Consider this chess board set up:

enter image description here

Is the black king allowed to move to B4 or D4? The knight on C6 would put their white king in check if it moves.

I haven't really read any rules about this so thought I'd ask.

  • 1
    why don't you check it in an engine?
    – BCLC
    Sep 1, 2021 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


Yes, a piece can check even if it can't move because of a pin. This is explicitly written in the FIDE Laws of Chess (emphasis added):

3.9.1 The king is said to be 'in check' if it is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, even if such pieces are constrained from moving to the square occupied by the king because they would then leave or place their own king in check.

Therefore, if the black king tried to escape to b4 or d4 it would be moving into check, which is not allowed.

  • 1
    Also note this rule is logical. Assuming kings could be taken (they can't!!) your king would be the first to resign. (It's not uncommon for a game that both players might reach the goal, but only the first one wins...) Sep 2, 2021 at 9:53
  • this whole "check" business always seemed like a really convoluted way of just saying the first player to capture the other player's king loses, without actually allowing that to happen.
    – user253751
    Sep 2, 2021 at 12:35

You are in checkmate if you are in check and have no legal move by which to escape it.

In this case you cannot escape check by moving your king. B4 or D4 would leave you in check from the knight, C4 would leave you in check from the bishop and anything on rows 2 or 3 would leave you in check from a rook.

However moving your king is not the only way to escape a check. It is also sometimes possible to escape a check by blocking the capture route or by capturing the attackers piece. In the original version of the question it was possible to block the capture route by moving your queen to D3. So the position was not checkmate. In the revised version of the question it is not possible to block the attack path or capture the attacker so the revised position is checkmate.

  • Thank you for your answer but I now realised I made a mistake in my setup. I've edited my answer with the correct image. I wanted to emphasise on the knight's position. Is it really putting the king in check if the king moves to B4 or D4?
    – parhine
    Sep 1, 2021 at 18:40

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