Enhancing The Basic Mates

I’ve been doing a few endgames with my son of late, having left it until his sight of the board was fairly well developed. And one thing I’ve found useful is to enhance the basic mates (king and queen vs. king, king and rook vs. king and king and two bishops versus king) with some extra motifs so he can perfect his technique in them without being bored by the repitition.

Here are some of the enhancements I’ve been using, we take it in turns to play White until he beats me on three consecutive occasions:

King And Queen Versus King

The best way to enhance this one is to start from a king and pawn versus king position, promote the pawn and then do the mate. We’ve been using the following position:

King And Rook Versus King

King and rook versus king can be enhanced in various ways, the following one involving a pawn on the 7th skewer theme.

King And Two Bishops Versus King

The following position is a way of showing how a knight can be trapped by a bishop before we get on to the nitty gritty of the two bishop mate. Note also how helpless Black’s kingside pawns are here:

There are other ways to do this of course, for example other pawn endgames can be used to reach king and queen versus king. And you might also insist on under promotion to a rook.

And why am I so insistent that these basic mates should be so perfect? Because I believe they develop skills and pattern recognition which go way beyond these simple endgames.

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in Southport in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days he teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 14 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game.