glad the champ is the exception.