Knightmate

Initial setup

e1, e8: Royal Knight
d1, d8: Queen
a1, a8, h1, h8: Rook
c1, c8, f1, f8: Bishop
b1, b8, g1, g8: Commoners
a2-h2, a7-h7: Pawns

Moves at a Glance

Click on a piece below to see its moves

Sliding capture or non-capture,
can be blocked on any square along the ray
Unblockable leap (capture or non-capture)
Non-capture only
Capture only

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Piece ID value Moves (Betza notation) Remarks
Royal Knight K - N Can castle with Rook, moving 2 steps towards it
Queen Q 10 RB or Q
Rook R 4.5 R
Bishop B 3.25 B Color-bound
Commoner M 3 K
Pawn P 1 mfWcfF Promotes to Q, R, B, or M on reaching last rank

Pawn peculiarities

Castling

A Royal Knight that has not moved before can move two squares in the direction of a Rook that has not moved before, in which case that Rook is moved to the square on the other side next to the Royal Knight. This is only allowed if all squares traveled through by Royal Knight and Rook are empty (after their removal), when the Royal Knight is not in check on the square it came from, and would not be in check on any of the squares it skipped over.

General rules

Differences with FIDE

The King moves as a Knight, the Knights move as a King.

Strategy issues

It is not possible to force checkmate on a bare King with just a single Rook, Bishop or Commoner (in addition to your own King). All pairs of pieces can force checkmate on a bare King, however. A Queen can even do it without help of its Royal Knight, and is thus extremely dangerous.

Bishops are confined to squares of a single color. Having Bishops on both colors compensates this weakness, and is worth an extra 0.5 on top of their added value.

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