Queen and King Checkmates

The end of the game is near. You have a queen and a king left on the board; your opponent has just a king. How do you checkmate your opponent? Checkmating with a queen and king is very simple; there are only a few steps and most are repeated. So let’s start with a random position. White has a queen and a king, and black has a king.

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WHITE TO MOVE

Pretend (just for a moment) that your queen moves like a queen, but it attacks kings like a knight. You want to move your queen so that it is one knight’s move away from the king. In this example d6, f6, and c7 all work. This creates a wall that the king can’t pass through. A common mistake is to just attack the king with the queen. This is ineffective because the king can move to either side of the attack. By not putting the king in check, we are achieving checkmate more quickly, because we have a wall.

In this example, the queen moves to d6. Then the black king will move to f7. Continue moving the queen so it is one knight’s move away from the king until the black king is confined to moving on just one row or column. To save some time, and to make sure everyone ends up in the same place, here is one example of the moves which could occur in this phase, starting from the position shown on the above board: 1. Qd6 Kf7 2.Qe5 Kg6 3. Qf4 Kh5 4. Qg3

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This is where it can get tricky if you are not careful. It is easy to let the black king escape the trap, or to make the trap too small, which would result in a stalemate,

To block his escape: every time the black king moves, mirror his move with the queen. When the black king moves one space, in any direction, move the queen one square in that same direction. On the above board, when he moves to h6, move the queen to g4. When the black king can only move to one spot, in this case h8, stop moving your queen. In the above example the king will be on h7, the queen on g5. You must allow black’s king to move at least one square on his next turn, or it is a stalemate, so move your king towards the black king. Do not move the king in front of the queen! Otherwise the black king will be able to escape. On the board above, this means don’t move your king on the g-file. When your king gets to a spot directly across from the black king, with one space in between (see board below).

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On your next turn move the queen to a spot between both kings, so it is attacking the black king, and being defended by the white king.

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This is checkmate! Queen and King checkmates are easy to practice: just set up a black king, white king, and white queen anywhere on a chess board and follow these steps. This is an important checkmate to learn because many players will end up with a queen at the end of a game.

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