Mate with Bishop and Knight: My Tips (+ Video)
Thinking man

Mate with Bishop and Knight: My Tips (+ Video)

FM michechess89

Hello my friends. Some of my pupils have been asking me about the “Basic” Mate with Bishop and Knight. Today we are going to study this endgame. I made a video explaining the plan I like to use, and giving some tips that might be helpful.  

Two big problems

There are two great obstacles around this mate:

  • You need to know how to give it if you want to win.
  • You need to know how to give it in less than 50 moves if you want to win.

(It sounds like the same, but it is not the same 😁)

The plan

I divided the plan in three different steps, I hope this way to understand and explain this mate is clear:

  • Step 1: Activate and coordinate your king and minor pieces.
  • Step 2: Take the king to the wrong corner (the one with opposite color to the bishop).
  • Step 3 (you should memorize this step): Take the king to the right corner and give mate. To get this, control square by square with bishop and knight over the last rank or file.

A small anecdote

I remember a game in a rated blitz tournament, where I had a winning line, but in that line I should give mate with bishop and knight. I avoided that variation, because I was not sure I was going to be able to do it and I thought a draw was not a good result… then I blundered and lost that game. I had less than 1 minute in the clock; of course that makes things much harder.


The Video: Explained example of mate with bishop and knight


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If you are not a professional player don’t worry too much about this mate, probably you won’t see it very often in your games. But if you are serious about chess, and have been struggling with this mate, I hope this post and video help you to finally get it.

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More about endgames:

Practical Endgames

An Endgame Expert