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How to Checkmate with King and Queen vs King

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

A situation that you may face in the endgame is when you have a queen (possibly through pawn promotion) and your king against your opponent’s king. In such a case, you will be able to force checkmate quite easily. Read on to learn how!

1. Cut off your opponent’s king into a box

Move your queen so that the opponent's king is restricted to one quadrant of the board. Do not deliver checks yet.

The king is now stuck in the bottom-left region of the board

2. Move your king to support your queen

Move your king to help restrict the enemy king and protect your queen. Remember, no piece can checkmate on its own!

the opposing king can only retreat now

3. Close the box

When it is safe to do so, your queen should be moved closer to the enemy king. This makes the “box” that you created in step one smaller.

keep closing the box like this until the king is at the edge of the board

4. Avoid stalemate

Once the “box” is very small, make sure the opposing king always has a way to move if you are not putting it in check.

moving to b3, c3, or d3 would remove the only place the black king can move. Qf2 is a much better option.

5. Deliver checkmate along the edge of the board

Finally, when the opposing king is blocked by your king, deliver checkmate along the back file/rank or by moving your queen in front of the enemy king. (make sure it’s protected though)

Qa2, Qb2, and Qe1 all checkmate the enemy king

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