Basic Checkmate, 3. King & 2x Bishops v King:
Part of the Chess Endgame Guide

Chess Endgame Guide
Basic Checkmates
[3. King & 2x Bishops v King]

Basic Checkmate
3. King & 2x Bishops v King
- Overview -

Basic Checkmates - King and 2x Bishops v KingThis image shows an example of the sort of position a King & 2x Bishops need to take up, to Checkmate a lone King.

For this to work, the enemy King must be pushed into one of the corner squares (h8, in this example).

The victorious King is used to prevent the enemy King escaping along the flank, taking advantage of the RULE that Kings cannot sit on adjacent squares.

In the diagram (above) imagine there's an INVISIBLE WALL at squares
f7-g7-h7, which help BARRICADE the enemy King on his back rank.

The Bishops cannot protect one another, so they must be moved cautiously, once in enemy territory.

Depending on which corner you trap the enemy King, the Bishop closest to the enemy's back rank will work to close off the final escape square (Be6 closes off the g8-square, in this example). The other Bishop will sit in the Center and directly check the enemy King, for the Checkmate win.

Basic Checkmate
3. King & 2x Bishops v King
- ChessFlash Viewer -

Basic Checkmate
3. King & 2x Bishops v King
- Video Example -

PGN File(s) [+]Show
Video Commentary
  • Move 1,
    [Timeline, 0:15],
    White's King-side Bishop is sent up to h3 ... Black's King, sent to e7, is now trapped within a small triangle of squares in the top-right corner.

  • Move 2,
    [Timeline, 0:24],
    White Queen-side Bishop goes to f4, doubling-up the defence, which keeps Black's King firmly in the top-right corner of the board. This gives white time, on subsequent moves, to bring up his King, to help with victory ... Meanwhile, Black's King goes to f7.

  • Move 3,
    [Timeline, 0:34],
    White now begins the advance of his King, to f2 ... Black's King returns to e7.

  • Move 4,
    [Timeline, 0:44],
    White's King goes to e3 ... Black's King returns to f7.

  • Move 5,
    [Timeline, 0:53],
    White's King advances to e4 ... Black's King goes back to e7.

  • Move 6,
    [Timeline, 1:03],
    White's King is further advanced, to e5 ... Black's King, once more, returns to f7.

  • Move 7,
    [Timeline, 1:12],
    White's King now side-steps, right, onto f5 ... Black's King, clearly hit by some form of OCD, goes back to e7.

  • Move 8,
    [Timeline, 1:19],
    White's King takes a diagonal step up and to the right, onto g6 ... Black's King now makes a break for a different square, ending up on d8.

    Black's desperate to stay out of the top right corner, but is at its legal limits, what with White's Bishops guarding against further progress left.

  • Move 9,
    [Timeline, 1:29],
    White's King tracks left to f6 ... Black's King moves right, to e8.

  • Move 10,
    [Timeline, 1:37],
    White now brings his f4 Bishop up to c7, which further fences-in Black ... meanwhile, Black's King goes one to f8.

  • Move 11,
    [Timeline, 1:47],
    Now it's the turn for White's other Bishop to further restrict Black, at d7 ... Black's King moves to g8, ever-closer to the dreaded corner square.

  • Move 12,
    [Timeline, 1:54],
    White's King moves to g6, cutting off escape down the h-file ... Black's King returns to f8.

  • Move 13,
    [Timeline, 2:03],
    White's c7 Bishop drops down to d6, resulting in the first "Check" (+) of this endgame sequence ... Black's King has no option, but to return to g8.

  • Move 14,
    [Timeline, 2:10],
    White closes in ever more, by sending his d7 Bishop to e6 ... Black's final move is to send his King into the very corner, at h8.

  • Move 15,
    [Timeline, 2:18],
    White seals victory, by dropping his d6 Biahop down to e5.

    White Wins (1-0).

  1. Bh3 ... Ke7
  2. Bf4 ... Kf7
  3. Kf2 ... Ke7
  4. Ke3 ... Kf7
  5. Ke4 ... Ke7
  6. Ke5 ... Kf7
  7. Kf5 ... Ke7
  8. Kg6 ... Kd8
  9. Kf6 ... Ke8
  10. Bc7 ... Kf8
  11. Bd7 ... Kg8
  12. Kg6 ... Kf8
  13. Bd6+ ... Kg8
  14. Be6 ... Kh8
  15. Be5#
  16. 1-0

Moving On: Basic Checkmate, 4. King, Knight & Bishop v. King (Page 5).

Return to the Basic Checkmates Index
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