Basic Checkmate, 4. King, Knight & Bishop v King:
Part of the Chess Endgame Guide

Chess Endgame Guide
Basic Checkmates
[4. King, Knight & Bishop v King]

Basic Checkmate
4. King, Knight & Bishop v King
- Overview -

Basic Checkmates - King and 2x Bishops v KingThis image shows an example of the sort of position a King, Knight & Bishop need to take up, to Checkmate a lone King.

Notice the formation of the winning Pieces ... White's King is flanked by the Knight on the outside of the board, while the Bishop on the inside is the piece that makes the attack, which wins the game.

The Role of the King (White's, in this example) is to remain on the same Rank, tracking the movement of the Knight as it makes its way across to the edge of the board (on the Queenside, in this example).

Like in all previous Basic Checkmate examples, the King's other role is to take advantage of the RULE that prevents the Kings from being on adjacent squares. I've likened this to the creation of an INVISIBLE WALL, which helps to BARRICADE the enemy King in, while the other Pieces do the checking and checkmating maneuvers, at the end.

The Role of the Knight is to stay within range of its own King, so it's not captured by the enemy King. The Knight will keep the last square guarded (b8, in this example), preventing the King from escaping the check that results in Checkmate.

The Role of the Bishop is to keep working like a terrier, nipping back and forth to prevent the enemy King from escaping, while gradually shepherding the King towards its Checkmate corner square (a8, in this example). The Bishop is the Piece that makes the check, which results in Checkmate (15. Bc6#).

Basic Checkmate
4. King, Knight & Bishop v King
- ChessFlash Viewer -

Basic Checkmate
4. King, Knight & Bishop v King
- Video Example -

PGN File(s) [+]Show
Video Commentary
  • Move 1,
    [Timeline, 0:13],
    White chooses first to send his Bishop to h7 ... Black's King now only has one option, which is to go to e8.

  • Move 2,
    [Timeline, 0:21],
    Now it's the turn of White's kNight, which drops down to e6 ... Black's King moves left, to d8.

  • Move 3,
    [Timeline, 0:29],
    White's King gets its turn, side-stepping left, to e6 ... Black's K moves one square forward and left, to c7.

  • Move 4,
    [Timeline, 0:38],
    White's kNight is sent forward, to d7 ... Black's King advances to c6.

  • Move 5,
    [Timeline, 0:49],
    White sends his Bishop to d3 ... Black's King returns to c7.

  • Move 6,
    [Timeline, 0:58],
    White's Bishop goes to e4 ... Black's King, once more, occupies d8.

  • Move 7,
    [Timeline, 1:08],
    White now sends his King one square left, to d6 ... Black sends his King in the other direction, to e8.

  • Move 8,
    [Timeline, 1:17],
    Combined with the threat from his Knight, White halts Black's attempted escape from the left hand corner area, by putting his Bishop onto g6, which "Checks" Black's King ... Black gets out of Check, by moving his King back to d8.

  • Move 9,
    [Timeline, 1:26],
    White's Bishop is advanced one square diagonally left, to f7 ... Black further retreats his King, to c8.

  • Move 10,
    [Timeline, 1:35],
    White's kNight drops down to c5 ... Black's King returns to d8.

  • Move 11,
    [Timeline, 1:45],
    White's kNight to b7 is responsible for another "Check" on Black's King ... Black's King retreats to c8.

  • Move 12,
    [Timeline, 1:54],
    White's King continues to advance left, to c6 ... Black backs his King further into the left corner, at b8.

  • Move 13,
    [Timeline, 2:02],
    White, once more, moves his King, now to b6 ... Black attempts to break his King out, by moving it again to c8.

  • Move 14,
    [Timeline, 2:11],
    White cuts of the escape, with his Bishop to e6, which also places Black's King in "Check" ... Black's only escape is to retreat his King, once more, to b8.

  • Move 15,
    [Timeline, 2:18],
    White's kNight is, again, dropped back down to c5, in preparation for its Checkmate contribution, at a6 ... Black's King moves into the corner, for the first time, at a8.

  • Move 16,
    [Timeline, 2:27],
    Notice here how White doesn't go to Check Black's King with the Bishop immediately, but instead, sends that Bishop to d7. It's a move that continues to cut off Black King's escape, while also buying time for White's Knight to get into its last position ... Black's 16th Move is to advance his King, once more, onto b8.

  • Move 17,
    [Timeline, 2:37],
    Now, White's kNight makes its final contribution, at a6, which not only "Checks" Black's King, but also guards a return to b8 ... Black's King is forced back onto a8.

  • Move 18,
    [Timeline, 2:45],
    Finally, White's Bishop makes its attack at c6, "Checkmate".

    White Wins (1-0).

  1. Bh7 ... Ke8
  2. Ne5 ... Kd8
  3. Ke6 ... Kc7
  4. Nd7 ... Kc6
  5. Bd3 ... Kc7
  6. Be4 ... Kd8
  7. Kd6 ... Ke8
  8. Bg6+ ... Kd8
  9. Bf7 ... Kc8
  10. Nc5 ... Kd8
  11. Nb7+ ... Kc8
  12. Kc6 ... Kb8
  13. Kb6 ... Kc8
  14. Be6+ ... Bb8
  15. Nc5 ... Ka8
  16. Bd7 ... Kb8
  17. Na6+ ... Ka8
  18. Bc6#
  19. 1-0

Moving On: Basic Checkmate, 5. King & 2x Knights v. King & Pawn
(Page 6).

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