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This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-08-08
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and Fergus  Duniho. Rules of Chess: The 50 moves rule. Answer to a frequently asked question on the rules of chess.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-10-23 UTC

Indeed. Or move the Rook to f8, King to e7, and capture Rxf7. This obviously is a nonsense example.


Anders Jensen wrote on 2016-10-22 UTC

About the last position:

Isn't quite easy for white to win. What if first white move his rook to a8. Black moves his king back and forward between h8 and h7. Meanwhile white moves his king to d7. Afterwards he sacrifices his rook for the bishop. white can force black away from the f7-pawn. White should be ware of stalemate but he wins if plays careful I am convinced.


sangharsh wrote on 2007-05-09 UTCGood ★★★★
thanks for the information, all the information is described clearly with diagrams.

Anonymous wrote on 2007-01-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Anonymous wrote on 2006-07-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
exactly wat i was looking for

Jimmy Bailey wrote on 2006-03-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Well written!

AL wrote on 2006-02-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-11-15 UTC
http://www.chessvariants.org/historic.dir/shatranj.html

contains my 2005-03-08 Comment, where I amused myself by devising a complete (legal) game of shatranj ending in a 'BLOCKADE STALEMATE IN 20 MOVES'. There is really no need to go to such lengths in this discussion of possible checkmates in a K + N versus K + B ending. My 2005-11-14 Comment demonstrates a checkmate. Clearly 1.Bb1 is a ridiculous move for White, but it is legal.

As for the endgame K + N + N versus K, computer analysis proves that it is impossible to invent a legal position with a forced checkmate in two moves. Checkmate in exactly one move can happen after the lone King makes a 'ridiculous move'. That is why the 50 Moves Rule must be invoked to force a draw.


Moussambani wrote on 2005-11-14 UTC
So, what was black's move, and white's move before that?

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-11-14 UTC
'Hard choice, but not if you want to go home quickly.'

This comment refers to forcing a draw in seven more moves ACCORDING TO THE FIDE LAWS OF CHESS. Consider another position: WHITE K(a1) and B(d3), BLACK K(a3) and N(d2), followed by the moves 1.Bb1 Nb3 checkmate. The endgame K + B against K + N may be a 'common sense draw', but it allows the possibility of checkmate for either side (after some truly bad play). Thus thus such a game will not have to end until the 50 Moves Rule has been invoked and before that happens either player could forfeit the game by exceeding the time limit.


Doug Chatham wrote on 2005-11-14 UTC
The fact that checkmate cannot be forced in this situation is irrelevant.

According to the FIDE Laws of Chess, Article 9.6,

The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled play. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing this position was legal.
(Emphasis added.)

Moussambani wrote on 2005-11-13 UTC
But you can't force such a mate. So it's a draw.

m21b21 wrote on 2005-11-13 UTCPoor ★
I am rating(answering) the comment about diagram #3 on 2005-10-11 saying the King should take the Bishop, because 2 Knights & a King can not mate a King. That is not true, 2Knights & a King CAN mate a King.... White King is in 1A, one Black Knight is in 3A, the other Black Knight is in 2C, the Black King is in 3B. B.Knight in 2C has W.King in check. B.Knight in 3A covers 1B, B.King covers 2A & 2B...Mate.

Anonymous wrote on 2005-10-11 UTCPoor ★
Just to be a jerk... on diagram 3 of course white would take the bishop - drawing the game immediatly as two knights and a king can't mate a king.

vipin wrote on 2005-06-28 UTCGood ★★★★
I have a query that Is there any condition in chess where number of moves during mate process is reduced?

Robert wrote on 2005-05-17 UTC
In the diagram following 'When a pawn is moved the count starts again at zero,' white actually has a forced win. What he needs to do is get his King to F8, then use his rook to capture the black pawn at F7. After black captures the rook with his bishop, white captures the bishop with his King then can queen his pawn that is at F6. He has to watch for a stalemate, but that can be avoided if he is careful. If black plays Bh7 in an attempt to free up his King, white plays Ra1 check. Black is then forced to play BG8 and then the rook pins the bishop until the white king is in position. Note, if the 50 move limit is close to being reached white can move the pawn on the H file to restart the count.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-01-23 UTC
David, Since a King cannot move to an attacked cell, it could never attack an opponent King. But it can participate in the mate by restricting the movement of the opponent King.

David wrote on 2005-01-23 UTC
QUESTION: can a King, using the other peices (like pawns and knights) move an apponent into a point whereby the King can be the peice used to checkmate the opponent?

Anonymous wrote on 2004-08-16 UTC
What happens if a player makes a move that results in the last 50 moves having been played without any captures or pawn moves, but also gives checkmate? Is the game a win or a draw?

James Spratt wrote on 2004-07-15 UTCPoor ★
Hi, Hans: My comment is about the 'MAJON' award entry on Chessvariants' Awards page. In my opinion, that particular award should be disavowed and the link dropped. To pay money for an award I believe is undignified, and in your innocence you are providing this obviously greedy, predatory outfit with access to your constituents. I'd call their link 'spam;' their first priority seems to be money, not chess, and I don't believe that their admiration of this wonderful website is sincere, particularly if they're charging for it. If I read your own comments correctly, you've had your own doubts about them, and unless they are providing some useful service for Chessvariants, I'd drop them. Sincerely, James Killian Spratt, m.sc.

Runjeev wrote on 2004-07-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
To correct Chuck's statement about the two knights and bishop example, it is possible to checkmate with two knights and a king although it is not forced mate and easily avoidable.

Anonymous wrote on 2004-06-18 UTC
Just a simple comment on the last endgame with the pawns: It is hardly a difficult endgame. A player of 1300 Elo would spot after 1 or 2 minutes that by playing the king to e7 and sacrificing the rook on the bishop, wins instantly. For anyone that is curious there is mate from the initial position in 17 moves (this is how easy it is).

bill fan wrote on 2004-05-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
good, first time to know this

KARL wrote on 2004-04-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
VERY USEFUL. HOLDING A CHESS TOURNAMENT IN SCHOOL AND ALL ANSWERS TO SOME TRICKY QUESTIONS ARE HERE INCLUDING MAXIMUM MOVES. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

Michael Nelson wrote on 2003-10-25 UTC
King and two Knights cannot force mate but can give mate if the opponent makes a mistake--this endgame is not an automatic draw.

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