Can You Checkmate With Two Bishops?

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If you want to get better at chess endgames then one of the very first things you would need to know is the basic checkmating patterns. So in this article, I am going to explain to you one of them, the two bishops’ checkmate right from scratch. If interested keep reading till the end!

Can You Checkmate With Two Bishops?

Yes, you can checkmate with two bishops. In this checkmating pattern, both the bishops coordinate with each other along with the king and checkmate the opponent’s king.

Two bishops with a king can checkmate a lone king but you need to be aware of certain mistakes that you could make.

Also Read: How Does The Bishop Move in Chess?

It may happen that you stalemate your opponent which occurs when the king is not in check but the player has no legal moves left to continue the game. So the game ends in a draw.

You can read these articles by me to know more about stalemate:

Moreover, another thing that may happen is you ran out of the move. Remember that you have to checkmate your opponent within the 50 moves otherwise it would be a draw.

The 50 move rule says that if within the last 50 moves no pawn movement and no capture has been made then the player can claim a draw. In this article, I discussed more on this so you can check that out for further reference.

Why You Should Learn The Two Bishops Checkmate?

Now before we discuss how to checkmate with two bishops we should be very clear that is it even worth it to learn this pattern.

Yeah! I know this kind of question may come to your mind. You might think this pattern is not so common so why should I learn it?

Actually, you should learn all the basic checkmating patterns like this whether they occur commonly or not, especially if you are a beginner. The idea is to develop your thinking skills.

By learning the 2 bishops’ checkmate pattern, it would be much easier for you to understand how two bishops can coordinate with each other in a game.

You would learn the usage of the king in the endgame. You would also learn to checkmate within the fixed number of moves, that too to avoid the stalemate.

Thus knowing all these facts now I think you are excited enough to learn this checkmating pattern. Right? Without further ado let’s start!

How To Checkmate With Two Bishops?

Here’s how you can checkmate with two bishops.

Step #1. Bring your two bishops to the center

Remember that you can’t checkmate your enemy king in the center of the board. This is because always there will be a square of escape for that king.

So first control the center with your 2 bishops. The key idea is to cut away the available squares of the enemy king by using the two bishops together.

Step #2. Activate your king

Remember that you can’t checkmate with just the two bishops. You will also need your king along with the two bishops to checkmate the enemy king.

So after the two bishops, are connected and placed at the center of the board slowly drive your king near the bishops in order to bring it into action as well.

One thing to always make sure of is to never allow the enemy king to come too close to your bishops in a way that they can be taken away.

Plus, you are always free to make a ‘waiting move’. By the waiting move I mean you want to put your piece in your desired square but due to the enemy piece, you can’t do that. In that case, you can play a move called waiting move to wait and then place that piece on that square.

Step #3. Push the enemy king towards the edge

Now gradually try to push the enemy king towards the edge of the board. Make sure that you don’t cause any blunder like a stalemate, keeping any of the bishops unprotected such that the enemy king can take it away.

Remember that you can’t checkmate a lone king with only a king and a bishop. The game will end in a draw if that happens. This is also known as a draw due to insufficient mating material. You can read this article written by me, to know more about all the other types of a draw in chess.

Step #4. Checkmate the enemy king in the corner

Now ultimately you have to deliver the checkmate by driving the enemy king to one of the corners of the chessboard.

This is the last, final, and most crucial step. So be careful and checkmate your opponent.

Now I know that these explanations might be difficult for some of you. So why not watch this video by Chess Talk, which will clear all your doubts.

Checkmate With Two Bishops Practice

So, after you have learned what is two bishop checkmate, why it is important to learn this, and how to do it properly. What should you do now? Practice, right?

If you want to practice the checkmate with two bishops then the best, easiest, and free way to do it is to just go on to the Lichess website.

Here’s is a link to the Lichess website two bishop checkmate practice which you can visit and start practicing your skills.


So that’s it! Hope you liked reading this article as much as I liked sharing this information with you.

Wait! 🙂 Before you go, you can also check out my below-related articles.

Till then Thanks and Good Luck!