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ENDINGS OF GAMES.
The beginner who, after some study of the game, has acquired a certain knowledge of the Openings, is too apt to attach an undue importance to this branch of Chess, and to imagine that the “books” can afford him no further assistance. Hence it is that we so frequently meet with a class of players who can open a game on the most approved principles, and even conduct the "middle game” with considerable skill, but who are utterly unacquainted with the most elementary class of Endings.
Every mere student of the Openings must, we are assured, have repeatedly experienced this humiliating position. He has opened his game irreproachably; all his pieces are excellently posted, while his opponent's are proportionably hampered, and out of play; he has gained one or two Pawns, or even a piece; and although fully assured that theoretically he “has a won game," he finds, to his dismay, that practically he cannot win.
He is left, say, with a Rook and Pawn against Rook, with the adverse King at a distance, but cannot “ Queen ”his Pawn. He has King and Pawn against King, with a winning position, but is ignorant of the principle of the “opposition," and finds he must either sacrifice his Pawn, or give stalemate; or, with the advantage of Bishop and Knight against an unaided King, is utterly unable to effect checkmate within the stipulated number of moves.
In order, therefore, to remedy, in some measure, this radical defect in what we may term “Chess education," we propose to devote a few pages to the consideration of the Endings of Games, commencing with the most elementary checkmates, and afterwards proceeding to positions of greater difficulty. We shall, however, strictly confine ourselves to such of those as are of ordinary occurrence, and at the same time endeavour, as far as possible, to illustrate our remarks by Endings from actual play.
The following is a summary of the relative powers of the men at the conclusion of the game. For the sake of convenience, where there are pieces on both sides, we omit mention of the King, which is always understood to form part of the force of each player :
King and Queen against King
Can win in all cases,
King and Knight against King
Are drawn games.
Will generally win.
( Are generally drawn
Will win or draw,
according to posi-
KING AND TWO ROOKS AGAINST KING. This is the easiest of all mates, and does not require the assistance of the King. The following will exhibit the process:
1. K to Q 4th
2. K to Q B 3rd R to K R 5th
3. K to 0 Kt 3rd 4. R to K Kt 4th
4. K to 0 B 3rd R to K Kt 6th (ch)
5. K to Q 2nd R to KR 7th (ch)
6. K to K sq 7. R to K Kt 8th (mate)
TWO ROOKS AGAINST ONE ROOK. In this case, you drive the King to the side of the board, as in the last example, when you either give checkmate, or compel your adversary to interpose his Rook; in which case, you take, and, if he is able to retake, you win with the Rook left.
KING AND QUEEN AGAINST KING.
King to the side of the board, and then advance your own, until within one square of him.
The following moves are intended to exhibit rather the style of play required in a position like the above, than to show the smallest number of moves in which checkmate can be given. WHITE.
BLACK. 1. Q to Q B 5th
1. K to K B 3rd The Queen, by occupying the rank next to that on which the black King stands, prevents his approach to the centre of the board. 2. K to K 4th
2. K to K 3rd 3. Q to Q B 6th (ch)
3. K to K and The Queen has now driven the King on to the next rank, from which her position prevents his retiring. 4. K to K B 5th
4. K to K B 2nd By White's last move, the black King (if he does not go to the side of the board at once) is obliged to move opposite the white King. This enables the Queen to drive him off the rank. 5. Q to Q 7th (ch)
5. K to K B sq 6. K to K Kt oth
6. K to Kt sa 7. Q to K Kt7th or Q 8th
(mate) You must be on your guard against giving stalemate in these positions.
KING AND ROOK AGAINST KING.
This checkmate is effected in a similar manner to the preceding, the only difference being that the two Kings, except in the case of a corner square, must be opposite each other on the same file or rank, with one square intervening.
Black King on K 2nd.
1. K to K B 2nd If Black move 1. K to Q 2nd, White must move 2. Rio Q B 3rd, in order to drive him back to K 2nd.
KING AND TWO BISHOPS AGAINST KING. Two Bishops win easily against an unaided King. It is necessary, however, to force him to a corner square, or to a square adjoining a corner one, which is done by playing the Bishops so that they guard the two diagonals behind the opposing King.
. POSITION 16.
Black King on Q B 2nd.
1. K to Q sq 2. K to Kt 6th
2. K to B sq 3. B to K 7th
3. K to Kt sa 4. B to Q R 6th
4. K to R sq 5. B to Kt 7th (ch)
5. K to Kt sq 6. B to Q 6th (mate)
KING, BISHOP, AND KNIGHT AGAINST KING. This is a much more difficult ending than any of the fore. going, and, unless you are acquainted with the modus operandi, it is more than probable that you will not be able to win within the stipulated number of moves. In order to effect this checkmate, it is necessary that the adverse King should be driven, not only to a corner square, but also to one commanded by your Bishop. The following is an example:
White Knight on Q 4th.