End Games Idea


Once most pieces have been exchanged off the board and the end game is reached it becomes impossible to mount direct attacks on the king. When this happens the focus of the game switches to attempting to bring a pawn to the eighth rank and promote it to a queen and at the same time preventing your opponent from doing so. The promoted queen, provided the opponent does not immediately capture it, is enough to bring victory.

If only one pawn is left then both players should attempt to direct their kings in front of the pawn in order to keep the other king away and ensure, or prevent, the pawn's promotion.

In endgames that involve only kings and pawns, the concept of opposition is important. By moving to a square which is horizontally, vertically or diagonally two squares away from your opponents king, you gain an advantage because it forces your opponents king to give way.

A king and one minor piece is never enough to force a win and thus the game will be a draw. A king with two knights against a king is also insufficient to force a win; however, since this inability is partly a result of poor timing inherent in the knight's awkward moves there are circumstances where a win can be forced if the opponent also has a pawn. Although a king and three knights versus king is also sufficient for a win, such a situation rarely occurs because, for such a position to arise, a pawn must have been promoted to become the third knight whereas most players would usually choose to promote the pawn to become a queen to quickly end the game.

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