Checkmating with the Bishop Pair!!

Nov 17, 2011, 12:59 PM |

Have you ever tried checkmating with a pair of bishops? Can it be done only if your opponent makes mistakes? Can it be forced?

The answer is that it can be forced, but you need your king to assist. I have never been taught how to checkmate with bishops, I have never even read a book or article on it, even to this day, but I discovered this technique with just a chessboard and pieces, going over variations, wondering if it was even possible, then discovered a concrete solution.

For sheer simplicity, to help get the processes behind the technique across, I will show you as white, how to checkmate the black king in the top-left corner of the board on a8 (h1), with only the relevant material on the board, and the pieces on their normal starting squares - you can checkmate in any of the 4 corners, but I believe checkmating in the top-left is easier, maybe because that's how I discovered how to do it... Smile

I am not sure if this is textbook stuff, but I have applied this technique in 2 games so far with 100% success rate!

White wants to co-ordinate his army, force the black king to the 8th rank, then into the top-left corner and checkmate him! The black king will want to stay as central as possible, because checkmate can only occur in a corner. The following example will show what both sides are trying to achieve. Even if the person who has the black king is a 2700+ super-GM and the person with the white pieces is a 1500 checkmate can be forced, no problem! Cool

But - what if you have the black pieces, they aren't on their starting squares, so a real game situation... and the white king is closer to the top-right rather than the top-left corner? Well once you've nailed the basic technique, you should be able to do this... Wink
If you really know what you are doing you could miss out a couple of the moves and maybe do it in 19 moves but if you face this in a real game, and you have the 50-move rule looking over your shoulder, it's better to use a couple of extra moves just to make sure that there is NO CHANCE of your enemy king escaping.
Facing this in real-life is rare, but when/if you do, isn't it better to take 15-25 moves and definately win, rather than settle on a draw - which would be pointless when you have the material on the board to do the job... getting the whole point is always better than half a point in tournaments! Cool