Mating with Bishop and Knight

Published on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in |

Originally this lesson has been published on in 2007, but now all lessons are being moved (and republished) to
The mating with Bishop and Knight is the most difficult of the “elementary mates” and sometimes even takes 33 moves, which is the reason that you can only afford some little mistakes before a draw is reached according to the 50 moves rule.
A lot of additional information regarding this mate can be found on Mostly Chess Tactics in the article about The Bishop and Knight Mate, but I will describe a rather easy method to accomplish the mate here on this site in three articles.
The 'Mostly Chess Tactics' site seems to have disappeared, but a scribd version of 'Understanding the Bishop and Knight Mate' can still be found on the internet.
I agree with Louis Lima (from the mentioned site above) that mastering this mate can help increase the ability to coordinate pieces in general, which makes it rather usefull to study this mate, despite the fact that it rarely occurs in practical play. Furthermore if you lose a game because you have ignored studying the mate you’ll probably regret it.

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.

Mating the King will take three steps:
In order to be able to learn and understand these kind of endgames the end is always a good starting point. If you know the last step, you know the kind of thing you have to accomplish in the previous step. In our starting position the King is captured in a small two-squared rectangle by the Bishop and the King. The Knight is free to move.

Before studying the other two steps it is very important to know this mating moves very well.

The next chess lesson: Driving the King into the right corner.

Original 9 Responses to “Mating with Bishop and Knight”

  1. likesforests
    August 7th, 2007 at 7:14 pm
    I posted a pawn endgame I’m trying to decipher. If you have any insights, they would be appreciated.
  2. likesforests
    August 9th, 2007 at 11:54 pm
    I want to know this mate a little better, so I’ll follow along your series. The first installment is rather easy–mate in four–but we’ll see about the next.
  3. Louis Lima
    August 22nd, 2007 at 7:01 pm
    Thank you for mentioning my article. Funny thing is, recently at a monthly chess session this topic was raised. We sat a randon Knight+Bishop position over the board and none of us could solve it!!
    It’s funny, but at our level (I am rated 1771), it is one of those mates you do need to brush up on the technique ocasionally, otherwise one forgets. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit I probably wouldn’t be able to solve it at this very moment if it presented itself! : )
    PS: I’ll check your short Scotch Games. Does anyone know where I can find annotated games on the Scotch Gambit? It looks like an interesting opening, even if Black can easily transpose into the Two Knights or Giuco Piano.
  4. Chess Teacher
    August 23rd, 2007 at 5:24 pm
    @ Louis Lima
    I like the Scotch Gambit very much and I have planned to publish some lessons about this opening in the future.
  5. Louis Lima
    August 24th, 2007 at 12:55 am
    I look forward your Scotch Gambit games! Do you recommend any source of annotated games on the Scotch Gambit? The only Scotch Gambit game I’ve ever played was through the correspondence site It was a very hairy game, just waiting for me to slip, crash and burn, but I manage to find a good defensive move towards the end (23.Nf5)
    Tender Dragon (1799) – JPT (1710) [C44], 18.01.2007
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 Qf6 6.0-0 Ne5 7.Nxe5 Qxe5 8.f4 dxc3+ 9.Kh1 Qd4 10.Qb3 Nh6 11.Nxc3 0-0 12.h3 d6 13.f5 c6 14.f6 Ng4 15.hxg4 Bxg4 16.fxg7 Qxg7 17.Ne2 Rae8 18.Ng3 d5 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Bxd5 Be6 21.Bxe6 Rxe6 22.Qf3 Qg6 23.Nf5 Re5 24.Bd2 f6 25.Rae1 Rfe8 26.Rxe5 Rxe5 27.Bc3 1-0
  6. Chess Teacher
    August 24th, 2007 at 9:33 am
    @ Louis Lima,
    Tim Harding has written a very nice article about the Scotch Gambit, calleda Glass of Scotch, that contains annotated games.
  7. Louis Lima
    August 26th, 2007 at 12:36 am
    This is wonderful! I just started immersing into this article. Thanks!~
  8. Ohabdgrv
    December 13th, 2008 at 4:13 pm

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