What is a smothered mate? No it is not what you do to your husband late at night when you just found out he has been flirting with the pretty receptionist where he works. A smothered mate refers to a chess position where the king is literally smothered. This particular type of checkmate is always delivered by a knight since the knight is the only chess piece that can jump over other pawns and pieces. Black has just played Ka8 after a double-check played by white’s Knight. Do you see the smothered mate in 2?