Endgame essentials: Bishop and Knight Mate

Endgame essentials: Bishop and Knight Mate

robbie_1969
robbie_1969
Apr 12, 2018, 10:04 AM |
1

Why learn to mate with a bishop and a knight, right? The likelihood that you will meet it OTB in a game of chess are pretty slim.  Some players will go through their entire chess playing days and never meet it. The fact of the matter is that it will teach us piece co-ordination and restriction, skills that are required and essential for a much broader range of positions, especially of we are attempting to weave a 'mating net', around our opponents king.

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We construct a 'mating net', 1.Na6+ Ka7 2.Bd5#

After having read various publications and viewed a few chess videos dealing with the subject I was not a little dissatisfied and decided to try to break the subject down into a series of reasonably easy 'episodes', that could be assimilated at any level first of all focusing on the mate pattern itself and then the technique needed to drive the opponent king to the same coloured square as our bishop.  The most difficult aspect in practice is to actually drive the opponents king to the edge of the chessboard by the technique of restriction.  Once we actually get it there its essentially a mater of routine to be able to drive it to a favourable corner and deliver mate.

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 After driving the King to the corner of the board its usually a simple matter of technique

Ok lets get down to business! The first thing we need to master are the mates and we need to be careful that we do not allow a stalemate.  Following is a couple of scenarios, one with white to move first and one with black to move.  Solve these, observe and assimilate the patterns and you are well on your way.

 
Ok lets see what happens when its black turn to move! We need to be careful that we do not fall into a stalemate situation. 
 The Technique
Ok we have mastered both mating sequences, when its both favourable for us and when we need to be careful to avoid a stalemate situation by essentially losing a tempo.  Usually what transpires is that black will run to the corner of the chessboard on the opposite colour of our bishop or attempt to stay in the centre, We first centralise our pieces, use restriction to drive the king to the edge of the chessboard and then he will run to the corner opposite to the colour of our bishop.  From then we can use a solid technique to drive the King to the opposite corner and deliver mate.  Please consider the following.
 
 
Theory+practice=success!
I will put the same scenario in a puzzle position if you would like to try it. Theory+practice=success!  Probably the best thing to do afterwards is to go to a simulator and practice the bishop and knight mate against a computer, once you manage to do it a few times it will become second nature.  The trickiest thing is driving the King to the edge of the chessboard and also to get used to the various corners that he tries to run to, however, its essentially the same pastern and simply a matter of technique.
 
 
There follows a ten minute video presentation of the above material should you be so inclined.  My thanks as ever go to the musicians and artists whose material I have used to make an otherwise rather dry subject, palatable.
 
 
 
 chess, echecs , ajedrez , xadrez , shahmati , szachy , sjakk , schach , schaken , satranj , шахматы , شطرنج