Chapter 3 of 29 from Garry Kasparov

Double Attacks - Part 1


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.

Topics include: A Simple Attack Can Be Deadly • Double Attacks with Pawns and Knights • Don’t Panic When under Attack • Defending against Double Attacks • Kasparov vs Beliavsky, 1991

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess

Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.

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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...

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