Lessons

Lessons

Exclusively Checkmates

Exclusively Checkmates

Are you ready to master checkmate patterns?

Do you sometimes stumble at the finish line when trying to checkmate the opponent? Do you want to improve your checkmating abilities? Then this is the course for you! This module provides a series of checkmate problems to introduce you to all of the well known checkmating patterns. Practice tactics and become a checkmating pro! Start improving your checkmating abilities today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Familiarize yourself with every essential checkmate.
  • Practice calculating tactics.
  • Learn to hunt down your opponent's king.

A First Step

Start finding checkmates.
1 Challenge

A Common Denouement

Look for a common checkmate.
1 Challenge

Adding a Wrinkle

Find another checkmate.
1 Challenge

Philidor's Legacy

Practice a classic smothered mate tactic.
3 Challenges

Materialistic

Try to win material.
1 Challenge

Staying Ahead

What do you do when you're ahead in material?
1 Challenge

Run for a Score

How do you win a king and pawn ending?
1 Challenge

Metamorphosis

Practice promoting.
1 Challenge

Essence

Find a common checkmate.
1 Challenge

Fool's Mate

This position is known as the "Fool's Mate". Some authors prefer to call it the two-move checkmate game: 1.f3? e5 2.g4??.
1 Challenge

Finger Fehler Mate

White unfortunately touched the king, and Black forced him to apply the touched piece rule: 3.Ke2??
1 Challenge

Scholar's Mate

This position is known as the Scholar's Mate. Some authors prefer to call it the four-move checkmate game.
1 Challenge

Greedy?

This position is totally won for Black. It originates from the following opening trap in the Italian Game: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4?! 4.Nxe5??
1 Challenge

A Tricky Move

Black just fell for White's opening trap. This position occurs in the Caro-Kan Defense after the moves: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Qe2?!
1 Challenge

A Wandering King

Black's king just fled into the open after White's sacrificial attack on f7 in the Modern Defense.
1 Challenge

King in Disarray

White thought that he had survived the opening, but Black has a most unpleasant surprise in store!
1 Challenge

Fried Liver!

Black fell for one of the numerous pitfalls of the Fried Liver Attack. White can give mate in one move!
1 Challenge

A Gambitted King!

In the King's Gambit White sacrifices a pawn for a lead in development and a strong attack, however, here White just gambitted his king away.
1 Challenge

Legal's Mate

Never overestimate the power of a pin!
1 Challenge

King Stuck in the Center of the Board

White suffers a huge material disadvantage. Fortunately there is a clear-cut way to take advantage of the poor disposition of the Black forces. White now checkmates in one move!
1 Challenge

A Deadly Trek

The Black king went for a deadly trek across the board.
1 Challenge

A Cornered King

This minor piece mate is most typical. Black mates in one move!
1 Challenge

A Bad Convergence!

White has sacrificed the house to reach this position. White mates in one move!
1 Challenge

The King Catches a Bad Cold!

White's lead in development + Black's exposed king = Mate in one move!
1 Challenge

Boden's Mate

This characteristic mate is known as "Boden's mate".
1 Challenge

A Weak Spot!

Black sacrificed two minor pieces to expose White's castled position. White's king has no more defenders ....
1 Challenge

A Basic Weakness!

Black's king is poorly defended.
1 Challenge

A King in Trouble!

Black has a huge material advantage, but it is White's move.
1 Challenge

Cornered King

White is up a queen for a rook, the his king is too exposed.
1 Challenge

Poor King

Black is a queen ahead but material is not everything!
1 Challenge

Open lines to the king

Black is a bishop ahead, but his king is too exposed!
1 Challenge

King in the Center

Black's exposed king and White's lead in development more than compensate for the small material deficit!
1 Challenge

An Open Castle

It is dangerous to castle on a wing where the pawn shield offers reduced protection!
1 Challenge

King in trouble

Black has enough forces to finish the attack.
1 Challenge

Defenseless king

This is the conclusion of a successful attack on the king.
1 Challenge

Mating minors

Black brings about a swift conclusion to the attack in this middlegame without queens.
1 Challenge

Unlucky king

White's king sits on the only square on the chessboard to allow checkmate in one move!
1 Challenge

Wandering king

Black sacrificed a queen to attract the White king deep into his camp.
1 Challenge

A king left to his fate

Black just went on a rampage, taking away almost all of White's pieces. Unfortunately, Black forgot an important detail.
1 Challenge

Traffic jam

Black is a queen up, but White has a raging attack.
1 Challenge

Weak line

Black just grabbed the White queen on h5. But White has an unpleasant surprise in store.
1 Challenge

Cutting Edge

A series of exchanges produced this position. Black expected to hold this endgame, but forgot about White's sharp answer.
1 Challenge

Inside the fort

Black thought that everything was under control, since White's queen and bishop are threatened, but...
1 Challenge

Behind in development

White is up a queen for a rook, but the development leaves a lot to be desired. King safety proves to be an even more serious problem!
1 Challenge

Smothered

Black gave up a bishop to reach this position. What is the follow-up?
1 Challenge

Unsafe king

White is proud of the queen invasion to g7 and hopes to grab your h8-rook. But White's king is unsafe.
1 Challenge

Trapped king

Everything is set for the mate
1 Challenge

Crossfire

It would appear that everything is safe.
1 Challenge

Sneaky mate

White sacrificed queen and knight to reach this position. Figure out why!
1 Challenge

Poorly Guarded Castled Position

White has invested two minor pieces to open up Black's castled position. How will you conclude the game?
1 Challenge

The end of the road!

The Black king went for a "health walk" across the board. How does White "cure" the Black monarch for good?
1 Challenge

A "centralized" king!

With the Black king in the middle of the board, White has good reasons to be optimistic. What is the swiftest solution?
1 Challenge

King on the edge!

White sacrificed his queen to force the king deep into his camp. It's time to end the king's walk.
1 Challenge

King too exposed!

White is down a queen, but the Black king is so exposed that White has no reason to worry! The only difficulty is finding the final check!
1 Challenge

Minor problem on the dark squares

White is a queen down, but the weakness of the dark squares around the Black king enables White to execute the Black king in short order.
2 Challenges

Strength of the Initiative

The strength of Black's initiative is such that the material imbalance is irrelevant. Black can force a quick resolution.
2 Challenges

Dark squares

Black is down two minor pieces, but the weakness of the dark squares and the exposed position of the White king allow Black to quickly decide the issue.
2 Challenges

Invaders!

Black lost a minor piece for a pawn, but it doesn't take an expert to see that White is totally routed! Black's queen and knight have invaded White's camp! It should not take Black too long to conclude the game.
2 Challenges

Weak light squares!

White has won some material, but all valuable pieces are hiding in corners far from the king. Black's pieces, on the other hand, display a much superior example of teamwork.
2 Challenges

Deadly battery!

The material imbalance is such that unless White finds some clever move, Black will ultimately prevail! Find the way to use a deadly battery to turn the tables!
2 Challenges

Exposed spot!

White sacrificed the queen to attract the Black king to an exposed spot. White has many tempting continuations, but which is the correct one?
2 Challenges

Brutal awakening!

Black made a few too many queen moves in this opening! While enjoying a large material edge, Black's pieces are undeveloped and, in the case of the Black queen, decentralized.
2 Challenges

Weak kingside!

Black has developed most of the pieces, but has left the king in the middle of the board. White's pieces are ready to jump into action.
2 Challenges

Gasping King

White sacrificed the queen to deprive the Black sovereign of breathing room. How can White exploit the Black king's unfortunate state of affairs?
2 Challenges

Deadly pin!

Black has sacrificed the queen to reach this position. White's king appears to be safe; however, a deadly pin will be White's undoing.
2 Challenges

Weak kingside

White gave the queen away to decisively weaken Black's kingside.
2 Challenges

Light Square Weakness

White has sacrificed a rook to force the Black king to g6 and to decisively weaken the light squares on Black's kingside. How can White turn these assets into something more tangible?
2 Challenges

Surprise, surprise!

White is a queen down, but Black's weakened kingside and the unfortunate position of Black's defensive forces allow White to conclude the game swiftly!
2 Challenges

Crossfire!

One often likes to sacrifice material to open the e-file against an uncastled king. Here White only had to give a knight and two pawns, but is much better developed.
2 Challenges

Black strikes first!

Black's position seems like a sad state of affairs. Black is a piece down, the rook on h8 and the queen are under attack, and the king is exposed on d8. Fortunately for Black there is a way to turn the tables, since it is Black's move!
2 Challenges

Classical conclusion!

White sacrificed a minor piece to reach this typical attack on the kingside. Black is totally undeveloped while the king is not defended.
2 Challenges

Powerless army!

White went on a rampage with the lone queen, grabbing pieces in Black's camp. This severely neglected both development and king safety! It almost never succeeds to attack with only one or two pieces. All Black has to do now is to tie the knot around White's king.
2 Challenges

Poor shelter

White gave up queen and knight for this mating attack. The d8-square proves to be a poor shelter for the Black king. How should White proceed?
2 Challenges

No defense!

White sacrificed heavily to reach this setting. Black's king safety is terrible as there are too many open lines leading to the defenseless monarch.
2 Challenges

Sitting duck!

Considering the sitting duck on d7, White has obviously a very good game! The difficulty is the wide choice of apparently strong continuations. Which is the correct one?
2 Challenges

Doomed monarch!

White sacrificed heavily to reach this position. Black's sovereign is doomed! How will you conclude the attack?
2 Challenges

Soaring rook!

White has sacrificed the queen to decisively weaken Black's dark squares on the kingside.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Damiano's Mate

Things have not been going well for White, who is down a whole bishop. However, Heaven has opened its gates and handed White a rare chance for salvation! Can you find it?
2 Challenges

Up Close and Personal

White has just sacrificed a piece to force the Black queen to a poor square.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Back Rank Mate

Black's back rank appears to be defended but White shows this assumption to be false.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Patterns: Dark-square knockout

The game is quite even except that Black has weakened the dark squares on the kingside by playing ...g7-g6 at some stage of the game.
1 Challenge

Basic Mating Pattern: Discovered checkmate

Black is a rook ahead, but the two remaining White pieces, the bishop and rook, are bearing down on the Black King.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Arabian Mate

This position features a mate that was first recorded in a ninth century Arabic manuscript! Hence the name: the Arabian Mate.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: More Dark Squared Attacks

Various mating possibilities often exist whenever a kingside pawn structure has holes on f6 and h6. This is clearly something you want to avoid in your own position and create in your opponent's.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Patterns: Lack of King moves

White is so far behind in material that one would normally give up. However, the Black king has no moves, so any check will result in a mate.
1 Challenge

Basic Mating Pattern: A variation of backrank mate

Having two rooks doubled on the seventh is the most powerful way to make use of the rooks' capabilities. Mating possibilities abound, especially if the back rank is not adequately defended.
3 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Smothered Mate

This problem shows that a mate defies all material considerations. You can be down a queen and two rooks and still mate your opponent with a lone pawn or knight.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Dark square weakness

Both sides have developed most of their forces, but White has managed to get a bit closer to the Black king.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Patterns: Tropical punch on dark-squares

Two of the White pieces are surrounding the Black king for a neat mating setup.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Pawn Mate

With an extra rook and bishop, it looks like Black must win. However, White has three pieces surrounding the Black king.
2 Challenges

Basic Checkmating Pattern: Two Rooks on the Seventh Rank

It is known that a rook's ultimate home is on the seventh rank where it eyes the opponent's pawns and traps the opposing king on its first rank.
3 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern-The Combined Wonders of Two Rooks

Both kings are being threatened by the opposing rooks. This means that whoever has the first move, also has the advantage, since the first move will enable you to guide the flow of the game.
3 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Swallow's Tail Mate

Not only is White far behind in material, Black threatens mate in a variety of ways. This would be a good time for White to resign if there wasn't something much better to do!
1 Challenge

Basic Mating Pattern: Doubled Rooks on the Seventh with Help

Black has two minor pieces for a rook which is usually to be preferred. To make matters worse, the Black c-pawn is about to promote to a queen. If White cannot find a mate, you will lose the game.
3 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Knight and Bishop mate

This problem shows us the power of doubled checks when two pieces check at the same time. It also reminds us what happens when a king finds itself in a stalemated position.
2 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Queen and Bishop Mate

Material is even, but such considerations are secondary here, since both sides are ready to go after each other's kings.
3 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: The power of two Bishops

Black is ahead by a pawn and the exchange (rook for bishop). This would normally be enough to win the game, but one other factor exists.
4 Challenges

Basic Mating Pattern: Epaulette Mate

Vukovic, in his excellent book, "The Art of Attack", says that epaulettes are two Black rooks on the king's shoulders.
1 Challenge

Exclusively Checkmates

Attacking
99 Lessons
No Videos
148 Challenges
Released November 12, 2007
216,858 Students