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.

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.

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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