As we all know there are several named checkmate patterns like boden's mate, anastasia's mate, arabian mate etc. But alas in day to day chess, we hardly encounter any of them .In professional chess games hardly reach to the point of checkmate. The losing player generally resigns way before that. In amateur games checkmates usually involves the heavy pieces viz queen and rooks. Giving checkmate by using only minor pieces gives a game a special aesthetic value.
But checkmate by only one minor piece? That too after a queen sac? Sounds too good to be true,.
Behold the Smothered mate. Here mate is delivered by single knight, typically just after a queen sac. The names comes from smothering, a way to kill people by denying oxygen. In this mate the victim king is denied any square to flee while the opponent's knight gives check from a square where it cannot be captured. Below is a picture of typical smothered mate position
Now there are some typical steps to give smothered mate -
1. The king must be in a corner or placed as such that it has no fleeing square
2. The piece next to the king must be rook or knight, that is a piece without any diagonal capture power. It can be seen in the above picture if it was a bishop or queen in place of black knight , it would simply capture the white knight
3. Just before giving the mate , a queen sac typically occurs
Here the move is Qg8+, only legal move RxQ then Nf7#
In one of my recent games I was able to deliver a smothered mate, the game is presented below for your consideration
Until next time.....