Lesson 8 - Checkmate Patterns: The Lethal Kiss Mate
"When your house is on fire, you cant be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in Chess, if your King is under attack you don’t worry about losing a Pawn on the Queen’s side"
- Gary Kasparov
If you do not know what is a checkmate or if you need a refresh, I recommend that you go through the page introducing the checkmate before continuing.
Extramarital affair stories will always cause a lot of ink to flow... well, we even have these kind of stories in chess! You will certainly agree with me that this checkmate pattern's name is quite poetical, but it descibes very well what is happening in this pattern.
The lethal kiss checkmate pattern occurs when the queen is delivering the checkmate on an adjacent square to the enemy king. We can imagine that the queen, being so close to the king, kisses the monarch and gives him death since the game is over. This is not the first time an extramarital affair is ending badly!
Here is an example of the lethal kiss checkmate pattern:
Diagram 8.11 - Lethal Kiss Checkmate
As we can see, the queen is protected by its pawn thus allowing it to give a check really close to the king without being in danger. For a lethal kiss to happen, the king must not be able to escape on any adjacent squares that are not being controlled by the queen. Here is another variant of this pattern (which can also be categorized as a epaulette mate):
Diagram 8.12 - Another Variant of the Lethal Kiss
The deceived king, seeing that his queen's strategy is giving him the victory, is ready to forgive this affair... and sometimes the king is even supporting his queen in this love triangle as we can see in the following diagrams:
Let's now see how a lethal kiss can be delivered in a game:
As we can note from this study, it is not always obvious to find the right moving sequence to deliver a checkmate. One thing is sure though: you can improve your ability to find these patterns by solving chess problem puzzles available in books or on the Internet.
Just so, here are some books containing exercises on checkmates.
Let's continue the lesson with the next page on checkmating a lone king.