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Sports & Gaming

Double Attacks - Part 2

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 16:18 min

Garry offers an in-depth study of the double attack to help you expand your practical portfolio.

Garry Kasparov
Teaches Chess
Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.
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What I like about studies is that it has very few pieces and all pieces are active-- all pieces are engaged. So that helps us to understand the purity of the idea of the pattern behind it. So while in a practical game you have many other pieces, and I don't want any distraction, so we just move to the studies. And we'll start with a very, very simple one. So the old one, classical one-- and I apologize if some of the advanced players were watching our lessons, they're familiar with that. Don't worry, there will be other things that are more complicated. So everybody will have positions and tasks up to their level. It's a simple position and we start with the very end of the study. The white king is on c2, the black king is in the corner, on a1, white pawn is on c7, and black rook is on d4. Actually, the last move was rook from d3 went to d4. Now white pawn is just one move away from the promotion. And what could be more natural by taking the queen and promoting the queen-- putting the queen on c8? But here's a trick. Always remember, as we discussed, watch for your opponents tactics. Black is desperate but it has the great way of saving the game. Rc4+ -- it's a double attack, attacking the queen-- king and the queen. Queen takes rook and you can see it's stalemate, black king is blocked in the corner, no moves, draw. So let's go back and see whether we can improve, and what's the next logical move if we promote the rook. Now two rooks, no pawns, empty board, normally it's a draw. But that's not easy because black king is in the really dangerous situation, it's in the corner. And by promoting the rook, we're creating this threat. Ra8 mate. The only way black can protect is just they put rook on a4 to close the a-file. And here is the classical case of double attack. In this case, it's a deadly double attack. Because white king moves on b3, it attacks the rook. But it also creates a threat, Rc1#. And Black is toast. If we look at this position and it looks very, very simple, but it contains two elements of double attack. Double attack as a defensive mechanism-- stalemate combination-- and double attack as an attacking mechanism-- promoting the rook and creating an imminent mating threat-- while attacking the opponent's piece, the only remaining piece. We move to more complicated cases. And again, we stick with an endgame. White king is on b3, black king is on a5, there are two bishops-- black bishop on e3, white bishop on f4-- and white has two extra knights. One is there on a8, and one is on c7. Now what do we see in this situation? Black king is at the corner and it's stalemated. So if we take this bishop, that's a stalemate. Again, black uses this mechanism. It attacks the bishop and tries to force the exchange of the bishops. So how white can avoid this stalemating motifs? For instance, you can ...

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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.

Interesting tactical approaches and very nice analysis of the game

Garry Kasparov has given me a glimpse at the stunning beauty to be found in the game of chess. For this, I am extremely grateful. Thank you Garry Kasparov!

It has just shown me new ways of thinking and looking at chess and life that I havent thought of before.

Good stuff. I would've liked more instruction on openings and perhaps more in depth game analysis. I didn't need to see the entire real time chess match between Gary and the three students. Also, the the 3-4 final episodes about mental toughness, Gary's story, etc. felt overly long and like filler.


John B.

Can someone help me I’m not sure why in the first move you would not promote to a queen? The queen can do all this doesn’t make sense to me, am I missing something?

Adam R.

at 14:02, how come bishop has to take rook? cant king just escape with kc8?

Lucie F.

I love it, we can really feel how passionate he is about the game, and how much fun he has playing it, and even teaching it! Thank you for this class!

A fellow student

I like the lessons but to study and place the pieces on the board the way Gary does it, I have to pause the screen, its very annoying that when I pause the screen the "Learn More" and "Up Next" icons show up. If you could move those off to the side, out of the middle of the screen it would make for a better overall lesson.

A fellow student

The challenge at the end of this is amazing. Thanks Garry. Really cool session.

A fellow student

Can somebody explain me why the black bishop Has to take the White rook instead of King c8 simply escaping? Thank you

tuphr N.

I'm enjoying hearing this - hardly anyone I know plays chess, so I don't into conversations like this. It's great!

A fellow student

My fullscreen is a different size than my regular screen such that part of the board is cut off. Is there any way to change this?

Neil P.

Also, do not be confused by the suggestion in the comments that 1. Nb6 is a better solution to the final problem, because after ... Ka7 all advantage for white is lost. White's best move is clearly 1. Rb6+, followed by ... Bxb6, 2. Ka6 Rd7 3. Qa8! as suggested by Mr. Kasparov. However, at that point black should decline the sacrifice with 3. ... Kc7, sacrificing its own queen instead. In fact, black should resign, but I maintain that Kc7 is a better move than Kxa8 in the sense that there is more potential for white to blunder, which is black's only hope.

Neil P.

Glennon Brown is correct that 2. Kxb6 leads to Qb4+, but note that after 3. Ka6 it would be a mistake to play Rd6+ because it would be taken by the knight. However, it is still clearly a losing position for white, so 2. Kxb6 is not a good move.