Back rank mates are a motif we learn from our days as a beginner - a crisp way to end the game. Earlier this year I was going through some articles on the ChessCafe archives and came across an elegant study that's all about the back rank(s).
I. Hoch, 1973
White to play - what's the result with best play? Solution below (drag to uncover).
1.Qxc2 Re8! 2.Qc8! Qd7! 3.Qc1 (3.Qa8 h6) Qc7! 4.Ra8! 1-0
For two dozen other great examples (some quite famous) of back rank tactics, here's the link to the original article: http://www.chesscafe.com/text/dvoretsky31.pdf Enjoy!