Can the White king move to g2 to checkmate?

8/8/8/8/4Q3/7k/5K2/8 w - - 0 1

1. Kg2

3 Answers 3


Playing Kg2 in this position would "put your king in check" in that the black king is attacking that square already. So, no, that would be an illegal move.

The fastest way to checkmate in this position would be Qd4 (forcing the black king to move to h2) followed by Qh4#.

  • 7
    Note that Qc4, Qb4 and Qa4 all have exactly the same effect as Qd4. Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 3:08
  • 7
    ... but of course not Qf4 which would embarrassingly result in stalemate. :-) Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 10:02
  • 3
    Even ignoring that Kg2 is an illegal move, it's a losing move: black's response would be "Kxg2", which results in victory under the original rules of chess.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 19:27

Yes, this is illegal, as the two kings can not be within attacking distance of one another. All though, black is so very screwed in this game. A legal checkmate in 2 moves is, stalling once with the move queen to a4. The only move the king can make is h2, which will result in checkmate with the queen to h4.


  • 12
    "Black is very screwed in this game" Well, given that White is considering Kg2, I'd say Black's odds of draw by stalemate or win via illegal move by White are perhaps larger than usual... :)
    – user45266
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 10:39

Think of it this way. The goal of the game is to capture the king. If you put the king in check, it can instead just take your king and win there! Nobody cares what happens after your king falls. Pedantically though, I think any move that brings about a check to your own king is illegal so yep. Illegal!

  • The goal of chess is not to capture the king though, it's just to make it so it can't escape danger, and Kg2 does put your king in danger of your opponent's king.
    – Fatso Boo
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 14:04

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