Check and Checkmate

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Check

When the King is being attacked directly by an opponent's piece we say that the King is in check. In the diagram the Black King is being checked by the White Bishop.

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If the King is in check it must be made safe immediately.

There are three ways to get out of check:

1. The King may move to a square which is not being attacked by an enemy piece.

In the diagram below the King has moved out of check.

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2. A piece may be moved in between the King and the enemy piece to block the check.

In this diagram the Black Bishop blocks the check with her Bishop.

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3. The piece that is attacking the King can be captured.

In this diagram the Bishop can be captured by the Black Rook.

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This is the new position after the Rook has made its capture. The King is no longer in check!

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Checkmate

If the King is in check and cannot get out of check then we say the King is checkmated and the game is lost.

In the diagram below, the White Queen checks the Black King.

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Black is not able to do any of the following:

1. move to a square which is not being attacked by an enemy piece.
2. move a piece between the King and the enemy piece to block the check.
3. capture the attacking piece.

so Black is checkmated and has lost the game!

 

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