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Nice Checkmate in a Game at September Knights Quest

By Jeff Caveney

Miranda Liu won clear 1st place in the Under-600 section at Knights Quest #45 September 20, with 3 wins and a draw for a total of 3.5 points. She also demonstrated excellent technique by finishing off the end of her 3rd round game in fine style:

Position:
White: King f2, Rook c7, Rook d6, pawn c3
Black: King b3

Experienced players have no problem checkmating with two rooks, but the pawn on c3 can actually be annoying and make it harder to find a quick checkmate: The Black king can hide behind it on c2! It's easy to get frustrated and make a mistake when this happens. Of course White could just push the pawn and make a queen, but that increases the risk of stalemate and it is not the quickest way to checkmate.

Miranda impressively found the best and quickest way to checkmate in this situation:

When Black played ...Kc2 she used her king to take away the "hiding squares" c2 and c1 from the Black king:

1. Ke2! Kb3
2. Kd2!

Now that the hiding squares are controlled, Miranda is free to use her two rooks to checkmate the Black king on the b-file and a-file:

2 ... Kb2
3. Rb6+ Ka3
4. Ra7 checkmate.

Well done Miranda, and congratulations on an excellent performance and 1st place result!

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