How to Attack with the Queen and Knight

How to Attack with the Queen and Knight

Piece interaction is one of the fundamental aspects of the game that every player needs to master. A beginner player faces questions like How to use different pieces together. How to attack and checkmate with the Queen and Knight? The answer is to combine the individual power of the pieces and the knowledge of patterns.

The beauty is that we can see the idea of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ in action when pieces combine forces to work as a team.

The game contains a large number of possible piece team-ups. Each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Through experience and analysis, players know that some combinations of pieces are more dangerous than others.

One such combination is the Queen and Knight. The long-range action of the Queen combined with the tricky movement of the Knight make it a powerful team. This team can penetrate defenses and deliver Queen Knight checkmates.

In this article, we explore this interesting piece combination of Queen and Knight in chess.

The Attacking Team of Queen and Knight

What makes the Queen and Knight team so powerful is the combination of the powers of the Queen and Knight moves.

The Knight can act as a support for the Queen to go in and attack the enemy position. In another instance, the Queen can act as a piece that complements the Knight to restrict the enemy King or even deliver checkmate.

An attack with the Queen and Knight is powerful when the opponent’s king is exposed.

Let’s take a look at the following position.

Black has a battery along the h2-b8 diagonal and the pawn on g3 is under attack.

In this position, the Black side has a Queen and Bishop whereas the White side has a Queen and a Knight. Black has a battery along the h2-b8 diagonal and the pawn on g3 is under attack.

Both Kings lack pawn cover and are exposed to attacks. However, at first sight, it looks like Black has the initiative and should be able to generate a winning attack on the chessboard.

But a look at the evaluation shows that White is winning!

The attack along the diagonal is not dangerous at all. The White Queen and Knight combine forces to produce a deadly attack against the Black King before the Black pieces can rearrange to coordinate better.

White starts the attacking operation by bringing the Knight into play.

45. Ng5 Bxg3+
46. Kg2 Be1

Now it is White’s turn to attack. After some moves, we reach the following position

47. Qxd4+ Kg8
48. Qd5+ Kh8
49. Qf7 Qg3+
50. Kf1

How to Attack with the Queen and Knight

The Black Queen and Bishop surround the White King but the Queen is perfectly in a position to stop any mating ideas. At the same time, Black is powerless to stop the mate without avoiding significant loss of material.

How Does The Queen Move

The Queen moves linearly along files, ranks, and diagonals. It can move any number of squares in any direction. In short, the queen combines the power of the Rook and Bishop.

The diagram highlights all the squares accessible to the Queen.

How Does The Queen Move

From the position, any square that the arrows touch is a legal queen move in chess.

How Does The Knight Move

The Knight in chess has a unique movement. The following diagram highlights all the squares accessible to the knight.

How to Attack with the Queen and Knight

All the possible knight chess moves in the position are:

Knight moves to c3, b4, b6, c7, e7, f6, f4, and e3.

The Knight can jump over other pieces as well. So, if in the previous diagram, there was a piece on b5 then the Knight can jump over the piece and reach b4.

Can A Queen Move Like a Knight?

So, can the queen move like a knight as well? The answer is no. The only chess moves that the queen cannot do is the moves of a knight.

That means the Queen cannot jump over other pieces like the Knight.

This makes the powers of the Knight a unique bastion upon which no other piece can infringe upon.

Suppose the Queen could also move like a Knight then it would be an overwhelmingly powerful piece. Some players ask why is the Queen in chess powerful. It’s strong, but not quite as strong as an all-powerful piece.

We are lucky that we don’t have an all-powerful piece in chess. Having such a piece would make all other pieces weak. It would take a significant effort by other pieces’ chess moves to overcome the effects of such a piece.

How to win the Queen vs Knight endgame?

When it comes to a battle between the Queen and Knight, the stronger piece overpowers the the weaker one. The unique chess moves of the Knight can’t save it from the overbearing power of the Queen.

The plan for the side with the King and Queen is as follows:

  1. Use the King and Queen together to corner the enemy King.
  2. Being aware of potential forks.
  3. Be patient and make small progress at each turn.

The defending side has to avoid moving the Knight far away from the King. If the Knight moves far away then the Queen can double-attack the King and Knight.

In the following position, the Knight is far away from the King.

White to move


White can exploit the exposed Knight with the double attack Queen move


From f4 the Queen attacks the Knight on c4 and the King of f6. Black will lose the knight after the King moves away from the check.

So, the defending side should keep their pieces close together and try to create positions where a winning knight fork move is possible.

The following Queen vs Knight endgame shows how White can win this endgame.

Let’s take the following position to learn this endgame.

How to Attack with the Queen and Knight

White to play

The goal is to use queen and king chess moves to restrict the enemy king to one of the corners.

restrict the enemy king to one of the corners

Now, Black will be in Zugzwang sooner to later and end up in a position where it’s forced mate or the knight will be lost.

In the case of a Queen vs two knights, the endgame is theoretically drawn. The endgame is tricky for the side with the queen because even if the player manages to avoid potential forks from two knights it is impossible to break down the fortress.

In summary,

  1. Queen vs lone Knight: Winning for the side with the Queen
  2. Queen vs two Knights: Draw

How to Premove a Queen vs Knight Checkmate

If a player wants to learn how to premove a Queen vs Knight Checkmate then practice is of utmost importance. Players should learn Knight jump moves pattern thoroughly to premove Knight fork moves.

Another advantage the side with the Knight has that is the quirky movement of the knight makes it tougher for the opponent to anticipate potential premoves.

Bucking Bronco mate

The Bucking Bronco mate is a Queen and Knight checkmate pattern. The Queen cuts off lines for the King and the Knight moves in to deliver the checkmate.

In the following position, White can deliver the Bucking Bronco mate with the moves

How to Attack with the Queen and Knight

1.Qxb6+ Ka8

The Queen cuts off the King on the b-file. Now the knight moves in to deliver checkmate.


Bucking Bronco mate

This is the final position of the Bucking Bronco mate. This is a useful Queen and Knight checkmate pattern to remember.

You also might like 5 Things to Know: The Queenside Pawn Majority as well as Power of Opposition.

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Updated 04.11.2024