Big Bad Back Rank Blast Off!

Back Rank Mates Tricky, Ms Jessica Martin (aka BoundingOwl)

Back Rank mates can be simple or tricky.  They usually happen when the king has castled but hasn't made any escape square or luft

(Luft means air in German.)

Now, don't get all hyperbolic (crazily exaggerated) on me and say, "Oh, well then castling must be bad."  That's silly.  Castling is usually an excellent idea, like 90% of the time in your games!  But sometimes, your last row can become weak...  Let's see how good you are at identifying a weak back rank.

White didn't make luft.  No good.  How about using a skewer (could also be an X-Ray Tactic) to achieve a back rank mate?

Did you notice how the queen and rook work really well together in a battery?  Now use a pin to make a back rank.  (And sac your queen!) 

If you don't remember these tactics, read the articles listed under tactics!  Great chess players know all these tricks by heart.

Finally, if you were just looking at the following position, you might come up with several good candidate moves.  But did you notice the black king has not made luft?  Back rank possibilities abound!

Nice work!  Using these patterns and combinations you are sure to become a brilliant player very soon.   Which pieces are good at back rank mates?  (queens and...see below)

Ci vidiamo!  (See you later!)