Fearless against the Discovered Attack/Check

There are tons of material about the importance of discovered attack/check, and how to turn it into a strong tactic and a powerful weapon. But what about playing against a discovered attack set-up of our opponent’s? It seems that the best advisor in this case is our general chess knowledge with a focus on calculation skills. There is also something else though, something that plays a key role in the way we deal with such situations. A voice inside our heads that reacts immediately when we find ourselves against a discovered attack threat: “Move away!”.

The voice naturally adjusts to our chess level as it reads our brain data, and therefore an intermediate learner who recognizes a dangerous formation like this, is probably going to run away without a second thought. On the other hand, when it comes to advanced players who understand that not all discovered attacks are effective, the voice becomes wiser, and it remains silent in situations where the threat is harmless. For instance, in a simple endgame with just a few pieces on the board, we would expect a good player to even ignore a useless discovered attack, to gain time and carry on with his plans. The same applies to some opening positions, where the confidence to allow a possible discovered attack, comes also from the fact that the move is a theoretical one.

So, let's make it clear, I am not encouraging you to allow discovered attacks in general (don't come complaining to me if you do so)! I am sure Topalov has been mostly avoiding them too during his chess career, and you will need to do the same. What I am saying is stay calm, take a better look into the threat itself, and you might find a few critical positions in some game of yours, that you could achieve a better result by ignoring it, like in the above examples. One out of ten? Out of hundred? Whatever, it doesn't really matter, cause in the same logic, you are going to win another small percentage of positions that instead of recapturing a piece you will come with an unexpected intermezzo, and similarly with many other concepts. And when you add it all up, it becomes a significant percentage of your games overall.

Feed your brain with new ideas, learn from the best, do it like Topalov and you don't have to worry about that voice in your head anymore, now it knows...