21 Useful Chess Puzzles Of Checkmates You Need To Practice

21 chess-puzzle

How does chess puzzle work?

Well, the answer is you need to be familiar with the chess moves first and use that to analyze these chess puzzles I have prepared below… 🙂

Ok, some chess beginners don’t know what mate in 3 or 2 means, I just explained my daughter about that and she did understand that the King will be checkmated within this specific moves.

But what she does not understand is how…

That is the main question we need to answer, right?

Chess puzzles are meant to be challenging to answer, and some of the answers are way above average for chess beginners.

I like to start with a mate in 2 or 3 moves and then understand how did the chess players come up with that solution.

Here in this article, I am going to share with you checkmate puzzles that you can practice and use to improve your chess game.

21 useful chess puzzles of checkmates of two and three moves you need to practice

Don’t forget to read this recommended article:
“Popular Chess Openings you need to know” click here to read blog post!

Chess Puzzles mate in 2

White wins these puzzles, and I have given some hints which you can use to solve the game.

Always try to solve it first before you go and look for the solution below.

This will become very useful if you do solve the puzzle first, remember that the checkmates are in 2 moves only.

This usually is a lot easier to solve than 3 or more moves.

Enjoy the mate in 2 puzzles!

1. Special Chess Move

In this chess puzzle, you need to checkmate the Black King by first giving a check.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate in 2

Chess experts were saying that this one was a little bit tough to answer.

But don’t get discouraged, all you need to do is try and solve it at least three times.

Also read: What is the disadvantage of backward pawn in chess?

2. Simple Chess Move

In this chess puzzle, you need to checkmate the Black King without giving any check first.   Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate in 2 moves

The Black King has no way of stopping this mate in two moves.

3. Unblocking Move

In this chess puzzle, a positional move is required without giving any check.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate in 2

White will wait for whatever Black is going to move, and has no means of protecting the King.

4. Bait Move

In this chess puzzle, a strategic move is required for White to win in two moves.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

chess puzzle

White will response with a checkmate for any move that Black makes.

Try to solve this at least three times before checking the solution below… 🙂

5. Almost Stalemate Move

I can see that this practice puzzle needs a delicate move or else Black can make this a draw by stalemate.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate puzzles

White needs to response taking into consideration the possibility of a stalemate.

( You may also like to read this article: What is the difference between stalemate and draw?)

6. Check and Protect

Another chess puzzle that helps you think more of a strategical move.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

chess puzzles mate in 2

You need to be looking at ways the Black King might escape his almost trapped position.

Give it a shot, White mates Black in two moves.

7. Uncovering the Square

This time we are going to look at how to use a particular tactic move that will lead to checkmate in two.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

mate in 2

This practice chess puzzle is going to be easy once you know which square you need to end the game.

8. Unmovable Chess Piece

This chess puzzle shows the strength of a chess tactic that can lead to a lot of problem for any chess player.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

mate in 2

In assessing your next move, find a way where White needs to make a simple move that Black cannot stop the inevitable checkmate in two moves.

9. Capturing the Right Square

In this chess puzzle, White is down by one minor chess piece against Black.

This will not be the determining factor in this chess puzzle; instead, White needs to make a simple move to have a positional advantage.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

mate in 2 moves

You need to be assessing the right option for you to take, capture, or not.

10. One Move Sacrifice

A lot is going on in this chess puzzle; you have Black’s Queen on an Absolute Pin and many other possible attacks both can move.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

chess puzzle

All you need to find out is which move you can sacrifice losing and which move your opponent has no choice but to lose after moving.

Chess Puzzle Solutions for Checkmate in Two Moves:

1. Special Chess Move

You can solve this chess problem by first giving a check with the White Queen, and then Black response by protecting the King with the f5 pawn.

But…

White can capture the pawn with an unusual move of “en passant.”

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate in 2 puzzle

1. ♕g4+ f5 2. gxf6#

Black is a mate in two.

You can try other variations and practice solving those variations you can find.

That would be a fun way to improve your chess game.

I’ve also written an interesting article about chess pawn en passant.

2. Simple Chess Move

The only chess piece you would need to move with White is the Queen.

Queen to h3 solves the puzzle and will force a checkmate whichever the Black King will try to move next.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate in 2

1. ♕h3 ♔xd4 2. ♕xc3#

Black is a mate in two.

There are other chess moves that Black can do next, but I will leave this up to you to solve.

3. Unblocking Move

The move is Queen to h7, aiming for an opening of the Blocked c2 square.  Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate 2 moves

1. ♕h7 ♘d3+ 2. ♘xd3#

An excellent move by White and thus forces Black for a two-move checkmate.

This one is a lot of fun to solve; you can do at least one or two variations you can find on this puzzle. Have fun solving this checkmate in two moves.

4. Bait Move

The move is Queen to d1, tempting the Black Bishop to capture the White Queen.

But in doing so, White can checkmate Black.

Check image and chess notation below:

chess puzzles

1. ♕d1 ♗xd1 2. ♖d4#

There are numerous ways or variations White can win in two moves, and it is a fun way for you to practice.

Improve your game by picking up some essential tactics and use them on your next game.

5. Almost Stalemate Move

The move is excellent, and White’s threat for a two-move mate is still intact.   You need to move Rook to d4, prepared for whatever Black is going to move next. Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate move

1. ♖d4 ♔xd4 2. ♗f6#

There is no escape for a checkmate. Again, you can try other moves for Black, but eventually, you will find that Black has no way of escaping the two move checkmate by White.

6. Check and Protect

The important chess pieces that you need to be looking at are the Black squared Bishop and the pawn on f5.

Check image and chess notation below:

mate in 2

1. ♕h3 c4 2. ♘f2#The move is Queen to h3 if Knight on g4 will check the King the White Queen is still guarding the pawn.   Either way, if Black moves any of its pawns, White’s chess pieces will be protected on every check.   That is how White can mate Black in two.   After moving Queen to h3, try other variations that are not in the notation. It will be fun to solve this problem by mating in two moves.

7. Uncovering the Square

I have tried another move for the Queen, but the chess experts are saying the best move, and the right one is Queen to g7.

Check image and chess notation below:

mate in 2 puzzle

1. ♕g7 ♕xg7 2. ♘e6#

It is sacrificing the Queen to attack the only square the Black King can move, which is the d4.

By removing the Black Queen by sacrificing your Queen, you can do a Double Attack tactic and at the same time checkmate the King in two moves.

Practice after moving Queen to g7 and find out other variations to mate in two moves.

8. Unmovable Chess Piece

The correct and straightforward move is King to b8, just trying to put pressure on Black and its inevitable checkmate.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate in 2

1. ♔b8 d5 2. ♖f8#

An excellent way to end a game where the power of Pinning was demonstrated well for White to win the game.

Other variations after King to b8 is there for you to find out and enjoy.

9. Capturing the Right Square

So, in this chess puzzle, the right answer is King to h4.

It is a waiting move that will leave Black no choice but to either check the White King, which will be useless or resign.

Check image and chess notation below:

chess puzzles

1. ♔h4 ♗f6+ 2. ♕xf6#

Well, of course, Black did not resign because after King to h4 White has different variations to win in two moves.

Go ahead and try out other variations you can think of in this particular puzzle.

10. One Move Sacrifice

The right move is a one move sacrifice of Rook on d3 going to d2…

The move of Rook to d2 will open up the diagonal file for the Queen wherein a check will finish the game in 2 moves.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate in 2 move

1. ♖d2 ♕xg8 2. ♕c4#

If you still want to check out some other variations, please do so because I have done some exciting variations after the Rook to d2 move.

Have fun!

Chess Puzzles mate in 3

Unlike the mate in 2 puzzles, you need to think a lot harder here and use both your tactics and strategic mind in this practice games below…

The same thing with the previous puzzles, the answers or solutions are just right below this chess puzzles.

It is recommended that you only need to check the solutions if you have tried at least three times in solving the puzzles.

You will at least develop an excellent understanding of checkmates and of course, improve your game most definitely.

Enjoy the mate in 3 puzzles!

11. Controlling the Black Squares

This is a good practice puzzle where Black’s King has two square options to move, and if White makes the wrong move, the Black King can still escape the three moves mate.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate in 3

You need to be analyzing how to control the squares that you need to use to checkmate the Black King.

12. Staying Away from Interference

We can see in this chess puzzle that the King can no longer escape the threat of checkmate from White.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

chess puzzle 3 moves

You need to be playing a waiting game for this one to perform a three-move checkmate.

Have fun.

13. Sideways Attack

This chess puzzle seems like Black has a material advantage, but there is not much Black can do for an impending mate in three moves.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate puzzle 3 moves

You need to be looking at how to gain a better position for your minor chess piece and implement the three move checkmate.

14. Forced and Waiting Move

This can be very simple and at the same time challenging for beginners, a three-move mate that requires you to make a waiting move.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

mate in 3 moves

By making a waiting move, you then force your opponent to make a mistake. Find the best waiting move in the game.

15. Giving Up Control

For beginners, this could be quite difficult to solve, but a good practice puzzle for you to improve your strategy and chess tactics skills.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate in 3

In this chess puzzle, you would need to give up control on squares that will improve your position to perform a three-move checkmate.

16. Moving the Target

In this chess puzzle, you can see that the Black Rook is attacking the White Queen. Also, looking at White’s position, especially the minor chess pieces, they are all ready to attack and mate the Black King in three moves.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

mate puzzle in 3

You need to be looking beyond other possibilities of mating the Black King in three moves.

17. Attack on Both Sides

As you can see on this next practice chess puzzle, Black has a stronger chess piece because Black still has its Queen.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate 3 moves

You need to be looking at ways to stop Black from protecting the King, and you can use your chess pieces to attack both sides.

18. Choosing a Winning Exchange

In this chess puzzle, you will notice that White a fewer pawns but have the opportunity to capture Black’s Rook.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate 3 moves

You need to weigh what opportunity are you going to gain and lose in this puzzle.

19. Dark Square Setup

A no pawn chance for White if you look at this chess puzzle, but when you see the solution you will find out that material advantage loses with excellent positional advantage.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate move 3

You need to be looking at a specific square to mate the Black King in 3 moves.

20. Force Capture

This chess puzzle, you need to look at how you can occupy a square that can help immobilize the King.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

mate in 3

There are only a few chess pieces on this game, and there is a specific move to make sure that the Black King will be mated in 3 moves.

21. Clever Pawn Trap

In this chess puzzle, we are going to look at how the Black King is trapped with the White’s pawn and the Black Pawn.

There is a chance of a stalemate here for Black, and you need to be careful about what chess pieces to move or not move.

Check out the Chess Puzzle image below and try to solve it:

checkmate 3 moves

You need to be using the pawn to be able to execute a three-move checkmate for the Black King.

Chess Puzzle Solutions for Checkmate in Three Moves:

11. Controlling the Black Squares

The correct move is Bishop to e7, not only does it still have control of the black squares White is already preparing to mate the Black King in several variations.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate 3 moves

1. ♗e7 f5 2. ♕xf4+ ♔xf4 3. ♘g6#

Go ahead and try other variations for White to mate the Black King after White’s Bishop to e7 move.

12. Staying Away from Interference

So, the best waiting move for White is Bishop to h2.

Check image and chess notation below:

mate 3 moves

1. ♗h2 ♔e4 2. ♘xc3+ ♗xc3 3. ♕d3#

If you analyze the practice puzzle, you only need to move the Knight on c7 to be able to have a decisive win against Black, but at the same time, if you did not move the Bishop to h2, your diagonal will be blocked.

Other variations are fun to practice, go ahead, and practice with different variations you can see.

13. Sideways Attack

The best move is to place your Knight to a5, thus having control of the two light square on the c file.

Check image and chess notation below:

mate move in 3

1. ♘a5 ♔d5 2. ♖c5+ ♔xd6 3. ♘b7#

After moving the Knight, Black can make any move it wants, but there is no way Black can stop the checkmate after moving the Rook to any variation.

You can try other variations for this one and see what works. Enjoy! 🙂

14. Forced Awaiting Move

The best waiting move is Queen to h6, and this move still lets you control the 6th raw and execute a three-move checkmate.   Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate 3 moves

1. ♕h6 ♔b4 2. ♕c1 ♔a5 3. ♕a3#

By moving your Queen to c1, you can now combine the Queen and King for a powerful checkmate.

There are a few variations that you need to solve by yourself, and its not that difficult once you found out the best waiting move in this practice chess puzzle.

15. Giving Up Control

The right move is the Knight g to e7, although Knight is having the reasonable control of the e5 square, it does not have any opportunity to checkmate the King.

Check image and chess notation below:

3 moves mate

1. ♘ge7 ♔c4 2. ♘d6+ ♔b4 3. ♘c6#

Now, after moving the Knight to e7, Black’s King can be trapped by either going to the no longer controlled e5 square or even at the c4 o b4 square.

Try other variations and make sure you gain some essential pointers with this chess puzzle.

16. Moving the Target

So, I hope you were able to solve this chess puzzle yourself…

The right move is moving the Bishop to h3, attacking the Black Rook and sacrificing our Queen.

Check image and chess notation below:

3 move checkmate

1. ♗h3 ♖xg1 2. ♖d4+ ♔c5 3. ♖d5#

Once Black captured the White Queen, it’s all over.

All you need to do is move the Rook and then whatever the Black moves next it are going to be checkmate in three.

17. Attack on Both Sides

The right move is Bishop to c5; it not only blocks the Queen from protecting the critical a7 square, but it also stops the Black Bishop from protecting the f3 square.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate in 3

1. ♗c5 ♕xc5 2. ♖a3+ ♕xa3 3. ♖a7#

After moving the Black Bishop, you need to attack either side of that squares by sacrificing one of your Rooks.

Try other chess variations for this puzzle and remember this type of combination move with mating in three moves.

18. Choosing a Winning Exchange

So, did you capture the Rook?

If not, then you are fantastic, because the right move is Bishop to b8. With that move, I believe it is a waiting move, and after that move, White is going to play another waiting move with the Queen. Depending on the response of Black.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate 3 puzzle

1. ♗b8 e3 2. ♕c8 ♔e4 3. ♘f6#

If the Black King did not move, then our Queen move to c8 is the correct answer, still blocking the Black King on the c file.

You execute the three move checkmate with the Knight.

Try out some variations after Bishop b8 move of White.

19. Dark Square Setup

You sacrifice the White Queen, but capture it with a Double attack by the Knight.

Because the correct move is Knight to h5

Check image and chess notation below:

mate in 3 moves

1. ♘h5 ♕xg2 2. ♘f4+ ♔e5 3. ♗xd6#

After the Black captures your Queen, you can check the King with your Knight and creating a Fork with the Queen.

You do know that you don’t need to capture the Queen at this point right, because a check by the Bishop on the dark square is a setup for a mate in 3 moves.

There are other variations you can check out like if pawn takes Knight. It’s a fun variation, and I know you can solve it too!

20. Force Capture

Ok, so the right move is in the Double Pawn structure of White…

The move is Pawn to f3, that move attacks the e4 and g4 square that will help White to prepare for a sacrifice for Bishop after check.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate 3 moves

1. f3 d5 2. ♗f5+ ♔xf5 3. ♕f7#

This can be a forced capture for the Black King, or it can move to the d file but whatever move the Black King will do it is going to be over in 3 moves.

21. Clever Pawn Trap

I hope you were able to find the right answer because the correct move is moving Bishop to c2. It is like a waiting move, and Black has several options but all of the moves I have check does lead to a three-move checkmate.

Check image and chess notation below:

checkmate 3 moves

1. ♗c2 gxf6 2. ♗d3 f5 3. ♗xe2#

Ok, so after moving the Bishop to c2, Black can move the pawn and capture the pawn at f6 and then White has a clever move of moving the Bishop to d3 trying to capture the Black pawn and then forcing a checkmate.

There are other variations, of course, but I will just let you find out how to solve those puzzles.

Enjoy!

Check out chess recommendations here.

Wrapping Up

This article is a lot of fun to write, and I was able to analyze quite a bit of chess puzzles and find out excellent responses to mating in two and three moves… 🙂

The benefit of practicing this chess puzzles for 2 or 3 moves mate, is that you can exercise your analytical skill and improve how you look for ways to mate your opponent.

The only thing I would advise beginners is if you have a hard time to solve the puzzles go ahead and check the solution but then try to understand the positions and answer yourself why that is the best move of that game.

I hope you were able to learn and have fun with these chess puzzles, and I wanted to share this type of chess puzzles with you.

If you do have some great chess puzzles you want to share, do leave a comment and I’ll try to solve them… 🙂

Enjoy solving some chess puzzles!

Gary Flores

Hi there! I'm a dad with kids who loves to learn how to play chess by learning online - also, this is my way of refreshing my knowledge about this game of tactics & strategy. I created chessdelights.com to inspire people who are also learning, re-learning or teaching their kids the game of chess.

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