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Know your End Games

Here are some simple end game tests taken from common positions which you will need to be able to solve. Try experimenting with them - they are not all as easy as they look.

To see the answers hover your mouse over the 'Answer' text .

 

Test 1 - White to play.
 

 What is the least number of moves you need to win with best play from black?

 

Remember it is not possible to checkmate with only one piece without utilizing your king . Begin by pinning the black king at the edge of the board.


Test 2 - White to play

 

Now try the same thing with a Rook. The principle is similar but how many moves now if black plays the best moves possible?

 

As before, begin by pinning the black king on the back rank and then move in with the King. Be careful not to leave your rook too close to the black king.....

 


 Test 3 - White to play
 

Now how many moves to achieve the checkmate from this position?

 

The final position is going to be similar to test 2 but it takes much longer to get there. Remember - one of the rules of Chess says that when the opposing player has only a king remaining then you have a maximum of 50 moves to win.

 


Test 4 - White to play

Can white get a pawn home?

 

The white pawns are nearer home and so can afford to sacrifice to allow a pawn to Queen first. Mopping up any black pawns with your Queen should then be easy.

 


Test 5 - White to play
What is the result?

 

This is a position known as ZUGSWANG. This basically means either player would prefer it to be the other persons move...

 


Test 6 - White to move

The question here is can 3 pawns get passed the King?

 


Try to complete this one without moving the white King.

 


Test 7 - White to move
Can white queen the pawn?

 

This is probably the most important position to learn. A lot depends on the start position of the 3 pieces but the principle is always the same.

 


Test 8 - White to move
Can white queen the pawn?

 

This looks almost the same as test 7 but the rooks pawn is very significant.

 


I hope you enjoyed these simple puzzles, some positions in Chess are very useful to recognize. Many good games can be won and lost if players know how to deal with different situations. These positions and many more are practiced regularly at the club.