12 Mate

12.1 Tutorial

A king is (check)mated when it is in check and there is no move which will get it out of check. Mate ends the game of chess.

The immediate end to a game by mate gives chess that special quality which means that for hundreds of years it has stood the test of time and made it one of the most popular and successful games of all time.

The course of an 'everyday'  chess game is that one side has a positional advantage, wins material and after exchanges converts that material advantage in the endgame. That is like a victory by points in boxing. Mate on the other hand is the KO victory in chess. Because mate stands above everything, a game can be decided by an attack on the king involving a risky sacrificial combination. A player who sacrifices is taking a risk. If the sacrifice does not lead to victory the game is lost because the opponent exploits the advantage in material. For that reason attacking games with sacrifices are seen as particularly exciting, aesthetically pleasing and valuable. In grandmaster tournaments there are 'brilliancy prizes' which are awarded to such games.

12.2 Exercises

Move directly on the board to input a solution. Either click first on the start square and then on the target square. Or click on the piece, hold on to it, move it tot he target square and let go of it. The button ‘Left arrow’ takes back the move.
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'Never miss a check, it might be mate!' This ironic rule describes the tendency of beginners to give early and useless checks. But as a matter of fact, if you want to deliver mate you have to give a check.