Intermediate check (2 moves)

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An intermediate check is a check interposed before capturing or recapturing.


Sometimes you can capture an opponent's piece, but capturing it comes with a disadvantage, for example if your opponent has other threats, or if the piece which can make the capture is currently pinned. An intermediate check is a move giving check that you play instead, which changes the situation so that you can make the capture later without that disadvantage.


Black has just captured your queen with Qxb3. Do you recapture?
Not immediately, because the queen capture has also discovered an attack of Black's roon on e8 on your unprotected rook on e5.
If you blindly recapture with axb3, you would lose that rook to Rxe5.
Instead of recapturing immediately, you can first exchange rooks with the intermediate check Rxe8+!
After black recaptures with Rxe8, you can capture the queen with axb3.

Black has just captured your bishop on e5 with Bxe5.
Recapturing immediately is not a good idea, because the rook on c7 is now unprotected.
After dxe5, Black could win that rook with Qxc7.
Instead of recapturing immediately, White can play the intermediate check Qxe6+.
After the king moves out of the check, White can capture the bishop with the queen, which also protects the rook on c7.
White has won a pawn instead of losing a rook, and is now a pawn up in the endgame.


When you can capture an opponent's piece, don't just grab it. Make sure that your opponent doesn't have any threats. Those threats can exist before your move, or only after your move. If such threats exist, consider an intermediate move or check.

Related motifs

Intermediate check

An intermediate check is an intermediate move which is a check. An intermediate move can sometimes be a counter attack, and intermediate check is always a counter attack on the king.