Thursday, June 23, 2016

In search for the archetypical double attack

The archetypical image of a double attack is fairly simple. One attacker, one attacking square, two targets, all three are in contact with the attacking square. The "Y" could very well serve as its symbol.

The attacker plays an important role in the geometrical shape of the double attack. A knight fork, a pawn fork, a rook fork etcetera all have different geometrics that are clearly recognizable. The angles between the attacker, attacking square and targets can differ, and so can the distance to the attacking square.

The double attack is a member of the duple attack family, which means that it has two targets. And that is where matters become a bit quirky, since a target can be a piece, or one of the other tactical themes. Let me show you a few puzzles where the first move is a double attack, but with different targets.

Piece + Piece
Piece + Mate
Piece + Invasion
Piece + Loading a discovered attack
Piece + Deflection of overworked defender
Piece + Coercion into another double attack
Defender + Mate
Defender + Double attack

Only one simple pattern, but totally different positions, with totally different geometrics. Yet we must learn to recognize the archetypical double attack in all these positions. To make matters even more misty, the precursor of a double attack can be any tactical theme. Luckily there are only about 18 important tactical themes.



  1. Did you say there are too little comments at some of your articles?! Time to change it! :). Go ahead dear readers! Maybe I will show how to do it ;) :)

    1) (Piece + Piece)

    Duplo threat to 2 UNDEFENDED pieces. There is communication between them (neither the mate threat) and one has to be captured.

    2) (Piece + Mate)

    Duplo attack to the N and threat of mate. It is interesting to compare (notice) two variations. 1...Nf6 and 1...f5. After some exchanges both Knights are safe - it is not obvious, but sometimes the Knights are restricted by the pawns and get lost. This way they are safe.

    3) (Piece + Invasion)

    Simply GREAT!!! I highly recommend to solve this task by your own. Check out every variation you need and you can learn from this (I barely know/use this motif!). You will be really suprised if you can discover the perpetual! Wow! Amazing piece of art! :). Thanks my friend!

    4) (Piece + Loading a discovered attack)

    I know this motif, but I have no experience at this kind of puzzles. Anyway it is really important to understand this concept well as it occurs many times when the tactical struggle is tense. My answer was 1.Qc4... and I was really surprised when I finally understood what was wrong with my concept.

    5) (Piece + Deflection of overworked defender)

    A good example of 3 motifs in one! (deflection with exchanging the piece to open the pawn's route to queen; and a really overworked defender/blocker). Very untypical kind of position. I do not mean (very) difficult, but rarely seen in my practice (and solving).

    6) (Piece + Coercion into another double attack)

    A good one nut! :). Most people probably can fall into small traps like: 1.Nc4 Qg2# or 1.d5 Qd1+ 2.Rf1 Qxe3+. Anyway King cut off at the bank rank (horizontal and vertical included!) is a vulnerable goal! I have problems with understanding this (and I fall into mate at the vertical lines too often).

    7) (Defender + Mate)

    I am not sure what do you mean by this (+mate?) as there is not a mate at this example. It is simply deflection the Bishop to the goal of opening the line. If you can explain it to me - I will be grateful.

    8) (Defender + Double attack)

    This one deserves attention! It is really simple, but powerful! To me - it is much deeper than looks for the first sight! Double threat and... a nice deflection! I am wondering how many players devoted the time to consider 1...Kd6!? I do not think it is the best move, but surely it deserves attention. Do you agree on that?

    If you have comments or questions just go ahead! Give our friend a boost to fire his imagination, creativity and expore the ideas we have never seen (or dreamt about). Let's give it a try - do not be afraid of breaking the barriers! :)

    1. Ad 7 The queen delivers a mate and attacks an overworked defender who has to prevent the mate. The use of language isn't precise, but I'm sure you get the idea.

      Ad 8 Kd6 simply wins the exchange after Nxd5