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In modern parlance, the term checkmate is a metaphor for an irrefutable and strategic victory.500–700) the king could be captured and this ended the game. 700–800) introduced the idea of warning that the king was under attack (announcing check in modern terminology).A similar position with the knight on d2 is more than 500 years old, identified as "Partito n. The winning plan, quite difficult to execute in practice, is to blockade the enemy pawn(s) with one of the knights, maneuver the enemy king into a stalemated position, then bring the other knight over to checkmate.23" by Luca Pacioli, in his MS De ludo scachorum (Latin for "The game of chess"), dated 1498 and recently reprinted (Gli scacchi) by Aboca Museum Edizioni. In a typical position with a minor piece versus a minor piece, a player would be able to claim a draw if he has a limited amount of time left. These situations are generally only seen in chess problems, since at least one of the knights must be a promoted piece, and there is rarely a reason to promote a pawn to a piece other than a queen (see underpromotion).There are two general types of stalemate positions that can occur, which the stronger side must avoid. The first position is a checkmate by the bishop, with the black king in the corner.The first diagram shows the basic checkmate position with a rook, which can occur on any edge of the board. (an important move that forces the king toward the corner) 17... The bishop can be on other squares along the diagonal, the white king and knight have to be on squares that attack g8 and h7.Similarly, White can be mated with the white king on h1 and the knight on f2. The defender's task is easy — he simply has to avoid moving into a position in which he can be checkmated on the next move, and he always has another move available in such situations.Analogous mates on a1 and a8 are rarer, because kingside castling is the more common as it safely places the king closer to the corner than it would had the castling occurred on the queenside. Under some circumstances, two knights and a king can force checkmate against a king and pawn (or rarely more pawns).

The second diagram shows a slightly different position where the kings are not in opposition but the defending king must be in a corner. The knight can be on other squares that check the black king.

In the position from Seirawan, White wins by first forcing the black king to the side of the board, then to a corner, and then checkmates. Be3 Ke5 (forcing the king back, which is done often) 3. Bc4 (White has a fine position; the bishops are centralized and the king is active) 6... Ke5 Kd7 (Black is trying to avoid the a8-corner) 8. Should the chess hopeful really spend many of his precious hours he's put aside for chess study learning an endgame he will achieve (at most) only once or twice in his lifetime? The most common form of smothered mate is seen in the adjacent diagram.

This position is an example of a stalemate, from the end of a 1966 endgame study by A. The knight on f7 delivers mate to the king on h8 which is prevented from escaping the check by the rook on g8 and the pawns on g7 and h7.

A checkmating move is recorded in algebraic notation using the hash symbol "#", for example: 34. A checkmate may occur in as few as two moves on one side with all of the pieces still on the board (as in Fool's mate, in the opening phase of the game), in a middlegame position (as in the 1956 game called the Game of the Century between Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer), Persian "māt" applies to the king but in Sanskrit "māta", also pronounced "māt", applied to his kingdom "traversed, measured across, and meted out" thoroughly by his opponent; "māta" is the past participle of "mā" verbal root.

In modern Persian, the word mate depicts a person who is frozen, open-mouthed, staring, confused and unresponsive.