Critical Endgame Checkmates

Critical Endgame Checkmates

Apr 21, 2017, 6:02 PM |

It's important to be able to checkmate your opponent with a single major piece. The major pieces are the rooks and queen. 

You can checkmate with a single rook or a single queen with the help of your king.  In addition you can checkmate with a rook and queen or two rooks. 

First I'll discuss checkmating with just two major pieces

Find how white wins below.

Now look at this game below to see how you make that position a reality. 

Make sure your opponent can't take either of your rooks. Always move the rooks as far from the enemy king as possible while still pushing him to a side of the board. 

The strategy: Use one rook as a wall so the king can't escape to other side of the board. Use your other rook to check the king and force him closer to edge of board. Next move the other.

Below: Black just moved a rook to c7 to check the king. The white king will have to move to the g file. Black will soon checkmate the white king on the h file (far right). 


Try this puzzle below. Do it efficiently. 

Note below when the queen is on the outside you know the rook is defended. 

While you may sometimes have faster checkmates, it's often easier to remove your opponent's remaining pieces first as shown below.

Now for checkmating with a single queen. Solve the puzzles with the ending position below.

To checkmate with the queen first use the queen to create a box and get your opponent's king to the edge of the board. Make sure the queen isn't too close to the king or it will be a stalemate. Then you bring your king over to be able to defend the queen when it moves into position to checkmate the enemy king.
Example game below
Here is an example with arrows as the box gets smaller. In second diagram with smaller box, white now wants to bring his king over to assist the queen in checkmating the Black king.
Checkmating with a single rook
Find the winning move.
See sample game below.
Below is the situation in which you can force your opponent's king to the edge of the board. Black will have to move to the 8th rank.
Try the puzzle below. Checkmate efficiently. Most of it is already done for you.