Whitcomb Chess Castle

The endgame of chess

On the surface, an endgame may look simple, but looking ahead many moves is sometimes required to play some endgames well.


In the above position, if white advances the pawn, black will have a slight lead in the pawn race. But imagine the obvious moves: White pawn advances two spaces then the black pawn, one space; each pawn will then advance. Which pawn will get to the final “queening square” first? Black may obtain a queen just before white obtains one. But imagine that position; imagine the black pawn becoming a black queen and then the white pawn becoming a white queen. Do you see what happens? As soon as the white pawn “queens,” the black king will be in check; as soon as the king moves out of check, the white queen may capture the black queen: White can thus win the endgame.


This outcome is purposefully not shown on another “solution” web page so that you may use your imagination to see how white can win the black queen.


This endgame example is similar to that shown in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. Little Josh beats his opponent by looking ahead many moves in an endgame.


Consider another endgame example.

White to move but what can white do?