Is it ok to put your own king in discovered check as you take the other king? (Does the taking of the other king even count as a move, or is the checkmate the last move?)

Edit: When thinking about it, this isn't possible, at least not involving a checkmate, because if taking the king would result in a discovered check, the piece that is suddenly checking your king could also be used to take the original checker.

Take the following example. Is the last move (pawn) legal?

[fen "8/5P2/6q1/8/8/Q7/8/5k1K w - - 0 1"]

1.Qh3 Qg2 f8

I know white is not checkmate here, because the white queen can capture the black queen. The question is: Can white be considered to be in check at all, since taking the white king would expose the black king to the white queen? So, can white choose to move their pawn instead of taking the black queen?

Edit 2: My question is a duplicate of this question: Can a piece pinned to my king put the opponent's king in check?

  • 1
    Could you give a concrete example of what you mean? Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 9:34
  • No, it is not ok. You can never expose your king to check.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


The game ends with checkmate but the last move must be a legal move. You cannot checkmate your opponent when you are checked at the same time.


Checkmate is the position, where you can capture opponent king in next turn and opponent can't do anything about it.

So, if you would play one more move after checkmate, you could capture enemy king while putting your king in discovered check.


8/8/7r/8/8/R6Q/6q1/5k1K w - - 0 1

Here White is checkmated. But let's assume that White can play one more move and plays Ra1, Black Queen can capture White King leaving Black King in discovered check, and Black would be victorious.

Or White Queen could capture Black Queen, to save White King, but then Black Rook would capture White King. That's why White Queen is pinned and can't move, if it moves, then in next move White King can be captured by Black Rook.

In chess, actually, you can capture kings. However, game ends 1 move before capturing the king as the fate is sealed, no need to play one more move. Checkmate means capturing the king is inevitable, actually.

  • 1
    It is all hypothetical. As soon as a king is checkmate the game ends. If I am not mistaken myself then the player whose king is checkmate cannot even claim a win when the flag of the other player falls before the clock could be pushed.
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:10
  • 1
    Also taking the king is no longer allowed according to the FIDE rules. When this happens the situation before the last move of the player who's king was taken. That player can also get a penalty for doing an illegal move.
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:18
  • You are missing the point, checkmate means king will be captured in the next move. What you explain is capturing king without checkmate.
    – ferit
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 15:11
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    I explain this way, because its easier to understand this way.
    – ferit
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 15:12
  • 1
    Nope. Once you are checkmate this means that you cannot do any legal move. As a result the player who is checkmate cannot move. This means that a king cannot be captured.
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 15:13

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