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How to checkmate using King and Queen vs. King

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end-game

A checkmate can be enforced with the following minimum materials:

  • King and Queen versus King
  • King and Rook versus King
  • King and Two bishops versus King
  • King and Two rooks versus King

In this article, let us discuss the ways in which the opponent King can be checkmated using only the King and Queen at your disposal.

The King, as we know, can move only one square either on any of the sides, front, back or on either of the two sides. The Queen can move any number of unoccupied squares in a rank or file and in any direction.

The first thing that needs to be done is to restrict the movement of the opponent king either to only one rank or only one file among ranks and files in the chess board – that is – either to the first rank or to the eight rank horizontally or to the “a” file or the “h” file vertically. This can be done using the Queen.

Suppose the King is in “g4”, then placing the Queen in the “f” file will restrict the movement of the king to only among the “g” and “h” files. Then the next step would be to make the opponent move to the “h” file and then block the “g” file. Once the king is made to move only among the ranks in the “h” file by placing Queen in the “g” file, then the King should be made to move to the “f” file.

Using the King and the Queen might be tricky at times, and any urgency shown by you in hastening the things might result in a stalemate, instead of a checkmate, and you may have to settle for a draw where you had every chance to finish the game in your favor. You are aware that a stalemate results when the opponent king, in his turn to make the movement, on not being attacked with a check, has no legal moves to make. One typical case of a stalemate is a position in which the opponent king is “a8”, your king is in “a6” and your Queen is in “b6” and it is the turn of your opponent to make a move. The opponent king cannot move and you are not attacking the king either. This is the case of a stalemate.

To avoid a stalemate, it is important that sufficient distance is maintained between the Queen and the opponent King in the “g” file. After ensuring that there is enough distance, then the King should be made to move in the “f” file nearer to the rank of the opponent King in the “h” file. Suppose the opponent king is “h6”, and your Queen is “g1”, then your King should be made to move either to “f7” or to “f5”, and in the next move in your turn, you can place the Queen at “g6” or “g5” and call it “Check”. The opponent King will have no place to move and has to succumb to a defeat.

The similar positioning using the ranks can also be attempted and practised to win the game using only the King and Queen against the opponent’s King.

How to checkmate using King and Rook vs. King

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end-game

In this article, let us discuss the ways in which the opponent King can be checkmated using only the King and Rook at your disposal.

The King, as we know, can move only one square either on any of the sides, front, back or on either of the two sides. The rook, on the other hand, is capable of moving any number unoccupied squares either horizontally or vertically, and it cannot move diagonally.

A King and a Rook can always checkmate a lone King of the opponent. For this to happen, both the King and the Rook should work together such that the opponent King is driven to the edge of the board. This can be successfully achieved by cutting of the squares in which the King can effectively move, so that the opponent King has fewer options and finally is forced to move to the corner of the board, such as either “a8”, “a1”, “h8” or “h1”.

Unlike the Queen, the capability of the rook is limited, and the opponent can try to attack the rook and drive away the rook in order to gain more squares to move on. The opponent King can, however, only try to delay the inevitable as it can move only one square at a time. Nevertheless, using the king and the rook might be very tricky as well. The King has a very important role to play as well in this attempt.

To make the point more clear, let us assume the positions in a chessboard as follows: The opponent King is in “d6”; your king is in “d3” and your rook is in “a1”.

If it is your turn to move, it would be foolish to attack the opponent King by calling check at “a6”. If you do so, the opponent king might move to the centre of the board by moving one rank to “e5”. As your mission in this case would be to drive the king to the nearest corner, which is a8, you can place the rook at “a5” thus restricting the movement of the opponent King to only ranks 6, 7 and 8. As the rook can move only horizontally or vertically and cannot move diagonally, the opponent king might try to attack the rook and move it to “c6”. Your next move in that case should be to move the king to “c4”. The opponent King, in an attempt to drive away the rook, might move to “b6” threatening your rook in “a5”.

Here, you should be careful. You may be tempted to call check by placing the rook at “b5”. If you do, the opponent might move to “c6” and your attempt to pin down the opponent King at “a8” might get delayed. Therefore, it would be wise to move the rook to “c5” and restrict the movement of the opponent King to only the three ranks in two files “a” and “b”. Now, the opponent King has to make the movement only in those six squares and ensuring that no escape route is allowed to the opponent king, the ranks can be closed in such a way that the opponent king is pushed to the corner “a8” and your king is placed at “b6”. Ensuring this, a check by rook at “c8” will be the killer blow and results in a checkmate.