Friday, February 19, 2010


The atomic bomb in chess. (The power of Discovered and Double Check)

(picture taken from for illustrative purpose only.

During my school age, I was so fascinated by the power of double check shown in the famous Evergreen game:

[Event "Berlin 'Evergreen'"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "1852.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Anderssen, Adolf"]
[Black "Dufresne, Jean"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C52"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "1852.??.??"]
[EventType "game"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1997.08.01"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O d3 8. Qb3
Qf6 9. e5 Qg6 10. Re1 Nge7 11. Ba3 b5 12. Qxb5 Rb8 13. Qa4 Bb6 14. Nbd2 Bb7 15.
Ne4 Qf5 16. Bxd3 Qh5 17. Nf6+ gxf6 18. exf6 Rg8 19. Rad1 Qxf3 20. Rxe7+ Nxe7
21. Qxd7+ Kxd7

Just look at the diagram above. White had invested a lot of material and his King is on the verge of mating threat (Qxg2mate), his Rook is hanging. But it was white's turn to play and he played:
22. Bf5+! (the discovered and double check) Ke8 23. Bd7+ Kf8 24. Bxe7# 1-0

The most astonishing double check and mate is however from this game between Richard Reti and Tartakower:
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qd3 e5 6. dxe5 Qa5+ 7. Bd2 Qxe5 8. O-O-O Nxe4

9. Qd8+ Kxd8 10. Bg5+ Kc7 11. Bd8#

As a matter of fact, the final mating pattern is known as the Reti's mate.

Another famous position came to my mind, involving my most admired chess genius, Bobby Fischer from Stockholm interzonal 1962. (Fischer-Julio Bolbochan: for full annotation see game 35 of Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games.

Just look at the diagram. What is more painful having a piece (a knight on f4) being pinned 3 times! Yet Fischer produced an outrageous move
35. Qb3!! setting his own threat

35...Rxf4 Black took the piece

36. Re5+! (This time only a discovered check without double check, but yet it wins)
36...Kf8 37. Rxe8+ 1-0

Black resign as Qe6+ and Qc8 mate.

Personally, I had my own collection of this atomic bomb weapon.

Here is my game against Syazrin Abd Rahman, a rising star in our local scene; taken from the first round of Selangor Open 2007.

(Diagram on the right showing the position after 31.f3 in Syazrin Abd Rahman - Rizal A Kamal)

Materials are still equal, but I had a space advantage. Moving the Queen means the game would be prolonged. Suddenly I saw that, if the white's knight is deviated from e2, I shall have a discovered check opportunity. After carefully calculatiing I played

31...Bxb3+ !!

And the shocked Syazrin answered 32. Nxb3 (Not 32. Ke1 as Rxe3+ 33. Kf1 [33. Kf2 Re2+ 34.Kf1 Qd4 35. Ne4 Qxe4])

32... Rxf3!! The real point.. This sets up the discovered check threat

33. h3
Other variations do not save white
(33. Nd4 Rf1+ 34. Kd2 Rxc1 35. Raxc1 cxd4)
(33. Kd2 Rf2+ 34. Kxd3 Qe4#)
(33. gxf3 Qxg1+ 34. Kd2 Qxe3+ 35. Kd1

33... Rf1+ (The double check) 0-1

Another game of the same theme against a famous local chess bloger Hairulov in round 4 of Royal Selangor open 2006
(After 32... e5 )

Having enjoying a piece advantage, I thought that I could smash Hairulov easily by keeping on pressing. Therefore, without suspect, I played
33. Rf5?
(33. Qb3 or Qd3 were indicated by my opponent after the game, and he may resigned. However, seeing me had lulled into his trap of discovered attack, this time against me, he played..)

33... Bh4!
What is this! Oh no! I had been tricked!

34. Qxh4 Rxa8 35. Rxe5 d3
(If 35... Qa5 36. b6+ Qxb6 37. Qf4 Kb8 38. Nc5 Rc7 39. Rd5 Ka7 40. Na4)

36. cxd3 Qg1+ 37. Kc2 Ra
It is time to check the stock. I was winning but now it was very messy. Suddenly I saw a very amazing resource with the culmination of a deadly discovered check.

Therefore I played 38. b6+!! (diagram left ) Qxb6 (The other capture also lost 38... Kxb6 39. Re6+ and now:
i) 39... Ka7
ii) 39... Kc7 40.Qf4+ Kd8 (40... Kc8 41. Re8+ Rd8 42. Be6#) 41. Qb8#)
iii) 39... Ka5 40. Qh5+ g5 41.Re5+ Kb4

(41... Ka4 42. Nc3+ Kb4 43. Rb5#)

(41... Kb6 42. Qxh6+ Ka7 (42... Kc7 43. Rc5+ Kb8 [43... Kd8 44. Qf8#] 44. Qxg5 Qd1+ 45. Kc3 Rc1+ 46. Kb4 Qe1+ 47.Kb5 Ra1 48. Ba2 Qe2 49. Qe5+ Ka7 50. Rc8 Qxd3+ 51. Bc4)) 42. Rb5+ Ka4 43. Nc3#) 40. Qf2+ (40. Nc3) 40... Qxf2+ 41. Nxf2)

Declining the sacrifice also lost
i) 38... Kc6 39. Re6+ Rd6 40. Rxd6#
ii) 38... Kc8 39. Re8+ Rd8 40. Qxd8#
iii) 38... Kb8 39. Re8+ Rd8 40. Qxd8#)

39. Qf4 setting up the threat of discovered check and it is a deadly one.

39...Qg1 40. Re6+ ! Kc8
(40... Kd8 41. Qb8#)

41. Re8+ Rd8 42. Be6# 1-0

Another type of discovery that may be deadly is a discover attack (without check). The game was Aziz Jaafar - Rizal A Kamal, Merdeka 1996. After 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. Be3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. a4 Nc6 10. Kh1 Qc7 11. f4 Re8 12. Bf3 Rb8 13. Nb3 b6 14. f5 Ne5 15. Nd4 Nc4 16. Bc1 e5 17. Nde2 Bb7 18. b3 Na5 19. Bg5 Rbd8 20. Rc1 d5 21. Bxf6 Here I reached a position in the following diagram whereby my opponent had just captured my knight:

No doubt, white was expecting the automatic recapture 21..Bxf6. However. he forgot that, my Rook was peeping at his Queen. Therefore

(the discovered attack on the Queen and amusingly, this pawn shall keep on capturing along the a8-h1 diagonal!)
22. Bxe7
(White sacced his Queen, but it is insufficient)
22...Rxd1 23. Rfxd1 exf3 24. Bd6 Qc6 0-1

Also see my previous article UIA OPEN 2009 REVISITED under the labels Labels: , , , ,

(C) Copyright to Rizal Ahmad Kamal, 2010

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