The King is the most important piece in the game of chess. The game ends when one player resigns or is unable to move their king to a safe square. Players must simultaneously attack their opponent’s while defending theirs.
The King finds it’s place right next to the Queen and facing the opponent’s. Apart from Castling, which is a special move, the it is only able to move one square in any direction. Check out our article on special rules of chess to know more about this!
It cannot move to a square if it will be under attack by an opponent piece. If an opponent threatens an attack, the player must defend this. They can do this by either moving the king out of harms way or by using another piece to defend itself. This is a ‘check’.
Interestingly, the King cannot be captured and hence it is not valued in points. In endgame situations, it is vital to mobilize it to defend the pawns and lead to their promotion. Shown below is a case of when it steps up to defend it’s pawns and resulting in a checkmate.
We can see that eventhough Black has more material in this case and is only one move away from pawn promotion, it loses the game. White uses it’s King to defend the pawns and lead to pawn promotion. It then promotes the pawn to a Queen. This results in an elegant checkmate.
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