Discovered Attack With Check


An opening tactic I learned as a child came in handy on May 2, during the online “Isolated Queens II” tournament. In this article, I will show how the tactic can arise in the Advance French and in the Semi-Slav Defense, Main Line, 5…Be7.

When I was a child, I played the French as Black. I learned that sometimes, in the Advance Variation, I should not try to win the pawn on d4. In certain situations, my queen on d4 would be lost to a discovered attack with check. Here is a game showing, in my notes on a variation for Black’s move 6, how that trap typically works.

[pgn][Event “Barcelona Tupinamba op 8th”]
[Site “Barcelona”]
[Date “2013.04.24”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Capellades Subirana, Marc”]
[Black “Picanol Alemany, Antonio”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C02”]
[WhiteElo “2235”]
[BlackElo “2323”]
[PlyCount “49”]
[EventDate “2013.03.13”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[EventRounds “9”]
[EventCountry “ESP”]
[Source “ChessBase”]
[SourceDate “2013.11.20”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3

{[#] It is Black to move. Can Black with the d-pawn?}


(6… cxd4 7. cxd4 Nxd4 8. Nxd4 Qxd4 9. Bb5+ Bd7 10. Bxd7+ Kxd7 11. Qxd4)

7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Nc3 Nfxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 11. Re1 Qh4 12. Nb5 $11 Bc5 13. Be3 d4 14. Bd2 Qe7 15. Qg4 f5 16. exf6 gxf6 17. Qh5+ Kd8 18. Rac1 $11 Bb6 19. Bf4 e5

{[#] White finds two amazing sacrifices next, which he follows by pinning the black queen to the black king. See if you can find the combination that White played.}

20. Rxc6 bxc6 21. Rxe5 fxe5 22. Bg5 cxb5 23. Bxe7+ Kxe7 24. Qxe5+ Be6 25. Bf5 1-0[/pgn]

On May 2, 2020, I played in the “Isolated Queens II” tournament. I had also played in the “Isolated Queens I” tournament. Both tournaments were held for female players, from around the globe, isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic. The time control was game in 3 minutes plus a 2 second increment.


My laptop has a touch pad and a 14” screen. Better for blitz time controls would be a computer with a mouse and at least a 19” screen. Also, for the first six games of the Isolated Queens II tournament, I chose to move with my left hand and pet my rabbit with my right hand. I am right-handed. The result of my poor hardware and choices is that I was slower than most of my opponents, and ended up getting very short on time and blundering away some better positions.

However, I was happy with one of my wins. In that game, I went for an opening trick in the Semi-Slav Defense, Main Line, 5…Be7. While my trick was objectively an inferior move, I hoped that my lower-rated opponent would fall for the trick. She did, and I won with time to spare. I played White and claudiasanteramo played Black. The game was in round 7, when my rabbit had hopped away and I had both hands free.

[pgn]1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. c4 c6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O a6 8. e4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bd3 c5

{[#] Here the chess engine recommends 11.e5, with an advantage to White. But I wanted to try a discovered attack with check trick, so pseudo-sacrificed a pawn on d5.}

11. d5 exd5 12. exd5

{Black would have a slight edge after 12….Bb7. Luckily for me, my opponent fell for the trap.}

Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Qxd5 14. Bxh7+ Kxh7 15. Qxd5 Ra7 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5+ Kg6 18. h4 Rd7 19. Qe4+ f5 20. Qe6+ Kh5 21. g3 Rf6 22. Qe8+ Kh6

{[#] White can checkmate in two moves. Can you find the checkmate?} *

Try this puzzle live!

WIM Alexey Root, PhD

Alexey Root is a Woman International Master and the 1989 U.S. Women's chess champion. Her peak US Chess rating was 2260. She has a PhD in education from UCLA. You can find her books on chess on

2 Responses

  1. abdallah
    abdallah at

    this game is excellent

  2. Shahin mirza
    Shahin mirza at


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