# Is checkmate possible in knight vs knight pawnless endgame?

I see plenty of information stating that a Knight and King vs a King is a Draw because a mating position is not possible. I also see that it IS possible, no matter how unlikely, to acquire a mating position with 2 Knights, therefore that would technically NOT be a Draw. I would "assume" a Knight vs a Knight (no pawns) is also a Draw, but I don't see that stated anywhere. Does the extra Knight on the board allow for the possibility of a mating position? For example, somehow blocking it's own King in. If so, does anyone have an example?

• Yes, it is possible to construct such a position, but there are no positions where you can force checkmate without help of the opponent. The same is true for KNNvK. Apr 14, 2017 at 23:32

Yes, it is indeed possible :) I'll give you the coordinates for the pieces in a possible mating position, and you can set it up on your chessboard.

Place the White King on g6.

Place a White Knight on f7.

Place the Black King on h8.

Place a Black Knight on g8.

``````6nk/5N2/6K1/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 1 1
``````

In that position, Black's King is checkmated. Although, I doubt even the biggest beginner would ever let that happen to them :) You would only be able to checkmate in that endgame if your opponent literally played the worst moves multiple times in a row.

• To expound, Black's last move wouldhave to be Ng8, from f6 or h6 (e7 would be giving check) so it would require bizarre cooperation. Bishop vs bishop would not be quite as egregious: White bishop on f6 / White king on g6 / Black bishop on g8 / Black king on h8 Apr 15, 2017 at 9:55
• Indeed, that is correct. Apr 15, 2017 at 13:54
• Maybe the last moves were Qxg8+ Ne7xg8 (forced) Nh6-f7# :-) Jan 26, 2020 at 20:24

In speed games, you only win when your opponents flag falls if you have mating material. This means that mate is possible, however unlikely. So if a position with K+N vs K+N is on the board, and one players flag falls, then they have lost. Infuriating for the loser.