Winning Chess Moves


Chess Glossary - Winning Chess Moves - Graphic

Winning Chess Moves can be defined as any manoeuvre or sequence of moves that ultimately results in the Checkmate of your opponent's King, thus giving you victory.

All fairly straight-foward, there ...

However, while knowing what moves can bring you victory may be relatively simple to learn, being able to get your pieces into such positions, that result in your winning a game, pose a greater challenge.


Potential Move Combinations

That challenge is more acutely realized when you consider, mathematically, the apparent number of potential move combinations available from the start to completion of a single game ...

Positional Move Turn Potential Chess Positions
1 1. White's first move 20*
2 ... 1. After Black's first move 400**
3 2. After White's second move 8,902
4 ... 2. After Black's second move 197,742
5 3. After White's third move 4,897,256
6 ... 3. After Black's third move 120,921,506
7 4. After White's fourth move 3,284,294,545

(Source: http://www.chess.com/chessopedia/view/mathematics-and-chess)
* 16 Pawn Moves + 4 Knight Moves
** 20 x 20 = 400


Possible Ending Scenarios

Chess Glossary - Winning Chess Moves - Fundamental Chess EndingsIn order to try and relate those numbers to the game itself, it can help to take a look at possible scenarios that can arise, within the different stages of a game of Chess.

For instance, by the time you reach the Endgame stage, your remaining pieces are going to dictate how you work your way to victory - assuming it's possible, with what's materially at your disposal.

GM Karsten Muller and IM Frank Lamprecht, in their book, Fundamental Chess Endings, document and describe likely scenarios that a Chess player may face, by the time they reach the Endgame stage (scroll through the list, below!).

1. The Basic Mates

  1. King and Queen vs King
  2. King and Rook vs King
  3. King and Two Bishops vs King
  4. King, Bishop and Knight vs King
  5. King and Two Knights vs King


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


2. Pawn Endings

  1. King + Pawn(s) vs King
  2. Small Number of Pawns

    1. Pawns on the Same File
    2. Pawns on Adjacent Files
    3. Both Sides Have Passed Pawns
    4. King + Two Pawns vs King + Pawn

  3. Pawns on One Wing
  4. Passed Pawns

    1. King vs Passed Pawns
    2. Protected Passed Pawn vs Two Passed Pawns
    3. Protected Passed Pawn vs Passed Pawn
    4. Outside Passed Pawn
    5. Breakthroughs

  5. Pawns on Both Wings


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


3. Knight Endings

  1. Knight vs Pawns

    1. Knight vs Pawn
    2. Knight vs Two or Three Pawns
    3. Knight and Pawn vs King
    4. Knight and Pawns vs Pawns
    5. No Passed Pawns
    6. Both Sides Have Passed Pawns
    7. Both Sides Have Several Pawns

  2. Knight vs Knight

    1. Knight + Pawn(s) vs Knight
    2. Knight + Pawns vs Knight + Pawn(s)
    3. Pawns on One Wing
    4. Pawn Races
    5. Outside Passed Pawn


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


4. Bishop Endings

  1. Bishop vs Pawns

    1. Wrong Rook's Pawn
    2. Pawns on One Wing

  2. Same-Coloured Bishop Endings

    1. Bishop + Pawn(s) vs Bishop
    2. Pawns on One Wing
    3. Pawns on Both Wings

  3. Opposite-Coloured Bishop Endings

    1. Bishop + Pawn(s) vs Bishop


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


5. Bishop vs Knight

  1. The Side with the Bishop has the Advantage

    1. Bishop + Pawn(s) vs Knight
    2. Extra Pawn for hte Bishop
    3. Open Positions

  2. The Side with the Knight has the Advantage

    1. Knight + Pawns(s) vs Bishop
    2. Extra Pawn for the Knight
    3. Closed Positions

  3. The Bishop Pair

    1. The Bishops vs Two Knights
    2. Two Bishops vs Bishop and Knight


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


6. Rook Endings

  1. Rook vs Pawns

    1. Rook vs One Pawn
    2. Rook vs Two Pawns
    3. Connected Pawns
    4. Isolated Pawns
    5. Rook vs Three Pawns
    6. Rook and Pawns vs Pawns

  2. Rook vs Rook

    1. Rook and Pawn(s) vs Rook
    2. Rook and Pawn vs Rook
    3. The Defending King is Cut Off Along a File
    4. The Defending King is Cut Off Along a Rank
    5. Rook's Pawn
    6. King in Front of its Pawn
    7. Rook in Front of its Pawn
    8. Rook and Two Pawns vs Rook
    9. Connected Pawns
    10. Isolated Pawns
    11. Two Rooks' Pawns
    12. Rook's and Bishop's Pawns
    13. Doubled Pawns
    14. Pawns on One Wing (no Passed Pawns)
    15. Rook and Pawn vs Rook and Pawn
    16. Rook and Two Pawns vs Rook and Pawn
    17. Rook and Three Pawns vs Rook and Two Pawns
    18. Rook and Four Pawns vs Rook and Three Pawns
    19. Pawn Races
    20. One Side has a Passed Pawn
    21. Rook's Pawn
    22. Knight's Pawn
    23. Bishop's or Center Pawn
    24. Pawns on Both Wings
    25. Positional Advantage
    26. Outside Passed Pawn
    27. Seventh Rank
    28. Active King
    29. Space Advantage
    30. Better Pawn-Structure
    31. Material Advantage

  3. Double-Rook Endings


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


7. Rook vs Minor Piece(s)

  1. Rook vs Knight

    1. Knight + Pawns vs Rook
    2. Rook + Pawn vs Knight + Pawn
    3. Pawns on the Same File
    4. Pawns on Adjacent Files
    5. Passed Pawns
    6. Several Pawns on One Wing
    7. Pawns on Both Wings

  2. Rook vs Bishop

    1. Bishop + Pawns vs Rook
    2. Rook + Pawns vs Bishop + Pawns
    3. Pawns on the Same File
    4. Pawns on Adjacent Files
    5. Passed Pawns
    6. Several Pawns on One Wing
    7. Pawns on Both Wings

  3. Rook vs Knight and Bishop


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


8. Rook and Minor Piece vs Rook (and Minor Piece)

  1. Rook and Knight vs Rook
  2. Rook and Bishop vs Rook
  3. Rook and Minor Piece vs Rook and Minor Piece

    1. Rook and Knight vs Rook and Knight
    2. Same-Coloured Bishops with One Pair of Rooks
    3. Opposite-Coloured Bishops with One Pair of Rooks
    4. Rook and Bishop vs Rook and Knight


Winning Chess Moves - Possible Ending Scenarios


9. Queen Endings

  1. Queen vs Pawns
  2. Queen vs Queen

    1. Queen vs Queen (no Pawns)
    2. Queen + Pawn(s) vs Queen
    3. Queen + Pawn(s) vs Queen + Pawn(s)
    4. Far-Advanced Passed Pawn / Active King
    5. Extra Pawn
    6. Pawn Races

  3. Queen vs One Minor Piece
  4. Queen vs Rook

    1. Queen vs Rook (no Pawns)
    2. Queen vs Rook + Pawn(s)
    3. Queen + Pawn(s) vs Rook + Pawn(s)

  5. Queen vs Two Minor Pieces

    1. Queen vs Two Knights
    2. Queen vs Bishop and Knight
    3. Queen vs Two Bishops

  6. Queen vs Rook and Minor Piece
  7. Queen vs Two Rooks
  8. Queen vs Three Minor Pieces
  9. Queen and Minor Piece vs Queen

    1. Queen and Knight vs Queen
    2. Queen and Bishop vs Queen

  10. Queen and Minor Piece vs Queen and Minor Piece

When you factor in your opponent and consider they're equally trying to attack your pieces, while minimizing their losses, if you want to try and figure out the best moves to winning Chess, it's important to take into account each stage of the game, as it unfolds ...

If you're looking to take two Rooks into the Endgame stage, your Middlegame stage will seek to manouvre your pieces and allow the sacrifice of others, so each Rook survives to have a combined chance of Checkmating the enemy King ...

Likewise, your Opening game strategy will look to develop pieces to maximize the threat potential, while at the same time, minimizing risk of capture of your Rooks.

Should you happen to lose a Rook, or tactics allow, keep in mind Pawn Promotion as a way to restore that Rook to the board ...

Although, having said that, an exchange for a Queen is often more desirable ... In which case, knowledge of Queen Endings, can help to increase efficiency at Checkmating your opponent's King.



Tactics Play A Big Part In Winning Chess Moves
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