Epaulet Mate


Finding checkmates in sharp positions is often not as difficult as widely publicized. Many checkmates are a consequence of the rule that two or more pieces can not occupy the same square in a game of chess.  Yes, sometimes simple, if not ludicrous, statements are where one starts when seeking to snuff out the life of the enemy King.

In the position you see with White to move, Krishnan Sasikiran will have to tip over his King if Kim Steven Yap finds the correct move. Finding the bone crushing move is more about mating patterns than exhaustive calculation here.

Observe that three key escape squares adjacent to Black King(e8,e7,e6) are occupied and are unavailable for the claustrophobed King. The pawn at g7 comes into consideration when trying to find the game ending move. The Bishop, Queen, and pawn form the military term epaulette(shoulder piece) for the f7 King, but being nice and cozy is NOT what the hyperventilating monarch needs at this point in his congested life!

Compare the Black King with the safe, uncramped state of the White King and understand that a badly placed King constitutes a positional as well as tactical feature of the chess game.

Try to find the tactical shot that exploits the aforementioned. The EXCLAM move will either mate or win substantial material. You will find the winning move under the diagram. Hint: Envision the Black King on the f6 square.

Checkmate based on Escape Squares being occupied
Checkmate based on Escape Squares being occupied

Bxf6 or the more wordy Bishop at b2 captures pawn at f6


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