I am just learning Chess. Why is this a checkmate? It's Black's turn, and White's queen threatens Black's king, so check. But if I play gxf8, the check is gone. Why doesn't the game let me do it?

  • Well, it must be that black starts from the top. In that case, pawns cannot move backward so gxf8 is not possible. You can check this by seeing the coordinates of the board on the side. Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 17:37
  • 2
    Protip: If you are a total rookie, always play with a board that has numbered/lettered ranks and files, so that you can immediately see in which direction the pawns move. Online resources can be lazy in that regard. Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


In the usual orientation of pictures, black starts at the top and moves down, so the pawn would have to capture backward to take the queen. The actual pattern you see is a prime example of a "back rank/row mate".

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