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In the position below (Short vs Ponomariov 2003), White has just played Re4-f4, which is allowing the g5 pawn to attack both the rook and the bishop.

In general, what do we call a move that allows the opponent to attack two pieces without making another move?

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    In many cases, you would call such a move a "blunder" :). In general, I'm not sure there's a standard name for it, as it's not a standard motif...
    – Scounged
    May 17, 2023 at 22:27
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    As it turned out, the move is considered a brilliancy. The game continued 22...Qg7 (apparently neither the B nor the R can be taken safely) 23. d6 Kg8 24. d7 Nxd7 25. Rxd7 gxf4 26. Qf3 27. Nxd7 Be3+ and Short eventually won. He ended up with an endgame of Band N against R. The game is here.
    – Wastrel
    May 18, 2023 at 13:39
  • Wow. If you'd shown me this game without saying who played it, I would have guessed it's AlphaZero in Killer-Rabbit Mode or something. May 18, 2023 at 21:25
  • @Scounged or a sacrifice. May 20, 2023 at 14:03

3 Answers 3

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what do we call a move that allows the opponent to attack two pieces without making another move?

When the opponent makes a move which attacks two pieces at the same time with the same piece it's called a fork, so what you describe is called a self-fork.

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It is called a fork or a double attack in a normal case. A normal case is when before the opponent's turn neither piece is attacked and then by your turn both pieces (or more) are attacked. In this case, since one brought this situation upon themselves (and forks are generally undesirable), it is called a self-fork.

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Re4-f4 was played, but both the rook and bishop were hanging before the move. So I wouldn't call it a self-fork - there is not even one extra piece attacked, let alone the two you are getting in a regular fork.

I don't know what I would call it though. Misdirection? Overload? Tempo something? Tal attack? :D It is probably rare enough it doesn't have a name.

Note that there are possible self-fork moves - where a single move adds 2 extra pieces to be attacked. For example: a white pawn was on e4 and moves to e5, with pieces on f4, f3 and d3. Black has a rook on a4, bishop on c6 and queen on g6.

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  • Maybe I'm just missing something because I'm inexperienced, but wouldn't the Queen be defending the rook when it was on e4? I don't think it was hanging before this. May 19, 2023 at 17:19
  • @TwistedCode Yeah, it wasn't a free piece, but it was attacked by a knight which is a less valuable piece (in general). I believe such pieces are also said to be hanging (if I am wrong, I will correct the above, replacing "hanging" with attacked) May 20, 2023 at 17:36

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