An Ornament, A Joke and Back Rank Mate

An Ornament, A Joke and Back Rank Mate

The Planet Greenpawn

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An Ornament, A Joke and Back Rank Mate

I’ve picked another one of these...( don’t ask why?)

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Some of you old timers might think you have seen this before.
No, this is a different from the one I showed in Blog Post 380

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When I was taking it home I decided to take a short through the Enchanted Forest
which grows about a mile from my house and I happen to rescue a wee Potato Man.

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He had his foot stuck in a rabbit snare and because I rescued him I was granted one wish.

Of course I said the standard procedure was three wishes. But he replied that Potato Men
can only grant one wish. Which is a bit unfair as I going to ask to be the world’s leading
authority on openings, a middlegame maestro and an expert in the endings. Unbeatable!

So after pondering for about five minutes I decided I was fed being old and asked;
“Could I please have the body of a 20 year old.” and after a wave of his Potato arm.

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There, at my feet was the body of a 20 year old.. Huh!. I left it there and went home.
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Where we dive into a position and screw out all the tactical tricks.

The hard part is knowing when there is a trick on. Recognising that something is there.
That is the time when you must trust your instinct, take your time and analyse what
is in front of you. Once you have enough experience of when to look then you will
find it easier to know what you are looking for. Keep doing the will come.

I stumbled upon this position by chance a few days ago. The player of the
White pieces is Ding Liren (he is our new world champion don’t you know)

Ding Liren - Zhou Jianchao, China 2010 (White to play)

Black has four pawns for a Rook. However in this position the odds favour the Rook.
The Tactical Themes are; Back Rank Mates, Deflection and The Back Rank Pin Trick.
I have made up the last one but you will know it when you see it. I’ll give an example.

robbi - rickgarel RHP 2009 (The Back Rank Pin Trick)

Here is the main position again (to save you flicking up and down I’ll be showing it a few times.)

The weak back rank with White doubled Rooks on the a-file is a clear signal that
now is the time to dig in and see what’s what. Is there anything on? (There has to be.)

‘There has to be’ can only come with experience. You get it by playing and going over
your games looking for missed shots (or shots seen but not confident to carry out) and
solving puzzles online or in books and magazines.. Patterns sink in, ideas are stored.

Ding saw the basic back rank trick 1.Ra8+ Nxa8 2.Rx8+ but then 2...Re8. so played
1. Qh5 which hits the e8 square and Ra8+ is a threat but 1...h6 created luft all the back
ranks tricks were off the board. Ding went on to win but this position was very critical.

Let’s us look yet again at the board mentioning a few crucial details.

The King is in danger (back rank mate) The three critical squares are a8, c8 and e8.
White can give a check on a8 and c8. Ra8+ is possible due to the potential exchange
sac on a8 but the blocking square e8 is double covered by both the Queen and Rook.

The Queen and Knight are stopping Qc8+ but the Knight can be removed with Ra8+
and that just leaves the Queen covering c8 and the Queen is also covering the square e8.
(this is what you after, a hint, a clue, a piece doing double duty. Can this be exploited?)

The Queen is overloaded! deflect her off covering either c8 or e8 and something is on.
We have a Bishop on f1 doing nothing... So by now you should have it. Let’s see it. again.

The ideas are falling into place but it is important you must get the moves in the correct order.
Remove one of the c8 guards, deflect the Queen, force Re8 and then the Back Rank Pin Trick.

In future blogs, as I quite have done a few times in the past add a position to be solved.
Only one every now and then will never be enough. You yourself will have to seek more.

I try to keep my powder dry by doing those in CHESS magazine who usually supply
24 puzzles a month ranging in difficulty. I usually glide though the first 1-12 but after
that I find I have to set up the position up on a board to really dig out what is happening.

Here are the first three ‘ego boosters’ from CHESS August 2022. They are pretty
easy mainly because you know something is on They could very easily be missed.


1.Nf3+ exploiting the weak back rank

1.Rxh7 followed by Qh2

Qh7+ and Knight mates

Here is an RHP game featuring the same pattern as No.3.
McKyla - RobinH RHP 2022

We end with another trip back to that old 2018 blog where a couple of bank mates featured.

Ahmed Gattoo - IrishAce RHP.2017
Black spots White’s Queens sac to give a back rank mate , they prevent it, then allow it.

ragman1940 - sica RHP 2017

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 196968
The Planet Greenpawn
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