King Opposition

Endgames are an important stage in chess. One of the first concepts a beginner learn about endgames is king opposition.

In the position above, the arrowed move is what we call opposition, where two kings face each other vertically (called file) or horizontally (called rank) or diagonally with one square in between.

Question of the Day: In the position above, how does white move to make a horizontal opposition.

Stalemate

We talked about check and checkmate. Stalemate is somewhat in between: your king is not in check, but you don’t have a move to make.

And the result is a draw.

Black to move

In the diagram above, it’s black to move. But the king has nowhere to go, and there is no legal move to make.

This is a stalemate, and the result of the game is a draw. Which is a scenario white wants to avoid when he is up a queen and bishop

Question of the Day: Is the position above stalemate? Why or why not?

King’s Help for Queen Checkmate

To answer an earlier question of the day: we do need our king’s help, because a lone queen will not be able to checkmate opponent’s king.

And from the last post, we learned about knight shaped squeeze. Which pushes opponent’s king to the corner.

Now we need our king’s help. It’s time to march our king to the opponent’s king. And then find a good spot to checkmate using the queen.

Question of the Day: Looking at the same position we had last time. Can you finish the game with a checkmate?

Knight Shaped Squeeze

In the queen’s checkmate, the fastest way to force opponent’s king to the corner is to use the queen to squeeze using knight-shaped patterns.

Let’s look at an example.

In the position above, white moves the queen from c5 to e5, indicated by the arrow.

The idea of this move is to force black’s king to either move backward or to the side ways.

And then we’ll continue to use the knight shaped pattern.

Until black’s king is in the corner of the board.

Question of the Day: Should we continue with the knight-shaped technique as indicated in the diagram? Why or why not?

Checkmate with a Queen

Last week, we looked at checkmate with two rooks. This week we will look at queen’s checkmate.

Many ideas are similar, include pushing the king to the corner or the edge to checkmate.

There are some differences as well in how to march forward.

In the next post we’ll look at the most efficient way to force (push) opponent’s king to the corner.

Question of the Day: In the two rooks checkmate, we didn’t need to use our king to help.  Do we need our king’s help for queen checkmate?

Checkmate

We have looked at check and responding to check.

It’s time to talk about CHECKMATE: The most exciting word in chess.

Checkmate is when you are in check, and there is no way to respond to the check.

That means, the king cannot move away, no pieces can be used to block, or capture the checking piece.

Question of the Day: Two positions above: Which one is mate, which one is not?

Responding to Check

In the last post, we talked about check. This time, we’ll talk about how to respond to checks.

There are three ways to respond

  • Move the king away
  • Block with another piece
  • Capture the checking piece

Question of the day: How can we respond in the position above?

Check

An important concept in chess is check.

Check is when you make a move, and then in the next move, you can capture your opponent’s king.

Let’s look at an example.

Here black’s king is in check as white’s queen can capture it in the next move.

Question of the Day: We have two diagrams above,  which position has a check, and which one does not?

Harder Version of Two rooks checkmate

In the last two posts here and here, we’ve studied checkmate with two rooks from different angles.

Now we’ll go a step further. What happens if your opponent’s king gets closer to one of your rook.

Do you give a check with Rook (Rh7)? Hopefully not, because black will then take you b6-rook for free (remember en prise).

Question of the Day: White to move and checkmate in three moves.

Two Rooks Checkmate Sideway

Last time, we looked at checkmate with two rooks.

Today, we’ll put a little twist to it.

Instead of pushing the king all the way to the 8th rank, let’s think about horizontal shift.

Question of the Day: White to move and checkmate in two. Hint: Look at the title of this blog!