Basic Checkmates: The Queen Dance!

Basic Checkmates: The Queen Dance!

| 46 | For Beginners

This article is designed for beginner chess players -- by Mrs Jessica Prescott

The queen is the most powerful piece on the board -- the king is the most important -- but the queen is more powerful than anybody. She can move in 8 different directions. The king is also never able to attack the queen voluntarily, unless the queen puts herself in harm's way.

When you get down to the end of a chess game and you have one queen left to nothing, there is a really simple pattern to trap and checkmate the king. The queen can ALMOST do it herself, but she does need the help of her king in the end. For practice -- before we move onto the harder concepts of this mating pattern -- try to find three different checkmates here:


So, how do we make this happen?  Simple:  We do the "Queen Dance"! The Queen Dance is a mating pattern that efficiently forces the enemy king into the corner, where he is then trapped and checkmated. Let's get into dancing position!  First we try to get our queen a knight's distance away from the king, and then wherever the king goes, the queen follows -- maintaining the "knight's checking distance".



Notice how we are always a knight's distance away from the king.  And we still haven't made any checks!  Sometimes if you just check the king all day, you will actually make no progress towards checkmate! Eventually, besides being bored out of your mind, the game will end in a draw.  Do you want a draw, or do you want to win?!  Well, if you have the king and the queen, you probably want to WIN!

Slowly, the queen is trapping the king.  He is going closer and closer to the corner.  Can you guess the next move?




The box is getting smaller and smaller, and there is nothing that white can do about it!  This is a really easy pattern to remember.  Keep going!


You have to stop dancing now because you're about to stalemate the king. Stalemates will make you cry Cry!  Don't follow the king into the corner.  Remember the red flashing lights to remind you to bring in the king!



Let's review really quickly:

1.  Get the queen a knight's distance away.

2.  Start dancing!  Wherever the king goes, the queen follows!

3.  When the king touches the corner, RED FLASHING LIGHTS go off in your head.  Bring in the king!

4. When your king gets close enough, deliver the checkmate!

Thanks for reading! I hope my description of this common mating pattern was understandable and enjoyable!

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