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Endgame Chess Puzzles

Updated on May 27, 2018

Chess endgame puzzles can help improve any player's chess game.

If you are looking to improve your chess end game play, working on endgame puzzles can really help. These particular chess puzzles focus entirely on end games and good end game play is one of the areas that separates a good player from a really good player.

Many end game chess puzzles are usually trying to teach the player how to find the winning move more than an outright checkmate. Chess end games are an overlooked part of many players’ games. Many players don’t usually get a chance to practice their end games because they are often way ahead or way behind by the time they get to the end game and the subtlety of good end game is not apparent at this point. The interesting part of end game play is the magnification of the importance of each move. Earlier on in the game, you may be able to get away with moving a piece to the wrong square, but in the end game, it can be devastating.

Taking chess lessons is another way to improve your play because you get instant feedback on your games and it is tailored directly to you. But remember, nothing beats practice!

The chess end game puzzles shown below came from a chess book by Bruce Pandolfini, titled Padolfini’s Chess Challenges, 111 Winning Endgames. Bruce is one of the top chess instructors in the U.S. and was portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the 1993 movie, Searching For Bobby Fischer. I just published my first chess book, Chess 101, Everything A New Chess Player Needs To Know! and am proud to say that I have Bruce’s endorsement on the back cover.

Please scroll down to see the endgame chess puzzles.
Please scroll down to see the endgame chess puzzles.

“If you want to win a game of chess, begin at the ending.” Chernev

Irving Chernev (1900 - 1981) was a Russian-born American chess author. Chernev was a national master-strength player.

Chess End Game Puzzle #1 (Black to Play, Find the Winning Move)

End game chess puzzle (Click to enlarge)
End game chess puzzle (Click to enlarge)

Answer to Chess End Game Puzzle #1

The answer is for black to play Q-c5 check. White is forced to trade queens and when black promotes his pawn on the next move, he wins white's queen, thanks to the skewer.

Chess End Game Puzzle #2 (White to Play, Find the Winning Move)

Chess end game puzzle #2 (Click to enlarge)
Chess end game puzzle #2 (Click to enlarge)

Answer to Chess End Game Puzzle #2

The answer is for white to play, K-f8. Both players promote but black's queen is lost. After K-f8, black plays d2, white queens, e8/Q, then black queens, d1/Q and white wins with Q-h5 check.

Chess End Game Puzzle #3 (White to Move, Find the Winning Move)

Chess end game puzzle (Click to enlarge)
Chess end game puzzle (Click to enlarge)

Answer to Chess End Game Puzzle #3

When you have a king against a king, bishop and rook pawn, it's a draw if; 1. the bishop is on the opposite color from the square that the rook pawn will promote on and 2. the opposing king can make it to the corner square in time. (This only applies to rook pawns.)

In this example, the "a" pawn will queen on a light square and white's bishop is a dark-squared bishop. This would be a draw if black could get his king to the corner square in time. However, white wins with B-d6 which effectively blocks black's king from the corner.

For instance;

1. B-d6 If 1. ...K-c8 then 2. a6 and white wins.


1. B-d6 K-d7

2. a6 K-c6

3. B-c5 K-c7

4. B-a7 K-c6

5. Kc4 Kc7

6. Kc5 K-c8

7. K-c6 K-d8

8. K-b7 and white wins


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    • Juggergnost profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago


      I think you meant puzzle 3 not puzzle 2. Also, your analysis has the same move for black on your move 2 and 3. (Kc6)?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      For puzzle 2, 1.Bd6 Kd7 2.a6 Kc6 3.Bc5 Kc6 4.Kc4 Kc7 5.1/2-1/2. I don't get it.

    • Juggergnost profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago


      Please read the answer below the puzzle. You will find that it's a queen sacrifice designed to promote the pawn and win back the queen.

      Thanks for checking out my hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      On puzzle 1, Qc5+ would just mean losing your queen. I don't get it?


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