When your King is ATTACKED by an enemy piece you are IN CHECK.

You must get out of check AT ONCE if you can do so.

Here, White has moved his Rook to CHECK the Black King.

Black can GET OUT OF CHECK by moving his King to a square where it is not ATTACKED.

Make sure you understand why he has ONLY ONE WAY of doing this in the diagram.

Black is again IN CHECK from the White Rook.

This time, he CANNOT move his King to a safe square. Do you see why?

But, if you are IN CHECK from a Queen, a Rook or a Bishop, you can GET OUT OF CHECK by BLOCKING, putting a piece in the way.

Here, Black can BLOCK the CHECK by moving his Bishop back to the square next to the Black King.

The third, and often the best, way of GETTING OUT OF CHECK is to CAPTURE the piece that is checking you.



But the Black Bishop can CAPTURE the White Rook.

In this position, Black CANNOT move his King to a safe square.

He CANNOT block the check by putting a piece in the way.

He CANNOT capture the piece that's checking him.

What's happened?

It's CHECKMATE! White has won the game!

Now, suppose in this position Black makes a mistake and moves his King back to a square where the White Rook can capture it.

Can White then win the game by CAPTURING the Black King?


You get CHECKMATE by TRAPPING the enemy King, NOT by capturing it!

White has to ask Black to make another move instead and the game goes on.

Now, look at this position.

The Black Bishop is shielding the King from CHECK by the White Rook.

Black CANNOT move the Bishop because it would leave the King IN CHECK.

We say that the Black Bishop is PINNED.

If Black moves it by mistake, White must ask him to go back and move something else instead.

That's the end of the lesson on CHECK and CHECKMATE.

Don't forget: if you play a move that ATTACKS your opponent's King you should say the magic word CHECK.

You don't HAVE to do this but it will help both of you if you do so.

If you didn't understand everything go through it again in a few days time.

Click here for a quiz on this lesson.