My computer checkmated me with a pawn move.

I could have taken that pawn en passant but I wasn't given a chance to do that.

Was that a fault of my computer, or is there a rule stating that a pawn giving checkmate cannot be taken en passant?

3 Answers 3


I would love to see the position; please add it to your question somehow (we can always edit it to look nice). However, there is no such rule. Either your computer doesn't implement captures en passant (improbable these days) or the capture was not valid for some other reason.

  • 2
    On reflection it was played on my nintendo, not my computer, and I have no record of the position. Sep 12, 2013 at 22:13
  • 2
    Maybe the computer cheated you. This a new phenomenon that has arisen with smarter engines :D
    – chackerian
    Aug 4, 2016 at 6:52
  • 1
    As for the "improbable these days" part... I know of current high volume "chess" implementations that don't even implement castling!
    – Eiko
    Oct 2, 2016 at 18:31

Maybe your pawn happened to be pinned?

 8/8/7r/5K1k/7p/8/6P1/7R w - - 0 1

 1. g4+# hxg3?? 2. Rxh5
  • 1
    There cannot be moves after checkmate
    – M.M
    Oct 3, 2016 at 2:37
  • 2
    Yes, of course; I was using "??" to indicate not a weak but an illegal move, with "2 Rxh5" explaining why. Oct 3, 2016 at 3:35

As I understand your question, the computer checkmated you with a pawn move from the 2nd to the 4th rank. (Such a move is the only situation that invokes the en passant rule.)

Checkmate ends the game. That is why you were not permitted to capture; the game is already over.

  • This misses the question, being if an ep-capture is allowed in that scenario (which of course it is). It just isn't checkmate if e.p. is a legal move.
    – Eiko
    Oct 2, 2016 at 18:33
  • It seems I misunderstood the timing of events in your game (the question doesn't state that the e.p. capture should have been possible prior to the computer's move, or that the computer checkmated you by moving the same pawn again (the one that you were unable to capture e.p. on your prior move). Is that the correct description of the events? I.e. 1. Computer advances a2-a4. 2. You attempt to capture b4xa3, but are not allowed to. 3. The computer advances a4-a5, giving checkmate. Is that it?
    – jaxter
    Oct 2, 2016 at 18:40
  • It's not my question, but I think it's like this: computer played a2-a4 and announced checkmate (although b4xe3 e.p. might have been possible). Without the game record impossible to answer for sure. But I've seen too many low quality mass-product "chess" apps that got the rules wrong that I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bug.
    – Eiko
    Oct 2, 2016 at 18:51
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    @Eiko OP needs to provide details of the chronology of events, it seems, since there is sufficient ambiguity in the account to make the question impossible to answer correctly with any certainty. I've offered 2 interpretations; the 2nd would require further details to determine why the move was disallowed.
    – jaxter
    Oct 2, 2016 at 19:20
  • I think the question is clearly saying that the computer played a2-a4 and said that it was checkmate, even though b4xa3 is possible. (Of course OP may be mistaken too and b4xa3 was illegal for some other reason)
    – M.M
    Oct 3, 2016 at 2:38

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