Legall's Mate:
Part of the Famous Checkmates Guide

Chess Endgame Guide
Famous Checkmates
[Legall's Mate]

Legall's Mate
- Overview -

Famous Checkmates - Legall's MateNamed after French chess player, Legall de Kermeur, this strategy achieves Mate in 7 Moves.

It's a cunning trap!

Sometimes, you may find it CAN be strategically advantageous to sacrifice your Queen ... such a ploy is demonstrated by Legall's Mate.

Legall's Mate
- ChessFlash Viewer -

Legall's Mate
- Video Example -

PGN File(s) [+]Show
Video Commentary
  • Move 1,
    [Timeline, 0:10],
    White advances his e-file Pawn to e4 ... Black responds by moving his Pawn, from e7 to e5.

  • Move 2,
    [Timeline, 0:18],
    White brings his King-side Bishop out to c4 ... Black moves his Queen's Pawn to d6.

  • Move 3,
    [Timeline, 0:26],
    White hops his King-side kNight out to f3 ... Black chooses to move his Queen-side Bishop to g4.

    Black thinks he's played a clever 'Pinning' move ... You can see, White's Knight is having to remain where it is - it's being 'Pinned' - else Black can use his Bishop to capture White's Queen.

  • Move 4,
    [Timeline, 0:35],
    For now, White keeps his Queen guarded and chooses to move his Queen-side kNight out to c3 ... Black's response is to move his c7 Pawn out to c6.

    Now White begins his cunning strategy ...

  • Move 5,
    [Timeline, 0:45],
    White moves his King-side kNight to capture (x) the Pawn on e5. White's Queen is now exposed to Black's Bishop on g4 ... It's an inviting opportunity, too good for Black to pass up, so he uses his Bishop to capture (x) White's Queen on d1.

    It's the first of a chain of moves that ultimately costs Black the game.

  • Move 6,
    [Timeline, 0:52],
    White moves his Bishop to capture (x) Black's Pawn on f7, which also puts Black's King in Check (+). It's a good move and part of White's strategy that sees the Bishop protected by the Knight on e5 ... Black, in response, has no option and is forced to move his King to e7, the only safe space on the board that gets him out of Check.

  • Move 7,
    [Timeline, 0:59],
    That is, until this move, which sees White's other kNight, on c3, move to d5, to sit alongside its pair and now Black's King is toast - Checkmate (#).

    White Wins (1-0).

    And that's the Legall's Mate. It's also yet another game where a Queen-sacrifice contributes to a win.

  1. e4 ... e5
  2. Bc4 ... d6
  3. Nf3 ... Bg4
  4. Nc3 ... g6
  5. Nxe5 ... Bxd1
  6. Bxf7+ ... Ke7
  7. Nd5#
  8. 1-0

From this example of Legall's Mate,
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