Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Mate by castling
Over four years ago, I published a game where I administered checkmate by capturing en passant. Here I deliver another very rare form of checkmate: mate by castling. This appears to be comparable in rarity to mate by en passant. The only other examples of it that I've been able to find are P. Morphy-A. Morphy, New Orleans 1850, and Kvicala-NN, Prague 1875. The famous game Ed. Lasker-Thomas, London 1912 is not an instance of this, since Edward Lasker in that game chose to play 18.Kd2# rather than 18.0-0-0#. Nor, it appears, is Prins-Day, Lugano (ol) 1968, despite the score of that game given at chessgames.com, which shows the game ending with 31...0-0-0#. According to Day, the winner of the game, who should know, the game actually ended after 28...Qe4+. He writes, "And my opponent resigned, unwilling to investigate 29.K-B6 Q-B4+ 30.K-N7 Q-N3+ 31.K-R8 and Black has a choice of absurd mates." Raymond D. Keene (ed.), Learn from the Grandmasters, p. 108. Mate by castling is thus sufficiently rare that I have been unable to find an example of it occurring in the entire 20th century!