HomePlay ChessTrainingSoftwareTriviaMiscellaneousCommunityContact

Chess Kit Training Tactics The Vulnerable First Rank

Back rank weakness results in material loss or checkmate known as 'Back rank mate'!

Fred Reinfeld calls this as the vulnerable first rank. According to him some of the brilliant combinations ever made have come through exploiting the vulnerable first rank. This happens when the castled King is hemmed in by Pawns in front of him, and his first rank is unprotected by a queen or Rook. Sacrifices look startling, but they become obvious once you are familiar with the weakness which they exploit.

It is very important to understand the reasons for failing to recognize the weakness in time. It is a good idea to discuss this with your chess tutor. Not many players can claim that they never fell for this at any stage in their life.

Back to Tactics page

© 2004 Chess Kit. All rights reserved.