Checkmate pattern

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Checkmate

In chess several checkmate patterns occur sufficiently frequently, or are otherwise of such interest to scholars, so as to have acquired specific names in chess commentary. The diagrams that follow show these checkmates with White checkmating Black.


Anastasia's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e7 white knight
g7 black pawn
h7 black king
h5 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
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. This checkmate got its name from the novel Anastasia und das Schachspiel by Johann Jakob Wilhelm Heinse.[1][2]

Anderssen's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
h8 white rook
g7 white pawn
f6 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
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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
h7 white rook
f6 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
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 other two squares and to protect the rook.[4]

Back-rank mate[edit]

Main article: back-rank mate
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d8 white rook
h8 black king
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal back-rank mate

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

Bishop and knight mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
f6 white bishop
g6 white king
h6 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
An archetypal Bishop and knight mate

The Bishop and knight checkmate occurs when the king teams up 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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black rook
g8 black king
h7 white bishop
g5 white knight
b2 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal Blackburne's mate

Blackburne's mate is named for Joseph Henry Blackburne and is a rare method of checkmating. The checkmate utilizes the black rook (it could be a bishop or queen instead) to confine the black king's escape to the f8 square. One of the bishops confines the black king's movement by operating at a distance, while the knight and the other bishop operate within close range.[5] Threatening Blackburne's mate can be used to weaken Black's position.

Boden's mate[edit]

Main article: Boden's mate
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
c8 black king
d8 black rook
d7 black pawn
a6 white bishop
f4 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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.[6][7]

Box mate (Rook mate)[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 white rook
d8 black king
d6 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
A typical Box mate

The Box mate is one of the four basic checkmates along with Queen mate, king and two bishops checkmate, and 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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
f7 white knight
h7 black pawn
g1 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
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 and using a knight to engage the checkmate.

Cozio's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b6 white queen
g4 black pawn
h4 black king
f3 black queen
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
An archetypal Cozio's mate. After 1.Qh6+, Black is forced to play 1...Kg3
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g4 black pawn
f3 black queen
g3 black king
h2 white queen
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
White then checkmates with 2.Qh2

Cozio's mate is a common method of checkmating. The checkmate is an upside down version of the Dovetail mate. It was named after a study conducted in 1766 by Carlo Cozio.

Damiano's bishop mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black king
f7 white queen
g6 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black rook
g8 black king
g7 black pawn
h7 white queen
g6 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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 h-file, and then moving in for the mate. The checkmate was first published by Pedro Damiano in 1512.[8] 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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h5 white rook
a4 black pawn
b4 black king
c4 black pawn
a3 white pawn
b3 black knight
b2 white pawn
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
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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
h7 black pawn
d5 white bishop
c3 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal Double bishop mate

The Double bishop mate is a classic method of checkmating. It is a 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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black king
c6 white queen
d5 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal Dovetail mate

The Dovetail mate is a common method of checkmating. It involves trapping the black king in a pattern shown to the right. 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 a knight which is unpinned.

Epaulette mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d8 black rook
e8 black king
f8 black rook
b7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
e6 white queen
b3 white pawn
a2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
b1 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
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.[9] The most common Epaulette mate involves the king on its back rank, trapped between two rooks.[10] The perceived visual similarity between the rooks and epaulettes, ornamental shoulder pieces worn on military uniforms, gives the checkmate its name.[10]

Example games[edit]

Greco's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
g7 black pawn
h5 white queen
c4 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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]

h-file mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
h8 white rook
f7 black pawn
b2 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal h-file mate

The h-file 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 h-file.

Although it is called the h-file mate, it can also occur on other files, so for example with the uncastled black king on e8 and a white rook on d8 protected by a white bishop on g5.

Hook mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e8 white rook
e7 black king
f7 black pawn
f6 white knight
e5 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal Hook mate

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

King and two bishops mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
e6 white bishop
f6 white bishop
h6 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
A typical king and two bishops checkmate

King and two bishops checkmate is one of the four basic checkmates along with Queen mate, 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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
f6 white knight
g6 white knight
h6 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
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 or is already trapped in a corner of the board.

Lolli's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black king
f7 black pawn
g7 white queen
f6 white pawn
g6 black pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 white queen
f7 white bishop
g7 black pawn
h7 black king
h6 black pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal Max Lange's mate

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

Morphy's mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
h8 black king
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
f6 white bishop
g1 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
An archetypal Morphy's mate

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.[14][15] In many respects it is very similar to the Corner mate.

Opera mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d8 white rook
e8 black king
f7 black pawn
g5 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
An archetypal Opera mate

The Opera mate is a common method of checkmating. It works by attacking the king on the back rank with a rook using a bishop to protect it. A pawn or other piece other than a knight of the enemy king's is used to restrict its movement. 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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black rook
g8 black king
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
b2 white bishop
g1 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
Pillsbury's mate example. 1.Rxg7+ Kh8 2.Rg1+ Rf6 3.Bxf6#

Pillsbury's mate[16] is a common method of checkmating and is named for Harry Nelson Pillsbury. It works by attacking the king with either the rook or bishop as shown to the right.[17] The king can be either on the g8 or h8 square during the checkmate.

Queen mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d8 black king
d7 white queen
d6 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
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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 white bishop
b7 black pawn
c7 black king
c6 black pawn
d1 white rook
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
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 mate[edit]

Main article: Smothered mate
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
g8 black rook
h8 black king
f7 white knight
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
b1 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
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.[18] It is also known as Philidor's Legacy after François-André Danican Philidor, though its documentation predates Philidor by several hundred years.[19]

Suffocation mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
f8 black rook
g8 black king
e7 white knight
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c3 white bishop
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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 mate[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
d8 black rook
f8 black rook
e7 black king
a6 white rook
e6 white queen
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
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.[20] It resembles the Epaulette mate.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 89.
  7. ^ R. Schulder vs. Samuel Boden (London, 1853).
  8. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 136.
  9. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 46.
  10. ^ a b " Checkmates with Names", Mark Weeks, About.com: Chess
  11. ^ "Kasparov makes same mistake twice and lives", Tim Krabbé, Open chess diary 88, January 16, 2001
  12. ^ "The Mozart of Chess", Mathias Berntsen, Chessbase.com, January 27, 2004
  13. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 75.
  14. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 142.
  15. ^ 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.)
  16. ^ [1] Teach Yourself Visually Chess By Jon Edwards
  17. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 128.
  18. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 35.
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ Renaud and Kahn (1962), p. 44.
  • Schiller, Eric (1999), Encyclopedia of Chess Wisdom, Cardoza, ISBN 0-940685-93-0 
  • George Renaud and Victor Kahn, with W.J. Taylor, trans., The Art of Checkmate (Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1962; reprint of: New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953).

Further reading[edit]