Hoyle's Games Modernized/Chess End

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As before stated, the game of Chess consists of three parts:

The Opening, i.e., the strategical disposition of the forces; the Middle Game, i.e., the campaign, and the End Game.

The Middle part of the game commences where the Opening ceases, and here the player is thrown upon his own resources.

The End Game commences where the Middle Game ceases, and this latter stage of the game is a study in itself. In the majority of cases the treatment of the End Game is a matter of intuition. The student may, however, be assisted by the knowledge of general principles, and by familiarity with certain standard positions, which frequently occur in practice. Examples of these positions, and the methods of dealing with them, will be given in the following pages.


Fig. 13.[Black to Move and Draw.]

Fig. 13.
[Black to Move and Draw.]

In the majority of games, either one or the other player remains at the close with a pawn, which has to be queened. Fig. 13 illustrates an ending in which White is a pawn ahead, and if he had the move, would win with 1. R to R 2, checkmate. It being, however, Black's turn to move, he is able to exchange both Queen and Rook, and if he can stop White's pawn from reaching the 8th square and becoming a Queen, he may draw the game. There is a simple method of ascertaining this at a glance without calculation (by means of the imaginary "square" depicted in Fig. 14). Black forces the exchange of pieces thus:

... 1. Q to B 3: ch.
2. Q to Kt 2: ch. 2. Q takes Q: ch.
3. R takes Q 3. R to R 8: ch.
4. R to Kt sq. 4. R takes R: ch.
5. K takes R ...
Fig. 14.[Black to Move and Draw.]

Fig. 14.
[Black to Move and Draw.]

Producing the position shown in Fig. 14; and Black draws; for the Black King can reach the pawn before the White King can approach to defend it. Consequently White can only advance the pawn; but the Black King will be able to stop it from queening, for his next move will bring him within the square (indicated above) in which the pawn stands, and in such case he can always overtake it. Thus—

... 5. K to Kt 6
6. P to Kt 4 6. K to B 5
7. P to Kt 5 7. K to K 4
8. P to Kt 6 8. K to Q 3
9. P to Kt 7 9. K to B 2

And the pawn is lost. It will be seen that the Black King remains with every move within the square of the pawn.

Fig. 15.[White to Move and Win.]

Fig. 15.
[White to Move and Win.]

Fig. 15 illustrates a position in which the pawn can be supported by the King. Here if White were at once to advance the pawn, the Black King would move within the square of the pawn and capture it. Therefore the King must go to protect it.

1. K to Q 2 1. K to B 5
2. K to K 3 2. K to Q 4
3. K to B 4 3. K to K 3
4. K to Kt 5 4. K to B 2
5. K to R 6 5. K to Kt sq.
6. P to Kt 4 6. K to R sq.
7. P to Kt 5 7. K to Kt sq.
8. K to Kt 6 8. K to R sq.
9. K to B 7 ...

If Black had played 8. ... K to B sq., White would have played 9. K to R 7.

... 9. K to R 2
10. P to Kt 6: ch.

And the pawn cannot be prevented from queening.


Fig. 16.

Fig. 16.

The position being as in Fig. 16, the shortest way to checkmate the Black King is as given below:

1. K to Kt 2 1. K to Q 4
2. K to B 3 2. K to K 4
3. Q to K Kt 6 3. K to B 5
4. K to Q 4 4. K to B 6
5. Q to Kt 5 5. K to B 7
6. Q to Kt 4 6. K to K 8
7. K to K 3 7. K to B 8
8. Q to Kt 7 ...

Not 8. Q to Kt 3, because Black would then be stalemate, a contingency which White must carefully guard against in similar positions.

... 8. K to K 8
9. Q mates at Kt sq. or R sq.


Fig. 17.

Fig. 17.

Fig. 17 shows the most unfavourable position for White's two Rooks. The shortest way to checkmate the Black King is as follows:

1. R to K sq. 1. K to Q 5
2. R (Kt sq.) to Q sq.: ch. 2. K to B 6
3. R to K 2 3. K to B
4. R to B 2: ch. 4. K to Kt 6
5. R to B 8 5. K to R 6
6. R to Q Kt sq. 6. K to R 5
7. R to R 8, mate.


Fig. 18.

Fig. 18.

Fig. 18 represents the most unfavourable position for White. The shortest way to checkmate the Black King is—

1. K to B 4 1. K to K 5
2. R to K sq.: ch. 2. K to B 4
3. K to Q 4 3. K to B 5
4. R to B sq.: ch. 4. K to Kt 4
5. K to K 4 ...

It will be noticed that the White King always approaches at the distance of a Knight's move, whilst the Black King moves either on diagonals, or takes the "opposition" to the White King.

... 5. K to Kt 3
6. K to K 5 6. K to Kt 4
7. R to Kt sq.: ch. 7. K to R 5
8. K to B 5 8. K to R 6
9. K to B 4 9. K to R 7
10. R to Kt 3 10. K to R 8
11. K to B 3 11. K to R 7
12. K to B 2 12. K to R 8
13. R to R 3, mate.

N.B.—The Rook can only checkmate on an outer row or file of the board.


Fig. 19.[White to Move and Win.]

Fig. 19.
[White to Move and Win.]

To checkmate with two Bishops is comparatively easy. Fig. 19 illustrates the most unfavourable position for White, and the solution given is the shortest attainable.

1. B to Q sq. 1. K to K 6
2. K to Kt 2 2. K to Q 7
3. B to Q B 2 3. K to K 6
4. K to B 3 4. K to B 6
5. K to Q 4 5. K to Kt 5
6. B to K sq. 6. K to B 6
7. B to Q 3 7. K to B 5
8. B to K 4 8. K to Kt 4
9. K to K 5 9. K to Kt 5
10. B to K B 2 10. K to Kt 4
11. B to K B 5 11. K to R 3
12. K to B 6 12. K to R 4
13. B to K 6 13. K to R 3
14. B to Kt 4 14. K to R 2
15. K to B 7 15. K to R 3
White must he careful not to stalemate the Black King. For instance, if Black were to play here 15. ... K to R sq., White could not play 16. B to K B 5; but must play 16. B to K 3, K to R 2; 17. B to B 5: ch., K to R sq.; 18. B to Q 4 mate.
16. B to K 3: ch. 16. K to R 2
17. B to B 5: ch. 17. K to R sq.
18. B to Q 4, checkmate.


Fig. 20.[White to Move and Win.]

Fig. 20.
[White to Move and Win.]

To checkmate with Bishop and Knight is a very difficult process. Checkmate can only be forced if the Black King is driven to one of the Rook squares of the same colour as the Bishop. In the position shown in Fig. 20 the Black King must be driven either to Q R sq., or K R 8. Frequently the Bishop and Knight are separated from the White King; in that case the Black King cannot be prevented from moving to a Rook square of the opposite colour to the Bishop. Then the forces must be brought together to act in concert with the White King; when, by combined action, the Black King can be forced on to a corner square of the same colour as White's Bishop, and checkmated as shown in the appended solution. Mate can be forced in the most unfavourable position (see Fig. 20) in about thirty or thirty-one moves.

1. Kt to Kt 3: ch. 1. K to B 3
If 1. ... K to B 5; then 2. B to Q sq., K to B 6; 3. K to Kt 5, K to Q 6; 4. K to B 5, K to K 5; 5. B to B 2: ch., K to K 4; 6. Kt to Q 4, K to B 3; 7. K to Q 6, K to B 2; 8. Kt to B 3, K to B 3; 9. Kt to K 5, K to Kt 2; 10. K to K 6, and the King is gradually forced on to the last row.
2. K to Kt 4 2. K to Q 4
3. B to B 3: ch. 3. K to Q 3
4. Kt to Q 4 4. K to K 4
5. K to B 5 5. K to B 3
6. K to Q 5 6. K to B 2
7. Kt to B 5 7. K to B 3
8. Kt to Q 6 8. K to Kt 3
9. K to K 5 9. K to Kt 2
10. B to K 4 10. K to Kt sq.
11. K to B 6 11. K to R sq.

The King is now on the Rook square of opposite colour to the Bishop, and must be driven to K R 8, or Q R square, in order to be checkmated.

12. Kt to B 7: ch. 12. K to Kt sq.
13. B to B 5 ...

Purposely losing a move (coup de repos); it is immaterial where the Bishop moves to so long as it remains on the same diagonal, the object being to force Black to move, without altering White's position.

... 13. K to B sq.
14. B to R 7 ...

To prevent the King from returning to Kt sq. if the Kt moves.

... 14. K to K sq.
15. Kt to K 5 15. K to Q sq.
16. B to K 4 16. K to B 2
17. Kt to B 4 ...

The Black King is now gradually forced on to the fatal White corner.

... 17. K to Q 2
18. K to B 7 18. K to Q sq.
19. B to B 6 19. K to B 2
20. B to Kt 5 ...

Not to R 4, because at Kt 5 the Bishop guards the additional square R 6.

... 20. K to Q sq.
21. K to K 6 21. K to B sq.
22. K to Q 6 22. K to Q sq.
23. Kt to R 5 23. K to B sq.
24. B to Q 7: ch. 24. K to Kt sq.

If 24. ... K to Q sq., then 25. Kt to B 6, checkmate.

25. K to B 6 25. K to R 2
26. Kt to B 4 26. K to R 3
27. K to B 7 27. K to R 2
28. B to B 8 28. K to R sq.
29. Kt to R 5 29. K to R 2
30. Kt to B 6: ch. 30. K to R sq.
31. B to Kt 7, checkmate.


With two Knights alone no mate can be forced, except through incorrect play on the part of the defence. Consequently the remaining with two Knights should be avoided. If the player has the option to change off pieces, he should keep Bishop and Knight rather than two Knights.