P-3 (Checkmate with two Bishops)

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King and two Bishops versus King

3. Unlike queen and rook, bishop is not a linear piece; it can move only diagonally – and only along the squares of the same colour. Since bishop cannot control adjacent squares on the same file or rank, one bishop is not sufficient for mating purposes. However, two bishops win easily. The winning plan is the same as in the previous example. By a coordinated action of bishops and king, the available space of the enemy king will be systematically reduced, until it is driven into a corner. Then the decisive mating attack will follow. White’s king will play a “leading role” – occupying space and spear-head its “units”.


Key positions:

9.Bd3. Filling in the gaps on the diagonal a1-h8 and definitively preventing the escape of the enemy king.
12.Bc7. Closing off the path to the queenside and preparing a future mate on h8.

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GM Vlatko Kovacevic

Vlado Kovacevic is a chess grandmaster and an endgame expert. He very successfully competed on the national team. From 2000 – 2004, he acted as selector of the Croatian Men’s national team. He is also a well-known chess author.