What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1400-1599)

What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1400-1599)

NM CraiggoryC

I hope it goes without saying that we are building upon previous blogs. So until you feel comfortable with the previous blog (click here to review) I wouldn't touch this blog. But if you are ready to move on to a new level of endgame understanding, then you are in the right place! Up ahead is what you should if you are rated between 1400-1599. And as always, if endgames crop up in your games, then you should find out how to handle those endgames; no matter your rating.Let's get to the endgames!


  • Defending against Rook pawns (including "stalemating from the weaker side").
  • The "Wrong Colored Rook Pawn"
  • Rook Pawn and Knight
  • More Advanced King and Pawn Endgames
  • Mating with 2 Bishops

Stalemating From the Weaker Side:

*this only works for a & h-pawns*

The "Wrong colored" Rook pawn and Bishop

Test Your Knowledge

Black to move and draw

Knight and Rook Pawn

As long as you don't put your pawn on the 7th rank (or 2nd rank if you're Black) without your King's help, you should be able to win with any pawn and a Knight.

More Advanced King and Pawn Endgames


If it's Black's move, Black wins; if it's White's move, White wins. Can you find the winning ideas for both sides?
Triangulation: Wasting a Move to Win at it's Finest

In the above position, White would love it to be Black's turn (because Black would have to allow Kb6 and Kxa6 with an easy win). All attempts to go straight after Black fail, as shown in the above game. Can you figure out how White can get the original position on the board, but have it be Black's turn?


The Crooked Path
In the "real world" the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. In chess, it's actually not so. Take a look at following diagram.

Using the crooked path, Richard Reti came up with a very famous endgame study. I couldn't believe it the first time I saw this endgame. Enjoy!

White to move and draw

Mating with 2 Bishops

Rules of Thumb for 2 Bishops Mate:
  1. The Bishops are best side by side
  2. You need to use your King!
  3. The opposing King must be forced near the corner of the board to be checkmated.


King and pawn endgames may have the least amount of pieces, but there is a lot going on.

  • Remember if you (or your opponent) has Rook pawns, it is more likely to be a draw!
  • When in a King and pawn endgame ask yourself, would it be better if it was my opponent's turn? If the answer is yes, use the waste a move to win technique.
  • Always remember that in chess, a straight line is not always the fastest way to get somewhere. Look for opportunities to take the "crooked path". 
  • Again, if you have any endgames that you played and are in the rating group (1400-1599), please feel free to comment directly to this blog and we can all go over it! Thanks and hope you enjoyed!

Looking Back

Coming Soon

What You Should Know: Endgames (Ratings 1600-1799)