Back Rank Interference

After a bit of a dry spell, I’ve taken up studying tactics and openings again, among else by joining They offer you a 30-day diamond membership trial and so far, it looks like I’m going to keep it. I prefer their tactics trainer to ChessTempo because the puzzles are much more straightforward and easier, hence more fun and hopefully more likely to ingrain basic patterns in my brain. I’m also a fan of their Chess Mentor feature and the videos. The layout is crisp yet appealing, and the overall feel of the site is that of a community of mostly novices and intermediate players who are motivated to improve but not overzealously so, which is exactly what I’m looking for.

In today’s tactics training, I came across a classic pattern that I had forgotten about, so I made a gif of it. The two patterns it combines are back rank mate and interference.


In the comments, the Chess Adventurer suggests I explain the concept of interference. (From a previous post:) An interference is a piece sacrifice with the intention of cutting off vital lines or blocking escape squares. In the gif below, White sacrifices the knight with check to disrupt the line between Black’s rook and queen.


In the next gif, White uses his bishop for an interference between two connect rooks, effectively trapping Black’s rook in the White camp:


2 Responses to Back Rank Interference

  1. Thanks for the post. It is certainly an interesting pattern diagram. I think however you might possibly have included a note or two to explain the concept of interfence a bit more.

  2. LaurentS says:

    Isn’t it a combo from a game of Reti’s ? It’s so beautiful !

    As far as tactics training go, I think they’re something to be said for starting with a book. Why ? Simply because the puzzles are usually organized by patterns and difficulty, and I think this organization helps the learning process, compared to online tactics trainer, which work more as tests.

    They’re are many good books like this (Bain, Woolun, Polgar, Seirawan, Chandler…), and if you’re ambitious and ready to spend some time on this fundamental skill, then you could also go through the Steps manuals :

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