index 2005
Letter #08 -  2005

Sub:    Incorrect Chess statement
Date:   3/07/2005 3:57:49 PM MST
From:  C. Dorrance


I just happened upon your site tonight, and as a fellow Chess enthusiast, I decided to try a few of your Chess problems.

I came upon a statement that incorrectly claims that it is not possible to checkmate your opponent using only your King and two Knights.

If your opponent is forced into h8, and you have your pieces as follows, checkmate does indeed result:

Your King g6
One Knight f7
2nd Knight h6

Thanks, figured you should know so you can fix/update your webpage or whatever.

C. Dorrance

Dear viewer,

Thank you very much for your observation which indeed is correct in a certain way. The only thing we found wrong was the wording of our statement which stated:

“A combination of a King and two Knights alone cannot perform a checkmate”

We already corrected it to:

“A combination of a King and two Knights alone cannot force a checkmate”

Thus, it is impossible to force this kind of mate unless your opponent wishes to be mated (which should never be the objective of a Chess game) otherwise, the game will always be a draw.

In your example moves (see graphic), nobody forced the black King from g8 to h8 since the right move for black should have been from g8 to f8 and white has nothing at all.

Mate with two Knights

Thank you and feel free to write us again if you feel we are still wrong on this.

Thank you for visiting us,

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