Back Rank Mates and Chess Stamps

Back Rank Mates and Chess Stamps

The Planet Greenpawn

Back Rank Mates and Chess Stamps


“There are two kinds of chess player - those that have been back rank
mated and those that are going to be back rank mated.” Russian proverb.

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No amount of reading, studying or prior warnings will suffice. You
will only learn the Back Rank lesson when it has happened to you.

Here are some of the lucky RHP 400+ players who all got their lesson in 2018.

Kelvin101 - r0ttie1 RHP 2018


Black thinking only of attacking f2 played 18...Qh4


White of course played 19. Rxe8 checkmate.

caldon65 - beardmusic RHP 2018


Black can play 19....Qxe1+ 20.Qxe1 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Bf5 and Black is looking good.


Instead Black played 19....Qd5 20.Re8 checkmate.

This next one is a real tale of woe.
Butterhorn - Big Dick RHP 2018


If you thought the last game should have been in the ‘Hal of Doom’ No. It’s this one.

powlusr - StephenGeorgeSr RHP 2018


Here a trick worth knowing. Black checks to create the back rank mate

Busetta - Dan Ragatz RHP 2018


First Black plays 1...Qe2+ 2. Kg1 and then the double whammy 2...Qe1+ and Rxe1 Mate.

We will see that trick used again in this last game. But fear not 2019 will furnish
us with more examples. There are still players out there not yet back rank mated

“There are two kinds of chess player - those that have been back rank
mated and those that are going to be back rank mated.” Russian proverb.

Britannicus - Russell Mcsharry RHP 2018

green pawns

Last time out we saw a Medieval ‘Stipulation Problem’ this was greeted with cries
of ‘please do another!’ so once here we are, once again the composer is unknown.

This one has it’s instructive moment and should improve King endgame play.

White to play and win....


...The Rook is only allowed to move once

Other than that normal rules apply, the Black King cannot move into check.

(solution at the end.)

green pawns

It is now time to look at a few irregularities in Chess Stamps.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Capablanca’ s birth Cuba issued
a stamp with a rather neat study on it. The stamp says it is Capablanca
(White) v Lasker But I know of no ending like this between these two.

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The solution is as follows.

And this one from the Central African Republic.

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They have the pictures of Larsen and Petrosian mixed up.

Again the Central African Republic have made slight mistake.

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The position on the Steinitz stamp is from Spassky - Smyslov, Bucharest 1953.
The position on the Spassky stamp is from Zukertort - Steinitz, America 1866.

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OK. But if I’m arrested then you know who to blame.

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Ahem... Quickly moving on (that by the way is chess stamp pun.)

The Paraguayan stamp is at least imaginative. Look what Holland gives us.

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That one needs improving.

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green pawns

The ‘Stipulation Problem’ Solution.
White to play and win....


...The Rook is only allowed to move once

Back onto stamps. The Maldives have issued Carlsen - Caruana stamps.
Soon their World Champion match starts in London (the 9th November)

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The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 179094

Posted to The Planet Greenpawn

Show Comments (2)
Comments (2)

  • Posted 35 days 6 hours and 41 minutes ago
    Subscribermoonbus
    PS I have since seen your other post re Berlin 1914, exhibition games. Capa was reputed to be almost invincible at rapid chess. This may be why Lasker felt he was the challenger in the 1921 match.
  • Posted 36 days 9 hours and 33 minutes ago
    Subscribermoonbus
    Might the Cuban stamp be Capablanca vs Ed. Lasker?
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