In the below position, taken from the end of the game McDonnell-Bourdonnais, black must win. Is there a way that white can survive for six moves?

I only know some ways that white can survive for five moves as follows.

3b2rk/3P2pp/8/p7/8/2Q5/PP1pppPP/3R3K w - - 0 1

1. h4                         exd1=Q+
2. Kh2                        f1=Q
3. Qc4                        Qfxc4 
4. g4                         Qcxg4
5. a3                         Qdxg1#

The White pawn must move to give the space for the king, since the queen and rook cannot prevent the black pawns from promoting to queens. Because of the Bishop on e4, white queen must defend h4. She can go b4, c4, d4, h3, f6 or g7. But it seems that nothing works.

  • 1
    which game is this from?
    – prusswan
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 18:38
  • @prusswan Emmm, actually the game is an action-adventure video game published by Ubisoft named Watchdog, and this comes from Watchdog1. In this game, you can play chess with AI (both endgame or whole game). Indeed chess is a small part of Watchdog.
    – Blanco
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 6:28
  • 5
    While it's true this is from the game Watchdog - they actually took this position from a famous game played in 1834 between McDonell and La Bourdonnais: chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001165 Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


No. According to my Stockfish, this is a forced mate in 5, whatever White tries to prevent it, and you're giving one of the (relatively) best lines. Black threatens a back rank mate by promoting one of his pawns, and the rook and queen cannot stop that. Moving the g-pawn doesn't really help, so 1. h3 and 1. h4 are the best tries.

3b2rk/3P2pp/8/p7/8/2Q5/PP1pppPP/3R3K w - - 0 1

1. h4 (1. Qxd2 f1=Q+ 2. Rxf1 exf1=Q#) (1. h3 exd1=Q+ 2. Kh2 Bh4 { threatens Qg1# } 3. Qc1 Qxc1 4. a3 Qg1#) exd1=Q+ 2. Kh2 f1=Q 3. Qd4 ( 3. Qc4 Qxc4 4. g4 Qcxg4 5. a3 Qdg1# ) Bc7+ 4. Qf4  Bxf4+ 5. Kh3 Qh1#
  • Thanks, I saw it in a RPG game, and the answer says "6", so it makes me confused. Maybe the answer is wrong.
    – Blanco
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 12:17
  • You could post the relevant lines to make this answer more complete. Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 16:41
  • @GloriaVictis done.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 22:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.