The Queen nestles up snuggly, next to the King
Behind her, the Rook shuts the door
The Knight seizes upon his opportunity
To seal the King’s fate, evermore
Through the open window, the Knight, he spies
The King, cornered and exposed in his room
Bending his bow, the Knight looses a bolt
Thereby making the King’s chamber a tomb
A King now lay naked as the day he was born
Except for that single arrow, through his heart
The Queen in cahoots and the Knight’s fine aim
The King was quite clearly doomed from the start
©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell
Author’s Note: “Smothered mate” is a chess tactic, whereby checkmate is achieved through a Queen sacrifice. The Queen moves in between the Rook and the King (in the case in the picture above, this happens on the G8 square; although this can also occur on the other side of the board, as well).
Since the King is in the corner, behind a row of pawns, there’s no legal move except to capture the Queen, with the Rook.
The King cannot capture her, because there is a Knight in place, making it an illegal square for the King to move into. After the Queen is captured, the Knight moves again and it’s checkmate; the King has been “smothered”, unable to move because he is trapped on all sides, by his own pieces.
This makes for a clear parallel with an old school assassination plot, as might occur in Game Of Thrones… and did occur in a great many places, throughout history.
This piece will be in the new book of dark poetry, Out On The Killing Floor, coming soon.
The image is the property of Chess.com