Smothered Mate

White Knight does a solo mate from f7, with opposing Black King entombed at h1 by own pieces and pawns after White’s Queen is sacrificed forcing Black Rook at e8 to capture White’s Queen at g8. “This is the classic form of the smothered mate, with the [Q]ueen sacrifice at g8.” As with most mates where the opposing King is trapped into a corner area on the board, a smothered mate may be applied against White as well along White’s back rank and while very unusual it may be applied against White or Black to the Queenside of the board. Game example from what is believed to be the earliest recorded use of this mate. In the game, White spotted Black a Rook…starting the game without a Rook at a1 (a “Rook Odds” game)! Because certain programs will not properly read pgn/FEN formatting with such a start board because it is considered an “illegal” position, I have included a normal start board for the game instead of using one with the missing Rook at a1.
[Source credit:;
also see The Complete Book of Chess Strategy, IM Jeremy Silman, at pages 169-170


Smothered Mate-Barebones Mating Position






DIAGRAM SM-1B Game Example
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[you may click on a move notation to the right to jump to that move]
Lewis-B.Keen, 18171.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 d6 5.O-O Nf6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Bb6 8.h3 Nxe4 9.Re1 d5 10.Bxd5 Qxd511.Nc3 Qd8 12.Rxe4+ Ne7 13.Qe2 Be6 14.Bg5 Qd6 15.Bxe7 Kxe7
16.d5 Rhd8 17.Ng5 c6
18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rxe6+ Qxe6
20.Qxe6+ Kf8 21.d6 Re8
22.Qf5+ Kg8 23.Ne4 Rf8
24.Qe6+ Kh8 25.Ng5 Bxf2+
26.Kh2 Rae8 27.Nf7+ Kg8
28.Nh6++!! Kh8 29.Qg8+!! Rxg8


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