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# Anastasia’s Mate

Anastasia’s Mate is a great example of how a knight and rook can cooperate to checkmate the opponent’s king on the side of the board.

## Anastasia’s Mate Example 1

The first example illustrates the fundamental idea of Anastasia’s checkmate pattern.

1.Rh3# checkmates the black king against the side of the board. Note how white’s knight is perfectly placed to cover the escape squares.

## Anastasia’s Mate Example 2

Diagram above: White plays 1.Rd8# This variation of Anastasia’s Mate reminds us of the Back Rank Mate. In this case white’s knight covers the opposing king’s escape squares instead of his own pawns.

## Anastasia’s Mate Puzzle

The Anastasia’s Mate puzzle below is from the game Hammer vs. Carlsen, Halkidiki, Greece, 2003. See if you can find the mate in 2 moves.

Note: It is of course much easier to solve a checkmate puzzle if you know what to look for. In a real game you don’t have the luxury of being told that the checkmate is there. However, a good knowledge of checkmate patterns will increase your chances to find such opportunities during your own games.

Solution below:

Diagram above: Carlsen plays 1… Qh5+ and white is forced to capture the queen with 2.gxh5. However, this opens up the 4th rank for black’s rook and allows black to demonstrate a checkmate that is based on Anastacia’s mating pattern.

Diagram above: Black plays 2… Rh4# The point is that black’s knight on e2 covers the escape-square, g1.

### Interesting Note on Anastasia’s Mate

Chess Coach Clark has a collection of actual games that feature Anastacia’s Mate.

This checkmate pattern is very similar to some variations of Greco’s Mate, which features a bishop cutting off the king’s escape-square, instead of a knight.

Anastasia’s Mate got its name from the book “Anastasia und das Schachspiel” (Anastasia and the Game of Chess).