Lawnmower mate (1 move)

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In lawnmower mate, a major piece (queen or rook) delivers checkmate on the edge of the board, and a second major piece prevents the king's escape to the adjacent rank or file.


The pattern is called lawnmower mate, because it can resemble the pattern a lawnmower makes on the lawn.

It is also sometimes called "ladder mate", especially if multiple subsequent moves by the major pieces drive the king closer and closer to the edge of the board until checkmate is delivered on the edge, because this looks like the pieces are climbing a ladder.


Black can deliver lawnmower mate with Ra6#. The rook gives check on the a-file, and the king cannot escape to the b-file, which is guarded by the other rook on b8. Note that Ra8 would fail to Bxa8.

Sometimes other pieces can help with the lawnmower mate:

White can deliver lawnmower mate with Rg8#. The bishop on b3 helps by protecting the rook that gives check on the 8th rank. The king cannot escape to the 7th rank, which is guarded by the other rook on c7.

Pattern matching

This pattern happens often when multiple major pieces have access to the king, which usually requires several open files. This happens most often in major piece endgames.

Related patterns

Lawnmower mate

In Blind swine mate, a rook on the seventh rank delivers checkmate to the king on the back-rank. The rook is protected by another rook on the seventh rank.