Winning The Game

Winning The Game

| 53 | For Beginners

How can you win a chess game? In this lesson and video series for beginners, NM Dane Mattson demonstrates the key checkmates that you'll want to know.

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Four-Move Checkmate: At beginner levels, games are frequently won and lost with the four-move checkmate which most commonly occurs after 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 with Qxf7# on the next move. It's very important to defend your weakest point from checkmate. That's the f7-pawn for Black and the f2-pawn for White. As long as you're careful to block opposing pieces from attacking that square, you can reach a good position.

Assisted Checkmate: Because the king can't move into check, it is often possible to checkmate by placing a queen next to the opponent's king and having the queen defended by another one of your pieces. If the king can't move away and no other piece can capture your queen, then you'll have a checkmate!

Checkmate With Two Rooks: One good way to checkmate is to use two rooks or a rook and a queen to force a lone opposing king to the edge of the board. If one rook defends an entire file, then the opposing king can't cross it. If you use the other rook to control the next file, you can force the king to the edge one step at a time until you checkmate it. Picture a position with White rooks on g1 and h2 and a black king on h5 in checkmate. This mate also works by forcing the king to the first or last rank.

Checkmate With A Queen: Follow a four-step process to make an assisted checkmate with a queen.

  1. Place your queen one knight move away from the opposing king.
  2. Copy each king move with your queen to stay one knight move away.
  3. When the opposing king reaches the edge of the board, move the queen to the 2nd rank or file from the edge to keep the king stuck. Make sure to give the king at least two squares to move so that there's no stalemate.
  4. Use your king and queen to make an assisted checkmate.

Checkmate With A Rook: The easiest way to checkmate with king and rook against king is to follow this process:

  1. Use your rook to put the opposing king in a box.
  2. Bring your king towards the rook to protect it.
  3. If it's possible to shrink the box with the rook each turn, do it. If not, move the king closer to the opposing king.
  4. Once the opponent's king is on the edge of the board, checkmate by using the rook to check while your king covers the escape squares.

What are your favorite ways to checkmate? Let us know in the comments!

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