The Opposition

In the endgame, one king is stronger than the other by “having the opposition.” Offensively, this means the ability to push the opposing king aside. Defensively, this means the ability to prevent the opposing king from reaching advantageous squares. The black king can prevent the white king from entering key squares (a6, b6, c6) required to promote the white pawn. Continue Reading

King on the 6th, Pawn on 5th Wins

In a king and pawn endgame… King on the 6th rank, pawn on the 5th rank (not on the a or h file) wins regardless of whose turn it is to move. The king on the 6th rank uses the opposition to push the opposing king aside. The white pawn will promote. The black king can stop the white pawn if the pawn is on the a or h file. Continue Reading

Castling on Same Side

King Safety Castling on same side creates a quieter game than when kings are castled on opposite sides. Pushing pawns weakens king safety. Initiate an attack with pieces rather than a pawn storm. White’s move g3-g4 does more harm to his position than to his opponent’s. It weakens white’s king safety. Closed Center If you control the center, or the center is closed, you may initiate an attack with a pawn storm. Because the center is closed, g4 is a good move. Continue Reading


Technique Create an imbalance in the position (different advantages and disadvantages for each player). Then develop pieces to capitalize on advantages and limit opponent’s advantages. Castling Protects king. Activates rook, especially if center file is semi-open or open. Castle if center is opened. Castle before attacking opponent’s king. Can delay or forgo castling if center is closed or if queens are exchanged early. Development Bring all the pieces into play. Avoid moving the same piece more than once, if possible. Maximize the mobility (number of legal moves) of each piece. Do not bring the queen past the second or third… Continue Reading