Checkmate with two bishops

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end game :: two bishops checkmate
the square rule | opposition | zugzwang | checkmating with one queen | checkmating with one rook | checkmating with two rooks | checkmating with two bishops | back rank mate

Two bishops checkmate

Mating with two bishops is a little more complicated but not to worry, it's not that hard.

It follows the same concept as the other checkmating patterns : the king which is about to be checkmated is slowly pushed towards the edge of the board were it gets finally 'executed'. Unlike checkmating with the rook were you had to lead the king towards a line at the edge of the board, when checkmating with two bishops the king will be pushed towards a corner of the board. This can only happen if the two bishops work together with their king.( When on two sided diagonals the two bishops produces a barrier in front of the opposing king)

checkmate with two bishops The black king will try to stay as close as possible to the barrier made by the two bishops. This way it will have the opportunity to escape the barrier if one of the bishops checks it. This is where the white king comes to the rescue, and helps the two bishops to reduce the Black's free space. the initial position of the pieces on the chess board 1. Kg2-f3 Kd4-e5 2. Kf3-e3 Ke5-d5 3. Ba4-b3+ Kd5-e5 4. Bg5-e7 Now the black king can only go to the right.
the two white bishops have formed a barrier over which the black king can't go pass 4... Ke5-f5 5. Be7-d6 Prevents the black king from going to the diagonal near the barrier. 5... Kf5-g5 6. Ke3-e4 Kg5-g4 7. Bb3-e6+ Kg4-g5 8. Bd6-e7+
the free space for the black king is getting even more smaller now that it has been checked Kg5-g6 9. Ke4-f4 Kg6-h6 10. Kf4-f5 Kh6-g7 11. Kf5-g5 Kg7-h7 This is were most beginners tend to make a mistake. Most fail to find the solution and just end up either by losing a bishop or by stalemate. This is what you have to do : you reduce the black king's free space to only two squares and then your king moves in for the kill. Just like this : learn how to get closer to the king in order to checkmate it. This is the right way of moveing the White king without causing stalemate 12. Be7-f8 Kh7-h8 13. Kg5-f6 Kh8-h7 14. Kf6-f7 Kh7-h8 15. Bf8-g7+
This is the final position. You can see here how the black king was lead into a stalemate position Kh8-h7 16. Be6-f5checkmate Checkmate!

This were just a few simple checkmating patterns that may occur in endgames.

Now we are going to take a look at checkmating patterns that may occur somewhere else than the end game. This are quite often among beginners so by knowing them you will learn how to avoid them or how to apply them in your game.