Recognise the Pattern # 36 : A Drawing Mechanism with Rook and Knight

I have already discussed few checkmate patterns with rook and knight:
The corner Mate
The Anatasia Mate
The Arabian Mate
The Hook Mate

In this article, we will see a drawing mechanism with rook and knight. Here is the basic pattern:

This is just an educational example to illustrate the power of rook on d7 and knight on f6. Black has many threats at his disposal but White can save the day with Nf6+, which leads to perpetual check.

1.Nf6+ Kf8

If 1…Kh8 then 2.Rh7 is mate.

2.Nh7+ Kd8 3.Nf6+

Not only check, but it also protects the rook on d7.

Now let’s check few real game examples.

Mark Smideliusz (1838) against Csaba Bognar in 2008

Q: It seems that White is going to lose some material here because White’s rook and knight both are under attack. How should he proceed from here?
A: White can save the game with a stunning queen sacrifice:

1.Qxc5!! Qxc5

As Black’s queen has been deflected the knight is no longer a pinned piece and can therefore move.

2.Nf6

The players agreed to draw the game after few more moves.

Diogo Henriques Alho against Luis Galego in 1993

Q: White is a pawn down and his knight is under attack. Black’s last move was …Rc8 and he might have been under the impression that the knight can’t be move because of …Bxf2+, but is this really so?
A: It turns out that this is an illusion as White can move his knight to e4 and can achieve the desired fortress on the next move.

1.Ne4 Rd3

If 1…Bxf2 2. Rxf2! Rxd7 3. Nf6 and 4.Nxd7 leaves White standing better.

2.Nf6+ leads to force draw.

Ashvin Chauhan