enter image description here

The standard chess end game position above most probably results in a draw. On his turn White player placed the bishop to f5 and say "checks" (board pieces as shown). How can the Black player move his knights legally from this current position?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It's a double check. You must move the king. $\endgroup$
    – Jakob
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Black player should not lost $\endgroup$
    – TSLF
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 20:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's only a draw because it will take longer than 50 moves to mate. Without that restriction, white wins with best play on both sides. $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 20:43
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Tacoタコス Bishop could've been on d3 before move to f5 $\endgroup$
    – TCooper
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 21:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FYI, K+R+B usually wins against K+N+N and endgame databases confirm this is no exception: Black loses in 185 moves. (Well, ignoring the 50-move-rule of course...) i.sstatic.net/9SAX4.png $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 9:38

2 Answers 2


Second Attempt

Based on OPs comments I now believe

Black says "J'adoube", which means "I adjust", and centers both his knights which are slightly off center. He then proceeds to move his King


you can/should only adjust on your turn, so it is appropriate for black to do so. Also, technically he wouldn't need to say anything, because although it's touch-move, the knights have no legal move so black would not be forced to move either of them

First Answer

The only thing I can think that of that would allow a knight to move is

White made an illegal move


Black points it out and White must make a legal move with the bishop since he touched it. The bishop must have been between the rook and king, but if it were on c3 or e3, Bxd4 wins. d3 would mean it was a legal move. So it was on f3 or g3 and black can draw after the bishop moves. However if it were on f3, Bg4+ forces the king, not a knight to move. So the bishop was on g3. After something like Bxe5, Nxb3+ draws.

  • $\begingroup$ Boring, but seems right... no standard next move is possible. +1 $\endgroup$
    – TCooper
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ White lost by illegal move. $\endgroup$
    – TSLF
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 3:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TSLF Iiii don't understand what you mean. Making an illegal move doesn't lose a game according to the official rules of chess $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 13:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ After white retracts the illegal move and makes another, black can move a knight from another position, not the current one, as required. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 17:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TSLF in blitz/speed chess, maybe. But the USCF rule (FIDE is similar) is: If a player completes an illegal move by pressing the clock, in addition to the usual obligation to make a legal move with the touched piece if possible, the standard penalty specified in rule 1C2a applies (i.e. two minutes added to the opponent’s clock) $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 17:54

There is only one situation where it is legal for the black player to move the knights from this position, because

moving "knights" implies moving several pieces at once.

That can only happen while castling, or according to

Fide laws of chess:
7.5 If during a game it is found that pieces have been displaced from their squares, the position before the irregularity shall be re-instated. If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be determined, the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity.

This is the only possibility, since

if white disturbed the position on his previous move, white must fix it, not black.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think your comment to my answer also applies here, if you reset a knight, black isn't moving from this position $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ say there's a term for this $\endgroup$
    – TSLF
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @TSLF you mean J'adoube? $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 0:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.