Chess Endgame Guide
[Index, Section 1: Checkmate]

Chess Endgame Guide
Index, Section 1: Checkmate

Chess Endgame Guide TeaserSection 1: focuses on Winning games of Chess.

Winning games of chess can be forced by Checkmate, or by one player calculating that they've little chance even to secure a draw and so will opt to Resign, thereby graciously handing the win to their opponent.

Check to Checkmate

Chess Endgame Guide - Teaser - Check to Checkmate

Both Checks and Checkmates target the respective Kings.

  • Checks and Double Checks target an exposed King. One of the King's troops can block the check, take out the attacker, or the King can move to escape the attack.

    They're a threat and usually cost time, which can be exploited (gain position, capture enemy material, etc.), but they're not terminal.

  • Checkmates also target an exposed King, but this time, there is no legal escape route!

    No matter where the King moves, it will be in check.

    This is GAME OVER. One side wins, the other loses.

Basic Checkmates

Chess Endgame Guide - Teaser - Basic Checkmates

In Fundamental Chess Endings, Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht reveal five Basic Checkmates:

  1. King & Queen v. King
  2. King & Rook v. King
  3. King & 2x Bishops v. King
  4. King, Knight & Bishop v. King
  5. King & 2x Knights v. King & Pawn

Common Mating Patterns

Chess Endgame Guide - Teaser - Common Mating Patterns

In Winning Chess Combinations, Yasser Seirawan's reveals twelve Common Mating Patterns:

  1. Back-Rank Mates
  2. Queen and Pawn Mates
  3. Rook and Bishop Mates
  4. Long Diagonal Mates
  5. Rook and Knight Mates
  6. Bishop and Knight Mates
  7. Two Bishop Mates
  8. Lone Bishop Mate
  9. Double Rook Mates
  10. Double Knight Mates
  11. Queen and Bishop Mates
  12. Epaulette Mates

Checkmate in the Opening

Chess Openings Teaser - Checkmate in the Opening

While most games appear to transition through three roughly defined phases of play in neat order:

  1. Opening phase,
  2. Middlegame phase,
  3. Endgame phase,
... some games are cut short by a sudden Checkmate, which occurs in the Opening phase.

This guide looks at examples of Checkmate Openings, from well known Openings, such as the Ruy Lopez and Caro-Kann Defence, respectively. There's examples of Opening wins for White and wins for Black.

But, these aren't 'shortcuts to victory'. They're presented to focus your mind on the mistakes made by the losing side.


Famous Checkmates

Chess Endgame Guide - Teaser - Famous Checkmates

These Checkmate wins share a similarity with the Checkmate Openings (above-right), as the victories occur before the completion of the Opening phase. But, being a bit more well known, they've been separated into their own section.

The Checkmate examples include:

  • Fool's Mate (2 moves)
  • Scholar's Mate (4)
  • KP Smothered Mates (4)
  • Hippopotamus Mate (6)
  • Blackburne Shilling Mate (7)
  • Legall's Mate (7)
  • QP Smothered Mates (8)
  • Sea Cadet Mate (10)

Shepherding Strategy

Chess Endgame Teaser - Shepherding Strategy

The basic idea of this strategy is to use two or more long-range, attacking Pieces and gradually push your opponent's King to a single row or file, at the edge of the board.

Once its at the edge File or Rank, one Piece cuts of the King's escape, the other performs the attack against the King, resulting in the Checkmate win.


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