In the previous lessons you have learned to attack and to defend, including removing the defender. But if your opponent always defends the pieces you are attacking then it will never be possible to capture a piece unless it becomes impossible to defend all attacked pieces or more precisely to defend all attacked targets.
So how do you make it impossible to defend all of the pieces being attacked? The double attack is one of the possibilities to accomplish this. This attack assures that your opponent is unable to defend all the attacked targets. This will be the main focus of this article.
What Is A Double Attack In Chess?
In Chess, a Double Attack is when two simultaneous threats are created against a player after a move. Furthermore, if the resulting threats after this move are made by the same piece attacking two enemy pieces, it is called a fork, but we have a separate guide on how to fork in Chess.
Note: Not all double attacks are forks but all forks are double attacks.
These threats created by the double attack don’t have to be threatening to capture pieces. There are different types of threats including:
How To Double Attack
Being able to see opportunities for double attacks is the first step to using them. The main skill to refine is the ability to identify unprotected pieces and also how to remove the defender of any weaker pieces that only have one defender. Doing this will allow you to identify weaknesses in your opponents position so you can exploit them to attack multiple pieces at once instead of just attacking one piece.
Practicing board awareness is key. You can get better at this by playing longer games. Playing Bullet Chess or Rapid Chess will make it difficult to take the time to really analyze the position to spot these weaknesses. For more tips, see the guide on how to get better at Chess.
Examples of Double Attacks
In this example, the move 27…Qd4 is an example of implementing a double attack on your opponent. 27. …Qd4 places a double attack on White.
Black is attacking the Bishop on the d2 square and also threatens mate in 3 or 4 moves. So white has to decide whether to lose the Bishop or take their chances with getting checkmated.
In this example, White gets a double attack on Black on move 30. Qg6+. White’s double attack is on Black’s Queen and is also threatening checkmate in two with White’s Rook pair.
Either way, Black was going to lose. Losing the Queen would have only prevented the checkmate for another few moves.
Double Attacks Where Two Separate Pieces Are Attacking
In this example, White gives a double attack by castling on 14.O-O-O+. White attacks the King with the Rook, giving check, while White’s King is attacking Black’s Rook.
In this example, the double attack with 19…d3! threatens both 20…Nf2+ -+ and 20…dxe7 -+.
It’s White to move. Can you see how you can launch a double attack against Black’s King and Queen, forcing Black to lose the Queen?
This puzzle is an example of a double attack that is not a fork.
It’s White to move, can you see how you can launch a double attack against Black’s King and Rook?
Hint: Use the Rook to check the King.
Double Attacks are powerful attacks to utilize in your arsenal of attacks. The more pieces that are on the board, the more ammunition you have to be able to create double attacks in the position. Of course, this also goes for your opponent. It only takes one double attacks in the middle-game to change the game from an equal position, to being down an entire piece.