In this lesson you'll learn about the BACK RANK MATE.

It's a CHECK along the side of the board from which the enemy King can't escape.

Sometimes the King can't escape because his own pieces are in the way.

Sometimes the King can't escape because other enemy pieces are stopping him escaping.

Sometimes it's both.

In this position the White Rook is CHECKING the Black King.

Notice how the three Black Pawns stop the Black King escaping.

There's no way out. Black cannot RUN AWAY, CAPTURE or BLOCK the CHECK.


In this position there are no Pawns to stop the Black King escaping.

But instead, the other White Rook is placed so that the Black King can't escape.

Again, there's no way out. Black cannot RUN AWAY, CAPTURE or BLOCK the CHECK.


Have a look at this position.

It looks as if the Black King can escape by moving to h7.

But look at that White Bishop. He's stopping the Black King moving there.

So again it's CHECKMATE.

Sometimes a Knight can stop the King escaping. See how the White Knight controls the f7 and h7 squares.

Can you find a way out? I don't think you can.

Again, the Rook delivers CHECKMATE.

Even a humble Pawn can control two squares and help the Rook or Queen deliver CHECKMATE.

In this example you see the White King stopping the Black King from escaping.

Don't forget that two Kings can never stand next to each other.

This shows how you can get CHECKMATE with just a King and a Rook.

Look carefully at this position.

This is also CHECKMATE.

The White Queen stops the Black King going to e7.

And the White King stops the Black King going to f7 or g7.

All these positions work equally well on any side of the board.

Here the Black King is CHECKMATED on the h-file, not on the back rank.

So when you remember these positions don't forget that they can be rotated and reflected.

But be careful not to get too excited if you think you've seen a CHECKMATE.

Here you have to make a choice: should you move your Queen to a1, c1 or e1 to get CHECKMATE?

At first it looks like it doesn't matter. But if you look more closely you'll see that Black Rook on a8.

Moving your Queen to a1 would be a disaster! Not only would it NOT be CHECKMATE: you'd lose your precious Queen as well.

Instead, moving your Queen to c1 or e1 would be CHECKMATE.

Every game you play, look at EVERY CHECK to see if it's CHECKMATE.

But be very careful. Make sure he can't RUN AWAY, BLOCK or CAPTURE.

In particular, make sure he can't CAPTURE the piece you're CHECKING him with. Make sure he can't capture it either with his King or with any other piece.

When you're playing KASPY and FISHY at low levels you should be able to win a lot of games using the BACK RANK MATE. Look especially at how you can CHECKMATE with two Rooks or a Queen and a Rook.

You might even be able to PROMOTE a Pawn and get CHECKMATE with two QUEENS!!

That's the end of the lesson.

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