The Elephants and Advisers can occupy at most 3 spots in the Palace. More often than not, Smothered Mate is due to the King’s awkward position or his own attackers (Chariot, Cannon, Horse) adding congestion to the palace. The following pages display various formations of Smothered Mate that may happen in real games:
The palace rooftop is seldom safe for the King’s repose.
Checking could also be served by say a Cannon-Pawn duo.
Note that the Black Chariot is not only blocking the King, but also damaging the linking of the Elephants to cover the base line.
A Pawn instead of the Red Chariot, can do the same job if it has reached the B41 spot (the ‘Elephant Eye’).