In chess, a discovered attack happens when you make a move that opens a path for another of your pieces to take an opponent’s piece. It works best when the piece you moved also attacks another of the opponent’s pieces or checks the King.

In a recent game, I was rather fortunate in being able to turn a less-than-ideal Bishop move into a discovered attack on my opponent’s Knight. My opponent did not notice the threat the lurking Bishop posed until it captured his hanging Knight. 🙂 This is a useful tactic to know and it can be especially effective in casual games, pub chess, or games played in a casual environment. It is not uncommon for casual players to miss unmasked threats on the diagonals!

Pawn Advance Unmasks Bishop

With my Bishop on c1 and my pawn on e3 are on the same diagonal as my opponent’s Knight on g5. So if I advance my pawn to e4, attacking the pawn on f5, I will also be attacking the g5 Knight with my c1 Bishop. Black needs to move his Knight to f7 to escape…

Here’s a video of the game in which the discovered attack took place. I was White and played the Queen’s Pawn opening, which led into the Semi-Slav Defence (with a Nimzo-Indian style black Bishop on b4). The moves that lead to the discovered Bishop’s attack on the Knight begins around the 11:48 mark. They are moves 17 to 20:

Video: Defeating a Semi-Slav-with-Nimzo-Indian-b4-Bishop in #PubChessBluffer Style

The Game

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Bb4 6. Bd2 Bxc3 7. Bxc3 O-O 8. Qc2 Ne4 9. Bb4 Re8 10. Bd3 f5 11. O-O a5 12. Ba3 Nd7 13. b3 Ndf6 14. Ne5 Qc7 15. f3
Ng5 16. cxd5 Nxd5 17. Bc1 g6 18. a3 Ne7 19. e4 b6 20. Bxg5 c5 21. exf5 gxf5 22. g4 Ng6 23. gxf5 exf5 24. Bc4+ Be6 25. Bxe6+ Rxe6 26. Qxf5 Rae8 27. Nxg6 hxg6 28. Qd5 Kg7 29. f4 cxd4 30. Qxd4+ Kh7 31. Qf2 Re2 32. Qh4+ Kg7 33. Qh6+ Kf7 34. Qh7+ Kf8 35. Qxc7 R8e3 36. Rad1 Re8 37. Bh6+ Kg8 38. Qg7# 1-0

David Hurley


P. S. Challenge me to a game on Gameknot: (Search for “hirohurl” when you join, and challenge me to a game! It’s free!)