The Arabian Mate...by Ms Jessica Martin (aka BoundingOwl)
"Namaste"! (That means "Hello" in Hindi) Today we will learn about the oldest checkmate ever invented (discovered?). A game very similar to chess started in India, probably, in 500A.D. (You and I, despite my being pretty old, were not alive back then. Not even our greatest grandfathers were alive.) The game was called Chaturanga.
Chaturanga means "four divisions": "Infantry," "cavalry," "elephantry," and "chariotry." Can you guess what pieces those terms refer to? Pawns, knights, bishops and rooks nowadays, in that order. So bishops weren't actually bishops, they were "elephants!" The queen wasn't a queen either, she was a "vizier," an advisor to the king.
(The Elephantry. Have you seen Fantasia? Do it now.)
In the 1500's, the Queen of England was like "hey, this vizier thing isn't working for me. The queen should stand next to the king, and she should have boundless power"! And off with her head!
But the queen's boundless power doesn't matter so much here. The king (shah), the rook (chariot), and the knight (horse) are what you need for the traditional Arabian Mate:
Try a mate in two. Notice how the rook and knight work together. This is also called a helper mate.
The last one is nice and tricky for you! Here's a hint: Each move is forcing (check). Ok, and here's another hint: You get to sacrifice your rook on move 2! MATE IN FOUR, ARABIAN STYLE:
Keep playing chess! Until next time...plant a tree!