Knight Endgames (Part 1)

  • Dejan Bojkov
  • Avg Rating: 1860
  • Endgames

This course aims to give you a basic understanding of the most common knight endgames. The positions range from 1000 up to 2400 level in difficulty, so there should be a few appropriate positions for any chess student. More to follow!

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  • Limited Mobility of the Knight

    The knight might not feel very well maneuvering when the opponent's or even its own forces hinder its mobility.
  • The Edge of the Board

    Knights feel badly when fighting against rook pawns. The reason for this phenomenon is the fact that their mobility is highly restricted towards the edge of the board.
  • Knights can be trapped on the edge

    Knights can be trapped easily on the edge of the board as their strength is considerably lower than usual. Always be alert for such opportunities in knight endgames!
  • Knight Can't Win Tempo

    Contrary to any other piece, knights cannot win a tempo, so they can not triangulate like the kings.
  • Short-ranged

    A knight is too short-legged to easily switch from one flank to another. Therefore it usually hates playing on two flanks.
  • Fork

    Knights are capable of miracles, especially if the opponent's king is near them. Forks are their favorite weapons.
  • Flexibility for the Knight

    The most unpleasant pawn which the knight has to face is the corner one. It can handle it alone only if it does not reach the second (seventh) rank.
  • Barrier

    The ability of the knight to switch the color of the squares he controls helps him in the creation of barriers on the road of the opponent's king.
  • Fortress

    Knight and a rook pawn usually win against a lone king. However, if the pawn has reached the seventh (second) rank and is defended by the knight, the position is a fortress.
  • Positional Draw

    Poor coordination of the pieces might prevent the stronger side making use of their material advantage.
  • The Knight is a Strong Piece

    Despite its drawbacks the knight is a powerful piece. If the opponnet's king is limited in its motion, the knight can even mate it. The edge of the board is very helpful for the knight's intentions.
  • Knight of Defense

    The good co-ordination of the defensive pieces might also make a hero of a knight if the opponent's king lacks air.
  • Zugzwang

    When our pieces are dominating in an endgame, we must usually use zugzwang as a strong weapon to finally destroy the opponent's defensive construction.
  • Decoy

    The knight is a brave piece and can sacrifice itself to force the opponent's pieces to occupy inferior squares.
  • Underpromotion

    Sometimes, the best piece to defend against a knight fork is a... knight!
  • Knight versus 2 Pawns

    The knight has difficulties when playing against two separated passed pawns (rather than connected!), as they can eventually stretch its defenses. The optimal position of the knight though might save the day.
  • A Role for Each Piece

    The knight usually cannot fight alone against two separated passed pawns. It needs the support of its king to deal with the passers. Each of these pieces must take care of a pawn to achieve the desired draw, and sometimes they need to switch their duties for maximum effectiveness.
  • Knight versus 3 Pawns

    Against three pawns, a knight usually has a very difficult time. The best for it is to deal with connected pawns. In that case blockade is the defender's best (only) bet.
  • Knight versus 3 Connected Pawns

    If the passers have the support of their king, and have crossed the middle of the board, they usually win.
  • Solo for the Knight

    What other pieces cannot do, the knight can!

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