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I was playing a blitz game, when I saw my chance to produce an amusing position, to which my opponent unknowingly obliged; I was able to fork their rooks with my queen and rook simultaneously.

[Title "Punktilinchen - RewanDemontay, Rated Blitz game, 2023.02.25"]
[FEN ""]
[startply "91"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd6 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O Be6 8. Be3 O-O 9. Nbd2 Ne7 10. Qe2 c6 11. Rab1 Qc7 12. b3 b5 13. b4 a5 14. Bc2 axb4 15. cxb4 Rxa2 16. Qd3 Rfa8 17. Bg5 Nd7 18. Qxh7+ Kf8 19. Qh8+ Ng8 20. Bh7 f6 21. Qxg8+ Bxg8 22. Bxg8 Kxg8 23. Bh4 g5 24. Bg3 Bxg3 25. hxg3 Kf7 26. Nb3 Nb6 27. Nh2 Nc4 28. Ng4 Nd2 29. Nxd2 Rxd2 30. Nh6+ Kg6 31. Ng4 Raa2 32. Rbe1 Rxd4 33. Ne3 c5 34. bxc5 Qxc5 35. Rc1 Qa3 36. Rc6 b4 37. Nc2 Rxc2 38. Rxc2 b3 39. Rcc1 b2 40. Rb1 Rc4 41. Rfd1 d4 42. Rd2 Rc1+ 43. Rd1 d3 44. Kh2 d2 45. Kh3 Qc3 46. f4 Qc2 47. g4 gxf4 48. Kh4 Qc8 49. Rxd2 Qh8#

This reminded me of Diary Entry #333 on Tim Krabbe's site: "Such a double fork is extremely rare - I found only four other examples. Berkell's, however, is the prettiest, and the oldest."

[Title "Berkell - Engström, Swedish Open 1977"]
[FEN ""]
[startply "62"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Ne2 c5 9. O-O cxd4 10. cxd4 Nc6 11. Be3 Bg4 12. f3 Na5 13. Bd3 Be6 14. d5 Bxa1 15. Qxa1 f6 16. Qd4 Bd7 17. e5 e6 18. Nf4 fxe5 19. Qxe5 Qb8 20. Qg5 Qd8 21. Qe5 Qb8 22. Qg5 Qd8 23. Qh6 Qe7 24. dxe6 Be8 25. Bd4 Rd8 26. Ba1 Nc6 27. Bxg6 Nd4 28. Bxh7+ Qxh7 29. Qxh7+ Kxh7 30. e7 Nxf3+ 31. Kh1 Bc6 32. Ne6

This makes me curious; how rare are such double forks in high-level games, and are there any well known games that feature one? A cql entry ought to be able to spot some.

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  • 2
    Nice find. Such forks should be extremely rare , although apparently sometimes they do occur.
    – Peter
    Feb 25, 2023 at 8:55
  • I was able to find a few interesting games (there are false positives, though!) using CQL (two white/black pieces attack at least two black/white pieces that are underdefended). Is this what you are looking for? Sep 22, 2023 at 17:13
  • @double-beep Those are exactly it! Sep 23, 2023 at 0:50

1 Answer 1

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I ran this CQL query against Mega Database 2023 to find some interesting games:

cql(input Mega_Database_2023.pgn)

btm
piece wp in A {
    [bnrqk] attackedby wp > 1 // wp forks at least 2 black pieces

    piece wp1 in A & ~wp {
        [bnrqk] attackedby wp1 > 1 // wp1 forks at least 2 black pieces

        Common = [bnrqk] attackedby wp & [bnrqk] attackedby wp1
        Common > 1 // wp and wp1 fork the same black pieces (at least 2)

        totalAttackers = 0
        square sq in Common {
            totalAttackers += #a attacks sq
            // exclude some FPs: the forked pieces shouldn't be able
            // to capture forking ones
            not sq attacks wp
            not sq attacks wp1
        }

        // underdefended black pieces
        sort min "Total attackers" totalAttackers < 2

        // forking piece not captured in next move
        not move capture wp1
        not move capture wp
    }
}

The list of the games returned is available here.

Some interesting games below:

[Event "Izmailov Memorial op 17th"]
[Site "Tomsk"]
[Date "2013.06.16"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Kovalev, Vitaly"]
[Black "Fitiak, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2103"]
[BlackElo "2209"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "66"]

1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 e5 3.c4 Nf6 4.cxd5
Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.O-O Be7 8.d3 O-O 9.Be3 Be6 10.Na4 e4 11.Ne1 exd3 12.
Nxd3 Nd5 13.Bc5 b6 14.Bxe7 Ncxe7 15.Qc2 c5 16.Rad1 Qe8 17.e4 Nb4 18.Nxb4 cxb4
19.b3 Nc6 20.f4 Rc8 21.Rd6 Nd4 22.Qd2 Nb5 23.Rd3 Nc7 24.f5 Bc4 25.bxc4 Qxa4 26.
e5 Qa5 27.Bd5 Qc5+ 28.Kg2 Rfe8 29.Re1 b5 30.Re4 bxc4 31.Bxc4 Rxe5 32.Rd8+ Re8
33.Rexe8+ Nxe8 34.Qd7 1-0

[Event "Alushta4"]
[White "Morozevich,Alexander"]
[Black "Onischuk,Alexander"]
[Site "Alushta"]
[Round "6"]
[Annotator "Chekhov,Valery A"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Date "1994.??.??"]
[WhiteElo "2590"]
[BlackElo "2535"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "60"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Be2 h6 9. Nf3 e4
10. Ne5 Bd6 11. d4 exd3 12. Nxd3 Qc7 13. b3 O-O 14. Bb2 Ne4 $5 $146 15. Nc3 f5 $1 16. h3 Bb7 17. O-O a6 $6
18. Qe1 c5 19. Rd1 Rae8 20. Nc1 Be5 21. Nxe4 fxe4 22. Bxe5 Rxe5 23. Qd2 Rg5 24. Qd6 Qc8 $6 25. h4 Rgf5
26. Bg4 R8f6 27. Qe7 Nc6 28. Bxf5 Qxf5 29. Qxb7 Qg4 30. Qd7 Re6 31. Rd6 Nd4 32. Rxd4 1-0

[Event "Ducale op 10th"]
[Site "Genova"]
[Date "2002.12.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Puglisi, Vincenzo"]
[Black "Massa, Giovanni"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B34"]
[WhiteElo "2115"]
[BlackElo "2096"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "33"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4
g6 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.f4 d6 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O Qb6 11.e5 dxe5 12.
fxe5 Nxe5 13.Nf5 Qxb2 14.Nxe7+ Kh8 15.Bd4 Qb4 16.Rxf6 Bxf6 17.Bxe5 Qc5+
0-1

[Event "Baku Jafarov Memorial"]
[Site "Baku"]
[Date "2018.01.04"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Shubin, Kirill"]
[Black "Tahbaz, Arash"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B57"]
[WhiteElo "2299"]
[BlackElo "2442"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "93"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4
Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Bd7 7.O-O g6 8.Nxc6 Bxc6 9.Nd5 Bg7 10.Bg5 Bxd5 11.exd5 O-O
12.Re1 h6 13.Be3 Rc8 14.Bb3 Nd7 15.c3 a6 16.Qd2 Kh7 17.a4 Nb6 18.Qe2 Qc7 19.Bf4
Bf6 20.Qd2 h5 21.Re4 Nd7 22.Re3 Ne5 23.Qe2 Kg7 24.Re1 Nc4 25.Re4 b5 26.axb5
axb5 27.Bc1 Qb7 28.Rd1 Rc5 29.Qd3 Rfc8 30.f4 Qd7 31.Qe2 Ra8 32.Bc2 Qb7 33.f5
Rxd5 34.Re1 gxf5 35.Rf4 Re5 36.Qf1 Qb6+ 37.Kh1 e6 38.Rd1 Ne3 39.Bxe3 Qxe3 40.
Bd3 Ra4 41.Rf3 Qb6 42.b4 Ra3 43.Rg3+ Kf8 44.Qf4 Ke7 45.Qh6 Qf2 46.Bf1 Re1 47.
Rf3 Qxf3 0-1

[Event "Korinthos op 3rd"]
[Site "Korinthos"]
[Date "1999.07.27"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Stathakis, Ioannis"]
[Black "Mastrovasilis, Athanasios"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2087"]
[BlackElo "2345"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "63"]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.d3 c5 4.e4 Nc6
5.Nc3 d6 6.h3 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 a6 10.Bh6 Nd4 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.Nxd4
cxd4 13.Nd5 Nd7 14.h4 h6 15.f4 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 17.Nb4 Bb7 18.Rh3 a5 19.Nc2 e5
20.O-O-O Kh7 21.Rg1 Qf6 22.g4 fxg4 23.Bxg4 Nc5 24.fxe5 dxe5 25.Bh5 Rg8 26.Re1
Rg2 27.Qd1 Qf5 28.Reh1 Rf2 29.Rg1 Qxh3 30.Bg6+ Kh8 31.Qh5 Rf1+ 32.Ne1 Qe3+ 33.Kb1 Rxg1 0-1

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