The Arabian Mate is a checkmate pattern that features the unique abilities of a knight (horse) with the help of a rook.
Arabian Mate Example 1
The first example shows what the Arabian Mate look’s like in a simplified situation.
Diagram above: 1.Rh7# Note how the white knight defends the rook on h7 and at the same time covers the escape square, g8. This demonstration of the knight’s unique abilities is the main feature of the Arabian Mate.
Arabian Mate Example 2
Wilhelm Steinitz, the first official world chess champion, used this checkmate pattern brilliantly in a game against Reiner, Vienna, 1860. Here’s the position:
Diagram above: Steinitz played 1… Qxh2+, forcing white to capture the queen with their rook. Black loses the queen but for the purpose of clearing the g-file for black’s rook.
Diagram above: 2… Rg1# is a beautiful example of the Arabian Checkmate executed in a high-level game.
Interesting Notes on the Arabian Checkmate Pattern
As for many other checkmate patterns, Chess Coach Clark on chessgames.com also has a useful collection of actual games that feature the Arabian Mate.