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Hook Mate Examples
Compiled by ChessCoachClark
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Vladimir Vukovic showed two versions of a particular kind of Knight and Rook checkmate pattern in his book, THE ART OF ATTACK IN CHESS, Chapter 4: Mating Patterns, under "Typical Mates with Enemy Pieces," page 72. It was not labelled with a name there, but several chess writers have identified it as the Hook Mate. IM Vukovic declares it to be "a typical mating pattern well worth remembering." I have managed to use it in OTB play and like to introduce it to students as well.

One version of the Hook Mate, which I think of as a slash/swoosh, as given by IM Vukovic, is as follows:


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Here is the other version, which seems to resemble a sickle or question mark (without the dot at the bottom), as provided by IM Vukovic:


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I use <QM> for designating the first version and <SW> for the second version of the Hook Mate in the titles for games listed below. Note that the Pawn could be on either diagonal "behind" the Knight (away from the opposing King). This point is significant because the SW and QM versions differ only by the positioning of this Pawn.

This game collection is a project in progress. Games are listed in date order, not in order of importance.

QM-- Classic example of the Hook Mate
Marshall vs W Napier, 1898 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 52 moves, 1-0

Hook Mate if continuation: 36. ... Rf6 37. Rh8+ Kf7 38. Rf8#
Janowski vs Schlechter, 1899 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 36 moves, 1-0

IV-- Continuation: 34. Kxg1 Rf1+ 35. Kh2 Rh1#
Kholmov vs W Pietzsch, 1965 
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 33 moves, 0-1

Hook Mate neither in the corner nor at the edge of the board
P Van der Sterren vs Ljubojevic, 1987 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 37 moves, 1-0

QM-- Two protectors for supporting Knight
Pavasovic vs T Fogarasi, 1994 
(B40) Sicilian, 37 moves, 0-1

SW-- Alternate 46. Nfg6+ Kh7 47. Rh8# Hook Mate with N support
Seirawan vs L Christiansen, 1997 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 55 moves, 1-0

QM-- Continuation for Hook Mate toward the Center
R Rubenchik vs Ashley, 2000 
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 30 moves, 0-1

SW-- Common version of the Hook Mate
E Amigues vs Krum Georgiev, 2002 
(E92) King's Indian, 37 moves, 1-0

SW-- White King supports the Knight
S Williams vs J Critelli, 2003
(A16) English, 46 moves, 1-0

QM-- Classic example of Hook Mate
G Danner vs J Fletcher, 2005 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 27 moves, 1-0

SW-- Continuation 41. Re3 Rf1# results in a Hook Mate
M M Kazhgaleyev vs Judit Polgar, 2007 
(E71) King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3), 40 moves, 0-1

SW + QM-- Three continuations for Hook Mate; one by the Queen!
I Nepomniachtchi vs I Salgado Lopez, 2008 
(C11) French, 45 moves, 1-0

QM-- Mate in corner continuation: 57. Kh2 Ng3 58. Bd2 Rh1#
Svidler vs Gelfand, 2009 
(A28) English, 56 moves, 0-1

IV-- Distant Rook protects the Knight
P Cramling vs Hector, 2010 
(D17) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 54 moves, 0-1

IV-- Distant Bishop protects the Knight
T Goutali vs O Lima, 2010 
(B06) Robatsch, 17 moves, 1-0

TACTIC 36...Bxf8 37 Ng5+ Kg8 Royal Fork wins Queen for free!
Navara vs M Goodger, 2012 
(A81) Dutch, 36 moves, 1-0

If 40. ... Bxg7 41. Rxg7+ Rg6 42. Rxg6# mate away from corner
Ivanchuk vs Aronian, 2013 
(A36) English, 40 moves, 1-0

17 games

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