10 endgame tactics you should remember to decide a win or draw

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We have earlier shown two endgame positions which exemplified the use of some endgame tactics. In Four endgame situations also, we explained some typical endgame tactics like the concept of ‘the Square’ and the ‘Opposition’. Here are some more that will help you to decide quickly the possible result of the chess game. If you know what endgame situations will work against you or go in your favor, you can start planning your strategy much earlier keeping these positions in perspective for carving a win or snatching a draw depending on situations.

In the following chess tactics, it is presumed that the opponent is left with a solitary King.

1. It is not possible to checkmate the enemy King if you are left with:

  • single Knight
  • single Bishop
  • Knight pair

2. Your King’s support is essential to checkmate opponent’s King with the following:

  • Queen
  • Rook
  • Bishop pair
  • Bishop and Knight

3. King’s help is not needed for checkmate by these combinations:

  • Queen and Rook
  • Rook pair

4. The enemy King has to be pushed into a corner (literally!) to deliver checkmate by:

  • Bishop pair
  • Bishop and Knight

5. The enemy King has to be forced to the edge (row or file) of the chessboard for checkmate by:

  • Queen and Rook
  • Queen
  • Rook pair
  • Rook

6. Memorizing the chess tactics to deliver checkmate in the least number of moves is important (topic for a separate article). Otherwise, even with enough material, you may have to agree to a draw because of the chess game rule which stipulates that checkmate must be achieved within 50 moves from the last pawn move or piece capture.

7. In consideration of above restriction, you have to examine what moves on your part will progressively reduce the chessboard area accessible to enemy King for delivering checkmate as quickly as possible.

For example, if enemy King is on d7 square, a Rook placed on the sixth row will restrict the movement of enemy King to rows 7 and 8 only. If it were at b4, your Rook should be placed in c-file to confine the opponent’s King to a-file and b-file. You get the idea? The same principle will apply when you are using a Bishop pair to ‘corner’ the enemy King.

8. If you are left with a single bishop or a knight pair against enemy pawns, the best you can hope for is a draw by using your King and piece(s) to eliminate opponent’s pawns or to keep them blocked.

9. Gaining ‘Opposition’ by your King is an important part of your tactics for pushing the enemy King to a corner or edge.

10. A defensive tactics to convert a losing position to a draw is creating stalemate situation, when the enemy king is not under check but cannot make the next move without getting under a check. Be aware of this possibility as all it requires is a wrong move on your part.

 

6 Comments

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