I'm new at chess and still learning the rules. The other day I was playing a friend of mine, and it got to the point where I had only my king and queen and he had only his king and bishop. I forgot the exactly how we got to this point, but when we did, he said it would be stalemate and result in a draw. I argued that we keep playing and I wound up putting him in checkmate. He didn't make any fatal or illegal moves; I just beat him. My question is, why would this be a draw if I could win? Everything I find says that when either side has only a king and bishop/knight it results in a draw. Of course I may have misunderstood, but it seems like one side can get punished for simply taking out the other sides pieces.

  • 1
    Your friend was wrong. You have every right to play on in this situation. Commented May 29, 2016 at 18:42
  • Queen + king vs King + bishop is won endgame for the side with the queen. You have every right to play for a win. Commented May 29, 2016 at 18:47
  • It's a draw when one side has only a king and bishop and the other side has only a king. Then checkmate isn't possible. In your case it obviously was. Commented May 29, 2016 at 19:31
  • 1
    You can win by force, but you have 50 moves in which to do it, unless a piece is captured or a (non-existent) pawn is moved, which resets to counter.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 22:19
  • Although the question might have been worded a bit more clearly, the questioner indicated that he's new to the game. I noticed that it had 2 down-votes, so I've up-voted it in order to at least partly balance them. The question shows research on his part, is reasonable and useful for beginners, and is fairly clear. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


If I understand well you had a king and a queen, and your opponent a king and a bishop.

It is not a stalemate nor a draw, unless you reach a position like this one, for example:

[fen "8/8/8/8/8/6K1/8/5Qbk b - - 0 1"]

A stalemate occurs whenever the player having the turn has no legal moves and he's not under check.

A draw happens when there's no sequence of legal moves (even if they are absurd ones) than can lead to a checkmate, when the same position is repeated at least three times, or when at least 50 moves have been done without a pawn move or a capture.

  • @AlwaysLearningNewStuff thanks for the edit! I was looking the site for help about inserting FEN and PGN diagrams and I could not find it
    – sharcashmo
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 18:50
  • 1
    This should help... Commented May 29, 2016 at 19:18
  • That's a mate in 1, but perhaps you meant with black to move.
    – hkBst
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 8:15
  • it's black to move, FEN has this information but the diagram doesn't show it
    – sharcashmo
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 9:40
  • It might be better to set up the diagram with White to move, in a situation where Black's bishop has just forked white's king and queen, and where white's capture of the bishop would result in stalemate. To be sure, capturing the bishop at that point wouldn't really be better or worse than anything else White could do, since alternatives that drop the queen would yield a draw anyway, but setting up a plausible move before a stalemate could improve the explanation.
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 5:27

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