Checkmate

Rules


In Chess, if the player on turn is in check and cannot make a valid move, is called to be in checkmate. In this case the game ends, the checkmated player loses, and the opponent (the checkmater) wins.

Examples:

1-0

Black is checkmated. The king cannot move and can neither capture the queen as it is defended by the white king.

0-1

Fool's mate, two moves after beginning.

0-1

White is checkmated. The bishop cannot block the path of the queen as then it would expose the king to check from the rook.

0-1

Checkmate in the center.

1-0

Smothered mate: the king is blocked by its own pieces.

0-1

Not a checkmate yet, because the bishop can be intervened, but after capturing it, the position is a back-rank mate. The king's escape fields are blocked by its own pawns.

There are three possible ways to escape from check (see the check-rule), so checkmate occurs when none of these three is possible:

  1. moving the king;
  2. intervening an other piece;
  3. capturing the checking piece by an other piece.
Stalemate

When giving checkmate, be careful to avoid stalemate: it occurs when a player cannot make a valid move, but is not in check. In such cases, the game ends in a draw. For example:

½-½

White's turn: stalemate, because no valid move is possible, but the king is not in check.