How many times have you
had a setup like this, with the Bishop and Rook staring at your opponent's
King, and not figured out what to do? The chance to deliver Pillsbury's
mate comes up all the time, but beginners usually don't know how to do
it right. The trick is to open the g file, but also to
not let Black close the long diagonal. So on the second move here,
White must sacrifice the Rook on g8, otherwise Black will
play f6 and defend himself.
Here is what the final position looks like.
Notice how the Bishop takes away all the escape squares from the Black
King, and how Black's own pieces keep him trapped.
Here is a variation
on Pillsbury's mate in which White doesn't have to sacrifice anything.
Most beginners would just grab the Rook and be happy. But there's more
here than a good exchange. The answer is below the diagram. Keep it off
the screen and see if you can find the mate in three.
Did you see it? Would you
be able to see it in a game?