Simple but Often Overlooked: The Arabian Mate
Welcome to what I hope will be an interesting collections of posts about our mutual hobby – chess.
Although I have played chess since I was a teenager, I was poorly schooled in chess tactics until recently – in part, thanks to the tactics trainer on chess.com. Learning more about basic checkmates is an area where most players can improve. One checkmate, in particular, has caught my attention: the Arabian mate.
The mate is simple, sometimes so simple that it’s not discovered during a game, particularly a blitz when time pressures mount as the clock advances quickly. In a recent online blitz tournament game, I completely missed it and when instead to grab the opponent’s queen in a knight fork.
For the traditional Arabian mate, all that is needed is a rook and knight when the opponent’s king is a corner of the chessboard. The knight defends the rook, while the rook gives checkmate to the opponent’s king as illustrated below.
In the online blitz game, I saw a discovered check that could be created if I moved a knight to attack the opponent’s queen. After 23 moves, the board position is as illustrated below. See if you can find a mate in 1.
What I missed was the opportunity to end the game with an Arabian mate. Although I had plenty of time on the clock (4:44) remaining for a 10-minute game, I rushed my move and jumped the knight on g6 to e5 to capture the opponent's queen on d7. Keeping the knight in place on g6 and protected by my queen, I should have moved the rook to h8: Checkmate! Oh well, I hope I have learned my lesson and will be more vigilant next time.