Dovetail mate (1 move)

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In dovetail mate, a queen checkmates the king. The queen is diagonally adjacent to the king. The king is not on the edge of the board. The two escape squares not guarded by the queen are blocked by its own pieces.


This pattern is also known as "Cozio's mate" after Carlo Cozio, Count of Montiglio and Salabue. Cozio gave an example of this checkmate pattern in his book "Il giuco degli scacchi", which was published in 1766.

This is the position from Cozio's book.
White can deliver Cozio's mate with Qh6+ Kg3 Qh2#.

Today the pattern is most often called "dovetail" mate, as the pattern that the queen, king, and the two blocked escape squares form resembles the tail of a dove.


White can deliver dovetail mate with Qg5#.

Black can deliver dovetail mate with Qe4#.
The queen is protected by the pawn on d5, which also guards the escape square c4. Note that the queen cannot guard c4 in this case, because the pawn on d4 is in the way.

Pattern matching

This pattern can happen if the opponent's king is in front of its own pieces, for example in endgames, or if the king was forced out of its initial or castling position by an attack.

Related patterns are the swallow's tail mate (the queen is orthogonally adjacent to the king) and epaulette mates (the queen is not adjacent to the king).