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When I solved the puzzle I did actually play 4. Qe8+ Ke7 5. Qg8#, but I believe 4. Qg8+ Ke7 5. Qe8# is an alternative solution. Am I missing something?
Thank you for your comment!
smothered mate is a checkmate delivered by a knight in which the mated king is unable to move because he is surrounded (or smothered) by his own pieces.
Yes, the first move helps to block the king's escape route and force the black knight to a worse square and preventing it's defense.
Is this an example of the smothered mate?
The main clue came from realising we needed to block the king's escape routes,which (kind of) leads to the first move. Sound reasonable analysis?
Thanks again Attila.
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