Discovered Chess Attack: Deadly Secret Revealed

It's fun to discover things but not so much when they're discovered too late. This is what many carefree chess players experience with cunning players. A discovered attack in chess is a discovery too late for any remedy to fix, except with a wasteful sacrifice for escaping.

A discovered attack leaves the victim with no other recourse but to escape and sacrifice a major piece. The opponent didn't see it coming because the strategy was well concealed in the first place and patiently and smartly worked out until the right time.

For instance, we may hide the queen behind an ally bishop, knight, or rook. The queen is situated way out of sight, probably crowded with some other pieces, but aiming intently and directly at the enemy king from behind a screening bishop. The bishop is also aiming to ambush the enemy queen situated far from the enemy king, but indirectly—it needs one move. Then, at the right time, we move out the bishop to check the enemy queen, revealing the intent of our queen in the process. The opponent "discovers" the main attack—our queen versus enemy king—while realizing our bishop also has the enemy queen hostage---it's a discovered double-check.

The discovered attack in chess leaves the opponent in a dilemma: losing the king or losing the queen. Of course, the opponent will save the king by escaping, regrettably sacrificing the queen. The discovered attack may be thwarted if the enemy queen is used to block the checked enemy king, if this was possible, and our queen gets counter checked in the process.

Another example of a discovered attack is when we find our 2 rooks vertically in line with the enemy king and queen, the enemy queen hiding behind its king. Now, the middle rook aims to capture an enemy bishop. When it does so, the enemy king gets exposed to a check from our other rook. But the king has a dilemma. If it escapes its queen will be exposed to capture by our rook. But then, the king really has no option but to escape and sacrifice the queen. The opponent loses 3 things: a bishop, a queen, and a wasted turn.

Discovered attacks in chess are possible when we always incorporate the principle of defense systems—all our pieces supporting each other. A defense network is apt to produce discovered attacks against the enemy. It is also the best defense against enemy discovered attacks. It is well to combine both strategies in chess.

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