I understand the process for how to checkmate once in this position:

[fen "7k/8/5K2/5B2/5N2/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]

But I need a technique for reliably getting into that kind of position from, say, here (or any other arbitrary position), while under time pressure (I understand it isn't analogous because different color bishop, but, you know, the idea):

[fen "8/8/8/8/4k3/8/8/2B1KN2 w - - 0 1"]

A lot of the things I look up (e.g. Wikipedia) will list moves, but those seem specific to the initial position and aren't a strategy to apply generally.

  • 2
    The method I like to use is simply do the W maneuver in the middle of the board. It works almost as well for pushing the opponent king first towards the side of the board, then pushing it back.
    – koedem
    Jan 30, 2022 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


The technique is basically to use all three pieces to push the black king to the edge of the board. The king and knight move "slowly" and you should not leave either one behind. Black's objective is to try and keep the king as close to the center as possible and then to prefer the corner of the opposite colour to the bishop rather than the closer to the center of the edge because that is closer to the wrong colour corner.

Your first objective is to get your king to the center (one of e4, e5, d4, d5) when, by definition, your opponent's king has to vacate the center.

From your position it could go something like this:

[fen "8/8/8/8/4k3/8/8/2B1KN2 w - - 0 1"]

1. Ke2 Kd4 2. Ng3 {don't leave the knight behind and don't block your own king or bishop} Kc4 3. Ke3 {The black king is nearer the a file than the 8th rank. Encourage it in that direction} Kd5 {Staying as close to the center as possible} 4. Bb2 {a better diagonal for the bishop, controlling center square e5} Kd6 {Success! The black king can't stop the white king going to a center square on the next move} 5. Ke4 {First goal accomplished} Kc6 6. Nf5 {Don't leave the knight behind} Kc5 7. Be5 Kc6 (7...Kc4? {allows white's next pushing the black king closer to the edge} 8. Bd4! Kb5 9. Kd5) 8. Kd4 Kb6 9. Kd5 Kb7 10. Kc5 Ka7 11. Kc6 Ka8 12. Nd6 {don't leave the knight behind and get ready for the "W" to drive the black king out of the "wrong" corner}

The triangle method


provides a simpler method over the w method. Of course, the best answer is to practice until you can do this in your sleep.


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