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When a rook or queen moves to his opponent's back rank to attack a castled king, and the king is blocked behind its three pawns in the castle, this usually is checkmate.

Ways to prevent the back rank mateEdit

  • move one of the pawns in front of the castled king up. Move h6 or g6, for example, when playing black, or h3 or g3 when playing White.
  • Move your rook or queen to the back rank to intercept the enemy when it tries to attack you.

In TacticsEdit

SOmetimes, the back rank mate is used as a way to protect a piece. For example, if your rook is attacking a bishop and is positioned on your back rank, and there is an enemy rook or queen on an open file, and your king is locked up in his castle,; then your rook cannot capture the bishop on pain of back rank mate.

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