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Smothered Mate

Smothered Mate

 Mate Article 

Hello Chess for Children Kids! Today’s subject is part 1 of the series pretty checkmates. I am National Master Steve Colding and I will be your guide as we explore one of the most beautiful mates in all of chess. The first of these mates will be the Smothered Mate

Definition of Smothered Mate

The definition of the mate is as follows:
In chess, a smothered mate is a checkmate delivered by a knight in which the mated king is unable to move because he is surrounded (or smothered) by his own pieces.
(see diagram)
Smothered Mate
 Smothered Mate                                                                                           


It seems that this particular mate first appeared in a problem in a book by Luis Ramirez de Lucena   published in 1497 . If you would like to read the book in its original Spanish click this link

 The next example appeared in the book of Giacomo Greco in 1620. If you would like a PDF copy of his book you can do so by clicking below:

A problem appeared in Philidor’s book and this this lead to the mate being called by the name Philidor’s Legacy. 


Examples of this mate can be seen in all three parts of the game. Nowadays it is very common. Does that take away from its beauty? I will show just one example for the opening, middle game, and ending. We will also give various games from tournament practice to show that this mate can happen to anyone.


[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=22 autoplayMode=none] [ [Date "1869 [White "Henry Edward Bird"] [Black "NN"] [Result "1-0"] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4 g4 5.Ne5 Qh4+ 6.g3 fxg3 7.Qxg4 g2+ 8.Qxh4 gxh1=Q 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Qh5 Nc6 11.Nxf7 Nf6 12.Nd6+ Kd8 13.Qe8+ Rxe8 14.Nf7# 1-0 [/pgn]


[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=59 autoplayMode=none] [Date "1947] [White "Ronald Augustus Slade"] [Black "David Vincent Hooper"] [Result "0-1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.Kh1 a6 9.f4 Qc7 10.Bf3 Bd7 11.Nde2 O-O 12.b3 b5 13.a3 Rac8 14.Bb2 Rfd8 15.Rc1 Na5 16.Qe1 Ne8 17.e5 Bc6 18.Ne4 Bxe4 19.Bxe4 d5 20.Bd3 g6 21.Rf3 Nc6 22. Rh3 f5 23.exf6 Bxf6 24.Bxf6 Nxf6 25.Re3 Re8 26.Ng1 e5 27.fxe5 Nxe5 28.Qh4 Nfg4 29.Ree1 Nxd3 30.cxd3 Qxh2+ 31.Qxh2 Nf2# 0-1 [/pgn]


[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=64 autoplayMode=none] [Event "75th German Championship"] [Site "Hoeckendorf GER"] [Date "2004.02.05"] [Round "7"] [White "Klaus Bischoff"] [Black "Karsten Mueller"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2561"] [BlackElo "2517"] [ECO "D45"] [EventDate "2004.01.30"] [PlyCount "71"] 1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.d4 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.b3 e5 8.Bb2 e4 9. Nd2 a6 10.Be2 Qe7 11.O-O-O b5 12.f3 exf3 13.Bxf3 bxc4 14.bxc4 Ba3 15.c5 Bxb2+ 16.Kxb2 O-O 17.Rhe1 Qd8 18.e4 dxe4 19.Ndxe4 Nd5 20.Nxd5 cxd5 21.Nd6 Nf6 22.h3 Be6 23.Qc3 Qc7 24.Ka1 Rfb8 25.Rb1 Qc6 26.Rb3 Qa4 27.Bd1 Rxb3 28. Bxb3 Qa3 29.Re3 Rd8 30.Qe1 Rb8 31.Rxe6 fxe6 32.Qxe6+ Kh8 33.Nf7+ Kg8 34. Nh6+ Kh8 35.Qg8+ Nxg8 36.Nf7# 1-0 [/pgn]

  Smothered Mate Video

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