A checkmate pattern is a particular and recognizable arrangement of the pieces that deliver the checkmate. You can further improve your chess tactics skill by studying all the different checkmate patterns that commonly occur in chess games.
List of Checkmate Patterns
- 2-Move Checkmate (Fool’s Mate)
- 4-Move Checkmate (Scholar’s Mate)
- Anastasia’s Mate
- Anderssen’s Mate
- Arabian Mate
- Back Rank Mate
- Balestra Mate
- Blackburne’s Mate
- Blind Swine Mate
- Boden’s Mate
- Corner Mate
- Corridor Mate
- Cozio’s Mate (Dovetail Mate)
- Damiano’s Mate
- David and Goliath Mate
- Epaulette Mate
- Greco’s Mate
- H-file Mate
- Hook Mate
- Kill Box Mate
- Lawnmower Mate
- Légal’s Mate
- Lolli’s Mate
- Max Lange’s Mate
- Mayet’s Mate
- Morphy’s Mate
- Opera Mate
- Pillsbury’s Mate
- Railroad Mate
- Reti’s Mate
- Smothered Mate
- Suffocation Mate
- Swallow’s Tail Mate (Gueridon Mate)
- Triangle Mate
- Vukovic Mate
The set of checkmate patterns below are the ones most likely to occur during the endgame stage of the game. Learning these endgame checkmates is an important part of improving your endgame technique.
- Checkmate with King and Queen
- Checkmate with King and Rook (Box Mate)
- Checkmate with King and Bishop
- Checkmate with King and Knight
- Checkmate with King and Two Pawns
- Checkmate with Queen and Knight
- Checkmate with Queen and Bishop
- Checkmate with Queen and Rook
- Checkmate with Queen and Pawn
- Checkmate with Rook and Bishop
- Checkmate with Rook and Knight
- Checkmate with Two Rooks
- Checkmate with Two Bishops
- Checkmate with Two Knights
- Checkmate with Bishop and Knight
Learn the Names of Famous Checkmate Moves
It is a good idea to learn and memorize the names of all the essential checkmate patterns. Why? Because knowing the name of a checkmate pattern helps embed in your mind what the particular pattern looks like. This may in turn help you identify possible opportunities in your games that you otherwise may have overlooked.
How Famous Checkmate Patterns Got Their Names
The best checkmate moves in chess, or famous checkmate patterns, are usually named either after the first person who executed the pattern or after the visual appearance of the mating pattern. In some cases their is another reason as to why the mating pattern was named after the name of a chess player. Morphy’s Mate is an example of this.
Morphy’s Mate is a theoretical checkmate pattern that might have appeared in one of Paul Morphy’s game, but never actually did! This causes some confusion as to why it’s named Morphy’s Mate, particularly because Morphy is also known for a few other famous checkmate moves.
Diagram above: Morphy’s Mate is a theoretical checkmate pattern where the enemy king is trapped behind his own pawn and cut off to the side of the board with a rook. A bishop then delivers the checkmate.
Tail Mate (or Swallow’s Tail Checkmate)
Some checkmate patterns are named after its visual appearance. The swallow’s tail mate is an example of this.
Diagram above: The swallow’s tail checkmate pattern is named after the visual appearance of the “swallow’s tail” behind black’s king that also prevents the king from escaping.
More Checkmate Patterns
This page is a fairly comprehensive list of checkmate patterns. You may also enjoy going through the lists of checkmate patterns on other chess websites:
In the 7 Skills Chess Training Model, Checkmate Patterns fall under: