Checkmate pattern

Checkmate

In chess, several checkmate patterns occur frequently enough to have acquired specific names in chess commentary. The diagrams that follow show these checkmates with White checkmating Black.

Anastasia's mateEdit

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An archetypal Anastasia's mate

In Anastasia's mate, a knight and rook team up to trap the opposing king between the side of the board on one side and a friendly piece on the other. Often, the queen is first sacrificed along the a-file or h-file to achieve the position. This checkmate got its name from the novel Anastasia und das Schachspiel by Johann Jakob Wilhelm Heinse.[1][2]

Anderssen's mateEdit

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An archetypal Anderssen's mate

In Anderssen's mate (named for Adolf Anderssen), the rook or queen is supported by a diagonally attacking piece such as a pawn or bishop as it checkmates the opposing king along the eighth rank.

Sometimes a distinction is drawn between Anderssen's mate, where the rook is supported by a pawn (which itself is supported by another piece, as in the diagram), and Mayet's mate, where the rook is supported by a distant bishop.[3]

Arabian mateEdit

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An archetypal Arabian mate

In the Arabian mate, the knight and the rook team up to trap the opposing king on a corner of the board. The rook sits on a square adjacent to the king both to prevent escape along the diagonal and to deliver checkmate while the knight sits two squares away diagonally from the king to prevent escape on the square next to the king and to protect the rook.[4]

In addition to being among the most common mating patterns, the Arabian mate is also an important topic in the context of history of chess for two reasons: 1) it is mentioned in ancient Arabic manuscripts,[citation needed] and 2) it is derived from the older, Persian form of chess where the knight and the rook were the two most powerful pieces in the game, before chess had migrated to Europe and the queen given its current powers of movement.

Back-rank mateEdit

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An archetypal back-rank mate

The back-rank mate occurs when a rook or queen checkmates a king that is blocked in by its own pieces (usually pawns) on the first or eighth rank.

Bishop and knight mateEdit

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An archetypal bishop and knight mate

One of the four basic checkmates alongside the Queen mate, the Rook mate, and the king and two bishops mate, the bishop and knight mate occurs when the king works together with a bishop and knight to force the opponent king to the corner of the board. The bishop and knight endgame can be difficult to master: some positions may require up to 34 moves of perfect play before checkmate can be delivered.

Blackburne's mateEdit

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An archetypal Blackburne's mate
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An alternative version of Blackburne's mate

Blackburne's mate is named for Joseph Henry Blackburne and is a rare method of checkmating. The checkmate utilizes enemy pieces (typically a rook) and/or the edge of the board, together with a friendly knight, to confine the enemy king's sideways escape, while a friendly bishop pair takes the remaining two diagonals off from the enemy king.[5] Threatening Blackburne's mate, which sometimes goes in conjunction with a queen sacrifice, can be used to weaken Black's position.

Blind swine mateEdit

White mates in 3 moves
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Position prior to a Blind swine mate
An archetypal Blind swine mate
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Final position after 3 moves

The name of this pattern is attributed to Polish master Dawid Janowski who referred to doubled rooks on a player's 7th rank as "swine".[6] In the first diagram and assuming there are no interferences, White can force checkmate as follows:

1. Rxg7+ Kh8
2. Rxh7+ Kg8
3. Rbg7#

For this type of mate, the rooks on White's 7th rank can start on any two files from a to e, and although black pawns are commonly present as shown, they are not necessary to deliver the mate. The second diagram shows the final position after checkmate. (In the book My System, Nimzowitsch refers to this type of mate as: "The seventh rank, absolute.")

Boden's mateEdit

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An archetypal Boden's mate

In Boden's mate two attacking bishops on criss-crossing diagonals deliver mate to a king obstructed by friendly pieces, usually a rook and a pawn.[7][8]

Box mate (Rook mate)Edit

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A typical Box mate

The Box mate is one of the four basic checkmates along with the Queen mate, the king and two bishops checkmate, and the bishop and knight checkmate. It occurs when the side with the king and rook box in the bare king to the corner or edge of the board. The mate is delivered by the rook along the edge rank or file, and escape towards the centre of the board is blocked by the king.

Corner mateEdit

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An archetypal Corner mate

The Corner mate is a common method of checkmating. It works by confining the king to the corner using a rook or queen with a pawn blocking the final escape square and using a minor piece to engage the checkmate.

Cozio's mateEdit

An archetypal Cozio's mate
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After 1.Qh6+, Black is forced to play 1...Kg3.
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White then checkmates with 2.Qh2#.

Cozio's mate is a common method of checkmating. It was named after a study by Carlo Cozio, published in 1766. Another name for this mate is Dovetail mate. It involves trapping the black king in the pattern shown. It does not matter how the queen is supported and it does not matter which type Black's other two pieces are so long as neither is an unpinned knight. See also Swallow's tail mate.

Damiano's bishop mateEdit

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An archetypal Damiano's bishop mate

Damiano's bishop mate is a classic method of checkmating. The checkmate utilizes a queen and bishop, where the bishop is used to support the queen and the queen is used to engage the checkmate. The checkmate is named after Pedro Damiano.

Damiano's mateEdit

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An archetypal Damiano's mate

Damiano's mate is a classic method of checkmating and one of the oldest. It works by confining the king with a pawn and using a queen to initiate the final blow. Damiano's mate is often arrived at by first sacrificing a rook on the h-file, then checking the king with the queen on the a-file or h-file, and then moving in for the mate. The checkmate was first published by Pedro Damiano in 1512.[9] In Damiano's publication he failed to place the white king on the board which resulted in it not being entered into many chess databases due to their rejection of illegal positions.

David and Goliath mateEdit

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An archetypal David and Goliath mate

The David and Goliath mate is a common method of checkmating. Although the David and Goliath mate can take many forms, it is characterized generally as a mate in which a pawn is the final attacking piece and where enemy pawns are nearby. Its name is taken from the biblical account of David and Goliath.

Double bishop mateEdit

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An archetypal Double bishop mate

The Double bishop mate is a classic method of checkmating. It is similar to Boden's mate, but a bit simpler. The checkmate involves attacking the king using two bishops, resulting in the king being trapped behind a pawn that has not been moved.

Dovetail mateEdit

See Cozio's mate.

Epaulette mateEdit

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An archetypal Epaulette mate

Epaulette or Epaulet mate is, in its broadest definition, a checkmate where two parallel retreat squares for a checked king are occupied by its own pieces, preventing its escape.[10] The most common Epaulette mate involves the king on its back rank, trapped between two rooks.[11] The perceived visual similarity between the rooks and epaulettes, ornamental shoulder pieces worn on military uniforms, gives the checkmate its name.[11]

Example game

Fool’s mateEdit

Fool’s mate is an opening mate characterised by the sequence of moves 1. f3 e5 2. g4 Qh4#. It is the quickest checkmate in chess.

Greco's mateEdit

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An archetypal Greco's mate

Greco's mate is a common method of checkmating. The checkmate is named after the famous Italian checkmate cataloguer Gioachino Greco. It works by using the bishop to contain the black king by use of the black g-pawn and subsequently using the queen or a rook to checkmate the king by moving it to the edge of the board.[13]


Hook mateEdit

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An archetypal Hook mate

The Hook mate involves the use of a rook, knight, and pawn along with one enemy pawn to limit the enemy king's escape. The rook is protected by the knight, and the knight is protected by the pawn.

Kill Box mateEdit

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The Kill Box checkmate

The Kill Box mate is a box-shaped checkmate. The checkmate is delivered by a rook with the queen's assistance. The rook is adjacent to the king, while the queen supports the rook, being separated from it by one empty square on the same diagonal as the rook. This forms a 3 by 3 box shape, inside which the enemy king is trapped. The king could be anywhere on the board, but must have no escape squares available to him due either to being on the edge of the board or to being blocked off by friendly or enemy pieces.

King and two bishops mateEdit

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A typical king and two bishops checkmate

The king and two bishops checkmate is one of the four basic checkmates along with the Queen mate, the Rook mate, and the bishop and knight checkmate. It occurs when the king with two bishops force the bare king to the corner of the board to force a possible mate.

King and two knights mateEdit

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Checkmate with a king and two knights, but it cannot be forced

In a two knights endgame, the side with the king and two knights cannot checkmate a bare king by force. This endgame should be a draw if the bare king plays correctly. A mate only occurs if the player with the bare king blunders. In some circumstances, if the side with the king also has a pawn, it is possible to set up this type of checkmate.

Ladder checkmateEdit

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A typical ladder checkmate
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An alternate pattern with a queen and rook

In the ladder checkmate,[14][15] also known as the Lawnmower Mate, two major pieces (which can be two queens, two rooks or one rook and one queen) work together to push the enemy king to one side of the board.

Légal mateEdit

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An archetypal Légal mate
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An alternative pattern, with the mate delivered by a bishop

In the Légal mate, two knights and a bishop coordinate to administer checkmate. Alternatively, the mate may be delivered by a bishop on g5.

Lolli's mateEdit

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An archetypal Lolli's mate

Lolli's mate is a common method of checkmating. The checkmate involves infiltrating Black's fianchetto position using both a pawn and queen. The queen often gets to the h6-square by means of sacrifices on the h-file. It is named after Giambattista Lolli.

Max Lange's mateEdit

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An archetypal Max Lange's mate

Max Lange's mate is a less common method of checkmating. The checkmate is named after Max Lange. It works by using the bishop and queen to checkmate the king.

Mayet's mateEdit

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An archetypal h-file mate

Mayet's mate involves the use of a rook attacking the black king supported by a bishop. It often comes about after the black king castles on its kingside in a fianchetto position. White usually arrives at this position after a series of sacrifices on the a-file h-file. It is a type of Anderssen's mate and closely resembles the Opera mate. The "h-file" mate is an apt description, but the pattern is properly called "Mayet's mate" after the German player C/Karl Mayet (born Aug-11-1810, died May-18-1868, 57 years old). See variation description in Anderssen's mate given above. Reference Chapter 10, p. 107 of "The Art of the Checkmate" by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn (Champions of France, 1923 and 1934). ISBN 0-486-20106-6.

Morphy's mateEdit

White mates in 5 moves
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1.Rxg7+ Kh8 2.Rxf7+ Kg8 3.Rg7+ Kh8 4.Rg1+ Rf6 5.Bxf6#
An archetypal Morphy's mate
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Final position after 5 moves

Morphy's mate is a common method of checkmating. It was named after Paul Morphy. It works by using the bishop to attack the black king and a rook and Black's own pawn to confine it.[16][17] In many respects it is very similar to the Corner mate.

Opera mateEdit

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An archetypal Opera mate

The Opera mate is a common method of checkmating. It works by attacking an uncastled king on the back rank with a rook using a bishop to protect it. An enemy pawn or a piece other than a knight is used to restrict the enemy king's movement. It is a type of Anderssen's mate and closely resembles Mayet's mate. The checkmate was named after its implementation by Paul Morphy in 1858 at a game at the Paris opera against Duke Karl of Brunswick and Count Isouard; see Opera game.

Pillsbury's mateEdit

White mates in 3 moves
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1.Rg1+ Kh8 2.Bg7+ Kg8 3.Bxf6#
An archetypal Pillsbury's mate
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Final position after 3 moves

Pillsbury's mate[18] is a common method of checkmating and is named for Harry Nelson Pillsbury. It works by attacking the king with the rook while the bishop is cutting off the king.[19]

Queen mateEdit

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A typical Queen mate

Queen mate is one of the four major checkmates along with Box mate, king and two bishops checkmate, and bishop and knight checkmate. It occurs when the side with the king and queen force the bare king to the edge or corner of the board. The queen checkmates the bare king with the support of the allied king.

Réti's mateEdit

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An archetypal Réti's mate

Réti's mate is a famous method of checkmating. The checkmate is named after Richard Réti, who delivered it in an 11-move game against Savielly Tartakower in 1910 in Vienna. It works by trapping the enemy king with four of its own pieces that are situated on flight squares and then attacking it with a bishop that is protected by a rook or queen.

Smothered mateEdit

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A typical Smothered mate

Smothered mate is a common method of checkmating. It occurs when a knight checkmates a king that is smothered (surrounded) by his friendly pieces and he has nowhere to move nor is there any way to capture the knight.[20] It is also known as Philidor's Legacy after François-André Danican Philidor, though its documentation predates Philidor by several hundred years.[21]

Suffocation mateEdit

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An archetypal Suffocation mate

The Suffocation mate is a common method of checkmating. It works by using the knight to attack the enemy king and the bishop to confine the king's escape routes.

Swallow's tail mateEdit

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An archetypal Swallow's tail mate

Swallow's tail mate also known as the Guéridon mate is a common method of checkmating. It works by attacking the enemy king with a queen that is protected by a rook or other piece. The enemy king's own pieces (in this example, rooks) block its means of escape.[22] It resembles the Epaulette mate.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The original "Anastasia's mate" appeared in: Wilhelm Heinse, Anastasia und das Schachspiel: Briefe aus Italien vom Verfasser des Ardinghello [Anastasia and Chess: Letters from Italy by the author of Ardinghello] (Frankfurt am Main, (Germany): Tarrentrapp und Wenner, 1803), volume 2, pages 211–213.
    The original "Anastasia's mate" is reproduced in modern notion with illustrations, in: Wilhelm Heinse, Anastasia und das Schachspiel … (Hamburg, Germany: Jens-Erik Rudolph Verlag, 2010), page 162, example 2.
    Note: Nowadays, "Anastasia's mate" refers to a mate in which the checkmated king is on an edge of the board or in a corner of the board, whereas in the original mate, the king was near the center of the board.
  2. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 83.
  3. ^ "Famous Checkmates". Chess Lessons For Beginners. chesslessons4beginners.com. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  4. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 182.
  5. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 94.
  6. ^ MacEnulty, David, The Chess Kid's Book of Checkmate, chap. 21 – The Blind Swine Checkmate, pp. 29–30, Random House Puzzles & Games, 2004, ISBN 0812935942, 9780812935943
  7. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 89.
  8. ^ R. Schulder vs. Samuel Boden (London, 1853).
  9. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 136.
  10. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 46.
  11. ^ a b " Checkmates with Names", Mark Weeks, About.com: Chess
  12. ^ "The Mozart of Chess", Mathias Berntsen, Chessbase.com, January 27, 2004
  13. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 75.
  14. ^ Ago, Beauknowsin #chess • 3 Years (2017-10-26). "Chess Lessons for Beginners #1 - The Ladder Checkmate!". Steemit. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  15. ^ https://www.chesskid.com/article/view/checkmate-101#:~:text=The%20first%20of%20the%20basic,king%20on%20an%20empty%20board.&text=It%20is%20often%20called%20the,rooks%20resembles%20climbing%20a%20latter. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 142.
  17. ^ This mate derives from the game Louis Paulsen vs. Paul Morphy (November 8, 1857 in New York City, New York (First American Chess Congress)). Morphy didn't use this mating pattern to defeat Paulsen; instead, Morphy sacrificed his queen to remove the pawn in front of White's castled king, exposing the king to series of checks by Black's rook and bishop. (Morphy then added more pieces to the attack against White's king, rendering White's position hopeless; so White resigned.)
  18. ^ [1] Teach Yourself Visually Chess By Jon Edwards
  19. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 128.
  20. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 35.
  21. ^ Sonja Musser Golladay (2007). Los Libros de Acedrex Dados E Tablas: Historical, Artistic and Metaphysical Dimensions of Alfonso X's "Book of Games". ProQuest. pp. 278–. ISBN 978-0-549-27434-6.
  22. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 44.

ReferencesEdit

Further readingEdit