Checkmate means king is in trap and there is no way out.

If it is my turn and opponent's king has a way out from trap, am I said to win the game?

EDIT: Suppose my rook is in the adjacent column w.r.t opponent's king and I move my rook so that it is in the same column with free space by the position of King. Opponent somehow doesn't observe the check and make a move that can't break my check. Now, it's my turn and Let king has all 6 ways out from the check. But after alll it's my turn so is King checkmated or not?

  • 2
    You can't have a position that it's your move and your opponent is in check.
    – SmallChess
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 9:31
  • Read EDIT @StudentT Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 9:33
  • 3
    As I said, you can't have a rook checking your opponent's king while it's your own move. It's invalid.
    – SmallChess
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 9:35
  • 3
    Ok. I get what you mean. Your opponent made an illegal move. Both of you should go back to the position before the invalid move and try again. However, in a standard blitz game, you could immediately claim a win. In any case, this has nothing with checkmate.
    – SmallChess
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 9:43
  • 1
    @Sufyan It is illegal for an opponent to not get his king out of check (if possible) whenever it is in check. That is why a non-checkmate check is called a "forcing" move.
    – Jeff Y
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 10:58

2 Answers 2


Checkmate means shāh māt in Persian, i.e. the King is helpless.

This means 2 conditions must be met:

  • The enemy king is in check
  • There are no legal moves to get the king out of check, e.g. there are no moves to capture the checking piece(s), or to move the king away or to block the check

N.B. When considering whether the king can get out of check, note that castling is not a legal move, as a king cannot castle into, out of, or through check.

The situation you describe seems to have been a mistake, made through a combination of illegal moves. In this case, there are 2 options:

  • Restore the last legal position, which is what I would recommend for friendly games
  • In a tournament setting, illegal moves may result in a loss for the player making the illegal moves. Check with the arbiter in this case
  • "...There are no legal moves to get the king out of check...". Legal moves, when King is in check, only includes the moves that would set King out of the Danger. So your statement is not perfect. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 16:38

A checkmate is when one player gets the other player into a check that the opposing player is not able to legally get out of.

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