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Back rank

The back rank refers to the row on a chessboard where the major pieces (rooks and queen) are placed at the beginning of the game. For white, this is the 1st rank, and for black, it is the 8th rank.

Similar terms: endgame, checkmate, castling, stalemate, rook, queen, chessboard, opening, middlegame, promotion, back-rank, backrank

Why is Back rank important?

The back rank is crucial in chess because it is often the target of back rank mate threats, where a rook or queen can deliver checkmate due to the opponent’s lack of sufficient defense on their back rank.

Examples of Back-rank

A common example of a back-rank situation is when one player’s rook or queen invades the opponent’s back rank, threatening checkmate if the opposing king cannot escape or the attacking piece cannot be captured or blocked.

Variations of Backrank

The term “back rank” itself does not have variations, but the concept can be related to “back rank mate” or “back rank weakness,” which describe specific tactical themes involving the back rank.

Famous examples of Back rank

One of the most famous backrank checkmates occurred in the game between Edward Lasker and Sir George Thomas in 1912, where Lasker delivered a stunning backrank mate after a series of tactical blows.

Related Terms

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