22 December 2011

Checkmate with Pawns

It has been nearly ten years since I was checkmated by two pawns in a complex and beautiful position on the Internet Chess Club. That game was the solitary example in my database of a rare and mostly theoretical possibility.

This week added two more. A Social Chess game that ended Tuesday had this finish.

Black to move
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49.b2 50.f6

Of course, he could have played 50.Ka2, leading to 50...Kc2, 51...b1Q and mate to follow.

50...Kb3 51.fxg7 a2#.

Yesterday, in a one-minute bullet game, I capped a series of games against my opponent with a nice victory. I won the series 9-4. In the finale, my opponent managed to shed a bishop in the early middle game, then two pawns.

Black to move

Here we transition into a simple pawn endgame. When there are seconds remaining, it is important to reduce counterplay.

34...Rxb2 35.Rxb2 Bxb2+ 36.Kxb2 c5 37.Kc3 c4 38.Kd2 Kc5 39.Kc2 d4 40.Kb2 e4 41.Kc2 e3 42.Kd1 Kd5 43.Ke1 Ke4 44.a4 d3 45.a5 d2+

White to move

I would play 46.Ke2, if I were in my opponent's position. Perhaps he thought he might walk into stalemate, or perhaps with so little time left, he did not think about it.

46.Kd1 Kd3 47.a6 e2#.


  1. I am new to chess and I was wondering couldnt the white king move one square forward in the last screenshot?

    1. That is my recommendation. That is what 46.Ke2 means in the text under the diagram. The bold text indicates actual moves in the game under discussion. Moves not in bold are alternatives that could, and often should have been played.