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What Is Chess Endgame?


Chess has a reputation for being a game of prediction, critical thinking, and strategy. While it is easy to learn how to play, the game takes a lot of knowledge to master. Any experienced chess player will tell you that working towards the endgame is the goal of every match.


For many chess players, endgame can be a difficult challenge to face. Fortunately, there are plenty of informative and affordable online classes, games, puzzles, and more for new and experienced players. 


Let’s talk about what endgame is, how to learn it, and the resources available for improvement.

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Mastering the endgame is a crucial part of mastering chess.

What Is Chess Endgame?

In chess, matches have different planning and strategy phases. The endgame arrives at the end of the game where only a few pieces remain. There is no concrete point at which this time begins in a chess match, but many players agree that it starts when strategies change from preservation to aggression in pursuit of a checkmate. 


Some players consider endgame to usually occur when one or both players lose their queens. Typically, the end of a chess match involves using the pieces with more restricted movement patterns like kings and leftover pawns. Because of this, the endgame often takes a long time, sometimes ending in a stalemate. 


At the end of a chess game, each player has fewer tools at their disposal than they did in the beginning. As such, it is even more critical to predict, plan, and decisively strategize to beat your opponent. Many famous players such as Irving Chernev agree, “if you want to win at chess, begin with the ending.”

Is Endgame a Chess Term?

Yes, endgame is an official chess term. The standard of rules most players accept is derived from the US Chess Federation. They use the word “endgame” in their player guides and the official rulebook


Chess is several millennia old, and the first mentions of endgame in chess literature come from Arabic texts in the twelfth century. Therefore, the term is likely as old as the game itself, though endings in chess have evolved considerably over time. 


Besides the US Chess Federation, the word endgame is used frequently and famous players like Mikhail Botvinnik and Josef Kling referred to it. 

Chess Endgame

How Do You Master Endgames in Chess?

Endgame is often the most crucial time of a chess match, so it requires a lot of studying. Thankfully, there are plenty of methods and technologies you can use to learn it. 


First, there is no tutor quite like experience. Practicing endgame formations and strategies alone will help you learn the basics. Doing the same with a partner will enhance your ability to predict and adapt to your opponent’s moves. 


If you don’t have access to a chess partner, consider playing against a computer. While they aren’t perfect mirrors of human behavior, they will improve your skills for ending the match. However, CPU training doesn’t often teach more than the basics. What’s more, playing this way doesn’t give you much time to process and learn as you go.


If you’re determined to really master endgame, consider hiring a chess tutor that will teach you about endgame strategies. For an even better bargain, consider an online endgame chess class


An online endgame chess class such as those on Amphy offers a private, immersive experience. Dedicated teachers synthesize plenty of excellent strategies, tips, and scenarios into a digestible lesson that can help anyone improve quickly. 


One of the many benefits of these classes is their specific focus. An endgame class naturally hones in on the end of a match without dawdling on the basics of the game itself. There are courses for all skill levels so anybody can find a suitable fit. Online lessons are the best all-around choice for improving noticeably and quickly. 

How Many Endings Are There in Chess?

There are lots of ways that a chess game can end. Checkmate, stalemate, and concession are the broad categories of endings, but you can further subdivide them. Moreover, many chess endings have general names, such as “Queen versus rook” and “bishop and pawn versus knight.” 


To calculate the number of possible endings would be difficult. According to the Arves Chess Endgame Study Association, a system called GBR code uses algebra to communicate the result of a game. GBR codes reach up to six digits, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of unique potential endings.

moving the knight chess piece

Is Endgame the Hardest Part of Chess?

Based on the testimonies of pros and famous players throughout the game’s history, the endgame is certainly the most decisive part of any chess match. In a professional setting, both players work towards the ending, starting with their very first move.


However, the endgame is easier in some respects. While setting up for the end takes strategy, the latter stages of a chess match have the fewest pieces. Players have fewer resources and figures to manage versus the early game. Whereas the beginning of the game is about managing a large formation, the end is centered on smaller-scale movements.

Where Can I Study Chess Endgames?

As we explored earlier, online classes are some of the best options for studying the specifics of chess, particularly the endgame. So, where can you find these online courses? Amphy is one of the best providers.


Right now, Amphy has over thirty distinct chess classes, many of which focus exclusively on the endgame. There are teachers for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Many of the tutors are former champions or grandmaster players with other qualifications, ensuring the highest-quality chess education.


Fortunately, an online endgame course isn’t as big of a commitment as you might think. Devoting as little as thirty minutes of your time is all it takes to experience a drastic improvement. With the time you save taking an online course, you can supplement your newfound strategy knowledge with books, videos, or practical learning. 


Consider browsing Amphy’s extensive catalog of online courses to take your game to the next level.

Basic Chess Endgame Tactics

One of the most basic endgame tactics is to focus on saving certain pieces until the end of the game. Queens, rooks, and bishops have versatile movement patterns, and players can often checkmate with just a queen and king alone. Study a few endgame piece combinations and then try to hold onto those pieces as you enter the last phase of the game.


Some possible checkmate piece groupings include a team of king, bishop, and knight and a team of a king and two bishops. 


Another useful tactic is to make use of pawns. After all, there are usually a few of them that survive to the endgame. Indeed, some endings have only pawns along with the king. Try eliminating your opponent’s special pieces early. At that point, if you can promote your pawns first, you will have a strong advantage over your opponent. 


Lastly, don’t be afraid to make sacrificial plays. Many new players fear defensive choices, but letting go of a piece that you don’t need for your ending is a critical strategy. Try not to compromise too many resources, but you should also adapt as the game progresses.

chess pieces on board

Where Can I Practice Chess Endgame?

In addition to online courses through Amphy, there are a handful of helpful ways to actively practice chess endgames. For starters, you could set up scenarios manually on your chessboard. However, there are faster, automated resources that are more effective. Each of the following can help you think critically about placements, your best moves, and how to advance.

Chess Endgame Puzzles

Sites such as have endgame puzzles that are free to play. In these games, the player must overcome a scenario by selecting the best combination of moves. Doing so teaches newcomers how to prioritize pieces in the endgame while progressing towards a checkmate. Hints are available, so you don’t need to worry about getting stuck. 

Chess Endgame Simulators

Like puzzles, many sites like and have turn-by-turn simulators. Each shows a catalog of different ending configurations, instructing about the best moves. 


While the puzzles give a player a random scenario to overcome, simulators let the player choose which endings they want to learn. For instance, on, the endgames are divided based on the pieces remaining. There are also famous endings and methods for forcing a draw. 


Endgame simulators and puzzles are valuable tools for players looking to improve. They are an excellent supplement to an online course taught by a skilled veteran. 

Final Thoughts

Mastering the endgame is a crucial part of mastering chess. Of course, learning the basics is a good starting point to begin your journey. But, to go one step further, consider online classes. With the expert knowledge of grandmasters and former champions, you can transform your game and strategize with complete confidence.

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