Checkmate Flashcards: Reti's Mate

Jul 25, 2011, 8:25 AM |

In Vienna 1911 the game Reti vs Tartakower saw this mate pattern in action.  It's a little odd.  It's a great example of how to use the opponents own pieces against him!  Some Mates only need the White pieces, but the creative ones use the enemy pieces to block the Kings escape route.  I hope you enjoy this one:

First what the mate looks like, then the game position:














The game position will be put in puzzle format.  Mate in 3:
















After you solve the puzzle go back through the moves to read the comments.  Also it should be noted that if the King tries to escape back to e8 then the Rook delivers Mate on d8 covered by the Bishop:















An interesting Mate indeed.  While I don't think you can build an opening plan with it (like the classic bishop sacrifice, or targets on f7 and h7) it does teach a great deal.  The power of a Double Check!  The danger of a King being blocked in by his own pieces.  How a Bishop and Rook can work together.  When/Why we would sac our Queen for the greater good.  etc.


This pattern and many others I've studied can be found in a great book:  The Complete Book of Chess Strategy by Jeremy Silman.  Buy it today!  I really enjoyed it and learned a lot.  While some complained that it didn't have enough detailed variations, I liked it for its simplicity.  Sometimes knowing the concepts is much better than way too much information.  In games I remember ideas more than multiple variations.  I hope you like it too.