Tactical Motifs: Battery


Motifs are like little pieces of a puzzle. In chess, tactical motifs mean simple one or few -move patterns. Some of them happen all the time in games and some happen less regularly. In this blog post, I’ll showcase the motif called battery.


Battery is an energy drink. A battering ram is a siege engine developed in ancient times. A battery is also a tactical motif in chess, where usually two pieces go to the same line or diagonal to attack one square. It can happen with a bishop and a queen, a queen and a rook and with two rooks (also with two or more queens with promotion though). In cases, where the queen is involved, her place is important. Sometimes batteries are more effective, when the queen is at the front, but sometimes it’s better when the queen is in the back.

Here’s an example of a bishop-queen battery. Queen checkmates the king with Qxh7#.


This time a rook-queen battery checkmates the king with Qxg7#


A triple-battery is when queen and two rooks are in the same line. A triple battery, where the queen is at the back, is also called Alekhine’s gun, who formed the motif in some of his games. There’s a video name named after Alekhine’s gun also.

In this position an Alekhine’s gun goes though black’s defenses and checkmates the king with 1.Rxg7+ Nxg7 2.Rxg7+ Kh8 3.Rg8#.


Overall, a battery is a strong weapon, which occurs very often in games. They don’t have to even have a clear target, hey are strong anyways. Putting two rooks in the same line is sometimes called doubling up.

Hope this was instructive. In the next post I’ll explain, what a pin is in chess.

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