Boden's Mate

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Boden's Mate is a checkmating pattern in chess characterized by bishops on two criss-crossing diagonals (for example, bishops on a6 and f4 delivering mate to a king on c8), with possible flight squares for the king being occupied by friendly pieces. Most often the checkmated king has castled queenside, and is mated on c8 or c1. Many variants on the mate are seen, for example a king on e8 checkmated by bishops on g6 and a3, and a king on f1 checkmated by bishops on h3 and b6. Often the mate is immediately preceded by a sacrifice that opens up the diagonal on which the bishop delivers checkmate.

The mate is named for Samuel Boden, who played a famous early example of it in Schulder–Boden, London 1853. However, it had been known previously from the game Horwitz–Popert, Hamburg 1844.


History[edit]

Schulder–Boden, 1853
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
e8 black rook
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
d5 white bishop
f5 black bishop
f4 white pawn
a3 black bishop
c3 white pawn
e3 white bishop
f3 white queen
a2 white pawn
d2 white knight
f2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
c1 white king
d1 white rook
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
The final position after 15...Ba3#
Horwitz–Popert, 1844
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
d8 black rook
g8 black knight
a7 black bishop
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black knight
h7 black rook
a6 black pawn
h6 black queen
d5 black pawn
f5 white rook
d4 white pawn
a3 white pawn
c3 white pawn
b2 white pawn
g2 white queen
h2 white bishop
d1 white rook
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to play and "set a trap" with 1...Bb8

Boden's Mate is characterized by a king being mated by two bishops on criss-crossing diagonals, with possible flight squares blocked by friendly pieces. Samuel Boden, for whom the mate is named, administered an early example of it in the friendly game Schulder–Boden, London 1853.[1][2] That game went 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 f5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d4 fxe4 6.dxe5 exf3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.gxf3 Nc6 9.f4 Bd7 10.Be3 0-0-0 11.Nd2 Re8 12.Qf3 Bf5 13.0-0-0? (13.Bd5 is better) 13...d5! 14.Bxd5? (allowing a forced mate; better is 14.Rde1, losing a piece) 14...Qxc3+ 15.bxc3 Ba3#, giving the final checkmate position shown in the diagram.[3]

However, the mate had been known before that from the game Horwitz–Popert, Hamburg 1844 (see diagram).[1][2][4] There, Black set a trap with 1...Bb8, which White fell into with 2.Rxd5?. Instead of playing the winning 2...Qxh2+ 3.Qxh2 Rxh2+ 4.Kxh2 c6+ (5.Re5 Nxe5 6.dxe5?? Rxd1) Black blundered with 2...c6??. After that White could not save his rook because of the threatened mate in two.[1] Instead, he surprised Black with 3.Rh5! Qxh5 4.Qxc6+! bxc6 5.Bxa6#.[1][4]

Typical pattern[edit]

The Peruvian Immortal: CanalNN, 1934
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
d8 black rook
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
d7 black knight
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
e6 black pawn
a5 black queen
b4 black bishop
d4 white pawn
f4 white bishop
a3 white pawn
c3 white knight
f3 white queen
h3 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
e2 white bishop
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
a1 white rook
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 10...0-0-0??
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
d8 black rook
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
d7 black knight
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a6 white bishop
c6 black pawn
e6 black pawn
b4 white pawn
d4 white pawn
f4 white bishop
c3 white knight
h3 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white king
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h1 black queen
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Final position after 14.Ba6#

Boden's Mate has occurred in many later games, usually, as in the Boden and Horwitz games, after the losing king has castled on the queenside, and the winner sets up the mate by a queen sacrifice on c3 or c6.[5]

Perhaps the most famous example of Boden's Mate is the so-called Peruvian Immortal game, Canal–NN, simultaneous exhibition, Budapest 1934: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bf4 e6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Bb4 9.Be2 Nd7 10.a3 0-0-0?? 11.axb4!! Qxa1+ 12.Kd2! Qxh1 13.Qxc6+! bxc6 14.Ba6#.[6]

Atypical patterns[edit]

Alekhine–Vasic, 1931
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black knight
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
b6 black pawn
e6 black pawn
f6 black knight
h6 black pawn
d4 white pawn
a3 white bishop
c3 white pawn
d3 white bishop
a2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
e2 white queen
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
e1 white king
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 9...b6??
Elyashov–NN, 1948
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
e8 black queen
f8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
e7 black bishop
h7 black pawn
f5 black pawn
h5 white queen
c4 white bishop
e4 white pawn
h3 black pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
e1 white king
h1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White, on move, mates in two

More rarely, Boden's Mate can occur, for example, (a) where a White bishop on g6 delivers mate to a Black king on e8, which is hemmed in by a White bishop on a3, and its own queen on d8 and knight on d7 or (b) where a bishop on h6 delivers mate to a Black king on f8, which is hemmed in by a White bishop on c4, and its own queen on e8 and bishop on e7. An example of the former was Alekhine–Vasic, Banja Luka 1931: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd3 Bxc3+? 5.bxc3 h6? 6.Ba3 Nd7 7.Qe2 dxe4 8.Bxe4 Ngf6 9.Bd3 b6??, when White mated with 10.Qxe6+ fxe6 11.Bg6#.[7] An example of the latter occurred in Elyashov–NN, Paris 1948, which illustrates an opening trap arising from From's Gambit. After 1.f4 e5!? 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ng5?! f5 7.e4 Be7? 8.Nh3! gxh3 9.Qh5+ Kf8 10.Bc4 Qe8, White mated with 11.Qh6+! Nxh6 12.Bxh6#.[8]

ZukertortAnderssen, 1865
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
e8 black queen
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black bishop
e7 black king
g7 black pawn
c6 black knight
d6 black pawn
g6 black knight
h6 black pawn
h5 white queen
c4 white bishop
d4 white pawn
e4 white pawn
c3 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
f1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 10...Qe8
Pandolfini–NN, 1970
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black king
h8 black rook
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
f5 black pawn
g5 white bishop
a4 white bishop
e4 black pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white king
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Final position after 15.Bg5#

In a game between two of the strongest players of the nineteenth century, White delivered a Boden's Mate to a king on e7: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.c3 d6 5.d4 Bd7 6.0-0 Ng6 7.Ng5 h6 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Bc4+ Ke7 10.Qh5 Qe8 11.Qg5+! hxg5 12.Bxg5# Zukertort–Anderssen, Breslau 1865.[9] An unusual example of Boden's Mate occurring to a king on d8, and without the winning side having to sacrifice to achieve the mating position, occurred in Pandolfini–NN, 1970, after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Nxd4 Bd6 9.Nxc6 Bxh2+ 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Rxe4+ dxe4 12.Qd8+ Qxd8 13.Nxd8+ Kxd8 14.Kxh2 (So far this is a position known to opening theory from the Riga Variation of the Ruy Lopez. White is considered to have the advantage after 14...Be6 15.Be3.) f5?? 15.Bg5# 1–0.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed. 1992), p. 49. ISBN 0-19-866164-9.
  2. ^ a b Anne Sunnucks, The Encyclopaedia of Chess, St. Martin's Press, 1970, p. 35.
  3. ^ Schulder–Boden, London 1853. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-19.
  4. ^ a b Edward R. Brace, An Illustrated Dictionary of Chess, David McKay, 1977, p. 40. ISBN 0-679-50814-7.
  5. ^ Georges Renaud and Viktor Kahn, The Art of the Checkmate, Dover Publications, 1963, p. 89. ISBN 0-486-20106-6.
  6. ^ Canal–NN, simultaneous 1934. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
  7. ^ Alekhine–Vasic, Banja Luka 1931. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
  8. ^ Elyashov–NN, Paris 1948. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-01.
  9. ^ Zukertort–Anderssen, Breslau 1865. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
  10. ^ Pandolfini–NN, 1970. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.

External links[edit]