Royal Checkmate

This has been known as the “Face-to-Face Laughing” checkmate, a literal translation of the Chinese term 对面笑. The distinguishing feature of this checkmate is that His Majesty commits himself to playing the role of Interception Force. This relies on the rule that the two Kings are not allowed to face each other directly. I prefer to name it the “Royal Checkmate”. Figure 1 to 4 are the most common formats. 

fig. 1


Red King is dominating the central file depriving Black of K6=5.

fig. 2



Red King pins down the adviser. Black cannot get his King out of check by A5-6.

fig. 3



Black King’s only escape ( K5=6) is cut off by the Red King.


fig. 4



The Adviser provides carriage for the Cannon, while opening up the central file for his King to seal off Black’s escape route.

Now try to solve the three endgame puzzles mentally. You may move your mouse over the image to pause the slide.  Check your answers in the right column.