Twin Chariots

The Chariot is the most powerful attacker. Checkmate with two Chariots is rather simple when your opponent has nothing to shield the check.

In Fig 1,Red will checkmate in 3 moves:
1. R9+4   K4+1,   2. R8+3   K4+1,   3. R9-2.

As you can see, Red can choose either Chariot to check on each move. This sequence of attacks with two chariots on different files is given the name “The Chariots’ Shuffle. Red is checking the opponent King successively till the latter is checkmated. We call this combination a Serial Checkmate.   

Fig 2. Please note that if both Chariots occupy the same file, serial checkmate is impossible. For example, after
1. +R+4   K4+1,  -R+4  K4+1,  Red cannot play +r-2 to give checkmate.  Red has to spend a move to shift one of the Chariot to the 8th or 7th file (non checking move) to create a mating threat. But then Black will checkmate him first with R4+1.    2

Fig 3
Here Red’s Chariot on the 4th file is supported by the King to perform the Chariots’ Shuffle.
1. R9+3   A5-4,   2. R4+7   K5+1,   R9-1   K5+1,   R4-2 mate.

Fig 4. 
A lonely Adviser is very vulnerable to double Chariot attack.
1. R2=5   K5=6,   2. R5=4   K6=5,   3. R8=5   K5=4,   R4+1 mate.4

Fig 1
Fig 3
Fig 2
Fig 4

In Fig 5, the formation of Red’s two Chariots does not create the threat of serial checkmate. Red will lose in this endgame.   
However, Black’s A5+6, sacrificing the Adviser is critical. If K6=5 instead, serial checkmate by Red will follow:
2. R1+3   E5-7,   3. R1=3   A5-6,   4. R3=4   K5+1,   5. R+-1   K5-1,   6.R-=5   A4+5,   7.R5+4   K5=4,  8. R4+1 mate.
As you can see, Red is at his wit’s end after R1+3 check

In Fig 6 Red’s front Chariot is one spot forward.  This makes a great difference, enabling Red a 7-step serial checkmate. If Black now answers the initial check with A5+6, Red will capture the Adviser with R1=4 and checkmate in two moves.

Fig 5
Fig 6

Now try to solve the 4 endgame puzzles mentally. You may pause the slide by moving the mouse over it.

Click play the video to check the answers