In the photo below, it does not appear that I have the black king under attack. The next move that I made was my white queen to d8 and instantaneously I was told I had won by checkmate.

How is this possible in this situation as I don't believe I had the king in check prior to that move?

  • 1
    Checkmate in 1 means in 1 half-move the Black king will be checkmated. He does not need to be in check for it to be mate on the next half-move.
    – B.Swan
    Jan 8, 2021 at 19:41
  • Thank you very much! New baby at home and brain is fried! Interesting time to pick up the game of chess!! Jan 8, 2021 at 20:00
  • Upvoted to counteract the apparent downvote. Not sure why it was downvoted, it's a very beginner question yes, but still a valid question
    – Darren H
    Jan 11, 2021 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


No, the Black king is not checkmated in the photo, but it will be on the next move if you move your queen to either of the squares indicated by the arrows (i.e. to c8 or f7). Qd8# would also work. This is because all of the black king's potential escape squares are covered by your men in the case of Qc8# or Qd8#, and of course there are no potential escape squares after Qf7#. The opposing king doesn't have to be in check before you make your move for it to be a potential checkmate.

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