Recognising the Patterns : Challenge # 17

V. Anand against M. Carlsen in 2009 (WCH Blitz)

In the diagrammed position Anand was losing anyway, but he played 46.Rh1. This allowed Carlsen to mate him in one with 46…Qg3#.

This method of checkmating is called the Epaulette mate where the two escape squares have been occupied by the king’s own pieces, usually rooks. Here it is f1 & h1 which are taken by White’s two rooks.

Now try to solve following positions based on the same pattern:

Loek Van Wely against Alexaander Morzoevich in 2001: Black to Move:

White is losing anyway but in this position he played 21.Rf1, which allows Black to finish him off quickly.

Q: How will you proceed from here?
A: He set up an Epaulette mate as follows:

21… Rg8+

This sacrifice clears the 2nd rank for his queen by removing the blockage caused by White’s Bishop.




Gustav Richard Neumann against Karl Mayet in 1866: White to move

Q: What should White’s plan be here?
A: White can charge his h-pawn up the board to break up Black’s kingside.

27. h4

White wants to attack g6 in order to open up the 7th rank!


Apparently oblivious to White’s aims. Instead Black should play Rh7 in order to save himself from a quick disaster.

28. h5

Now mate can’t be avoided.


29. hxg6 Bxg6

Now what?

30. Qxg6!!

The concluding blow.

30…fxg6 31. Rg7#

Anderssen against Dufresne in 1851: White to move.

This position is not actual arose from captioned game; I have made few changes to the actual position for to enhance its teaching value.

Q: What should White’s plan be?

27. Bd5! Bc6

The bishop can’t be taken because of 27…Bxd5 28. dxc7+ Rxc7 29. Qxc7+ Ke7 30. Qd6+ Kd8 31. Qxd5 wins. And if 27…c6 then Qb6+ wins.

28. Bxc6 dxc6

Now what? Can you recognise the pattern?

29. d7!!

Winning a rook and the game. The pawn can’t be taken because of mate in one.

Ashvin Chauhan