It's my move. All I have is a king. The opponent has a rook and a queen. I can't move without going into check. Is this a draw?


3 Answers 3


That's the definition of a "stalemate", which is a draw, i.e. if it's your turn to move and your lone king has no legal move. It can also happen in other situations, such as for example if you also have blocked pawns on the board in addition to the king, since you will still have no legal move. This is often the last resort of the novice, the hope that his opponent will let him obtain such a position. If you are the player with the rook and queen, or even just a queen, in such a situation, you must be careful to always leave your opponent's king a space to move to if you don't have an immediate mate to avoid this occurring. Of course, it's much less likely that you can get a stalemate against a more skilled opponent, although some strong players have "swindled" their equally strong opponents out of a win thereby, one famous case being a long-ago game between Grandmasters Larry Evans and Samuel Reshevsky.

  • If I had a rook and a queen against a lone king I'd be tempted to sacrifice the queen so that I wouldn't have to worry so much about a stalemate. Jul 27, 2015 at 21:06
  • 2
    @PeteBecker What about mating the opponent king, so that you won't have to worry about stalemate anymore ?
    – Evargalo
    Nov 2, 2017 at 7:03

Your description of the situation is too incomplete for us to answer.

  1. If your king is not under check where it stands right now, then the situation is called a stalemate. The game is drawn.

  2. If your king is under check where it stands right now, then the situation is called a checkmate. The game is lost for you, won for your opponent.

By the way, the appelation "discovered check" in the question's title is inappropriate here, it means something totally different.


This situation is called a stalemate.

Webster Dictionary defines a stalemate as "a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check."

In your situation, that would be considered a stalemate.

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