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Cocking the gun tactical motif (preparing a discovered attack)

Chess Asked by Roland on September 21, 2020

There is a tactical motif I call "cocking the gun" which I have never seen explicitly mentioned. It happens when you prepare a discovered attack. See the following board. Is there an official name for this tactical motif?

From a Lichess puzzle

[Event "Cocking the gun"]
[Date "2020.07.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "?"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5rk1/1p1q3p/p2pp1p1/2p5/4P1QP/2PP2b1/PP2Br2/2KR3R b - - 0 1"]

1... Rg2 2.Rdf1 Bf4+ 3.Rxf4 Rxg4

One Answer

In Dutch, the two attacking pieces involved in a discovered attack (or the two defending ones in a pin, which is basically the flip side of a discovered attack) are called 'kopstuk' and 'staartstuk', literally translated 'head piece' (the black bishop) and 'tail piece' (the black rook). Preparing a discovered attack like this is called 'staartstuk plaatsen', literally translated 'putting the tail piece in place'. I think it has been coined in the official Dutch method for teaching chess which has been used widely since the 1990's, so many younger and middle-aged players here know the term.

I'm not sure if there's even a well-established (let alone official) English terminology for the 'tail piece'. Wikipedia doesn't mention it. Perhaps 'hidden piece' makes sense? Then you'd be 'putting the hidden piece in place', but as you can see, this is far from being official. I like your own phrase better.

Answered by Glorfindel on September 21, 2020

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