The One Minute Challenge

As well as the grading ladder, we have a set of challenges for you to complete.

With one minute each on the clock, deliver checkmate (or Queen the Pawn in No.5) against Dr.Dave or Mr.B!

You get one try per club night! Miss, and you have to wait a week. So, before you start, watch how it's done, and then practise.

1. Mate with two Queens (KQQ vs K)

2. Mate with two Rooks (KRR vs K)

3. Mate with one Queen (KQ vs K)

4. Mate with one Rook (KR vs K)

5. Queen your e-Pawn (Ke1Pe2 vs Ke8)

6. Mate with two Bishops (KBB vs K)

The Trebuchet

In an all-parent encounter last week, the players stumbled upon this position, known as the Trebuchet. A trebuchet is a big wooden catapult, and its connection with this position is not known, except that it may catapult a player from joy to despair...

Who would win in a fight between a lion and a bear? (endgame fortresses)

My young colleague Leif enjoys endgames, and has an endless curiosity about unbalanced endgames. So he asks:
can you win with three pawns against a Bishop?
how about a Knight?
what about two Knights?

A pattern we kept running into was:
united pawns on their start squares don't win against a piece (a)
united and *advanced* pawns win against a piece (b)
there are some special cases where the side with the piece can set up a blockade or fortressagainst advanced pawns (c)


I usually have about my person some positions to amuse young players at the end of an evening. Here are some of my favourites: Problems Hints Solutions


White to play and... 1. Mate in half a move (?)

Rook and Pawn endgames strike back

I've done more than one session on this topic in the past, so the
examples are all already on the website, but some pointers for newcomers
might be helpful:

A. Many Rook and Pawns endgames can be judged as win or drawn at a
glance, some are more critical. Some basic cases with one side a pawn
up have been worked out and must be learned:

1. Philidor's position shows how to draw when your King has control of
the Queening square.

Basic Rook Endgames

We lost on board count to old rivals Teignmouth in the Peter Rooke Cup at the end of January. One of the last games to finish involved a simple-looking Rook endgame. Just as it was getting crucial, White, short of time, found a time-saving blunder:
[Event "Peter Rooke Semi-Final"]
[Site "Teignmouth"]
[Date "2013.01.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Pope, Sean"]
[Black "Gorodi, John G"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]
[PlyCount "124"]
[EventDate "2013.01.25"]

Mate with King and Rook against a King

The easiest way to learn is to remember the checkmate position:
[Event "checkmate"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "KR"]
[Black "K"]
[Result "1-0"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "R5k1/8/6K1/8/8/8/8/8 b - - 0 37"]
[PlyCount "0"]
* 1-0
You get checkmate at the edge of the board. You can force the defending King to the edge of the board by using the same idea:

Endgame study

Two things to think about today: a study by Dierdle and a game by Capa. We did each as an exercise, trying to work out the best moves for each side.

Endgame workout

Endgames are worth taking seriously - you can get extra points and
half-points by improving your endgame play.
Some endgames turn up rather often, certainly more often than some
of the odd bits of opening theory we end up looking at sometimes.

There are bits of theory to know, but as always the thing is to test
your understanding and practise.

The things you need to know are widely available, not least from our
website, so I won't trot through it all, just give some examples.


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