[FEN "6k1/rp3ppq/p2p4/1p1Pr1nQ/1P2P3/4R1N1/P1B2P2/4R1K1 b - - 0 1"]

1... Nh3+ 2. Qxh3 (2. Kh2 Rxh5) 2... Qxh3

Black to move.

After Nh3+ white can move the king or take with the queen. Either way black can win the queen.

How is this tactic called?

  • 5
    Like Accumulation uses the phrase “could also be considered” in their answer, more complicated tactics often include multiple named themes which can overlap or confuse each other. One that I would see in this tactic but hasn’t been named so far is “X-ray defence” of the knight by the queen (the white queen defends the knight through the black queen).
    – 11684
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 11:41
  • 1
    I think you mixed up the colors in the last sentence, or didnt you? Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 15:22
  • Ah yes – whoops!
    – 11684
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 19:18
  • @11684 i believe it's x-ray attack. see my answer.
    – BCLC
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 18:10
  • user2664856, no offense to @Acccumulation but i think my answer is the 1 that should be accepted in re x-ray attack
    – BCLC
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 18:11

4 Answers 4


It's a discovered attack with check (the rook attacking the queen is the discovered attack, the check is the discovering move). As the discovering move is also an attack, this gives rise to a double attack. The check must be answered, so the queen takes the knight even though it is protected. This could also be considered a desperado from White's point of view; the queen can't be saved, so White might as well take the knight.

  • 1
    I chose this answer, because its the most beginner friendly one. Which suits the question best. Maybe you could add some bold formatting, like @Annatar? Then it would be even better. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 15:59
  • But would you rather have a rook for the queen, or just the knight? Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 5:29
  • @jmarkmurphy It's the knight that is delivering the check. Taking the rook would be good (and taking the queen would be even better), except that it doesn't remove the check, and therefore isn't a legal move. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 6:02
  • 1
    Yes, but in the 2. Kh2 Rxh5 scenario, 3. Nxh5 trades a queen for a rook. the knights likely get traded off as well 3. ... Qxh5 4. Rxh3 Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 7:24

It's not uncommon that a tactical sequence makes use of more than one general pattern.

Here, we have a double attack where one of these attacks is a discovered one (the rook on the queen) and the other is a decoy (the knight check lures the queen to a square where it will be undefended).

  • 1
    Agreed - as well, 'decoy' is sometimes called 'attraction'. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 14:12

I think it is a discovered attack. Normally at a discovered attack, you do give a check to the king, eventually a double check. Here what is different is that you do a check to the king but you discover an attack on the queen, not also towards the king.

  • 3
    Here what is different is that you do a check to the king but you discover an attack on the queen, not also towards the king. It's still a discovered attack - checking the king with the piece that is moving is common, because it forces a response and stops the attacked piece from moving away.
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 15, 2021 at 23:37

(I'm going to refer to chesstempo.)

I don't think there's just 1 tactic here. As other answers have pointed out, besides discovery (discoverer checks), there's also double attack or desperado. (i don't think it falls under chesstempo's desperado though. i think it's more of trapped piece than desperado, but I don't think it's even trapped piece.)

Something else I notice is x-ray: As for X-Ray Attack or X-Ray Defense, I believe this is X-Ray Attack

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