Topic 25 (Advanced) Ė How to Checkmate Your Opponent 2


Now that Iíve covered basic checkmates and their usage in game situations, itís time to move on to more advanced mating attacks.I wrote a few checkmating puzzles that didnít really fit into Topic 24, but now they finally see daylight!


Chapter 3: More (Difficult) Mating Puzzles


Find the fastest forced checkmate and post the answers in the Strategy Forum to win a prize superior to that of Topic 24!


The listed mating times represent the fastest mate I know (assuming black plays to survive as long as possible).If you find faster, youíre almost certainly missing something. But if youíre not, kudos to you! Post your newfound solution and bask in the glory!



White to checkmate black within 30 seconds



White to checkmate black within 10 seconds



White to checkmate black within 40 seconds



White to checkmate black within 30 seconds


Good luck. These are substantially more difficult than the Topic 24 puzzles.


Chapter 4: Devilant looks checkmate in the eye, and flinches quite a few times.


In this chapter Iíll be studying some positions where I got checkmated or couldíve gotten checkmated, pointing out where I went wrong and how I should have played instead.


I hated writing this chapter.


Kung Fu Chess Masters Cup Round 1 11-12-2006

Devilant v. Hawked Game 2


You can watch the whole game using Epikur's MPlayer if you download the Round 1 movies from the Masters Cup Website.


Devilant v. Hawked 165 seconds


This is a really complicated position. Iím up a pawn but it seems pretty likely I wouldíve lost this game in the end even if I didnít get mated, simply because I didnít have 15 minutes to study it in-game and itís so easy to go wrong.


Black is threatening b3!



If I move my queen here (to take the pawn for example), black can take the f3 pawn and I lose immediately:




Here I can avoid checkmate with Nc3, but Iím going to lose my g and h pawns and ultimately the game. In the actual game, I played Qb3 before black even played b3 himself:



This was just stupid.I canít even play Nc3 to defend.After Ke1, black can mate with either Qe2 and f3, or Bd2 and Ke3, depending on what defense white attempts.Hawked played it perfectly and I was mated shortly from here.


So how should I have played if Hawked went b3?



I have to counterattack, while making sure Hawked canít promote his pawn or capture on f3.



This is the only way to play it, I think. My queen protects both the a6 and f3 pawns. I can just go Qe2 if he tries to take on f3 and block with the bishop.Kd2 is important to give myself the option of stopping blackís pawn with my king.


Now after a7 and b2 we have this position:


This should be ok for white.If black takes the pawn with his bishop and defends with his queen, I immediately move my queen to e4 and king to c2 and we get a position like this:



And if black takes the knight, I grab the b pawn and Iím just up a pawn. If he doesnít take the knight, I block with Nb5 and grab the b pawn and Iím up a pawn and a knight.



Easy win for white.


If black doesnít take the pawn, I advance it:



If he takes it with the queen, I immediately play Kc2 and Qe4 as before, winning the b pawn.If he promotes the b pawn, I just take it with the queen.


Final positions:

Or this:


This oneís a draw, I think.



So, no need for me to get mated there.Letís look at another game.


Kung Fu Chess Masters Cup Round 1 11-12-2006

Ember v. Devilant Game 3


You can watch this one in its entirety the same way as the game against Hawked.


Ember v. Devilant 77 seconds


A quick recap of the game to this point: Iím up two pawns and Iím about to win two more.Emberís position is totally lost.He knows this, so he throws everything he has into an attack on my king, hoping to checkmate me before I promote my four extra pawns.



This attack obviously doesnít work if I dodge my rook to f6:



However, I didnít see this coming and instead panicked and dodge to e7.And now Ember has a very strong attack on my king:


Ember v. Devilant 89 seconds


Iím in some serious trouble now.I have two options to move my king: f8 and h8.H8 looks like it is immediately losing:



The timing is such that this queen move will mate me.And I have no way to block that bishop from protecting the queen.


However I can avoid mate here by blocking with my knight earlier:


This keeps whiteís bishop out of action and is winning for black.I didnít see it in the game, however, so I moved to f8:


Ember v. Devilant 93 seconds


Iím in grave danger of getting mated for pretty much the rest of the game. Suppose I take the knight:



Now Iím getting mated like so:



There were two defenses here that I again missed.The first was to move my rook to g8 before retreating my king to f8:


Here I could safely take the knight.The other defense is again to block with the knight on f6:



This is winning for the same reason as before.Whiteís pawn is preventing his bishop from joining the attack.


By the way, it seems to me that Ember shouldíve used his bishop instead of his pawn in the initial attack, since that pawn is a hindrance to just about every mating attack weíve looked at so far.


Anyhow, I missed those two defenses. (In my defense, every single bit of analysis conducted so far is of a 5 second stretch of the gameóI didnít have much time to work this out.This is why you should always try a mating attack like this when youíre losingóyour opponent will often cave under the pressure.)I saw I would get mated if I took the knight, so I took the rook instead:


Ember v. Devilant 96 seconds


This isnít very pleasant because after he captures with the pawn, his bishop and rook enter the hunt for my king!


Ember v. Devilant 98 seconds

Now that the pawn moved from f5, Emberís bishop and rook have my king in their sights!



When that pawn was on f5, it blocked both the bishop and rook. Uh oh.


Ember v. Devilant 104 seconds


I had one safe square to move my king, but unfortunately I panicked and threw away the rook:


Ember missed this winning shot, however, because he played his bishop to f5.


Ember v. Devilant 107 seconds


Iím still under fire.My king has zero safe squares to move to.However, Ember has no immediate checkmate that I am aware of, and if he moves his knight, my king can escape to the safety of d8.Furthermore, Iíve now captured Emberís a and b pawns and have 4 passed pawns.Theyíll promote within 40 or 50 seconds, so Ember has to find a checkmate within the next minute or he just loses.


The pressureís on, but Ember definitely finds the best move:


Ember v. Devilant 110 seconds


Qg5! Threatening to just take my king.My only escape square on e8 is occupied by my rook.I could dodge to f8, though, and block with my knight, so I really have two escape squares.


I wanted to get my king out of danger, for obvious reasons, so I played Rf8 and Ke8:


Ember v. Devilant 116 seconds


My king is still penned in.It has no safe moves.


I figured I better get all my pieces back to defend my king.


Ember v. Devilant 123 seconds


No checkmate here! Ember is running out of time.But he finds another good move to keep the pressure on me.


Ember v. Devilant 127 seconds


Qg6!Again, my king has no escape squares.I found a good response though. I decided I should just sacrifice my rook for Emberís knight, which allows my king to escape to d8 and safety. This is winning for black:


Ember v. Devilant 127 seconds


If I play Kd8, I should be safe now.


Ember v. Devilant 139 seconds


Of course, I didnít do that. I played my king to f8 instead of d8. I have no idea what I was thinking.


Then I inexplicably played my queen to f6, and gave Ember a chance to use common checkmate #1 from Topic 24 to checkmate me:


Ember v. Devilant 148 seconds


If Ember plays Re8 right now, Iím mated.Fortunately, he missed it.Most people do. I was able to block with Ne5 and escape with my king to e7, sealing my victory.


Ember v. Devilant 150 seconds


My pawns are promoting and I got my king to safety.I won this game easily from here.


So there you have it.Itís really hard to defend against a strong mating attack like that.I had very limited time to find the right defensive moves, and ultimately caved, briefly leaving myself open to get mated.Fortunately, Ember missed it and I went on to win.


Now go solve those checkmating puzzles and post your answers in the strategy forum!