Are there 'legitimate' chess positions were say white can force a mate by sacrificing 4 of its pieces in succession one after the other? Can this be done even if white has less material than black?

3 Answers 3


There are many beautiful sacrificial games out there and if you look at composed position you will find even more sacrificial combinations leading to mate. This is one of the most famous games, Anderssen-Kieseritsky from 1851, called "The immortal game":

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 b5 5.Bxb5 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh6
7.d3 Nh5 8.Nh4 Qg5 9.Nf5 c6 10.g4 Nf6 11.Rg1 cxb5 12.h4 Qg6
13.h5 Qg5 14.Qf3 Ng8 15.Bxf4 Qf6 16.Nc3 Bc5 17.Nd5 Qxb2 18.Bd6
Bxg1 {It is from this move that Black's defeat stems. Wilhelm
Steinitz suggested in 1879 that a better move would be
18... Qxa1+; likely moves to follow are 19. Ke2 Qb2 20. Kd2
Bxg1.} 19. e5 Qxa1+ 20. Ke2 Na6 21.Nxg7+ Kd8 22.Qf6+ Nxf6
23.Be7# 1-0

There surely are games out there that concur even more exactly to your specifications, but generally sacrificing pieces to mate the enemy king is a normal occurrence in chess games.

  • 1
    Has there ever been a game where one side say Black , looks like it is losing then Black unexpectedly sacrifices 3 or 4 pieces one after the other to force a mate?
    – 201044
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 4:14

Here is another fantastic game in which Black sacrificed all four minor pieces, almost in succession, in order to get a checkmate! I found it on chessgames.com.

[Title "Glucksberg-Miguel Najdorf, Warsaw Poland, 1929, ‘The Polish Immortal’"]
[FEN ""]
[startply "25"]

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. e3 c6 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Ne2 Nbd7 9. Ng5 Bxh2+ 10. Kh1 Ng4 11. f4 Qe8 12. g3 Qh5 13. Kg2 Bg1 14. Nxg1 Qh2+ 15. Kf3 e5 16. dxe5 Ndxe5+ 17. fxe5 Nxe5+ 18. Kf4 Ng6+ 19. Kf3 f4 20. exf4 Bg4+ 21. Kxg4 Ne5+ 22. fxe5 h5#

Here are some problems where White to play can mate in time only by four sacrifices.

The problems' citations are as follows:

Michael Schreckenbach, Opfer-Opfer-Matt, Apr 2006; 1st Thematic Competition Opfer-Opfer-Matt, 3rd Honorable Mention. P1111480

Baldur Kozdon, Opfer-Opfer-Matt Apr 2006, no 254. P1177452

[Title "Michael Schreckenbach. #6"]
[fen "8/1p1P4/3RPb2/2B1k2K/r1pNp2R/4p3/6p1/8 w KQkq - 0 1"]
[StartFlipped "0"]

1.e7! Bxe7 2. d8=Q Bxd8 3. Re6+ Kd5 4. Re5+ Kxe5 5. Rf4  Kxf4 6. Bd6#

[Title "Baldur Kozdon. #5"]
[fen "k1KN4/pp1p4/6Rp/3pp3/B2B4/6R1/5pr1/2n4q w KQkq - 0 1"]
[StartFlipped "0"]

1.Ra6! exd4! 2. Ne6 dxe6 3. Bc6 bxc6 4. Rb6 axb6 5. Ra3#

4. ... a5/a6 5. R(x)a6#

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