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Max Lange’s Mate

Max Lange’s Mate is a checkmate pattern that demonstrates great coordination between a queen and bishop. The checkmate is named after a German chess player from late 19th century, Max Lange.

Max Lange’s Mate Example 1

Max Lange's Mate Example 1

Diagram above: 1.Qg8# demonstrates the Max Lange Mate. Note how white’s bishop covers g6, whilst black’s own pawn obstructs the h6 square.

Max Lange’s Mate Example 2

This checkmate pattern can often be executed as part of a checkmate combination. The example below will illustrate the combination:

Max Lange's Mate Example 2

Diagram above: 1… Bg1 is the only move that leads to a forced checkmate. Note the 1… Qg1+ allows the white king to escape via g3. White is forced to move Kh1.

Max Lange's Mate Example 2b

Diagram above: 2… Bf2+ continues the combination. The placement of the bishop is very important–it needs to cover g3 to prevent the white king’s escape. Now 3.Kh2 is a forced move.

Max Lange's Mate Example 2c

Diagram above: 3… Qg1# completes Max Lange’s Mate pattern.

This short checkmate combination demonstrated in the second example is quite common and it will be useful to study it.