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Corner Mate Examples
Compiled by ChessCoachClark

The Corner Mate is an interesting checkmate pattern where the Knight attacks the defending King and the Rook covers escape/flight squares. One "stopper" is needed directly in front of the King, usually a chessman from the defending side. As mentioned in its name, it occurs in the corner of the chessboard.

I am using the designation for Corner Mate as described in the Wikipedia article on checkmate patterns. Some chess authors use the descriptions given by Eric Schiller. However, what Schiller defines as a Corner Mate is the H-File Mate at Wikipedia. What Schiller describes as the Knight Corner Mate is just a Corner Mate for Wikipedia.

You may decide for yourself what terminology to use. My point is to establish clarity for students and allow them to be versatile with the terminology or consistent with a given preference. Voltaire said that if you want to converse with him, you should first define your terms.

You may choose to follow some teachers and coaches who avoid naming checkmates in the main. It may take a little longer for anyone to recognize the mate you have in mind, but you can explain it well enough to remove ambiguity. Not a problem, really. However, if you *do* choose to use names, then be responsible and considerate about it. You should even recognize that there is a difference between a Bishop and Rook Mate and a Rook and Bishop Mate-- which piece made the final attack on the King?

Also, students should be ready to use mate threats as tactics for several purposes. The Corner Mate threat can force one's opponent to exchange a piece for the attacking Knight, often at a loss. Even the Queen may fall in the face of this type of Knight check!

click for larger view

Tischbierek vs J Levitt, 1987

The White Knight at 30. Nc7+ has made a Discovery Attack-- the Knight uncovers the line of power from the Queen into the Black Rook-- while making check. So, the Corner Mate pattern is used as a threat. The White Queen is now attacking the Rook for an En Prise capture with check. The Black Rook is lost after the Black Queen is forced to capture that Knight in order to sort out the check.

White wins the Exchange for a substantial advantage-- Stockfish 11 within CG at d37 gives the position an evaluation of +11.22. Not the Corner Mate itself, but just its threat in a combination still won the day.

The Corner Mate has also been used as a preliminary tactic for a subse-quent tactic that leads to mate. Often, for the games included below, one needs to look into the continuation to see how the Corner Mate threat was engaged or the mate itself was done. This is often due to the courtesy trend of resigning once the mate is clear to the targeted player.

I have found a multitude of games that apply this mating pattern, but they are not at, yet. Possibly the most beautiful and unusual of the missing games concludes with a position that is both a Double Check Mate and Corner Mate!

Here is that conclusion for you to enjoy:

click for larger view

21. Bxe4 Nxe4
22. Nf7#

Caorlin, Marco vs. Bratteteig, Tore-Inge
London 2010
22 moves 1-0

ChessCoachClark (CCC) originated this game collection and he updates it on occasion. This project is a work in progress, culling games from various sources, including several chess training books and personal research. The games are ordered by date (oldest first), not by importance.

Be well.
Be safe.

King at h1
H E Myers vs D Poliakoff, 1955 
(A04) Reti Opening, 49 moves, 0-1

"Tight" Corner Mate after 70 ... Bxb4 71. Ra7+ Ka8 72. Nc7#
E Torre vs Ribli, 1983 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 70 moves, 1-0

30. Nc7+ has Corner Mate threat winning the Black Rook!
Tischbierek vs J Levitt, 1987 
(C18) French, Winawer, 40 moves, 1-0

King at h1
G Makropoulos vs I Farago, 1988 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 30 moves, 0-1

King at h1
S Zubatch vs S Feldman, 1992 
(B00) Uncommon King's Pawn Opening, 31 moves, 0-1

Corner Mate with King at h1 after 46. Qxd3 Nf2#
S Gorelov vs Shulman, 1995
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 45 moves, 0-1

King at h8
J J Janse vs T Borland, 2001 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 29 moves, 1-0

TACTIC-- Queen takes Knight (continuation); King at h1
G Gajewski vs A Onkoud, 2006
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 34 moves, 0-1

TACTIC-- forces 40. Kxf2 Qxf3#; King at h1
M Micayabas vs D Sharavdorj, 2007 
(C18) French, Winawer, 39 moves, 0-1

King at a1
C MacQueen vs P Rout, 2012
(D85) Grunfeld, 33 moves, 0-1

10 games

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