Beginner: Checkmates

  • NM Alexander King
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  • Beginner

Learn basic checkmate patterns and get started winning games!

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  • Back Rank

    Now we're going to start learning some basic checkmate patterns. The first one is called the BACK RANK checkmate. The back ranks are the 1st and 8th ranks - where the kings usually are. When the king has castled (especially kingside) it can sometimes be trapped behind its own pawns and easy to checkmate. Let's take a look...
  • Pawn Mate

    This position is a common endgame checkmate. White has two pawns and they are both very close to promoting. Black can stop them both with his king, but he's going to get trapped.
  • The Uncastled King

    Now let's look at a VERY common checkmate pattern against a king that has not castled yet. The f2 / f7 squares are naturally very weak (because only the king protects them), and sometimes a checkmate is possible on these squares!
  • The Castled King

    We learned in the last lesson that f2 / f7 are the weakest squares when the king has not castled. However, when the king has castled short, the weak square changes. This is because after castling, f2 / f7 is protected by a rook. So h2 / h7 become the weakest squares.
  • Mating Net

    The more pieces you have near your opponent's king, the more likely that you will be able to checkmate. When your pieces take away all of the king's escape squares, it is called a MATING NET.
  • Arabian Mate

    The ARABIAN MATE is a very common checkmate pattern using only a rook and knight.
  • Rook Roller

    The ROOK ROLLER is a common checkmate pattern using two rooks. One rook cuts off all the squares on one rank, and the other rook cuts off all the squares on another rank.
  • Two-Move Checkmate

    Now we're going to learn about a slightly harder kind of checkmate - the TWO-MOVE CHECKMATE. This is where you make a move, and then no matter what your opponent does, you have a checkmate move in response. Usually the first move is a check, although it doesn't have to be. Let's look at an example.
  • Checkmate Test - Part 1

    Time for a CHECKMATE TEST! Now you can use all the knowledge you have learned about how to checkmate.
  • Checkmate Test - Part 2

    This is the second part of the checkmate test.

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