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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.

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!

For instance, here is a very interesting example of the Corner Mate threat being used as a tactic that wins a Rook:

click for larger view

Tischbierek, Raj vs Levitt, Jonathan
Budapest 1987
40 moves 1-0
The diagram is the position after move #30. The White Knight has made a Discovery Attack with check in the Corner Mate pattern. The White Queen is now attacking the Rook for an En Prise capture with check. This game is not available at, yet.

The Corner Mate has also been used as a preliminary tactic for a subsequent tactic that leads to mate. Often, one needs to look into the continuation to see how that mate was engaged. This is often due to the courtesy trend of resigning once the mate is clear.

I have found a multitude of games that apply this mating pattern, but not at 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

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

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

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

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#
Gorelov vs Y 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

9 games

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