Both Checks and Checkmates target the respective Kings.
- Checks and Double Checks target an exposed King. One of the King's troops can block the check, take out the attacker, or the King can move to escape the attack.
They're a threat and usually cost time, which can be exploited (gain position, capture enemy material, etc.), but they're not terminal.
- Checkmates also target an exposed King, but this time, there is no legal escape route!
No matter where the King moves, it will be in check.
This is GAME OVER. One side wins, the other loses.
The following five Basic Checkmates were explored from Fundamental Chess Endings, by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht:
- King & Queen v. King
- King & Rook v. King
- King & 2x Bishops v. King
- King, Knight & Bishop v. King
- King & 2x Knights v. King & Pawn
While most games appear to transition through three roughly defined phases of play in neat order:
... some games are cut short by a sudden Checkmate, which occurs in the Opening phase.
- Opening phase,
- Middlegame phase,
- Endgame phase,
This guide looks at examples of Checkmate Openings, from well known Openings, such as the Ruy Lopez and Caro-Kann Defence, respectively. There's examples of Opening wins for White and wins for Black.
But, these aren't 'shortcuts to victory'. They're presented to focus your mind on the mistakes made by the losing side.