How To Force King To Edge – Driving the King to the edge

Driving the King to the edge with Bishop and Knight.

In the previous lesssons about this endgame we have seen how to drive the King on the edge to the right corner and how to mate the King with only a Bishop and a Knight. Now we will see how to drive the King to the edge.

In the diagram below the starting position of our pieces is far from optimal and gives us something to do. It will take us a lot of moves before we are able to get Black checkmated.




Another method to drive the King to the edge are for example by means of the Deletang’s triangles. Information about this method and a lot of other information about this endgame can be found on the Endgame category page.

In order to pay more attention to the most difficult parts of this endgame I’ll add another lesson named KBN-K revisited.


How to force King to right corner

How do you force a king to a corner?

how to drive the king to the edge

How do you checkmate king in the corner

How do you force a king into a corner?

How do you checkmate a king in the middle of the board?

How do you checkmate king in the corner


This is the second lesson in the series about the Bishop and Knight mate.
In the previous lesson we have seen how the King could be checkmated with the Bishop and Knight after he has been locked in the right corner. Now we will see how we can drive the King into the right corner after he has been driven to the edge.

Let’s start with a position in which the opponent’s King is in the wrong corner. Now we have to drive the King to the other edge. It is important to realize that with a black squared Bishop the Knight has to be the piece to take away the white squares starting with a8.


If you have a subscription to, Jesse Krai has a nice video on this position. His mating method is slightly different:

1. Be3 Ka8 2. Kc6 Kb8 3. Nb5 Ka8 4. Nc7+ Kb8 5. Bf2 Kc8 6. Ba7 Kd8 7. Nd5 Ke8 8. Bd4 Kf7 9. Nf4 Ke7 10. Kc7 Ke8 11. Bf6 Kf7 12. Bg5 Ke8 13. Kd6 Kf7 14. Kd7 Kf8 15. Ke6 Ke8 16. Nh5 Kf8 17. Be7+ Kg8 18. Kf6 Kh7 19. Kg5 Kg8 20. Kg6 Kh8 21. Ng3 Kg8 22. Nf5 Kh8 23. Bd6 Kg8 24. Nh6+ Kh8 25. Be5#

I think that the section about

8.Kd6 Kf7 9.Ne7 Kf6
The white King seems to escape
10. Be3 Kg7 11. Bg5 Kf7 but now he has been locked up again. The white King has to move to e6, but will first move to d7.
12. Kd7 Kg7 13. Ke6 Kf8

is dealing with this tricky part.

Which (better) moves of the opponent should also be considered?

10…Kg7 is inferior to 10…Kf7, and 15…Kf8 is inferior to 15…Kd8. I felt 15…Kf8 was wrong, so I looked it up. I always practice against a perfect opponent–Nalimov or Rybka (when they miss a “tricky” line, I hand-feed that in).

“is dealing with this tricky part.”

Oh, you do cover it, and so do others. I just wish someone would explain it in a way that was easy to remember. You see, when I don’t practice this mate for a couple months this transition is the only step I struggle with. chesslectures spent a little more time on this step, which made it easier to learn, but still hard to remember. Perhaps I will check Mueller’s advice on this mate.

I also don’t feel my “knowledge of coordinating the bishop and knight” went up significantly by learning this, although that’s often cited as the primary reason to learn it. Heck, I even studied K+N+N vs K+P. ;-)

I agree that 15…Kf8 is inferior, but I thought that the line with 15…Kd8 16.Bb8 Ke8 17.Bc7 Kf8 18.Nf5 Ke8 19.Ng7+ Kf8 20.Kf6 Kg8 21.Kg6 Kf8 22.Bd6+ Kg8 was just more of the same.

Some of the patterns are difficult to describe. You feel that there is a pattern, but what are the rules to follow?

I’ll add an extra lesson to visualize the part you found most difficult.

The mentioned article of Louis Lima gives a lot of additional information.


That article by Louis Lima that you pointed to in your first article and again today looks very nice. I also found some interesting ideas in Fundamental Chess Endings… Mueller suggests the knight should move in a “W” pattern while chaperoning the king from the wrong to the right corner. Cheers.

Mating With Bishop and Knight

The mating with Bishop and Knight is the most difficult of the “elementary mates” and sometimes even takes 33 moves, which is the reason that you can only afford some little mistakes before a draw is reached according to the 50 moves rule.
A lot of additional information regarding this mate can be found on Mostly Chess Tactics in the article about The Bishop and Knight Mate, but I will describe a rather easy method to accomplish the mate here on this site in three articles.

I agree with Louis Lima (from the mentioned site above) that mastering this mate can help increase the ability to coordinate pieces in general, which makes it rather usefull to study this mate, despite the fact that it rarely occurs in practical play. Furthermore if you lose a game because you have ignored studying the mate you’ll probably regret it.

It is important to know that the King has to be check mated by the Bishop. Therefor you need to drive the opponent’s King into the corner that is the same coloured square as the Bishop.

Mating the King will take three steps:

  • Driving the King to the edge
  • Driving the King into the right corner
  • The actual mating

In order to be able to learn and understand these kind of endgames the end is always a good starting point. If you know the last step, you know the kind of thing you have to accomplish in the previous step.
In our starting position the King is captured in a small two-squared rectangle by the Bishop and the King. The Knight is free to move.



Before studying the other two steps it is very important to know this mating moves very well.
The next chess lesson: Driving the King into the right corner.


I posted a pawn endgame I’m trying to decipher. If you have any insights, they would be appreciated.



The first installment is rather easy–mate in four.


(I am rated 1771), it is one of those mates you do need to brush up on the technique occasionally, otherwise one forgets. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit I probably wouldn’t be able to solve it at this very moment if it presented itself!


Does anyone know where I can find annotated games on the Scotch Gambit? It looks like an interesting opening, even if Black can easily transpose into the Two Knights or Giuco Piano

I like the Scotch Gambit very much and I have planned to publish some lessons about this opening in the future.I look forward your Scotch Gambit games! Do you recommend any source of annotated games on the Scotch Gambit? The only Scotch Gambit game I’ve ever played was through the correspondence site It was a very hairy game, just waiting for me to slip, crash and burn, but I manage to find a good defensive move towards the end (23.Nf5)

Tender Dragon (1799) – JPT (1710) [C44], 18.01.2007

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 Qf6 6.0-0 Ne5 7.Nxe5 Qxe5 8.f4 dxc3+ 9.Kh1 Qd4 10.Qb3 Nh6 11.Nxc3 0-0 12.h3 d6 13.f5 c6 14.f6 Ng4 15.hxg4 Bxg4 16.fxg7 Qxg7 17.Ne2 Rae8 18.Ng3 d5 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Bxd5 Be6 21.Bxe6 Rxe6 22.Qf3 Qg6 23.Nf5 Re5 24.Bd2 f6 25.Rae1 Rfe8 26.Rxe5 Rxe5 27.Bc3 1-0

Tim Harding has written a very nice article about the Scotch Gambit, calleda Glass of Scotch, that contains annotated games.

KBN-K revisited

Based on some of the reactions on the three chess lessons about the mating with Bishop and Knight I decided to add an extra lesson about this mate.

The KBN-K endgame will take three steps:

– Driving the King to the edge
– Driving the King into the right corner
– The actual mating

I will try to make it somewhat easier to remember the moves by adding more diagrams in order to clarify a specific position. The game however can not be replayed on-line and only focuses on the part about driving the King to the right corner.

About this save corner: it is important to know that the King has to be check mated by the Bishop. Therefor you need to drive the opponent’s King into the corner that is the same coloured square as the Bishop.
If the King escapes to his safe corner then, moving the Knight like a “W” (c7-d5-e7-f5-g7) may be something to remember, the Bishop does not allow Black’s escape to the safe corner and the white King steps towards the winning corner on the 6th rank.

I’ll start with the same position as in the previous driving the King to the right corner lesson.

FEN: 1k6/8/1K1N4/6B1/8/8/8/8 w KQkq – 0 1

It is rather easy to drive the King away from this wrong corner, but therefor we have to place the Bishop on a7 and then he is also almost able to escape to the center if he runs to c8, d8, e8, f7 and f6.

1.Nb5 Kc8 2.Kc6 Kb8 3.Nc7 Ka7 4.Be3+ Kb8 5.Bc5

xk2xx2/xxNxx3/2K5/2B5/8/8/8/8 b – – 9 5

This is a very important placement of the white pieces. In addition to the previous lesson I have indicated some of the relevant squares that are taken away from the black King. You can see clearly that the King is captured in a kind of prison.5…Kc8 6.Ba7 Kd8 7.Nd5 Ke8 8.Kd6 Kf7 9.Ne7

8/B3Nk2/3Kx1x1/4xx2/8/8/8/8 b – – 17 9

The white King seems to escape. We’ll have to allow the King to come forward two squares.
This seems to be the most tricky part of the mate. But let’s have a look at the diagram and we can probably predict both Black’s as well as White’s next move.9…Kf6 10.Be3

8/4N3/3Kxkxx/4xxx1/8/4B3/8/8 b – – 19 10

A new prison has been build. Now we will take away the sixt rank.10…Kf7 11.Bg5

8/4Nk2/3Kxxxx/4xxB1/8/8/8/8 b – – 21 11

Black will try to escape to the safe corner.From White’s point of view: The prison looks rather nice, but if the Knight was placed on h4 or f4, it would be even better. (The Knight only has to take care of g6.)

11…Ke8 12.Nf5

3xk3/3xx1x1/3Kxx1x/5NB1/8/8/8/8 b – – 23 12

By moving the Knight away the Bishop takes care of d8 and now the Knight has to take care of g6 again.12…Kf7 13.Nh4

3×4/3xxk2/3Kxxxx/6B1/7N/8/8/8 b – – 25 13

This looks nice (for White). The King will be able to approach.13…Ke8 14.Ke6 Kf8 15.Nf5 Ke8 16.Ng7+ Kf8 17.Kf6 Kg8 18.Ne6 Kh7 19.Kf7 Kh8 20.Bf4 Kh7 21.Nf8+ Kh8 22.Be5# 1-0


Now that you know how to look at the squares that are and have to be taken away, you may want to look at the original lessons again.

The next lesson will show some very short Scotch games.

An excellent exposition I wish I had a year ago when I learned this mate!

(Though I have to say I wish I had used that time differently. I know they say that this is useful for learning piece coordination even if it never comes up in practice, but I think there are equally good (for coordination) but more practical positions to focus on, such as mating with two bishops, or even a single rook).

  1. of course, im highly trained in a visual field from long ago in many modalities… which cannot hurt… but, without good readers such as yourself, there is diminished motivation to do so.
  2. I thought you might be interested in a video I made a while ago that explains how to checkmate with bishop and knight vs. the lone king.Here’s the video:
  3. I like the video. The ability to talk while pointing at the squares makes it probably easier to communicate some of the main ideas of this mate.
    On the other hand I think that the diagrams in my own post make it easier to remember.
    Probably a combination of both lessons is best.Another method is known as the method of Deletang or Deletang’s triangles and Majnu Michaud has made a nice chess video lesson about this method.

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