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This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-08-09
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and Fergus  Duniho. Rules of Chess: Check, Mate, and Stalemate. Answers to frequently asked questions.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Joyce wrote on 2017-02-02 UTC

To Bill Nye. It is illegal to leave your king in check. When an illegal move is noticed, the rules require all subsequent moves to be retracted and re-done.


Bill Nye wrote on 2017-02-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
So me and my friend were playing Chess , obviously , but when I got him in check we didn't notice , I realized that when it became my turn next I said check mate and took him out but he made out a rule saying: You have to say check so I can take back my move and move my king . And he has done this several times I finally  beat him and he said this , and I did it again and said what he told me to BULL CRAP so can someone explain it to me? Please

Liviu Chircu wrote on 2014-12-21 UTC
Thanks for the FAQ! I was curious about the consequences of accidentally "moving into check"! Nicely explained.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2014-10-22 UTC

@hcl4: Then it is a draw. The technical answer is from a related page, the 50 move rule: neither player can do much of anything and so 50 moves will pass without a capture or pawn move, and that rule will kick in to say the game is a draw. Of course, since this is bound to happen, both players should just agree now that the game is a draw.

Edit: Actually, looking around a bit more, it appears that (perhaps because of time controlled games) my technical explanation was incorrect. It is a draw because checkmate cannot possibly happen.


hcl4 wrote on 2014-10-22 UTC
What if the kings are the only pieces on the board

Jeff wrote on 2012-01-07 UTC
An opponent calling Checkmate without the game ending results in forfeiture by the player calling the checkmate. You answered the question that if called accidentally the game would just continue. This is not correct. You can respond to [email protected]

Jeremy Lennert wrote on 2011-11-23 UTC
The sort of situation you describe generally results in a draw by one of two rules: The first is the threefold repetition rule, which applies when the exact same game position is repeated three times. For example, if you and your opponent are each moving back and forth between the same two spaces, once you have come back to your starting position after two full loops, the game can be declared a draw. The second is the 50-move rule, which applies when there have been no captures or pawn advances (irreversible moves) for at least 50 consecutive moves of white and black. This is invoked mostly in endgames where the board is very open and so it can take a very long time for (and be difficult to notice when) an exact position is repeated three times. Of course, the game can end in a draw immediately if both players agree, which may cut these conditions short if it is obvious (for example) that the game is going to end in a perpetual check.

Anonymous wrote on 2011-11-23 UTC
I'm playing my electronic chess game at the highest level and it has put me in 'check',then I move out of 'check', then it puts me back in 'check'. And we are going back and forth, in'check and out of 'check' and I'm moving my king in the same two squares. Is this considered a 'stalemate'? because I think my electronic chess game wants me to move in a certain square so it can get me in 'checkmate', and I see what its trying to do. Whats the ruling on this?

Anonymous wrote on 2011-01-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for explaining this. I am new to chess and didn't really understand the difference between stalemate and checkmate. Still seems to be unfair to get someone to the point of stalemate and call the game a draw but at least I understand the rules now --

Anonymous wrote on 2009-06-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2009-02-01 UTC
Yes, if are down to just a King, your King is not in check, and it has no legal moves, it is stalemate. As long as these conditions pertain, the number of Queens your opponent has doesn't change this.

Anonymous wrote on 2009-02-01 UTCAverage ★★★
If someone has three queens and you only have a king. And if you are not in check but you can't move. Is it stalemate?

Justin wrote on 2008-04-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Fahim Hoq wrote on 2008-04-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Today, I have learned a lot about chess by reading this page.Thank you.

barfhead wrote on 2006-09-13 UTCGood ★★★★
if u only have a king and he is not in check but wherever u move u will be in check is that a checkmate

if it is your turn and your king cannot move without putting himself in check (no legal moves,) but is not currently in check, then that is not a checkmate. it is a stalemate. (in my book a stalemate is a win when you're down) :)

Anonymous wrote on 2006-09-04 UTCGood ★★★★
if u only have a king and he is not in check but wherever u move u will be in check is that a checkmate

Erin wrote on 2006-08-18 UTC
This site Rocks!!!!!!1

Joe Humphries wrote on 2005-12-31 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This site answers just about any tough question involing check, mate, and stalemate. Thank you so much.

Jared McComb wrote on 2005-11-05 UTC
No, Queens can never jump.

Anonymous wrote on 2005-11-05 UTC
can a queen jump over another peice to kill a another piece to protect the king

Michael Nelson wrote on 2005-06-24 UTC
The position is illegal--there can never be a Pawn on A1.

Subxero wrote on 2005-06-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
what would this be? stalemate or legal? Pawn White: A1 Pawn Black: A2 & B4 King White: G2 King Black: F7 Rook Black: H6 Bishop Black: H4 & F5 White's turn I think that it is still a legal game because the king has 5 legal moves and a stalemate requires no legal moves. I would just like to make sure with a second opinion.

Cho chang wrote on 2005-06-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Dear writer, This site is fabulous. It anwsers our questions in detail. In total I will say this site is wonderfulll!!!!!

Anonymous wrote on 2005-06-18 UTCPoor ★
You say this site is fabulous for beginers.If you ask me there should be tips on how to defend also

Doug Chatham wrote on 2005-02-23 UTC
An example of a situation where promoting to queen gives a stalemate while promoting to rook wins can be found at <a href='http://www.chessvariants.org/d.chess/pawnfaq.html'>http://www.chessvariants.org/d.chess/pawnfaq.html</a>, near the end of the answer to the question 'To what pieces can a pawn promote?'

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