Question on Pillsbury Mate

I got a question from one of my newsletter readers about this position, which is in Newsletter #64, Pillsbury D’oh!

Black to move


The answer I gave is:

15…Rxg2+ sets up the Pillsbury mating pattern. 16.Kh1 Rg1+ 17.Kxg1 Qg8+ 18.Bg6 Qxg6+ 19.Qg4 Qxg4#

The key move is really 16…Rg1+ No points if you didn’t see this followup move :-)

Jay writes:

Why not 16…Rg3 followed by a bishop mate? Same results.

My response:

If 16…Rg3 then white can block the check with 17. f3 and black is losing.

The real power of 16…Rg3 is that it is a double discovered check, so White has to use the King to get out of check, and then doesn’t have time to mount a defense.  Playing Rg3 is too slow, and not as powerful a check. 

This is a great mating pattern to know!

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