How to End a Chess Game

There are many ways to end a chess game, but sadly, they depend on how you play the game before the endgame. However, if you managed to gain the upper hand or are not that far behind in material, the steps below offer guidelines to help you ensure that you earn a checkmate or otherwise sneakily steal a stalemate.


  1. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 1
    Think six to seven moves ahead of the game, and always know what every single piece can do, every moment of the game. When people do not do this, they make stupid mistakes.
  2. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 2
    Protect enough pieces along with your king to last you through a simple endgame, which is between your king and some other pieces against your opponent's king. The extra pieces may be two bishops (hard), one rook (sort of hard), a queen (somewhat easy), or two rooks (very easy). A knight and a bishop checkmate, while possible, takes at least 30 moves by professionals.
  3. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 3
    Learn the simple endgames mentioned above, with the possible exception of the knight and bishop. Knowing how to do them quickly and easily will save you the frustration of figuring it out when put on the spot.
  4. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 4
    Move your king towards the center in the endgame. Checkmate is likely if your king is at the edges of the board and even more so in the corners.
  5. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 5
    Place your most powerful piece next to your king. This will prevent the piece from being taken by the enemy's king.
  6. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 6
    Make sure your own pieces are on squares of a color opposite of the square your opponent's bishop is on, if your opponent has only one.
  7. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 7
    Get your king next to pawns, preferably near your opponent's side of the board, so you can block checks by rooks and queens, which cost you moves, and protect your own pawns.
  8. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 8
    Use your king aggressively, especially if you don't have a queen. The king can be used to block your opponent's king from moving to certain squares.
  9. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 9
    Try to fork or pin enemy pieces in the endgame without losing any of your own pieces you need for checkmate. The less pieces your opponent has, the more simple the endgame will be.
  10. Image titled End a Chess Game Step 10
    Check your opponent's king constantly if you think you're opponent's trying to trick you into a stalemate. This is a great way to get rid of extra pieces that may interfere with your checkmating procedure.


  • Near the end make sure you have at least 2 or 3 pawns left. Get them to a queen by getting to the other side of the board. If you still have your queen from the start protect the pawns to get to the other side. Make sure you have taken out all your opponents pieces.
  • 1) Without pawns you must be at least a rook up to force mate, the only exception to this is that two knights and a king cannot force mate against a lone king.
  • 6) Many games with all the pawns on one side of the board end in a draw. 90% of master games end in a draw where all the pawns are on one side of the board because the master with the less pawns will exchange pawns and then sacrifice a knight or bishop for the last of the pawns. If you are left with just a Bishop or Knight you cannot force mate.
  • 5) Pawns and Bishops become more valuable as the game proceeds so play to keep them.
  • 2) The king is a powerful piece, use it to block and attack pawns.
  • 4) Bishops are worth more than knights in all but locked pawn positions.
  • 3) Bishops of opposite colors draw most of the time because neither side can advance pawns without losing them. A rook pawn and bishop only draw against a black king if the bishop is the opposite color as the queening square.


  • Your opponent may prevent you from promoting a pawn into a queen because your first queen hasn't been captured. Take a rook and turn it upside down, or use a penny.
  • Your opponent may tell you that toppling over your king will result in a win. It actually represents your forfeit. Don't do it unless you want to lose!
  • Think carefully before capturing your opponent's last pawn. Often times, this is to distract you from the stalemate position that the enemy king's about to end up in.

Things You'll Need

  • A chess set

Article Info

Categories: Chess