04 January 2012

Lesson of the Week

Checkmate requires using the pieces in coordination.

Black to move

There are many ways to finish this game. Find the quickest checkmate (two moves) and the one employed in the game (three moves). This position comes from a game played by Kevin Baker, a former Spokane High School Champion, now working in Los Angeles and New York. In December, he took second place in the under 1700 section of the North American Open in Las Vegas with 5.5/7. This position comes from one of his wins.


  1. 1. ... Bh4+ 2. K.. Qg2#
    1. ... Qxf3 2. exf3 Re1#

  2. The three move you mention is:

    1. ... Qxf3 2. e3 (or e4) Qe3+ 3. K.. Qe1#

  3. The mate in three is such because the absence of check on Black's first move permits a queen sacrifice as a spite check delaying tactic. The mate in two prevents this nonsense.

  4. Hi James!

    You and your readers are invited to submit items to the The Best Of! Chess Blogging Carnival. Deadline is January 27. Hit the link for more details, and please post a link on your blog or chess forum.

    Best regards,

    Robert Pearson