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Checkmate in Chess
Famous Checkmates from Classic Chess

Checkmate in Chess

Chess is known to be one of the oldest games in the world. Played by Kings, Emperors and Potentates, it has remained popular down through the ages and is still called the "Royal Game". Chess came to Europe from Persia, and took its name from Schach or Shah, which in that language signifies King, and Matt (or "dead") from the Arabic language. Combined they are Schach Matt, or "the King is dead", which is the derivation of our "Checkmate".

What is Checkmate?

If a chess piece makes a move which attacks the opposing King the King is said to be in "check". The player whose King is checked then has to make a move which gets the King out of check or he forfeits the game.

This case is the only one in which a player is not at liberty to make any move he likes. Unless the attacking chess piece can be captured, there are only two ways of getting out of check. One way is to interpose a chess piece between the King and the attacking piece, and the other to move the King out of the line of attack.

Checkmate Examples

Gathered here are some "anthology" checkmates, made famous over the years. To make these checkmates easy to see we have used java applets which allow interactive re-play. Just click the arrows under the boards in the solution to see how checkmate is delivered. Enjoy!

Fool's Mate #1

Greco's Mate #1

Boden's Mate

Blackburne's Mate

Legal's Mate

Pillsbury's Mate

Arabian Mate

Fool's Mate #2

Greco's Mate #2

Back Rank Mate

Anastasia's Mate

Anderssen's Mate

Damiano's Mate

Morphy's Mate