I hope you are familiar with the oldest checkmate ever invented, the Arabian Mate. This fatal attack performs with the knight and rook; as you can see in the diagram below.
The knight is helping the rook in order to perform the checkmate. The rook stands very closely to the black king and the knight blocks its escaping squares.
A similar checkmate could happen with these two pieces as you can see in the diagram below.
Everything looks similar, but it’s not exactly the same because the knight is not helping the rook and a pawn is needed in order to blockade the king’s escape.
Let’s examine the following position, from a game which was played by two leading Soviet Grandmasters. It’s White’s turn, what would you play as White?
This tactical motif can happen in top Grandmaster positions.
Can you find the combination in the diagram below? It’s White’s turn and it’s checkmate in 3 moves. Could you play better than Magnus Carslen?
Here is another position. As you can see, Black’s king is not castled and this usually means that it is in danger. Can you find the best continuation for White?
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In the 10th round of the last Candidates’ Tournament, another world champion finished his game exactly the same way. Can you find the best move in the diagram below?
Can you imagine that in the next round of the tournament, GM Ding Liren, a Chinese Grandmaster, missed the golden opportunity…? Can you play better than Liren? In the diagram below, it is White’s turn.
You can find the solution for these puzzles below:
I hope that you enjoyed this article; if yes, then you are welcome to post a comment below and share it with your friends. 🙂 I also hope you understand this tactical motif and you’ll be able to use it in your own games.