Balestra Mate

The Balestra Mate is a checkmate pattern that features optimal coordination between a queen and bishop. It is similar to Boden’s Mate. The difference is that the latter involves two bishops instead of a queen and bishop.

Balestra Mate Example

Balestra Mate Example 1

Diagram above: 1.Bc6# shows how the white bishop and queen coordinate perfectly to checkmate the black king on the side of the board.

Interesting Note on the Balestra Mate

It appears that the name “Balestra Mate” (performed by a queen and bishop) was first used as a tag on–in order to distinguish it from Boden’s Mate (which involves two bishops). An important observation here is that the case of Balestra Mate, the bishop MUST be the checking piece if the queen has the task to block all escape squares (without the help of the opponent’s own pieces).