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Old December 23rd 03, 11:02 AM
Death Eater Dan
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

Hi
I am new to chess and just wanted to figure something out.

Can anyone please tell me what peices are possible to check mate if there
are only 4 peices on the board of which 2 are black and 2 are white.

I was told it would be only possible to mate if you had a queen. But that
surely that is only true when it is king+queen versus king. For example
couldn't a white knight or rook or bishop check a black king by using the
other black peice to inhibit the black king?

Is it possible to mate in any king+pawn versus king+pawn situation? Is it
possible to mate with a pawn while the opponent has a non-pawn peice left as
well as the king?


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Old December 23rd 03, 02:08 PM
Alex Brunetti
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

"Death Eater Dan" ha scritto nel messaggio
u...

Is it possible to mate in any king+pawn versus king+pawn situation? Is it
possible to mate with a pawn while the opponent has a non-pawn peice left

as
well as the king?


Yes.
Yes, if the piece is a Knight or a Bishop.

Alex


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Old December 23rd 03, 06:11 PM
John Merlino
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

"Death Eater Dan" wrote in message . au...
Hi
I am new to chess and just wanted to figure something out.

Can anyone please tell me what peices are possible to check mate if there
are only 4 peices on the board of which 2 are black and 2 are white.

I was told it would be only possible to mate if you had a queen. But that
surely that is only true when it is king+queen versus king. For example
couldn't a white knight or rook or bishop check a black king by using the
other black peice to inhibit the black king?


Whoever said that you have to have a queen to checkmate your opponent
is very wrong. And you are correct in your response.

Is it possible to mate in any king+pawn versus king+pawn situation? Is it
possible to mate with a pawn while the opponent has a non-pawn peice left as
well as the king?


It is not possible to checkmate your opponent in a KP vs KP situation,
but it is definitely possible with KP vs KN. Put the White King on f7,
the White Pawn on g7, the Black King on h8, and a Black Knight on h7.

Also, if you change the Knight to a Bishop and move it to g8, and move
the White King to h6, it works as well.

jm
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Old December 23rd 03, 08:05 PM
Anders Thulin
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

John Merlino wrote:

It is not possible to checkmate your opponent in a KP vs KP situation,
but it is definitely possible with KP vs KN. Put the White King on f7,
the White Pawn on g7, the Black King on h8, and a Black Knight on h7.


Such positions must be analysed a bit more. The last move made was obviously
by the pawn to g7. But what was black's last move?

There's not much to choose from ...

While it's possible to mate with this material, provided black
blunders like that, it is not possible to force a mate.

--
Anders Thulin http://www.algonet.se/~ath

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Old December 23rd 03, 08:11 PM
Sidney Cadot
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

Death Eater Dan wrote:

I am new to chess and just wanted to figure something out.

Can anyone please tell me what peices are possible to check mate if there
are only 4 peices on the board of which 2 are black and 2 are white.


Ok. Assuming that by "possible", you mean there are situations on the
board that are mate. You could also ask the question if there are
"forced mates" (that's a different question altogether).


Possible combinations are the following. To be clear: I'm answering the
question if there are positions where the first player gives mate.

1) king, queen/rook vs. king, any other : mates are possible.

Examples: white king on f7, white queen (or rook) on h6, black king on
h8, any other black piece on a3. Black is mated.

2) king, bishop vs. king, queen/rook: mate not possible.

If you to set up such a position, the second player is always able to
parry the bishop's check by putting the queen/rook in its path; this
means that the king+queen/rook player has at least a draw.

4) king, bishop vs. king, bishop: mates are possible (BUT....)

e.g. white king:h6, bishop: g7; black king: h8, bishop:g8. Black is mated.

BUT: there are only mating positions if the bishops of the two players
move on different squares. It is not possible to make a mating position
if both the white/black bishop move on the white squares, for example.

5) king, bishop vs. king, (knight or pawn): mate possible; eg.

white king: f7, bishop: g7; black king: h8, knight (or pawn): h7.

6) king, knight vs. king/queen: no mates possible.

7) king, knight vs. king/rook: mate possible, e.g.

white king: f8, knight: g6; black king: h8, rook: h7

8) king, knight vs. king/bishop: mate possible, e.g.

white king: f8, knight: f7; black king: h8, bishop: h7

9) king, knight vs. king, knight/pawn: mate possible, e.g.

white king: f7, knight: 96; black king h8; knight/pawn: h7

10) king, pawn vs. king+queen/rook:

No mate position possible for king/pawn player

11) king, pawn vs. king+bishop/knight/pawn: mate possible, e.g.

white king: f7, pawn:g7; black king: h8, bishop (or knight, or pawn): h7

I was told it would be only possible to mate if you had a queen. But that
surely that is only true when it is king+queen versus king. For example
couldn't a white knight or rook or bishop check a black king by using the
other black peice to inhibit the black king?


Yes. As you see by the list above, this is possible. However, in
practical play, this doesn't occur very often; in 2 piece vs. 2 piece
endings without pawns, it is usually necessary to have a queen for mating;

e.g.

KR vs KR is a draw in normal play
KR vs KB is a draw unless the bishop is lost, but this cannot usually be
forced
KR vs KN is a draw unless the knight is lost, but this cannot usually be
forced

If there are no queens and rooks on the board, the position is usually a
dead draw.

When you consider pawns, it all becomes a matter of whether promotion is
possible. This depends very much on the relative positions of the kings,
pawn, and piece. This can already get quite difficult!

One nice, famous example of king/pawn vs. king/pawn:

White king on h8, pawn on c6; black king on a6; pawn on h5; white to
move. Looks like the black pawn has a free path to promotion, while the
whie pawn can be intercepted by the black king! Still, white can
magically hold the draw!

Is it possible to mate in any king+pawn versus king+pawn situation? Is it
possible to mate with a pawn while the opponent has a non-pawn peice left as
well as the king?



Both: yes, see above. Won't happen a lot in real play though!

Best regards,

Sidney Cadot



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Old December 23rd 03, 08:14 PM
Sidney Cadot
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

John Merlino wrote:

It is not possible to checkmate your opponent in a KP vs KP situation,
but it is definitely possible with KP vs KN. Put the White King on f7,
the White Pawn on g7, the Black King on h8, and a Black Knight on h7.


Replace the black knight by a pawn, and it's still a mate; so even KP vs
KP can be a win.


Best regards,

Sidney

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Old December 23rd 03, 08:26 PM
Sidney Cadot
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

Death Eater Dan wrote:

I was told it would be only possible to mate if you had a queen. But that
surely that is only true when it is king+queen versus king.


.... missed that on first reading. King+Rook vs. King is also a won game.
King+Pawn vs. King might be, depending on the position, e.g.

white king on e1, white pawn on e2; black king on e8:

if white has the move, she wins. if black has the move, it's a draw.

Best regards, Sidney

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Old December 23rd 03, 09:20 PM
Alex Brunetti
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

"John Merlino" ha scritto nel messaggio
om...

It is not possible to checkmate your opponent in a KP vs KP situation


Arguable: wKf7,Pf6/bKh8,Bh6,Ph7
1...Bg7 2.hg7#

Alex


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Old December 23rd 03, 10:22 PM
Joost de Heer
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

It is not possible to checkmate your opponent in a KP vs KP situation,

It is possible to have a K+P vs K+P mate position. However, the previous move
must've been a capture.

It's also possible to have a K+P vs K+P position in which white mates. But then
the final position isn't a K+P vs K+P anymore.

Joost
--
Du hast mein Herz zerrissen, meine Seele geraubt
Das es so enden würde hätt` ich nie geglaubt [Aus der Ruinen -]
Ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste, hast Du meine Welt zerstört [L'Âme Immortelle]
Eine Welt, die vor kurzem nur uns beiden hat gehört
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Old December 24th 03, 02:54 AM
John Merlino
 
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Default Checkmate- minimum required peices

Anders Thulin wrote in message ...
John Merlino wrote:

It is not possible to checkmate your opponent in a KP vs KP situation,
but it is definitely possible with KP vs KN. Put the White King on f7,
the White Pawn on g7, the Black King on h8, and a Black Knight on h7.


Such positions must be analysed a bit more. The last move made was obviously
by the pawn to g7. But what was black's last move?

There's not much to choose from ...

While it's possible to mate with this material, provided black
blunders like that, it is not possible to force a mate.


Agreed. The original poster did not ask about the ability to FORCE a
mate, just if a checkmate was possible with that material.

However, the position that I posted is perfectly POSSIBLE, but of
course very unlikely.

jm
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