Having both bishops working together on the right squares can be one of the most powerful strategies against your opponent. Inversely, playing against both your opponents bishops on the right squares can be one of the most difficult to play against.
What is Boden’s Mate?
Boden’s Mate is a checkmating pattern using both of your bishops. This mate is generally performed when your opponent castles Queen side with the rook still being next to the King preventing the King from moving to that square when checked by one of the Bishops. The other Bishop moves to prevent the King from moving on that diagonal and the other Bishop covering the other diagonal, resulting in checkmate.
To achieve this position with your bishops, it’s common to sacrifice other material to achieve positioning with your bishops.
A basic example of this mate is shown below.
In this bare-bones example, White’s King is moves next to the Rook after being checked by the light squares Bishop. The dark squared bishop simply moves down to deliver checkmate. The light squares Bishop covers the square next to and above the King.
Boden’s Checkmate is named after the chess player Samuel Standidge Boden in which he achieved this checkmate against George Macdonell in 1869 where it was first recorded. You can go through the game below.
How To Prevent This
When your opponent has both their Bishops, it’s important to be very careful not to put yourself in a trap. Both bishops are tough to go up against. This is why it’s common to trade a Knight for an opponents Bishop early in the game.