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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Checkmate With Two Bishops

It's possible that you might never actually encounter it in a real game, but if you're left with a king and two bishops against a lone king, could you checkmate your opponent? Do you know the basic checkmate pattern and strategy to accomplish this?

It might be instructive to take a few minutes and set up a board and pieces to see if you can do this, and if so, how quickly. Don't forget to watch for stalemate, three-fold position repetition, and you must mate your opponent within 50 moves (hopefully a lot less!) to avoid the 50-move rule (a draw can be claimed if no pawn moves or captures have taken place for 50 moves).

If you need a little help, check out Mark Lowery's Exciting World of Chess or the Chess Kids Academy. In addition, an excellent one-page pdf file from explaining the two-bishop mate can be found here.

Incidentally, here's one solution for the position above, courtesy of Fritz 9:

1. Kd3 Kf4 2. Bd5 Ke5 3. Bb3 Kf5 4. Bd4 Kf4 5. Bd5 Kf5 6. Ke3 Kg4 7. Ke4 Kg5 8. Be6 Kg6 9. Kf4 Kh5 10. Bf7+ Kh4 11. Bf2+ Kh3 12. Kf3 Kh2 13. Be6 Kh1 14. Bc5 Kh2 15. Bd7 Kh1 16. Kf2 Kh2 17. Bd6+ Kh1 18. Bc6# 1-0



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