Checkmate Puzzles Bonanza

Checkmate Puzzles Bonanza


Hello good people of!

Today I am going to share some checkmates from my latest games. Yesterday, I was playing 20 boards at once against a range of players, and when you are in this make a move and move-on to the next game mode, you are really just non-stop calculating forced lines for like 3 hours. It is tiring, and as a result, it is easy to make a trivial blunder in one of your games, for example this one:

I got lucky in that game, and managed to trap my opponent's rook, regaining the exchange,

and after my opponent wasted a few tempi with pointless knight moves, I was able to get a passed pawn and win. Promoting to a queen was my original plan, but after my opponent's king stood in the way I had to switch to plan B:

#Puzzle 1

Most people won't voluntarily walk into a checkmate. Against a back rank mate they will push their h (or g-) -pawn forwards. Against threats to the N2 square, they will slide up a rook to the second rank or drop back a bishop to B1. And against a B-Q battery on the long diagonal, they will put their pawns on the same colour square as the attackers. These defences are well known these days.

But when you pose your opponent more than one problem, for instance the threat to win material as well, then the primary threat of checkmate evades them. In a frantic bid to cling on to material equality, many will transgress the ultimate aim in chess - Checkmate! 

#Puzzle 2

Sometimes your pieces don't even move off their starting squares, as was the case for me in this game, where my opponent at some point won material and returned it for an initiative - Very smooth play.

#Puzzle 3

In the next one, my opponent thought they had countered the back rank mate with h3, forgetting that my bishop covers this square:

#Puzzle 4

In the next game, getting my knight to the e3 square was pivotal to making the rooks checkmate work.

#Puzzle 5

The next one is more beautiful than all of the previous ones, because of the simple fact that black, although being a queen up and having the move, is completely lost. It is a classic example of positional domination.

#Puzzle 6

This next one is easy, but see if you can do it in 3 moves!

#Puzzle 7

In the next one, my opponent tried to be clever by including an intermediate move before playing the obligatory ...g6.

This however gave me just enough time to infiltrate with my queen:

#Puzzle 8

When I was playing the following game, something I had read in Artur Jussupow's 'Build up your chess' book 1 flashed through my mind. It was about batteries and removing the defender. I won't give away too much:

#Puzzle 9

The next one does not require a massive amount of explanation.

#Puzzle 10

The next game sees me material down but in a complicated position, where I had a few chances to come crashing through with a sacrifice to win my opponent's queen. In such positions, playing off of instinct rarely works as there are too many peculiarities in each position and whether one square on the other side of the board is free or not in 4 moves time can be the difference between a win and a loss. So it is a nightmare scenario for a simul game!

See if you can find my opponent's neat finish:

#Puzzle 11

In the next game, my opponent unsoundly sacrifices a rook for an attack. Had I gone Kg4 my king would have survived and I would be winning. Probably due to a lack of time, I automatically played Kf2 to avoid heading towards the bed of enemy pawns. See if you can find the finish:

#Puzzle 12

When they make you play on to the bitter end...

#Puzzle 13

Knights and rooks actually coordinate well in the endgame, and two knights side by side always cover lots of squares!

#Puzzle 14

That is all of the puzzles from the simul games. Now I will move on to some possible checkmates that could have arisen in my last tournament (played last weekend), firstly is from round 1 where I am (unfortunately) white (also the cover photo):

#Puzzle 15

Here is one from round 3 (I am white):

#Puzzle 16

and round 5, where I am black after the alternative move 24...b4??

#Puzzle 17

Here is one from a blitz game I played on a couple of weeks ago: 

#Puzzle 18

And finally, I present a selection of checkmates from friendly OTB rapid games played at my local club:

#Puzzle 19

#Puzzle 20

#Puzzle 21

Sometimes not castling comes back to haunt you...

#Puzzle 22

I hope you enjoyed these checkmates as much as I did! 

That's all folks!