Most club players hate endgames. With a clenched fist in the air, they’ll wail and shout that it’s much more fun to just line up their pieces, sac one of them, and deliver a brutal checkmate as a roaring crowd cheer them on…
…better than grinding out a tiring 60 move endgame win.
But what if this dream checkmate doesn’t happen and their opponent manages to wriggle out of trouble? The pain of a feeble, unskilled handling of the resulting endgame, a win turned into a draw, or a draw turned into a loss… will be AGONIZING.
But not for you. IM Anna Rudolf’s new course makes things simple for you! Anna sheds light on the endgames every serious chess player absolutely must know.
…and in mastering these techniques, you’ll soon be converting fundamental endgames with a well-practised mastery.
This video is an exclusive free preview of Anna’s Essential Endgames. Anna gives an overview of what she covers in the full course, and then goes into how to checkmate with 2 bishops.
Checkmate with 2 Bishops
Let’s work from the position to the left. At the moment, White’s bishops are rather passive. The first thing you need to do when you enter an endgame like this is to get your pieces working together in harmony.
1.Bg3 activates the first bishop, and takes control of the h2-b8 diagonal. 1…Kd4 2. Bf3. This is the pattern you need to learn – see how the 2 bishops cut off Black’s king and create a fence around it?
Black plays 2…Kc4. How can you make the cage smaller for Black’s king and push it towards the side of the board?
3.Bf2 Kb4 4.Be2 – following the same pattern, using the two bishops to control both the light and dark squares around the Black king, which is running out of space. 4…Kb3.
STOP! Think for a moment. So far, we’ve been very efficient with our bishops, but now we can’t really play Be1 because our king is in the way. It’s now time to activate the king itself. Remember, in almost every endgame, you’ll need your king to assist your other pieces.
5.Kd3, in opposition to the Black king. Yes, the king has moved in front of the bishop, but it controls key squares.
5…Kb4 6.Kc2 takes away the b3 and c3 squares from the Black king, and allows the bishops to remain active. All the pieces are coordinating well.
Now, the Black king can only move to the a-file, 6…Ka6 (diagram, right).
What is White’s best move?
Don’t play 7.Kb3! That would be a stalemate, throwing away the win. Make sure the opponent’s king has a square to move to while you’re still chasing it down. The right move is 7.Kc3. Why? It takes away the b4 square from Black’s king. The cage gets even smaller. 7…Ka4 is the only move.
In order to checkmate the king, we’re going to need to push it into one of the corners of the board. We play 8.Bb6, taking away the a5 square.
8…Ka3 9.Bb5 taking away another square. 9…Ka2.
Don’t let the king slip away now. Playing 10.Bc5 would allow the king to escape to b1. It’s still winning for White, but why give yourself all that work to do?
Try to play accurately. 10.Kc2 Ka3 – Black wants to escape via the b4 square. How do we prevent it? 11.Bc5+ 12.Ka2 and we’re almost there…
It’s mate in 2. Can you find the solution?
Essential Endgames with IM Anna Rudolf
Join IM Anna and you’ll quickly be saving the toughest Rook Endings, winning the most drawish Opposite Color bishop endings, blocking dangerous passed pawns, and much more…
Whether you love or hate endgames, serious chess players need this endgame knowledge in order to improve… and Anna’s Essential Endgames Course is the simplest way to cram the ideas into your brain and begin using them immediately.
This is the strong endgame foundation you need and will support you for the rest of your chess playing life. Your path to endgame mastery has begun…