It is checkmate Monday again and today we present a number of Ruy Lopez checkmates. All of the positions below were reached from games starting with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5, which ties in with our most recent instalment of Chess Opening Basics.
Test your strength on the first diagram in each case. The second diagram depicts the actual moment of checkmate.
A Hook Checkmate
White to PlayWhite appears to be in trouble in our first example, but fortunately there is a forced checkmate available.
Black resigned here, due to the inevitable checkmate after:
42…Kg7 43.Rg8 checkmate is an alternative line, which doesn’t change the result.
Follow the Legacy
The next example features a classic pattern in a slightly different setting.
This is heading for a smothered mate on the theme of Philidor’s Legacy. Everything runs like clockwork after the initial move.
Our next checkmate is an unusual one. White has just promoted a pawn on c8, to obtain a new queen.
Black to Play
Black pulls off a snap checkmate from a position which has the look of a composed problem, featuring only major pieces.
White has an alternative in 64.Rg3, but then 64…Qxg3 checkmate follows.
The Pin is Mightier than the Sword
Adolf Anderssen certainly knew a thing or two about checkmate patterns.
Black to Play
22.Qxg2 Rxf1 checkmate.
Note the excellent use of the pin, by the bishop on b7, preventing 23.Qxf1.
Once again Anderssen has sacrificed his queen. However, he now has a forced checkmate in three moves – involving a rook sacrifice.
40.Bxh1 Rh2 checkmate.
Our next example is another unusual pattern. The eye many be drawn to 26…Nh3+, but Black has something much simpler.
27.Qxg2 Ne2 checkmate.
Finally for today’s target practice, we present a tricky checkmate in five moves.
21.Kf4 Nxe2 checkmate.
Well played, if you managed to solve that one by sight from the first diagram.
If you enjoyed our Ruy Lopez Checkmates, you may like to know that there are many more beautiful checkmating patterns in our course, The Checkmate Patterns Manual, by International Master John Bartholomew and CraftyRaf. This course won third place in our Chessable Awards for 2020.
There is a shortened, free version of the course here.