Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Discovered Checkmate

I recently played a game of speed chess at with a discovered checkmate. I moved my bishop and exposed it to capture. I will never forget this game because such a mate is rare. My opponent was Lontayao of the Phillipines who played black. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 d6

Here the most popular reply for black is a6.

4. d4 Bd7
5. h3 Nf6
6. dxe dxe
7. Nc3 Bd6
8. Bg5 0-0
9. Nd5 h6

A better move for black is Be7.

10. Nxf6+ gxf6
11. Bxh6 Re8

I gain a pawn and shatter the pawn shield around the black king.

12. 0-0 f5
13. Bg5 f6

I weaken black's pawn structure.

14. Bh6 Kh7

The black king attacks my bishop but is now more exposed.

15. Bd2 Rg8

Black prepares a counterattack against my king.

16. Nh4 fxe

My move opens a diagonal for my queen.

17. Qh5+ Kg7

Black's move is forced.

18. Bh6+ Kh8

I involve another piece in the attack. Again black's move is forced.

19. Bf8#

I move my bishop to discover a mate with my queen. Though my bishop is subject to capture, it is of no consequence. This is one of the most beautiful checkmates I have ever played.

In this game, material is even. However, I win because my king is well protected, my pieces are well-coordinated and my pawn structure is superior. I convert all of these advantages into victory.

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