Notice how in the first two diagrams the King is protecting the Queen from being captured. In the last two diagrams the King is guarding the escape squares.
She then drives the King to the edge of the board by keeping a Knight's jump distance away. Kf5 2. Qd4 Ke6 3. Qc5 Kf6 4.
Qd5 Ke7 5. Qc6 Kf7 6. Qd6 Ke8 7. Qc7 Kf8 8. Qd7 Kg8 9. Qe7 Kh8. The Queen cannot get any closer to the King. If White moves the Queen to f7 Black's King is stalemated and the game is a draw. This is a very common trap! In modern Arabic, the word mate depicts a person who has died open-mouthed, staring, confused and unresponsive. The words "stupefied" or "stunned" bear close correlation. So a possible alternative would be to interpret mate as "unable to respond". A king is mate sheikh-mat then means a king is unable to respond, which would correspond to there being no response that a player's king can make to their opponent's final move.
This interpretation is much closer to the original intent of the game being not to kill a king but to leave him with no viable response other than surrender, which better matches the origin story detailed in the Shahnameh.
In modern parlance, the term checkmate is a metaphor for an irrefutable and strategic victory. In early Sanskrit chess c. The Persians c. This was done to avoid the early and accidental end of a game. Later the Persians added the additional rule that a king could not be moved into check or left in check. As a result, the king could not be captured,  and checkmate was the only decisive way of ending a game.
Before about , the game could also be won by capturing all of the opponent's pieces, leaving just a bare king. This style of play is now called annihilation or robado. Two major pieces queens or rooks can easily force checkmate on the edge of the board.
The process is to put the two pieces on adjacent ranks or files and gradually force the king to the side of the board, where one piece keeps the king on the edge of the board while the other delivers checkmate. The same process can also be used to checkmate with two rooks, or with two queens. There are four fundamental checkmates when one side has only his king and the other side has only the minimum material needed to force checkmate, i.
The king must help in accomplishing all of these checkmates.
If the superior side has more material, checkmates are easier. The checkmate with the queen is the most common, and easiest to achieve. It often occurs after a pawn has queened. A checkmate with the rook is also common, but a checkmate with the two bishops or with a bishop and knight occurs infrequently. The two bishop checkmate is fairly easy to accomplish, but the bishop and knight checkmate is difficult and requires precision.
The first two diagrams show representatives of the basic checkmate positions with a queen , which can occur on any edge of the board. Naturally, the exact position can vary from the diagram. In the first of the checkmate positions, the queen is directly in front of the opposing king and the white king is protecting its queen. In the second checkmate position, the kings are in opposition and the queen mates on the rank or file of the king. With the side with the queen to move, checkmate can be forced in at most ten moves from any starting position, with optimal play by both sides, but usually fewer moves are required.
In the position diagrammed, White checkmates easily by confining the black king to a rectangle and shrinking the rectangle to force the king to the edge of the board:. The superior side must be careful to not stalemate the opposing king, whereas the defender would like to get into such a position. There are two general types of stalemate positions that can occur, which the stronger side must avoid. The first diagram shows the basic checkmate position with a rook , which can occur on any edge of the board.
The black king can be on any square on the edge of the board, the white king is in opposition to it, and the rook can check from any square on the rank or file assuming that it can not be captured. The second diagram shows a slightly different position where the kings are not in opposition but the defending king must be in a corner. With the side with the rook to move, checkmate can be forced in at most sixteen moves from any starting position. In the third diagram position, White checkmates by confining the black king to a rectangle and shrinking the rectangle to force the king to the edge of the board:.
There are two stalemate positions: . Here are the two basic checkmate positions with two bishops on opposite-colored squares , which can occur in any corner. Two or more bishops on the same color, which could occur because of pawn underpromotion , cannot checkmate. The first is a checkmate in the corner. The second position is a checkmate in a side square next to the corner square. With the side with the bishops to move, checkmate can be forced in at most nineteen moves,  except in some very rare positions 0. It is not too difficult for two bishops to force checkmate, with the aid of their king.
Two principles apply:. In the position from Seirawan, White wins by first forcing the black king to the side of the board, then to a corner, and then checkmates.
It can be any side of the board and any corner. The process is:. Note that this is not the shortest forced checkmate from this position. One example of a stalemate is this position, where 1. Kb6 marked with the x would be stalemate. Of the basic checkmates, this is the most difficult one to force , because these two pieces cannot form a linear barrier to the enemy king from a distance.
Retrieved Analogous mates on a1 and a8 are rarer, because kingside castling is the more common as it safely places the king closer to the corner than it would had the castling occurred on the queenside. American a chequebook. The second position is a checkmate in a side square next to the corner square. If you are playing Black, learning the proper response when you spot these particular opening moves by White can lead you to the speediest victory possible in the game of chess. The most common form of smothered mate is seen in the adjacent diagram. Namespaces Article Talk.
Also, the checkmate can be forced only in a corner that the bishop controls. Two basic checkmate positions are shown with a bishop and a knight , or the bishop and knight checkmate. The bishop can be on other squares along the diagonal, the white king and knight have to be on squares that attack g8 and h7. The second position is a checkmate by the knight, with the black king on a side square next to the corner. The knight can be on other squares that check the black king. The white king must be on a square to protect the bishop and cover a square not covered by the knight.
With the side with the bishop and knight to move, checkmate can be forced in at most thirty-three moves from any starting position,  except those in which the defending king is initially forking the bishop and knight and it is not possible to defend both. However, the mating process requires accurate play, since a few errors could result in a draw either by the fifty-move rule or stalemate. Opinions differ as to whether or not a player should learn this checkmate procedure.
James Howell omits the checkmate with two bishops in his book because it rarely occurs but includes the bishop and knight checkmate. Howell says that he has had it three times always on the defending side and that it occurs more often than the checkmate with two bishops. Should the chess hopeful really spend many of his precious hours he's put aside for chess study learning an endgame he will achieve at most only once or twice in his lifetime?
This position is an example of a stalemate, from the end of a endgame study by A. White has just moved 1. If Black moves But after any bishop move, the position is a stalemate. A back-rank checkmate is a checkmate delivered by a rook or queen along a back rank that is, the row on which the pieces [not pawns] stand at the start of the game in which the mated king is unable to move up the board because the king is blocked by friendly pieces usually pawns on the second rank. It is also known as the corridor mate.
Scholar's Mate also known as the four-move checkmate is the checkmate achieved by the moves:. The moves might be played in a different order or in slight variation, but the basic idea is the same: the queen and bishop combine in a simple mating attack on f7 or f2 if Black is performing the mate.
Fool's Mate , also known as the "Two-Move Checkmate", is the quickest possible checkmate. A prime example consists of the moves:. A smothered mate is a checkmate delivered by a knight in which the mated king is unable to move because it is surrounded or smothered by its own pieces. The mate is usually seen in a corner of the board, since fewer pieces are needed to surround the king there. The most common form of smothered mate is seen in the adjacent diagram. The knight on f7 delivers mate to the king on h8 which is prevented from escaping the check by the rook on g8 and the pawns on g7 and h7.
Similarly, White can be mated with the white king on h1 and the knight on f2. Analogous mates on a1 and a8 are rarer, because kingside castling is the more common as it safely places the king closer to the corner than it would had the castling occurred on the queenside. In some rare positions it is possible to force checkmate with a king and knight versus a king and pawn. In the diagram showing Stamma's mate named for Philipp Stamma , White to move wins: .