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Vukovic Mate Examples
Compiled by CoachTatiana
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Vladimir Vukovic showed an essential and particular kind of Knight and Rook checkmate pattern in his book, THE ART OF ATTACK IN CHESS, Chapter 4: Mating Patterns, under "Typical Mates without Enemy Pieces," pages 66-67. It was not labelled with a name there, but several chess writers honor IM Vukovic by naming this pattern after him. This position would result from the moves given in the text by IM Vukovic:


click for larger view

(The White King is placed at a random position; IM Vukovic didn't include it in his initial diagram, which was the starting point for the Arabian Mate and this mate.)

This kind of Rook and Knight mate is not an Arabian Mate. Further, the name Arabian Mate should not be applied to the Hook Mate. I have compiled a game collection on the Hook Mate as well: Game Collection: Hook Mate Examples.

There should be a formal, technical name for this mating position, but "Vukovic Mate" is more colorful and easier to remember for the Royal Guards Chess Club members, so I prefer to use this moniker.

Similarly, I prefer Pandolfini's use of "Rook Roll" rather than the more mundane and yet proper Double Rook Mate. (My younger club members irrepressibly smile when I use a giant chess set with a tablecloth "board" and then watch me literally roll it up as the mating net proceeds!)

This kind of checkmate intrigues me, so I chose to start a collection of games for studying it. Of course, the games are most likely to need continuations to see the Vukovic Mate, since modern players resign when the game is nearly lost.

The games are listed in chronological order, oldest first. However, the Saravanan vs Sasikiran game (which IS included in this collection) is the archetype for most Internet citations (without being identified). Continuation in that game gives us this diagram:


click for larger view

The Vukovic Mate may be expressed in several forms, although in every case, the "victimized" King, friendly Rook and friendly Knight are contiguous and in a straight line, with the Rook directly against the opposing King. Someone needs to protect the Rook, then. A Pawn, Bishop, Queen or King could be its protector, as well as a distant Rook or a second Knight in certain cases. Further, there may be two or more protectors for the Rook (i.e., the Spassky - Larsen 1968 continuation has both the friendly King and a Pawn aiding him). Here is its diagram:


click for larger view

For brevity, the header for each game will indicate the color and type of the protector for the Rook ("multi" for two or more of them) to eliminate the need to say Knight and Rook and their colors. Further, the game actually ended with the Vukovic Mate, unless "Continuation" is given.

At one point, I thought that the earliest Vukovic Mate was Moeller - Jonsson, Gothenburg 1901, 38 moves, 1-0, which is not in this website's database. However, the Staunton - Williams game of 1851 far precedes it. Of course, there could still be a predecessor out there.

This is a work in progress, so I'd appreciate your suggestions for additional games and other information about this checkmate pattern.

All the best to all, always.

The Black King directly supports his Rook for the Vukovic Mate.
Staunton vs E Williams, 1851 
(A13) English, 78 moves, 0-1

SIDEWAYS IN CORNER Vukovic Mate! Bishop protects Rook
G Ferenczy vs Charousek, 1897 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 37 moves, 0-1

Vukovic Mate in the corner; Pawn protects Rook
Alekhine vs Cercle de la Rive Gauche, 1925 
(C00) French Defense, 36 moves, 1-0

Black Pawn
G Katz vs H Steiner, 1946
(A51) Budapest Gambit, 44 moves, 0-1

Black Bishop supports the Rook
D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956  
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 41 moves, 0-1

White Pawn
S Lancel vs M Bain, 1963
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 84 moves, 1-0

Attacked King at a8 Corner; Black Pawn
E Rinder vs E Ladanyike-Karakas, 1967
(C01) French, Exchange, 57 moves, 1-0

Continuation: 52. ... f1=Q 53. Rf7#; White multi
Spassky vs Larsen, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 52 moves, 1-0

White King
E Torre vs Ljubojevic, 1976 
(B33) Sicilian, 43 moves, 1-0

White Pawn
Miles vs F Trois, 1979 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 68 moves, 1-0

Black Pawn
A Muir vs S R Burns-Mannion, 1987 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 39 moves, 0-1

Black Pawn
V Meier vs Bagirov, 1991 
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 50 moves, 0-1

Continuation: 80. Kf1 Ne3+ 81. Ke1 Re2#; Black Pawn
V Saravanan vs Sasikiran, 1999
(B10) Caro-Kann, 79 moves, 0-1

Black Pawn
S Collins vs N Sulava, 2000 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 45 moves, 0-1

White Pawn
A Gunnarsson vs L Knutsson, 2000 
(C45) Scotch Game, 61 moves, 1-0

White Pawn
M Perunovic vs I Blasko, 2000 
(C10) French, 47 moves, 1-0

White Pawn
S Svoboda vs K Ruckschloss, 2000
(B07) Pirc, 40 moves, 1-0

White Pawn
Vaganian vs M Lodhi, 2000
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 40 moves, 1-0

SIDEWAYS AT EDGE Vukovic Mate! White King protects Rook
P Danek vs S Hanuliak, 2001
(A43) Old Benoni, 68 moves, 1-0

Black King
O Iljushina vs I Zakurdjaeva, 2001 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 44 moves, 0-1

White Pawn
N Zhukova vs A Sharevich, 2004
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 66 moves, 1-0

Black Pawn
S Foisor vs P Malysheva, 2005
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 74 moves, 0-1

White King
M Godena vs T Warakomski, 2005 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 58 moves, 1-0

Black Pawn
O Korneev vs M Rivas Pastor, 2005 
(C16) French, Winawer, 59 moves, 0-1

Vukovic Mate in the corner; Bishop protects the Rook
Akobian vs I R Ibragimov, 2006 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 38 moves, 0-1

White Pawn
J Cox vs A Baruch, 2010
(A25) English, 47 moves, 1-0

Black Bishop
F Ynojosa Aponte vs P Makepeace, 2010 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 54 moves, 0-1

White King
A Kholopov vs A Matsenko, 2011 
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 45 moves, 1-0

White King
C Peptan vs I Ionica, 2011 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 73 moves, 1-0

Continuation 42. Rd1 Rg2# results in a Vukovic Mate with Rooks
J Aagaard vs A Ismagambetov, 2012 
(C45) Scotch Game, 41 moves, 0-1

SIDEWAYS AT EDGE Vukovic Mate! Black King protects Rook
T Gueci vs A Balaian, 2013
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 40 moves, 0-1

31 games

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