HomeLearn to Play ChessImprove Your GameChess HistoryChess for FunChess Blog

Some common themes.

No. 1

The White Rook checks the Black King. Of the five squares to which the King might move, two are controlled by the White Rook, one is controlled by the White Pawn on f6, and two are blocked by Black pieces. It's checkmate.

No. 2

The White Queen, protected by the White Bishop, checks the Black King and controls all squares where the King might move. It's checkmate.

No. 3

The White Knight checks the Black King, which is surrounded by its own pieces. This is an example of a smothered mate.

No. 4

The White Queen threatens to checkmate on a6 or b7. Black can delay this by at most one move. It's mate in two.

No. 5

The White Queen threatens mate at h7. Black can prevent this only by sacrificing the Queen for the Knight.

No. 6

This is another example of a smothered mate. The White Rook pins the Black Pawn, which is prevented from capturing the White Knight.

No. 7

The White Bishop on h7 checks the Black King and is protected by the White Knight on g5. The Black Bishop on b2 covers two escape squares and the other two escape squares are blocked by Black pieces.

Click here to see the preceding moves.