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Chess Moves For The Endgame

Aug 26, 2008
Endgame is the most important part of a Chess match, for it is usually the deciding factor for who will be the victor. Sometimes the endgame is rather easy, for if certain mistakes are made during the middle campaign of the game, one player could be left struggling without some of the most crucial pieces needed for a victory. Occasionally, endgame isn't even reached, for one player could spot a victory early on, securing a win based on a very strong opening. However, most players are savvy enough to have enough pieces kept alive during the final stages of the game, when the board is usually cleared and only a select number of pieces can be used to gain a victory.

Zugzwang is a common term applied to Chess which frequently occurs in the endgame. It is defined as a position where moving will put the player into a disadvantage. Since each player is forced to move a piece during a turn, sometimes a player can paint themselves into a corner. Through clever manipulation, the other side can put themselves into a position where they could capture the King based on a series of moves. Zugzwang occurs when, being forced to make a move on the board, one player must move their piece and they will either be removed from a winning position into a draw, or from a draw into a losing position. This can happen quite frequently, as a player can often find a strong position on the board in which they can hold themselves. However, when forced to move a piece, that strong position is broken and their King is now susceptible to attack.

Players are often left with a number of different options in the endgame, however. Many times, the play will come down to a simple checkmate. In this scenario, one side has managed to remove all other the other's pieces except for the King, and can simply manipulate the board until the King can be backed into a checkmate position.

With a variety of pieces, this is very possible. However, in many other cases, a player will be left simply with their King and one other piece. If that piece happens to be a Queen or a Rook, the board is manipulable into backing the other King into a corner and finding a checkmate. If that piece is a Bishop or a Knight, however, the challenge will be much greater. If the opponent is playing well, it is impossible to fully secure a checkmate and a stalemate will need to be called.

The best scenario, however, if a full out, easy checkmate is not possible, is to be left with a King and at least one Pawn. Using the two pieces, it is possible to escort the Pawn to the other end of the board and secure its promotion into a Queen. The Pawn must be well protected during this journey, however, for a lone King is able to successfully destroy a Pawn on its travels. Once a promotion has taken place, however, it shall not be long until a checkmate can be obtained. In the case that the Pawn is captured, though, the game will result in a stalemate and a draw. This is not a bad outcome, but will not provide the victory that has been long sought after.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit used board games, chess moves, and dungeons and dragons miniatures.
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