Check Guide: Part of the Check to Checkmate Guide

Chess Endgame Guide
Check Guide

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The term "Check" refers to an attacking situation in chess that directly threatens the King ...

Chess Glossary - Check

The image, to your right, shows Black's King is being directly threatened, from the Kingside of the Board, by White's Queen.

Other ways of stating the threat can include, for instance:

  • "White's Knight is Checking Black's King".

  • "You can't move that piece, as your King's being Checked by my Bishop".
The Notation Symbol for a Check is a single '+' plus, which is added to the end of the notation of the respective Pawn or Piece that made the move.

For example, Bb5+ would indicate that a Bishop has moved to the b5 square, putting the enemy King in "Check".

Say what you see... If your move puts your opponent's King in Check, it's usual to declare it. Just say it: "Check".


A King CANNOT be left "in Check" ... action must be take IMMEDIATELY to safeguard the King and this can be done in one of three ways:
  1. Move the King away from the direct threat.

  2. Use another piece in-between, in order to Block the direct threat*

  3. Capture the threatening piece (if it's within range and won't keep him threatened, the King can be used to make the capture).
* The only piece that cannot be blocked in this way is the Knight. If that piece is being used to directly threaten the King, the ONLY options are to capture it, or move the King to safety.

Check Guide Index

This section focuses on when a King gets in Check:
  1. Some Examples of Check (page 2)
    Contains a short video clip showing examples of a King in Check.

  2. Double Check (page 3)
    When a King is put in Check by more than one enemy Pawn and/or Piece, from a single maneuver, it's known as a Double Check.

Moving On: Check Examples (Page 2).

Return to the Check to Checkmate Guide Index
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