Smothered Mate

Smothered Mate is a situation in which a player’s King is in check and no allied piece is available to parry the check. Moreover. the spots surrounding the King are all (or mostly) occupied by allied pieces. Those pieces are in effect making up the enemy Interception Force.

Fig 1
Smothered Mate by a lone Cannon occurs quite often in real games. Here, Red C2+7  wins at once.

Fig 2.
Black’s poor King is surrounded by three own pieces. H2+3 or H2+4 wins immediately by smothered mate.  

Fig 1
Fig 2

Fig 3
Though the black King is only blocked by his own Chariot in front, Red R8+7 delivers smothered mate.

Fig 4
Red P6+1 gives smothered mate as the King’s escape is blocked by his own Adviser on the left and the Horse behind.
Of course, Red may choose to win by P6=5, but that is Royal Checkmate.

Fig 3
Fig 4

Fig 5
This is an example of a typical smothered mate-in-two:
1. C2+7    A6+5
2. P4+1
smothered mate as the Pawn is supported by the red King.

Fig 6.
1. H2+1    C6-2
The central Adviser is pinned down by the opponent King.
2. H2-4
A discovered check and the Horse immobilises the Cannon, rendering it a “dead carriage” for the attacking Cannon.    

Fig 5
Fig 6

Now try to solve the 6 endgame puzzles mentally. You may pause the slide by moving the mouse over it.

Click play the video to check the answers.