Checkmate in Chess: Learn The Keys to Victory

14/06/2023 - Actualizado: 21/06/2023

📋Read on and here you will find✍

Checkmate in chess is when one of the two sides manages to lock the enemy king without leaving any place where he can escape and where no piece can help him. This gives the victory to the side that trapped the king.

checkmate in chess
In this case the white rooks trapped the black king. All the squares where the black king can move (from f8 to h8 and f7 to h7) are controlled by the white rooks.

But before going deeper into checkmate we have to know two important issues that can be similar and can be confused with checkmate.

Check In Chess

Check is when we threaten to capture the king and win the game.
But the king has three ways to save himself from being captured by the opposing side.

Getting Out Of Check

  • Move the king to a square in which the king is safe or is not controlled by a rival piece.
check move
White played 1. Ra8+(moved the rook to the a8 square giving check) but it is only a check since the king can move to the h7 square escaping the threat.
  • Interpose an allied piece between the threat and the king, functioning as a kind of shield for the king.
check interpose
Black played 1… Ra8+(moved the rook to the a8 square giving check) with which the king is almost trapped, the only option left is to move 2. Ba2(move the bishop to the a2 square) to protect the king.
  • Capture the piece that is threatening the king.
check capture
White played 1. Qa2+ (moved the queen to the a2 square giving check), a move with which black can only capture the opponent's queen with his own queen to put his king safely 1… Qxa2 (the black queen ate the white queen).

Stalemate In Chess (draw by stalemate chess)

The stalemate in chess or draw by stalemate is when the king is enclosed, but the square where it is located is safe and it is not possible to move another piece. When the stalemate occurs, the game ends as a draw.

This would be a very good example of stalemate. It is black's turn, but the black king cannot move because the squares around it are controlled by the white pieces (the red circles are the squares controlled by the queen and the yellow circles are the squares controlled by the rook), the king is only safe on the square where it is and the black pawns cannot move because they are blocked by the white pawns.

This is a resource that we can hold on to when we are at a disadvantage and we must be careful when we are the ones with the advantage, since our opponent will use all the chess resources at his disposal to force a stalemate position.

How To Checkmate

Now we will know some of the most famous checkmates, as an example to understand a little more in depth how to perform a checkmate.

The Scholar's Mate (4 move checkmate)

This is one of the best known checkmates and one of the fastest checkmates to perform, only 4 moves are needed to winning.

Let's look at an example:

Scholar's first move
White plays 1.e4(moves his pawn to the e4 square) to control the center with his pawn and give way to the rest of the pieces.

Scholar's second move
Black plays 1… e5 (moves his pawn to the e5 square) and also places a pawn to control the center of the board.
Scholar's third move
White plays 2. Qf3(moves his queen to the f3 square) keeping an eye on the f7 square, one of the weakest points since it is only defended by the black king.
It is also possible to play 2.Qh5 with the same idea of attacking the f7 point.

Scholar's Fourth Move
Black plays 2… Nc6(moves his knight to the c6 square) supporting his central pawn and further controlling the center.
Scholar's Fifth Move
White plays 3.Bc4(moves his bishop to the c4 square) putting another piece looking at the weak point on f7.

Scholar's Sixth Move
Black played 3… d6 (moved his pawn to the d6 square) back to protect his central pawn.
This would be an acceptable move except that they completely ignored White's threat.
Scholar's Seventh Move
White plays 4.Dxf7++ (White's queen ate the piece on f7 giving checkmate) completing his plan of attack and ending the game with a quick and lethal checkmate.

About Scholar's Mate

We saw an order by which the Scholar's Mate can be performed (there are other orders by which it can also be performed, but always with the same strategy of attacking Black's f7 weak point or f2 in the case of White).

Scholar's Mate is usually used by beginners who want to win in a quick way but it is not recommended since it breaks the rule of not moving the queen in the early game. If Black takes advantage of this he could be left with a certain advantage in his development as well as having frustrated the plans of the white pieces.

Fool’s Mate

If the previous checkmate is one of the fastest, the one we are going to see now has the title of "the fastest checkmate", but to perform it our opponent has to help us a little as we will see below.

This mate is performed with the black pieces, with only two moves.

let's see it:

Fool’s Mate 1
White starts with 1.f3 (moving his pawn to f3) is a bad move as it does not control the center, but more importantly it weakens the diagonal that goes from h4 to e1 directly to the king.

Fool’s Mate 2
Black plays 1… e4 (moves his pawn to the e4 square) taking advantage of the fact that White has not taken the center of the board.
Fool’s Mate 3
White plays 2.g4 (moving his pawn to the g4 square) another pointless move, besides only continuing to weaken the king.

Fool’s Mate 4
Black plays 2… Qh4++ (moves his queen to the h4 square, giving checkmate) Black takes advantage of the weakness created by the white pieces to end up giving a very peculiar checkmate and take the victory.

About Fool’s Mate

This checkmate is very difficult to perform since we need help from our opponent to achieve it, but it is useful to understand it so that they do not give this checkmate to us and to learn that we should not weaken our king without any sense.

Back Rank Mate (Corridor Mate)

This checkmate is usually given in more advanced phases of the game ( midgame or endgame), this checkmate takes advantage of the "security" position of the king, more specifically when the king is in the last row enclosed by its pawns.

For example:

Back Rank Mate (Corridor Mate)
In this position White played 1.Bd5 (moved his bishop to the d5 square) attacking the black rook.

Back Rank Mate (Corridor Mate) 1
Black responded with 1… Ra5 (moved his rook to the a5 square) by attacking the bishop on the d5 square. This is a move that at first glance seems acceptable, were it not for the fact that the black rook is protecting the column on which the black king is located.
Back Rank Mate (Corridor Mate) 2
Finally White takes advantage of Black's carelessness and plays 2.Re8++(moves his rook to the e8 square giving checkmate).

About Back Rank Mate

In appearance the black king was very safe behind his pawns, but this was also one of the reasons why he was checkmated, while the white king was just as safe and also had an escape route (the h2 square) in case he was attacked by the enemy rook.

We have to take care of our front row so that we do not get this type of checkmate, opening an air or a loophole is always a useful move and thus we will have less pressure on our king.

Anastasia's mate

This is one of my favorite checkmates because we offer the opponent's king a sacrifice so that he is forced to leave his safe place and be totally exposed, to give him the final blow.

Let's look at an example:

Anastasia's mate 1
Black's last move was 1…Qa6 (they moved their queen to the a6 square) with the intention of exchanging queens to play a more comfortable game and gradually work their way to victory thanks to their bishop pair and two pawn advantage. But they were not careful not to notice the terrible attack that the white pieces were planning against the opponent's monarch.

Anastasia's mate 2
White played 2.Ne7+(moved his knight to the e7 square giving check to the black king) this move was the beginning of the end for Black.
Anastasia's mate 3
Black played 2…. Kh8(moved his king to the h8 square) Black has no choice but to move his king to the corner of the board.

Anastasia's mate 4
White played 3.Qxh7+(captured the h7 pawn with his queen giving check) a brilliant move that forces the king out of the safety of his pawns to be exposed to the other white pieces.
Anastasia's mate 5
Black played 3… Kxh7 (the king captured the queen to get out of check) with no other alternative to get out of check, the king captured the black queen, but at the same time was left unprotected.

Anastasia's mate 6
White played 4.Rh3++(moved his rook to the h3 square giving checkmate) giving the final blow of a very nice and devastating combination, leaving no alternative or response time to the opponent's side.

About Anastasia's mate

Something very important in chess is where our pieces are positioned, in this checkmate we have a very good example, the white pieces were prepared to attack the black king.

While the black pieces only had their bishops in an active position, looking towards the white king, the other pieces and the most important ones such as the rooks and the queen were very passive and far away from all the action.

What we can learn from this checkmate is that we must be careful when our opponent accumulates pieces near our king and in the case that we have pieces near the opponent's king (about 3 to 4 pieces) we have to look for attacking combinations that give us the victory or some tactical theme that gives us an advantage.

⭐️ If you want to know more about other articles similar to Checkmate in Chess: Learn The Keys to Victory you can visit our category Chess For Beginners. We are waiting for you inside 👍

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go up