Umm, couldn’t the king take the pawn in front of the bishop?
In the rightmost column, all grey men are in fact black (compare with the diagrams in the other columns, it’s the exact same position) but less (or not at all) relevant to the smothered mate pattern. So, no, the black king could not take his own pawn. ;)
I believe B’s attack will also work. King moves left, return the knight. King moves right, Queen moves to knight’s previous position. Both are mate.
It does not show the entire board. Perhaps white’s queen is defended by a bishop and attacked by a black queen just below it. Black could trade queens and white could still be behind. Barring something like that, you’d be correct.
Here’s the whole board:
And here’s the whole game, for those who want to play along at home:
1. e4 e5
2. d4 ed4
3. c3 dc3
4. Bc4 Nf6
5. Nf3 Ne4
6. O-O Nd6
7. Nc3 Nc4
8. Re1 Be7
9. Nd5 Nc6
10. Bg5 f6
11. Rc1 b5
12. Rc4 bc4
13. Ne5 fg5
14. Qh5 g6
15. Nf6 Bf6
16. Ng6 Qe7
17. Re7 Be7
18. Ne5 Kd8
19. Nf7 Ke8
20. Nd6 Kd8
21. Qe8 Re8
You can step through the game here:
There’s a pawn that would prevent the queen from going into the corner.
It doesn’t need to go to the corner, Rob just missed a step. If the knight takes the rook on h8, black king is in check from queen. King must go to either d8 or f8 (f8 would be mate in 1 move – queen to f7). After king goes to d8, knight goes to f7 check, king can only move back to e8. Knight to d6 double check, king must move either to d8 or f8. If d8, queen to e8 will be mate. If f8, queen to f7 mate.
The sequence used in the actual game is simply fewer moves. There’s no need to take the rook first to achieve mate.
Interesting. I certainly don’t see myself as an expert in any field, but I feel like my memory works most like the last example.
Speaking as someone who left a job where I was an ‘expert’ to a similar one in a different field, I am feeling this difference keenly. I keep forgetting things I had been told and having to remind myself that I am not an idiot.
Conversely, if I remembered what my memory could do with the old material I was an expert in and just assumed I could still do that with the new material I would be in a lot of hot water.
At my old job we were well built for this facet of the human mind. We categorized everything into 5 digit codes, all of the materials people from the lowest material handler to the directors could master the system quickly and use it to think about several combinations of materials.
Where are the second and third reading passages from? I don’t recognize them and can’t find them anywhere.
Second one is from Doyle’s “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge.” Third one is from Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot”.
That first one is really getting me, though.
Thanks! Now I feel like reading both of those.
I don’t get it. Why can’t the black king go to F8 rather than D8? Would avoid the “blocked by his own side” situation.
Wouldn’t the white queen just go to F7 for the more obvious (and immediate) mate?
Just checked the chessgames.com board – yep, that would be mate.
Oooo, right, didn’t catch that. I’m not really a chess player, I just know the basic rules. Thanks!
Got it! My bad, should pay better attention.
Coming soon, The Illustrated Guide to Chess.
The Illustrated Guide to *Criminal* Chess