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Features

July 3, 2014

Mating combinations require proper moves

In this week’s position, it is black’s turn to move and checkmate white in three moves. In doing so, black exploits white’s back rank vulnerability. With this hint in mind, please try to find black’s three-move mating line.

Black’s bishop seals white’s king to the back rank, as it controls the vital g2 square. The g2 square — or its counterpart, the g7 square — are typically sensitive squares that if dominated by the enemy create mating lines. This control allows black to strike first with rook to d1 check.

White is forced to take the black rook with its c1 rook. Black’s queen then captures white’s rook on d1, checking white. The only defense to immediate mate is for white to block the queen check with its queen.

Black’s queen captures white’s queen, mating white. This mating combination was born out of black’s positional superiority. Black controlled key squares next to the opponent’s king. Black’s queen penetrated white’s position and supported its centrally located rooks. The lesson is that mating combinations are both born and made.

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