Is there a general consensus among composers, players, and/or organizations for what exactly defines an en passant checkmate, and is there any history to it?

As far as I know, there are two possibilities to define it by.

  1. The pawn captures, moving to deliver a discovered check that results in checkmate.

  2. The pawn captures, and the pawn itself checkmates.

2 Answers 2


After some research I could not find any "official" definition by a chess association/federation. This doesn't really surprise me, as there really is no need for a definition of "e.p. checkmate" to ensure correct play.

However the general internet consensus on the usage of the term seems to agree on the following requirements:

  • The game has to end with checkmate.
  • The last move has to be played en passant.

An exemplary notated move would be "29... cxd e.p. #" (although notating e.p. is optional under the FIDE laws of chess (C.9)) - regardless if the pawn capturing delivers check or not. The Wikipedia examples follow this definition.

As there is no opinion by a regulatory instance about this topic, it seems to be up to you to make up your mind on this topic or bringing it to the attention of said regulatory instance. I am taking the "democratic" approach with the above definition.

  • I would be somewhat surprised if there was no official definition- at least the WFCC or similar organizations could be expected to have some definition?
    – pulsar512b
    May 22, 2020 at 23:13

I don't think it is defined at all. But in your first case, the pawn is delivering the mate. So I think that would be the 'en passant mate'. The 2nd case is 'just' a discovered mate.


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