Checkmate Flashcards: Blackburne's Mate

Jul 14, 2011, 6:11 PM |

If you play d4 as your opening move and are often frustrated by Black's Fianchetto'ed Bishop in the King's Indian or Grunfeld style defenses, you will want to be familiar with this Mate.

Another favorite pattern of mine as it does not use the Queen to cause Checkmate directly, allowing you to sacrifice the Queen like a bomb that rips a hole in the King's defensive wall of pawns.

According to Jeremy Silman the ingredients for this Mate are:

1.  A Black King castled on the Kingside

2.  A Black Rook on f8 (its original square after castling)

3.  Two White Bishops aiming at the King down the a1-h8 and b1-h7 diagonals.

4.  A White Knight on g5.

Here is the Mate in action:














Here is the Mate in a more game like situation:














And now for how it may occur in a game with a Queen sacrifice!





What if Black was wise enough to avoid Blackburne's Mate?




(sorry, the final comment in the game diagram should read "...up a whole piece..." not "...up a hole piece...")  my typing missed the W. 


So the next time you are frustrated by a fianchetto'ed Bishop position keep an eye on Blackburne's Mate!