28 Jan 2017

Typical double attack scenarios Part-2

This is the second part of the article about the typical scenarios of the tactical motif in chess, which is called Double attack. If you have missed the first part, you can find it here.

Practical example 2
Black to Play.
How do you evaluate this position? At the first glance, the position looks a little better for Black, because White has weaknesses in his pawn structure.

Have you spotted that the Rook on b1 is unprotected? It is difficult for someone to discern this immediately. In any case, the game continued in a forcing way: 41…Nh2 42.Rf2 Nxf3+ 43.Rxf3
Perhaps you can spot a very obvious double attack now. The Bishop captures on e4 and both of White’s Rooks are hanging. Black makes this move in the game and White resigns instantly.


1. The double attack is the most common and one of the most powerful tactical weapons in chess.
2. We have three different scenarios:
  • Scenario 1: One White’s piece attacks two Black pieces.
  • Scenario 2: One White’s piece attacks the King and another White’s piece attacks the opponent’s unprotected piece.
  • Scenario 3: Last, but not least, the White’s Queen is threatening checkmate and another unprotected piece.
First, we must understand deeply the three main scenarios and then try to apply them in practice. Usually the practical examples are little more complicated, but if you have understood them then everything will be clear to you and you will gain a lot of wins.

Practice – exercises

double attack chessWhite to play

double attack chessBlack to play

double attack chessWhite to play

double attack chessBlack to play

double attack chessWhite to play
After calculating all possible variations, you’re welcome to check the solution in the PGN files here.

P.S. Did you manage to find the right solution for all the exercises? Did you like this two-part article? Feel free to write your thoughts and comments below.

Quick Succes in chess

20 Jan 2017

Typical double attack scenarios in chess

Vasily Smyslov, a Russian Grandmaster and former World Chess Champion (from 1957 to 1958) used to say that in chess, we have four strong weapons. These are:

  • The check,
  • The double attack,
  • The pin,
  • The unprotected pieces.

I hope that the first weapon (the check) is a pretty straightforward idea. You should attack the King in order to checkmate him.
In many cases, the King or other pieces can run away from a threat. For example, we attack a Bishop and he moves away. We attack him once again and he escapes the threat one more time! Therefore, we need a stronger attack. This stronger technique is the double attack.

Double attack and its scenarios

When we attack two of our opponent’s pieces with one our piece, we call it a double attack. We have three possible scenarios.
Scenario 1
double attack chessIn the above diagram, we can see that White’s Queen is attacking both the Black’s Knights. Black can save only one of the Knights, but not both at the same time. The Black’s pieces are unprotected.

Suggestion: you may also like to learn about the tactical motif “Knight Fork”. 🙂

Scenario 2
double attack chessIn the above diagram, Black’s Queen from the b6-square is threatening the White’s King on g1 and the White’s Bishop on b2. Please note that this scenario is a little different from the previous one because we are threatening the King. The attack on the King is a very powerful and forcing method.
In scenario 1, Black can choose which of the two Knights he would like to keep on the board. Probably he will choose to save the Knight that is closer to his King. In scenario 2, White should protect his King and, after that, Black can capture the Bishop.

Scenario 3
double attack chessScenario 3 is a combination of the first and second scenario. Here, we can see the idea. White’s Queen is threatening to checkmate on h7 and the unprotected Rook on a8. Black is forced to protect the h7 square, so he will lose the Rook on a8.

Note: usually it’s the Queen that performs the attack in this third scenario.

These are the three main scenarios of the double attack. If we are lucky, these may appear in our games and we can find them easily. 🙂 In most cases, however, the chess game is little more complicated. Perhaps 1-2 forcing moves will happen and then we should see the double attack. Or a double attack will be combined with another tactical motif.

Practical example 1
double attack chess
White to play

In the first practical example, we can spot the unprotected Rook on e7. If we attack this Rook with the move Knight to f5, then it will escape, for he can move somewhere else. As the great American player used to say, “Chess is time”. By this, he meant that we may have a plan but the opponent has his own plan, too.

Here is a practical tip for you. If you would like to win some time, then you should attack the King! So here White plays the best move – Queen to f6. This is a double attack on the King and the e7-Rook. Black moves his Queen to g7, what else does he have?

So we can see the updated position in the diagram below. It is White’s turn. Will White capture the rook as he had planned to one move ago?
double attack chessOf course not! Do you remember the anti-blunder technique? Before making a move, we should ask ourselves: “What is my opponent’s threat?” With his last move, Black is threatening checkmate on g2. This happens accidentally. Black hasn’t planned it ahead, as he was forced to cover his King.

Suggestion: Get the FREE course “Quick success in chess”, optimize your chess training and speed up your progress! 

When we play a chess game, and especially a blitz game, we have this passion – to make quick moves – and if we find a good idea, we feel great and are impatient to perform it as soon as possible.

Now we are in a relaxed mood because our clock is not ticking, so let’s think about this position once again. White would like to capture the rook on e7 but cannot do so right now. White should win time. How can we win time? Of course, this can happen by giving a check.

Therefore, White plays the best move, Queen to h4. Black is forced, once again, to cover his King, and then White captures the Rook on e7.


P.S. Was this article useful for you? If you have some chess friends who are beginners, you may share this information with them – it can be very helpful for them. 🙂

Quick Succes in chess

13 Jan 2017

How to evaluate a position at the various stages of the game?

If we want to better evaluate different positions of the chess game, we would consider a lot of various factors such as development, material and positional advantage, pawn structures, weaknesses, tactics and so on.
Evaluate a chess position

However, in some cases, you might be a pawn up (or have some material advantage) but yet, your opponent has the initiative or better pieces’ coordination or vice versa. Have you ever been in such situations? 🙂

If so, here is my question to you: how do you evaluate the positions, when the regular factors for the evaluation don’t help?

Remember, if your evaluation of the position is wrong, then you will choose the wrong plan to continue the game and you’ll end up playing the wrong moves. Therefore, the evaluation of the position in a correct way is very important.

That’s exactly what we’ll see today – our guest coach IM Alex Kundin has prepared a very instructive video lesson for you on this topic. In this video, he will teach you how to evaluate the position during of the different stages of the game. You can watch the video lesson below:

Author information

Alex Kundin is an International Master from Israel with a current FIDE rating of 2323.
IM Alex KundinHe is a former Europe youth champion and an experienced chess coach. He has an extensive knowledge about chess openings

P.S. If you enjoyed watching the video lesson, please share it with your friends. Also feel free to write your thoughts in the comments area below. 🙂

Quick Succes in chess

7 Jan 2017

10 ways to improve in chess

There are thousands of the chess tutorials including chess books, DVDs, courses, video lessons, etc. As I often say, it is practically impossible to follow them all to make an improvement in your game. Remember, ‘Less is more’ – that’s why I’m going to keep it short and simple for you. 🙂
10 tips to improve in chess
Today, I’ll give you 10 best tips to follow in order to make your training simple and yet achieve better results. Let’s get started!

1. Set a GOAL

You will never be able to hit a target that you cannot see. Yes, setting a target/goal is the first thing you have to do. It can be the target of attaining a norm, increasing ‘X’ ELO points within ‘Y’ time, beating titled players, or even becoming the World Champion! 🙂

Be aware: set and work for one goal at a time. Overloading yourself will not be productive.

Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” – Bo Jackson

2. Play against the stronger opponents

Please, don’t get this in a wrong way that I’m scaring you. 🙂 You cannot make an improvement unless you increase the benchmarks and fight for it.
weak vs strongOf course, you could keep winning against the weaker opponents but, honestly, will that help to improve your progress? It can be fun – everyone likes to keep winning without being afraid to lose or to face a stronger opponents.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

3. Prepare an opening repertoire

The exact definition of an “opening repertoire” is the set of openings a player is specialized in.  This might be a bit boring because there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of opening variations today – thanks to ECO code for making it easier for us to identify them.

Suggestion: You may like to read about “Best chess openings and how to pick one for you“!

You may go through the games of top GMs who play your opening line, check the short games in your opening to know and to avoid the mistakes in the early stage of the game.

You can learn more about the opening stage, opening repertoire from our opening courses.

4. Analyze your own games

analyze chess gamesIt is very important to know yourself. For this, you have to study yourself – you should analyse your own games to know your strengths and weaknesses. In fact, I’d insist that you analyze your lost games first. It can be hard for you to do so but I believe no ‘medicine’ that cures the disease is ‘sweet’. 🙂

Only if you analyze your lost games, you will be able to find your mistakes so you will correct them and avoid repeating them. Although, you can keep analyzing your won games (to know your strengths) as secondary while, analyzing the lost games is PRIMARY.

Defeat should never be a source of discouragement, but rather a fresh stimulus.” – Robert South

5. Have a training plan

Planning is one of the most important skills in chess. Having a neat and effective training plan (or training schedule) will boost your training, and you will make a steady progress.

If your question is “What to study?”, “How to train?”, and “How to get the best out of your training?”, you can find answers to all those question in my FREE mini-course “Chess Training Plan for Rapid Improvement.

6. Blindfold chess

blindfold chessImagination (the inner vision) plays a vital role in the game of chess. In simple words, imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside the mind. But how can this skill help you? Well, calculation and visualisation plays a major role in chess, too, right?

You can achieve this through the blindfold exercises – solve puzzles without a board, go through drills, and even play a game without a chessboard. It might be hard in the beginning but, remember, practise makes a man perfect!

A strong memory, concentration, imagination, and a strong will is required to become a great chess player.” – Bobby Fischer

7. Flip the board

This is quite similar to the previous tip. Flipping the board (reverse) helps you to think as your opponent. This way, you will virtually play against yourself and this improves your calculation/visualisation skills as well.
flip chessboardYou may even solve chess puzzles by flipping the board. For instance, you can try to solve the puzzle from the Black side if it’s White’s turn. Additionally, an advanced training of this method would be having an ‘imaginary flip’ – trying to think from the opposite side without literally flipping the board. You usually do this as the “Anti-blunder check” when playing a game. 🙂

8. ‘E’ for Explore!

Every chess player has his/her own playing style. A player might like to play attacking chess (like Tal/Fischer) and some have the style of playing positional chess (like Kramnik/Karpov). I’d advise you not to limit yourself to one particular style or the way of approaching a game.

Try playing different openings, different style of playing the game – just explore. This is something the World Champion Magnus Carlsen recommends, too! 🙂 If you stick to one particular opening or style, you will not learn much.

The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is.” – David Bronstein

9. Cut yourself some slack

cut slackToo much of something is not too good. Don’t dump yourself with loads and loads of training materials. Remember, it’s not about the quantity; it’s about the QUALITY.

Relax, practise yoga or meditation, warm yourself up by solving simple chess puzzles, have your favourite drink/food when playing a tournament/game. Take regular breaks, get enough sleep (8-9 hours) – you may even do physical training.

Your body has to be in top condition. Your chess deteriorates as your body does. You can’t separate body from mind.” – Bobby Fischer

10. Never Give Up

If you gave up, it means you never wanted it. When you feel like quitting, think about WHY you have started (your goal in tip 1).
never give upAlways fight till the end and no matter whether it is playing for a win or fighting for a draw!

Winners are not those who never failed but those who never quitted.” – Edward Louis

P.S. Are you already following any of the above-mentioned training methods? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments in the comments below. 🙂 Also, please share this with your friends if you liked it.

Quick Succes in chess

3 Jan 2017

Psychology of defense in chess

As I said earlier, defense is a very important chess skill. At least in about 50% of a chess game, we need to defend. Many players struggle to get out of hard positions, and crumble under pressure. If you study this course carefully, you will be able to defend correctly against all level of players.
Even someone like YOU, an RCA student, has admitted this truth in the comments section of our previous article:
RCA studentLet me emphasize the statement with a practical example – the third game between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in the recent World Chess Championship match.

Carlsen – Karjakin
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-3
Black to play

Carlsen is a pawn up, and he played 66.Ng4+, trying to win the Black’s e7-bishop. White has a clear advantage, but Black can generate counter-play with the h-pawn, and his King may run to the queenside. If Black King or Rook manages to capture the White’s b3-pawn, then the game will end in a draw.

Can you find a way for Black to save the game? Can you think like Karjakin – the ‘minister of defense’🙂

The game continued as follows: 66…Kf7 67.Re6 Rxh3 68.Ne5+ Kg7 69.Rxe7+ Kf6 70.Nc6 Kxf5
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-3
White to play

Karjakin gave up his bishop and got an outside passed pawn for compensation. As said above, Black’s main goal is to capture the b3-pawn and draw the game with a great satisfaction. However, White still has chances to win the game. Yes, Carlsen missed a golden opportunity to win the game here. Can you find it? 🙂

Yes, the World Champion missed the winning move 71.Re1! We can clearly understand that sometimes, the PERFECT DEFENSE is what all we need to stay alive in the game, escape with a draw from tough positions.

Note: you can see the complete analysis of Game-3 here.

Karjakin’s defense would have definitely impacted Carlsen’s psychology and winning confidence, as the latter failed to find the winning move. Thus, we can see that even though our defense does not directly save us from the game, the process is ‘indirect’ – breaking our opponent’s confidence to win. 🙂

You can learn everything about the psychology of defense, active defense and counterattack, simplification in chess, how to consolidate and save lost position, and lots more from our course “Defending Champion”.
RCA student

Don’t forget to use the coupon “defend35” and save about USD $42 (35% discount!)

P.S. If you’ve bought the course already and started studying it, please write your first impressions in the comments below. It will be very interesting for me, as well as for all the other students, to hear your feedback. Thanks in advance! 🙂

Quick Succes in chess