Picturesque Checkmate Patterns


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Time now to examine a number of picturesque checkmate patterns, as we continue our weekly series presenting sparkling ways to defeat the opponent’s king.

The Corner Mate

When the opponent’s king is in the corner it opens up the possibility of various checkmate patterns, due to the lack of flight squares.

Sometimes a sacrifice is required to remove the guard of a key square.

In this example, the black knight is protecting f7 and it must be removed, no matter what is costs to do so.

Corner Mate

White to play

1 Qxd8+!

A queen sacrifice.

1 …Qxd8

Giving up a queen for the greater good is a tactic worth remembering.

2 Nf7 checkmate.

Picturesque Corner Checkmate Pattern

Note the importance of the rook on g1. Knights are not the strongest of pieces and usually require help from others.

Triangle Mate

This time we use the queen and rook to force the black king onto the same colour square as themselves, allowing a picturesque triangle to appear.

Triangle MateWhite to play

1 Rf8+ Kg7

2 Qf6 checkmate.

Picturesque Checkmate

Simple, yet pleasing to the eye.

Kill Box Mate

This gruesome-sounding checkmate pattern involves the queen and the rook combining forces to drive the black king into a box, from which there can be no escape.

The rook, protected by the queen, will deliver the checkmate.

Kill Box MateWhite to play

1 Rd8+ Kh7

2 Rh8 checkmate.

Picturesque Kill Box Checkmate

There is definitely no escape from the Kill Box.

Epaulette Mate

Epaulettes are ornamental shoulder pieces, usually worn on the coat or jacket of a military uniform. The final position of the checkmate shows an epaulette-like pattern, with the black rooks mimicking the ornaments, allowing the lone white queen to administer the checkmate. In rarer cases, a protected rook can also be used.

Setting up the Epaulette Mate

White to play

We need a typical sacrifice to start the ball rolling.

1 Rf8+! Qxf8

2 Rxf8+ Rxf8

3 Qxg6 checkmate.

Epaulette Checkmate Pattern

There is no escape for the king. The black rooks have to shoulder the blame.

David and Goliath Mate

The Biblical story of David and Goliath should be familiar to most readers. It is a classic story of the underdog defeating a foe of much greater stature and strength.

Our chess equivalent brings the humble pawn into the limelight.

David and Goliath Mate

White to play

We start with another queen sacrifice.

1 Qg7+ Nxg7

2 Nh6+! Kh8

3 fxg7 checkmate.

The pawn is protected by the bishop on b2.

David and Goliath Checkmate

It is just another case of Goliath losing his head at a time of crisis.

The David and Goliath Mate concludes today’s Picturesque Checkmate patterns.

Next week we shall take a look at some of our famous checkmate patterns in action, with examples from real games.

Meanwhile, there are many more beautiful checkmate patterns in our course, The Checkmate Patterns Manual, by International Master John Bartholomew and CraftyRaf.

There is a shortened, free version of the course here.

Checkmate Patterns: Six of the Best

Famous Checkmate Patterns

Historical Checkmate Patterns

Beautiful Checkmate Patterns

Essential Checkmate Patterns

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