Is it possible to checkmate King with two bishops of same colour in the endgame?.

Is it possible in Chess to get this position in reality?


King with Two bishops of same colour V/S King.

  • 2
    The only way to get two bishops of the same color is via underpromotion.
    – qwr
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


No, there is no possible checkmate with 2 (or more) same-coloured bishops against a bare king. The game is drawn immediately.

Indeed, if White has light-squared bishops then:

  • when the black king stand on a dark square, it cannot be attacked
  • when the black king stand on a light square, it can be attacked but there are at least two adjacent dark squares (more if it isn't in a corner), of which the white king can only deny one : Black is in check but not in checkmate and the king escapes.

For example, in the position (the most White can get) White: Kc2, Bf4, Bc5 / Black Ka1 :

1.Be5 is check but a2 is not controlled: 1...Ka2 and the game is a draw.

If you add a Black pawn, a checkmate pattern become possible. However, it takes 5 bishops (!) in this study by Alexei Troitsky (thanks to @HaukeReddmann for the reference) for White to be able to force a checkmate !

  • 1
    To clarify, the game is drawn because the opposing king can always stay on the opposite color squares as the bishops, and the other king isn't enough to force anything.
    – qwr
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 15:31
  • 2
    @Evergalo: The study is not by Loyd, but Troitsky. (youtube.com/watch?v=nvZa7sRbjho) Just FYI. Also, please extend the answer (e.g. "a mated bK must be checked by a wB, but even in the corner it has two flights of the other color which the wK can't control") as I'm tempted to edit that in :-) Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 9:55

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