KBN-K revisited

Published on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 in |

Based on some of the reactions on the three chess lessons about the mating with Bishop and Knight I decided to add an extra lesson about this mate.

The KBN-K endgame will take three steps:

I will try to make it somewhat easier to remember the moves by adding more diagrams in order to clarify a specific position. I will not use the on-line game viewer to replay the moves and only focus on the part about driving the King to the right corner.

About this save corner: it is important to know that the King has to be check mated by the Bishop. Therefor you need to drive the opponent’s King into the corner that is the same coloured square as the Bishop.
If the King escapes to his safe corner then, moving the Knight like a “W” (c7-d5-e7-f5-g7) may be something to remember, the Bishop does not allow Black’s escape to the safe corner and the white King steps towards the winning corner on the 6th rank.

I’ll start with the same position as in the previous driving the King to the right corner lesson.

    It is rather easy to drive the King away from this wrong corner, but therefor we have to place the Bishop on a7 and then he is also almost able to escape to the center if he runs to c8, d8, e8, f7 and f6.

1.Nb5 Kc8 2.Kc6 Kb8 3.Nc7 Ka7 4.Be3+ Kb8 5.Bc5
    This is a very important placement of the white pieces. In addition to the previous lesson I have indicated some of the relevant squares that are taken away from the black King. You can see clearly that the King is captured in a kind of prison.

5…Kc8 6.Ba7 Kd8 7.Nd5 Ke8 8.Kd6 Kf7 9.Ne7
    The white King seems to escape. We’ll have to allow the King to come forward two squares.
This seems to be the most tricky part of the mate. But let’s have a look at the diagram and we can probably predict both Black’s as well as White’s next move.

9…Kf6 10.Be3
    A new prison has been build. Now we will take away the sixt rank.

10…Kf7 11.Bg5
    Black will try to escape to the safe corner.

From White’s point of view: The prison looks rather nice, but if the Knight was placed on h4 or f4, it would be even better.
(The Knight only has to take care of g6.)

11…Ke8 12.Nf5
    By moving the Knight away the Bishop takes care of d8 and now the Knight has to take care of g6 again.

12…Kf7 13.Nh4
    This looks nice (for White). The King will be able to approach.

13…Ke8 14.Ke6 Kf8 15.Nf5 Ke8 16.Ng7+ Kf8 17.Kf6 Kg8 18.Ne6 Kh7 19.Kf7 Kh8 20.Bf4 Kh7 21.Nf8+ Kh8 22.Be5# 1-0

Now that you know how to look at the squares that are and have to be taken away, you may want to look at the original lessons again.

The next lesson will show some very short Scotch games.

Original 5 Responses to “KBN-K revisited”

  1. Blue Devil Knight
    September 10th, 2007 at 5:22 am
    An excellent exposition I wish I had a year ago when I learned this mate!
    (Though I have to say I wish I had used that time differently. I know they say that this is useful for learning piece coordination even if it never comes up in practice, but I think there are equally good (for coordination) but more practical positions to focus on, such as mating with two bishops, or even a single rook).
  2. David K, Seattle
    September 10th, 2007 at 5:59 pm
    good to see you around. i am adding you to my toolbar now, and can thereby check in again along the way, to see how you are doing…
    thank you also for stopping by. the pictures, yes, i accumulate them or select them for indeterminate future use, as distinct from writing posts then having to go find them on the spot, if you will. when my writing is done, i go to my library and simply select or hunt through them for an image to suitable feeling.
    of course, im highly trained in a visual field from long ago in many modalities… which cannot hurt… but, without good readers such as yourself, there is diminished motivation to do so.
    warm regards, david in seattle
  3. Josh Specht
    September 23rd, 2007 at 8:38 pm
    I thought you might be interested in a video I made a while ago that explains how to checkmate with bishop and knight vs. the lone king.
    Here’s the video: http://www.chessvideos.tv/forum/about802.html
  4. Chess Teacher
    September 28th, 2007 at 5:35 pm
    @ Josh Specht
    I like the video. The ability to talk while pointing at the squares makes it probably easier to communicate some of the main ideas of this mate.
    On the other hand I think that the diagrams in my own post make it easier to remember.
    Probably a combination of both lessons is best.
  5. Chess Teacher
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:31 am
    Another method is known as the method of Deletang or Deletang’s triangles and Majnu Michaud has made a nice chess video lesson about this method.

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