My friend claims that there is a mate in the next move. White to move and checkmate. I am aware of 3 mates in 2 variations:

1. Qd1 Kd3 2.Rxd5#

1. Qd1 Kc5 2.Qg1#

1. Qd1 Kxe5 2.d4#

But I cannot seem to find a mate in one move!

I ran it through Houdini and Rybka, both spat out the above variations.

I am aware that the engines dont normally miss these mate in 1 moves, still He seems to be sure (maybe he's wrong). Just want some 'experts' to confirm this.

enter image description here

  • 6
    I don't know what your friend got wrong, but 1. Qd1! is a really nice move. Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 13:19
  • He seems to be so sure ! He says - "Magesh Kumaar There is a single move to checkmate black. Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth" Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 14:36
  • 4
    Maybe by "single move" he means "only a single move works", not "the sequence ending in checkmate is a single move"?
    – dfan
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 13:23
  • 3
    Chess engines NEVER miss mate-in-1. If a chess engine doesn't find it it's not there.
    – BarrySW19
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 15:40

4 Answers 4


It's a silly trick. The board is upside-down! The bottom left square is h8, and the top right is a1. A legal move for white (but not a mate in 1) would be 1. e8=Q. Look at it upside-down for a minute, readjust your perception of which squares are controlled by pawns, and you'll soon find a mate in 1.

  • 5
    That may be the 'solution' but the board is clearly marked with a-h and 1-8. Thus, the board is not upside down. If this is the solution then what we have here is really a chess variant. At that point, anything could be possible since we don't, and can't, know the variant's rules.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 14:56
  • 2
    @TonyEnnis: I think that the question asker made that diagram (the caption talks about "my friend") so the diagram may be wrong in this respect. Commented May 28, 2015 at 19:08
  • 1
    That would not be mate - Black plays Kxd4
    – M.M
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 3:27
  • 2
    But 1.Rd5# would indeed be mate.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 16:25
  • Um, I was trying to explain the method of solving the problem without actually giving away the answer! @Evargolo, would you mind editing your comment to remove the "spoiler"? Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 11:46

Essentially, for mate in one, white needs to give check and guard e5. If the Q checks on b2, this opens c5 and d3 for the black K. If the Q checks on c3 or e4, it can be captured. If the Re5 checks on e4 or d5, it can be captured.

There is no mate in one.

However, now I look at this again, I can see that it might be the wording of the question that is wrong. White can certainly end the game in one move. f4, Kf4, Kf5, Rbf4 and any non-checking move by the Re5 will end the game.

In stalemate.

So you might say, by a trick of phrasing, that's a kind of "mate in the next move".


There is no mate in one move here, as there is 9 (Txb4+, Txd5+, Te4+, Dc5+, Dc4+, Dc3+, Dd3+, De4+, Db2+) way to do check black king but none of them gives mate.

Also it could be very interesting to find some example where Rybka or Houdini (or others...) can miss a mate in one.

  • I thought the same. But he's sure of it :o [ may be he's just wrong ] Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 12:19

There is no mate in the next move but very good move is Qd1! You always may use online tools to calculate next move. For example http://www.chessnextmove.com

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