Figure[White to move]

Now let us tilt the pattern we are studying on its side. White has the makings of a discovered attack on the h-file, where his bishop masks his queen. Naturally you experiment with moves that take the bishop out of the way and allow the queen to give check. But before getting too far into the bishop's possibilities, ask what the king would do once checked and whether the bishop might aid in the creation of a mating net. The king is stuck on the side of the board and so could only be moved to g7. The bishop might cut off this possibility with Bf8+. So then what would Black do? Since moving the king would be impossible, he would interpose his bishop on h5. This way if White plays QxB he loses the queen to g6xQ.

Don’t give up, though; always ask what checks would have become possible at the end of the sequence you are considering. Here the answer lies in White’s d6 rook that also is trained on the same sector. Imagine 1. Bf8+, Bh5; 2. QxB+, g6xQ, and now notice that with the g6 pawn moved out of the way, White has a fresh check to offer: Rh6—mate! The rook and bishop operate the same way here as they have in the previous examples; the only difference is that they do it on the side of the board rather than along the top or bottom.

The keys to the position are, first, to be aggressive in imagining 2. QxB, even though on its face it looks suicidal; and, second, to consider how your rook can get in on the act. Once your mind becomes focused on a pattern, such as the business here with queen and bishop, it is easy to forget how your other pieces might be able to rush in and assist once the board has changed a little. Many a sequence is salvaged and then made crushing by adding new, unexpected firepower after the pieces which first start the combination are spent.