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Checkmate with the Rook is another checkmate every beginner should know. If we compare it with the checkmate with two Queens VS sole King, the checkmate with one Queen against sole King, and the checkmate with two Rooks against sole King, this is also the most difficult one, that requires very precise play to be achieved.

Here, the way to get to the mate is trickier. However with a good lesson and some practice, you should feel comfortable with the method.

How To Checkmate With The Rook When The King Is Trapped On The Rim

White managed to Checkmate the black King:

  • with an accurate waiting move (Rook to b7).
  • and pushing the black King to the corner.

How to force the opposing King to the side

Now you still should learn how to force the black King to the side. Basically the idea is the same than in a Queen vs King checkmate: you trap the enemy King into a virtual rectangle with your Rook, and with the help of your Rook and your King combined, you manage to narrow the box until the King is trapped to the side.

If your Kings do not face each other before you move, then use a waiting move from the Rook to reach this posiiton.

To sum up what we saw together, to checkmate with a lone Rook, you have to keep in mind the following points:

  • First, trap the King into a box and try to make the rectangle as small as possible
  • When no useful moves is possible with the Rook, try to get your King closer to the action.
  • Learn to recognize when a waiting move should be played with the Rook: when the opposing King is well placed, give him the opportunity to leave that square.

This Checkmate is much more subtle to play, essentially because waiting moves are sometimes necessary. However, the good news is that there is no risk of stalemate in this configuration.

At the moment, you probably know enough about basic checkmates (the checkmate with two Bishops, and the dreaded Knight and Bishop checkmate can be studied later). To increase your efficiency, it is probably time to study the tactical patterns that can help you win material: the Fork, the Pin, the Skewer, etc.

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