Ending the Game


Check occurs whenever a player’s king is under attack from or in position to be taken by an enemy piece.

If it is your turn and your king is in check, you must “get out” of check by making your king safe.  This can be done in three ways:

  • Capturing the piece that is giving check.
  • Blocking the check with another piece. 
  • Moving your king to a square that is not attacked. 


Checkmate occurs if one player’s king is in check and there is no way to get out of check.

The player whose king is checkmated loses the game!



Games of chess can also end in a draw, or a tie.  There are five ways to make a draw in chess:

The players agree to a draw and stop playing.
This means it is a player’s move, their king is not in check, but they do not have any legal moves available to them.
Insufficient material for either player to force checkmate.  
Most commonly this happens when only kings remain on the board.
However, certain combinations of pieces also cannot checkmate, such as king and knight, or king and bishop.
Threefold repetition of a position
The exact same position is repeated three times in a game, although not necessarily in a row.
Fifty moves pass where neither player moves a pawn or makes a capture.