Little Shop of Horrors...The Venus Fly Trap Mate

Jessica Prescott 1 May 26, 2010 44414 reads
The Venus Fly Trap....Feed Me, Seymour!  By, Ms Jessica Martin (aka BoundingOwl)

Good afternoon chess players!  Today we are going to learn about a very dangerous plant.

The Venus Fly Trap is an especially vicious and amazing plant.  The peculiar flower is carnivorous (eats meat).  It captures flies and other bugs and sucks the juice out of them.  This sort of impolodes my general understanding of the food chain.  Usually animals eat plants.  Well, do  remember the Giant Cassowary from the Swallow's Tail Mate?  Mother Nature is an interesting place.

So, in chess, the Venus Fly Trap pattern occurs in combination with two other tricks:  the discovered double check and the smothered mate.


And the Smothered Mate:



Smothered means "can't breathe".  My mom says she has this picture of me on my first birthday.  And apparently I was super excited about my birthday cake.  Like, really really excited.  So when she set it down in front of me, thunk!  I plopped my face in it!  I don't know where this picture is...but anyway, I absolutely smothered myself in cake.  A smothered king can't breathe because his own army is in his way.

This is NOT Ms Martin.


Let's start with a mate in two and work backwards.  First, sacrifice your queen so the trap snaps shut:




Good!  Now remember that every move will be forcing (checks) in this trick.  Let's go back one move.  Where does the knight go for a discovered double check?



Notice how not just any discovered check will work. Unless the king goes to f1, which we will assume our intelligent opponent simply will not do on purpose.  Bad news bears.  You see the mate of course. 

Here goes a mate in five!!




You just solved a mate-in-five!  How genius are you?  The trap doesn't always eat kings in a real game, but sometimes just the threat of it is enough to be scary and get ahead.

Rent the movie "Little Shop of Horrors" with your parents.  It's about a giant venus fly  trap that keeps growing and wants to eat people.  It's funny and silly and full of songs.  Smother your face in ice cream until next time!