Chessity logo Player
Play now

Checkmate with 1 piece (1)

You already know how to make checkmate with two pieces.
The one piece gives check and the other piece defends it.
Or, it is preventing the king from fleeing into safety.
In short, your pieces have to work together.

Sometimes, you can also make mate with only one piece.
To do that, you need a bit of help from your opponent’s pieces.
They have to block their own king from moving away.

Look the examples:
Example 1: The king wants to get away from the first row.
But he can’t! He is hemmed in by his own 2nd-row pawns.
It’s checkmate.
This type of mate (a checkmate pattern) is one of the most common.
It is called the back-rank mate.

Example 2:
Here, the king is pretty much hemmed in by its pawns as well.
Can the white queen checkmate the king by moving to any square on the 8th row?
No, she’s can’t. White’s queen has to move as close to the king as she can safely do.
By moving the queen to the green square, White makes checkmate.
Do you see why the queen should not move to one of the yellow squares? The kind could flee to the red square!

What do you have to do?
Mate with one piece. Make sure the king cannot escape.

1 2