How to Mate Your Opponent

How to Mate Your Opponent

| 39 | Tactics

How to Mate Your Opponent


  "Winning Chess" by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld gave the following three quotes that inspired this presentation:

As soon as a true thought has entered our mind, it gives a light which makes us see a crowd of other objects which we have never perceived before.
- François-René de Chateaubriand

A thorough undersanding of the typical continuations makes the most complicated sacrificial combinations leading up to them not only not difficult, but almost a matter of course.
Siegbert Tarrasch

Look at Legall's mate.  The mediocre chess player will never invent anything like it . . . but when the mechanism of the strategem has been explained to him, this same player will be able not only to reproduce it when the occasion arises, but apply it in other positions.
- Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

Many mating patterns are known by their names.
Examples of these named mates will be shown first.

The Smothered Mate:

Pillsbury's Mate:

Morphy's Mate:

Anastasia's Mate:

Boden's Mate:

Legall's Mate:

Blackburne's Mate:

Anderssen's  Mate:

Damiano's Bishop Mate:

Gueridon's Mate:

Epaulette Mate:

Arabian Mate:

Dovetail Mate:

Greco's First Mate:

Greco's Second Mate:

Lolli's Mate:

First Back Rank Mate:

Second Back Rank Mate:

Individual pieces have their own methods for mating

The Queen
The Queen can often give mate with no assistance from minor pieces.
Here are some common patterns everyone should be aware of.

The Rook
A lone rook generally mates a king on the back rank when the king is somehow prevented from leaving that rank.
When rooks work together, usually one restricts the king while the other delivers mate.

The Bishop

Bishops can work in tandem

or can criss-cross

The Knight

Knights mate alone or in pairs by smothering. The King's escape squares can be blocked physically by his own pieces, by the opponent's pieces or by controlling those squares. Often the Knight simultaneously checks and controls an escape square.

Combined Pieces.

Different combinations of pieces require different mating techniques.

Mating with Bishops and Rooks
Rooks control the rank or file while the Bishop controls the diagonal.

Mating with Knights and Bishops

The king must be restricted either by his own men or by the opposite king. Generally, either the knight guards one or two escape squares while the bishop delivers mate, or the bishop blocks one escape square while the knight delivers mate and blocks another escape square. The Bishop and Knights are usually, but not always, on the same color.


Mating with Rooks and Knights

Mating with a Knight and Two Bishops


Here is a list of books dealing with the art of checkmate:

1000 Checkmate Combinations by Viktor Khenkin, 2011
How to Force Checkmate
by Fred Reinfeld, 1958
The Art of the Checkmate 
by Georges Renaud, Victor Kahn, 1962
202 Surprising Checkmates 
by Fred Wilson, Bruce Alberston, 1998
303 Tricky Checkmates 
by Fred Wilson, Bruce Alberston,1998
1001 Deadly Checkmates
by John Nunn, 2011
Mastering Checkmates by Neil McDonald, 2003
100 Easy Checkmates by Larry Evans, 2003
Simple Checkmates
by A. J. Gillam, 1996
Winning Chess
by Irving Chernev, Fred Reinfeld, 1949

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