A model mate, to recall, is a mate where

  • a) any flight (including the standing place) of the enemy king is attacked exactly once;
  • b) no friendly piece (except king and pawns) idles around.
  • c) (Complicated) Exemptions are made for pins.

Just for fun, an own game as example:

[FEN ""]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c6 4.b3 Bf5 5.Bb2 Nbd7 6.d3 h6 7.O-O e6 8.c4 Bc5 9.Nbd2 O-O 10.Qe1 Bh7 11.e4 dxe4 12.dxe4 e5 13.Qe2 Re8 14.Nh4 Qb6 15.a3 a5 16.Rab1 Bd4 17.Rfd1 Nf8 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Qd3 c5 20.Nf5 g6 21.Nh4 N8d7 22.f4 g5 23.fxg5 hxg5 24.Nf5 Bxf5 25.exf5 Ne5 26.Qf1 Nfg4 27.Re1 Qh6 28.h3 Ne3 29.Qe2 g4 30.h4 Nxf5 31.Ne4 Ne3 32.Bh1 Ra6 33.Nxc5 Rf6 34.Ne4 Nf3+ 35.Bxf3 Rxf3 36.Qd3 Rxe4 37.Qxe4 Rxg3+ 38.Kf2 Qf4+ 0-1 (39.Qxf4 Rg2# model)

I now look for the game with most pieces in the end position. (I'm willing to bet it's the Immortal Game, 23 remaining pieces.)

  • 4
    Are you accepting random online games or artificially crafted games or would you like to see official tournament games or even master games?
    – Hauptideal
    Jan 31, 2023 at 22:38
  • At the same time, a model mate is (by definition) an economical mate, and inactive mating-side men are a drawback. A (theoretical) model mate with inactive K and 8 Pawns .... well, may be considered a technical model mate, but is extremely unlikely to be viewed as an economical mate: the 'mattbild" (mate image?) can almost certainly be reduced to be less heavy. On the other hand, you are looking for 'most heavy' model mates, which is rather like asking for ... well, the most 'fraggy' or 'gibby' kill by means of a rapier.
    – user30536
    Feb 1, 2023 at 6:49
  • 1
    @user30356: Indeed, but problemists are notoric trolls, and so for example Pachman (not the GM) pulled off a stunt quite comparable to the answer by Hauptideal. (Can't find it at the moment.) Feb 1, 2023 at 9:18
  • @HaukeReddmann I would be surprised if it wasn't an extremely similar mate. I can prove mathematically, that a bishop needs to give check on an adjacent square, be protected by a rook; the other bishop also needs to be adjacent to the king and protected by a rook. The knights are most "heavily" used when they each only control 1 of the remaining flight squares and the queen will also control one remaining flight square. By working this out, I found my solution.
    – Hauptideal
    Feb 1, 2023 at 12:07
  • @Hauptideal: To add insult to injury, the Pachman mate happened on the border (also somewhat frowned upon in Bohemian school). He didn't use all pieces, naturally, he just wanted to show some "uneconomic models". Feb 2, 2023 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


Here is a nice game I played in the Austrian attack against the Pirc defense with White. Counting pawns as pieces here, there are 32 remaining pieces!

        [FEN ""]
        1. e4 {Best by test} d6 {The Pirc defense} 2. d4 {the best move} Nf6 {theory} 3. Nc3 {theory} g6 {theory} 4. f4 {the Austrian attack is on the board!} Bg7 {theory} 5. Nf3 {theory} Nc6 {The first rare move, but my opponent cannot get me out of book that easily!} 6. Be3 e6 {another rare move} 7. Be2 Ne7 8. h3 b6 {still following Tzermiadianos-Nikolaidis} 9. O-O {the first novelty} Kd7 {does my opponent want to troll me?} 10. Qe1 Kc6 11. Qg3 Neg8 12. f5 Nh6 13. e5 Bb7 14. Rad1 Qd7 15. Bg5 Rad8 16. d5+ Kc5 17. Bd3 Rhe8 18. Nd4 Nhg8 19. Nc6 a5 20. Ne7 Kd4 21. Qh2 a4 22. Nb1 a3 23. Rf3 Ba8 24. b4 Bb7 25. b5 Ba8 26. c4 Bb7 27. c5 Nh6 28. Be3# {a beautiful model mate}

You may potentially have noticed, that this game might not have been played in a serious tournament ;) This is because I did not only play White but Black as well, as you didn't specify in your question which game source you accept.

Therefore, I consider this a totally valid answer that cannot be beaten!

It took me some time to compose. In the solution process, I proved that each heaviest model mate needs 8 participating pieces (pawns are excluded), and requires a promotion (which in turn requires a capture, reducing the number of stones on the board). Therefore, there does not exist an even more heavier/beautiful model mate (as measured by participating pieces) in the set of heaviest model mate games (as measured in the total number of pieces + pawns at the end of game).

Edit: In the proofs, I didn't consider any pin exemptions, but only what I got as a definition from Hauke's question.

  • Accepted for cleverness and chuzpe, but "64 pieces" seem to be alternative facts, please edit ;-) Feb 1, 2023 at 9:12

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