How to Play a Proper Endgame in Blitz #5: Queen Endgames

How to Play a Proper Endgame in Blitz #5: Queen Endgames

CM Chessdemon2019

The queen is the strongest piece on the chessboard. It can move in so many ways that calculating all its moves in depth would take hours. In an endgame, however, the power of the queen is so immense, a queen can control so many squares on the board as it is not blocked by any piece.

In blitz, on an open board, however, queen endgames require time. Whether you premove or try to mate someone, queen endgames are time consuming. Almost all blitz games with no increment have decisive results in queen endgame. I have gathered a few tips that have been extremely useful now and when I was a beginner. Note: This article is best for players U2200 in FIDE rating.

1. Centralize Your Queen

The queen can control 27 squares on an open board in the center. When the queen is in the center of the board, it restricts the opponent's pieces the most. It also protects your king better because the opponent's queen has less safe squares then your queen, thus taking them time to check you. In blitz, this could be a deadly weapon.

Queen endgames are extremely hard, white or black could have easily run out of time in a blitz game. However, the notice is that with the centralized queen, white wins with just a single pawn advantage.

2. Passed Pawns

Sometimes Queen and pawn vs queen endgames are winning for the attacker no matter what, something you don't see that often in a rook, bishop, or knight endgame. This makes queen endgames extremely dynamic, and they are extremely easy to lose. There are huge chances for perpetual checks and blunders. This makes passed pawns especially important, they could win you the game easily. In the position above, white wins because his pawn is a passed pawn.

White obviously cannot win in the original position, but that only means that white cannot win in a slow OTB game. In a blitz game, white could easily win if black just makes one mistake, like Qf5 in the position above. Queen endgames are hard to play for the attacker and defender. All three results are possible in any queen endgame.

3. Cover Your King

Checks are one of the most annoying things in a queen endgame, where few pawns are left on the board. A safe king could decide the king as it becomes so much easier to flag your opponent because you get all the checks.

As you can see, white has a disadvantage, black is playing for the win. However, this is one of the cases white has a higher chance of winning a blitz game because black is busy running from checks. White's king is in a bomb shelter with those 3 pawns and is perfectly safe. Always try to keep your king covered to win.

4. Checks

Lastly, I will show you some easy ways to win with checks, something that everyone does in a queen endgame to win time. The 50-move rule is rare in blitz because of the time it takes to make a move. This means that you could be able to flag your opponent by checking.

The example above shows how being down a pawn on an open board can still be a winning idea. Black will need to waste a lot of time while white is able to find somewhat easy moves. Checking can win you the game in blitz even with a deficit. Queen endgames are extremely difficult, there is no way to cover all the details, which is why this article may be a bit short.

5. Stay Calm

Like in the previous 4 articles in this series, all endgames require us to stay calm. If you are in a panic, you will be unable to play quickly and strongly, thus losing on time. It is extremely hard to stay calm, especially in queen endgames, but when the time is ripe, you will get lucky and win!

Thank you so much for reading! This will be the final article of this series on basic endgame strategies in blitz, with basic endgames with only a single piece other than a king or a pawn. If you haven't checked out the other articles about awesome tips about playing endgames in blitz, check out my blog!

Thank you so much!

CM Chessdemon2019

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