Chess is one of the most popular games in existence. It has been with humanity for a very long time, and it has survived to this very day. Millions of people all around the world play this game, and many of them play it on a daily basis.
This is a very complex game when you get past the basics. But in essence, all of the chess games that are played consist of three different parts – the opening game, the midgame, and the endgame. All of these parts have their own complexities and intricacies, and a good chess player should give his or her best to learn all of the parts of the game of chess.
Endgame – Very important!
The importance of the chess endgame, in particular, cannot be overstated. The simple fact of the matter is that the opening game is full of rote memorization. You can learn dozens of different openings and you can use your rote knowledge of the opening game to set traps for your opponent. But in the end game, you will have to think.
Don’t let this discourage you though – it doesn’t mean that you will have to internalize countless elements of the endgame in your game so that you will get good at it. On the contrary – there are a few important, sound principles that you will need to know if you are to improve your chess endgame. And by the way, the endgame in chess is the part of the game past the midgame, when there are fewer pieces on the board and the end of the game is near.
Activate your King
One of the most critical things that you should think about in your endgame is the activation of your king. During the opening game and mid game, the king is a very vulnerable piece and should remain protected. The move of castling is an important move for the protection of the king early on. But as endgame draws closer, you can convert your king from a vulnerable piece to a very powerful piece. There are many ways in which you can activate your king and bring out the best of him – but the key thing to learn here is the distinction of when it’s dangerous for you to activate your king, and when it’s absolutely necessary.
The bishops and knights have their importance in the endgame as well. Depending on whether the pawn structure of both players is open or closed, you will need to prefer the bishops or the nights. Trading one for the other is a thing that shouldn’t be ascribed to chance – but you will need to plan it out depending on the circumstances on the table.
Learn various ways of winning
And make sure that you learn how to mate your opponent with a few pieces. Everybody knows how to set up a mate if they have two queens available. But fewer people know how to mate the opponent’s king with a king and two bishops. As you improve your chess skills and you start playing with better players – you will face situations such as this one in your endgames. Make sure that you come prepared for them.
So, the endgame is a very important part of all chess games. Make sure that you invest a lot of effort and time into learning it, as it will bring big dividends to you in your games of chess.