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is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

7 Cool Beginner Mating Patterns

In the first semester of 2013, I had my very first formal training in chess through a course I enrolled in school. There our professor or coach, whichever it is, enumerated some of the known mating patterns in chess which totaled 33 in all although I believe there might be more waiting to be discovered or revealed. To reiterate, the aim of either side in chess is to capture the enemy king which is called checkmate or mate for short and as in a previous article, there are certain patterns in chess and some of them are mating patterns so if you would want to win more in chess, I guess one way is by recognizing the different mating patterns that exist although in practice, not all these mating patterns would be executed and some will be seen more than others. As Bobby Fischer once said that it is usually the back rank mate that can be seen most often or can be easily executed most of the time.

While our professor gave the patterns and illustrated each one, I found some which are quite interesting and I would like to chronicle those here in my blog which I hope would spark some inspiration especially to those who are tacticians out there since some of these patterns or combinations are the more flashy moves in chess which is why they get named after the person who made it a novelty at the time he calculated and executed it. 

Although there are a lot of patterns out there, I mean 33 is a big number already, I would guess that throughout one's entire chess career, there would only be two or three mating patterns that would be frequently done whilst the others will be rarely seen in top level play. To repeat what Fischer said that usually the back rank mate is often done perhaps because the king would usually be always situated in the back rank in most cases probably due to frequency of rook endings or queen endings but then again, Bobby Fischer lived in a different era and chess has changed a lot since then. In any case, I really find some of these mating patterns cool and here they are:

1. Morphy's Mate
This mating pattern was actually derived from a line that was not played in Paul Morphy's disputed Immortal Game but the idea of which was quite devastating for his opponent. It involved a queen sacrifice so that he could deliver checkmate with his rook cutting off the path for the king's escape and his bishop giving the final blow although his opponent's pieces were actually helping him in that scenario since they too are cutting off the king's escape route, but as I said, it was not played in the actual game because obviously Morphy's opponent was smart enough to see that brilliancy and would not allow Morphy to have the fulfillment of executing it but nonetheless, Morphy won the game in superb fashion. In this game, you would see that the main aim that drives Morphy's success over the board is his thirst for the initiative.

2. Boden's Mate
Boden's Mate was named after Samuel Boden, a professional English chessmaster. Looking at his photo, he actually seems to have a resemblance to Paul Morphy or at least, it is my opinion that I say so or perhaps that was the style of the times and everybody just started doing it because it was the "in" thing or maybe Boden got it from Morphy himself or vice versa since Boden was born earlier. In any case, the mate is essentially a forced one requiring the queen sacrifice in order to deliver a crushing blow with his two bishops, mating the enemy king in a crisscross. This usually happens when your opponent castles queenside as I have noticed upon the two games which employs this pattern. However, this rarely happens because there are only certain instances that would make this mate possible but you would be able to see how powerful two bishops really are in this scenario.

Here is the Peruvian Immortal that uses the same pattern in a more brilliant manner:

3. Anastasia's Mate
According to Wikipedia, this mate got its name from the novel Anastasia und das Schachspiel (translated as Anastasia and the Game of Chessby Johann Jakob Wilhelm Heinse. The mate utilizes the rook and knight in unison to trap the enemy castled king. It usually involves the knight checking the king which moves to the corner square where a queen or rook sacrifice on the vulnerable h2 or h7 square would take place at which point both the knight and the rook trap the king on the side of the board.

4. Epaulette Mate
Perhaps one of the most elegantly named mating patterns, the Epaulette Mate is so named because of the way that the king and his rooks are positioned in such a way that the rooks appear to be like an official's epaulettes or the shoulder pieces on a soldier's uniform. It is also quite cute to look at since the king seems so snug in between his rooks while the enemy queen is actually giving him a fatal knockout. This mate can be performed by the queen alone as she is the only piece that can attack every escape square that the king has.

5. Arabian Mate
The Arabian Mate is a mating combination which also utilizes the pairing of the knight and rook where the rook would usually trap the king in the back rank until he is backed up in the corner where the knight would come in to help the rook. I remember a game of Kasparov where there was a line where he could have done a brilliant Arabian Mate against his opponent but which never happened. In that game, he had a rook and knight against a queen, rook, and bishop I think. It was a magnificent game although I forgot who he was playing against in that game. Perhaps, the Arabian Mate is not as rare as it may seem.

6. Reti's Mate
For me, this sequence of moves is truly brilliant and Richard Reti definitely deserves to have this mating pattern named after him for coming up with an elegant chess combination. The game actually starts quite normally with a Caro-Kann until Tartakower makes some mistakes which quickly led to his defeat. Again, as you will see here, the lack of initiative, piece development, and king safety on Black's side becomes his demise and White's piece activity, center control, and superior position made the way for him to dash to victory.

7. Smothered Mate
The mother of all mates - the Smothered Mate. With a single piece, one is able to checkmate the enemy king, which makes it so elegant and so devastatingly cute because this would usually involve sacrificing your own queen in a brilliant mating net in order to deliver mate to your opponent. One can actually consider the smothered mate to be somewhat of a help mate since the opponent's pieces trap his own king and makes him vulnerable to be mated by none other than the knight. Perhaps, one can execute this mate against someone once or twice in his chess life. Also, there are different versions of the smothered mate but all the same, the knight still mates the king. Usually to perform the Smothered Mate, a powerful tool in chess must be used, the double check.

Here is another version in the Budapest Gambit:


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