Checkmate CAN be forced in the following situations:
- Queen vs. King
- Two Rooks vs. King
- Rook vs. King
- Two Bishops vs. King
- Knight and Bishop vs. King
Checkmate CANNOT be forced in the following situations:
- Two Knights vs. King (Checkmate is possible but cannot be forced)
- Knight vs. King
- Bishop vs. King
The conventional wisdom is that learning to checkmate with two Bishops vs. lone King or Bishop and Knight against vs. lone King is so rare they are not worth learning. In fact, Jerry Silman in his excellent book (see Great New Book - Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner to Master ) goes so far as to say:
Bishop and Knight [vs. lone King] might never occur in your whole chess lifetime and is far too difficult to waste your precious study time on.
Well, as Rook has a little time on his hands and is always up to a challenge, I going to try and find out for myself. Can a novice actually learn this forced checkmate? Will practicing this help my game at all? Of course, my rational side agrees with Silman that doing ANYTHING other than this would be a better use of my chess improvement time. I'm sure that is probably true. But I have another motivation. I would really like to pay back Chessmaster 10 by proving to it I can force checkmate against it no matter how much it tries to resist. Sounds like fun - or perhaps complete folly - anyway I'll play with it awhile and let you know what happens.