Eight Checkmates To Remember And Win Fast

by Milica Knezevic on December 22, 2021
Chess Universe

What are checkmate patterns, really?

Grandmasters and professional players have dedicated many years to studying and researching different chess patterns and potential checkmate moves. With their efforts we are now able to chose Eight Checkmates for you to go over and study!

Like the horizontal part of the chess board we have divided the checkmates into 8 subtitles each Checkmate pattern starting with the corresponding letter on the board. Dive deep and enrich your life with even more chess knowledge!

Checkmate is explained as a position in which a player's king is directly attacked by an opponent's piece or pawn and has no possible move to escape the check. The attacking player thus wins the game.

A checkmate pattern is a particular and recognizable arrangement of the pieces that deliver the checkmate. We will explore together eight of them and learn a bit more about how exciting a chess game can really be!

  • The image shows the Checkmate Tower in the Chess Universe game where you get to learn many checkmate patterns!

Learn to checkmate

"In mathematics, if I find a new approach to a problem, another mathematician might claim that he has a better, more elegant solution. In chess, if anybody claims he is better than I, I can checkmate him." - Emanuel Lasker

1. Anastasia's Mate

  • A knight and rook team up to trap the opposing king between the side of the board on one side and a friendly piece on the other. Often, the queen is first sacrificed along the a-file or h-file to achieve the position.

  • It's a variation on the simple Rook-Knight checkmating pattern and mating net with an open h file.


2. Back Rank Mate

  • Happens when a king is trapped behind its own pawn shield and gets mated by a rook or queen.

  • The Back Rank checkmate pattern is proof that your own pieces can sometimes work against you and help your opponent achieve their objective! It is the source of a common tactical idea know as a back rank weakness.

Back Rank Mate
Back Rank Mate
3. Corner Mate
  • A checkmate pattern against an enemy king that is trapped in a corner. The actual checkmate is often executed by a knight.

  • It should not be confused with some other checkmate patterns, for example Anderssen’s Mate, where the piece that delivers checkmate is placed in a corner.

Corner Mate
Corner Mate
4. David and Goliath Mate
  • Characterized by the fact that a humble pawn checkmates the opponent’s king.

  • It is quite possible for a pawn to deliver checkmate, with the help of other pieces and/or pawns though. Although it appears unusual to deliver checkmate with a pawn, it is quite common in actual games.

  • This can happen at any point in the game, however, usually it will occur towards the endgame stage when the pawns are advanced and become a threat to the enemy king.

David And Goliath Mate
David And Goliath
5. Epaulette Mate
  • The Epaulette Mate resembles the visual appearance of a decorative shoulder piece sometimes worn by elite military personnel.

  • When you look at the board set up examples below the name will make a lot more sense. Visualize that the pieces on either side of the king visually resembles an epaulette on the king’s shoulders.

Epaulette Mate
6. Foul's Mate
  • Also know as the 2-move checkmate.

  • The quickest possible checkmate pattern in chess.

  • It is unusual for white to move the f-pawn and g-pawn on their first two moves, but it is still a fairly common occurrence among beginners.

  • Even if the Fool’s Mate might never happen in your own games (though it probably will at some point), it is still useful to know the pattern. This is because the basic pattern in the fool’s mate can be used in other situations too, you can see that in the right example.

7. Greco's Mate
  • The enemy king is trapped in a corner with the help of a bishop. It is a great example of how a rook and bishop can coordinate to deliver checkmate.

  • Greco’s Mate often occurs on either the h-file or a-file. Therefore it is one of the checkmate patterns that relate to other H-file Mates.

8. Hook Mate
  • This is a very useful and instructive checkmate pattern that demonstrates optimal coordination between a rook and knight.

  • The pattern is named after it’s visual appearance that resemble a hook.

  • Knowing this pattern can help you in many situations that outside of playing could never be theoretically seen, but are always a possibility.

Hook Mate
Hook Mate

You now have a starting point for learning checkmate patterns, by using the Chess Universe game feature called Chess Academy! Remember in The Chess Academy there is a Checkmate Tower that will show you on practical examples how certain checkmates are done!

We ventured through the 8 checkmate patterns and hopefully discovered something new about a very old game! Ranging from A to H you can find a checkmate pattern that best suits you style of play, or simply admire what has been discovered over time!

We challenge you to pass all 35 levels in the Checkmate Tower and prove that checkmate patterns can really make a difference by playing our Daily Challenges and exercising your mind with Chess!

If these moves seemed fun and interesting for you , Chess Universe recommends you brush up on your chess rules and overall knowledge of the game, by visiting our previous blog, simply click on the How To Play Chess button below!

1 comment
by Franco on December 23, 2021

:) Nice overview of mating motiffs. i gave a lot of checkmates in my life, still dont know if I didnt get more ;/. Many time people surrender before I can check mate. Ciao, Franco


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