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The 5 Essential Endgames for Chess Beginners

Learn 90% of Endgames You'll Ever Need Quickly and Affordably
3.5 (1 rating)
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11 students enrolled
Created by James Critelli
Last updated 5/2016
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Play the majority of chess endgames correctly and confidently
Have the skills necessary to beat friends or family members at chess or compete effectively in tournaments
View Curriculum
  • Students only need to know the rules of the game and how the pieces move - the course will cover the rest

Having achieved the title of chess master and worked as a coach for over 5 years, I've seen how students are easily intimidated by the idea of "learning the endgame" and don't know where to start. Many who attempt to learn the endgame are overwhelmed by the available resources on the subject, all of which overestimate the level of knowledge students really need to have.

To cut through the confusion, I created "The 5 Essential Endgames for Chess Beginners" course, which covers 90% of the endgames you'll ever need to know quickly and affordably. This course, designed for chess beginners up to 1200-rated tournament players, is composed of 20 compact lessons and is priced less than the cost of an average private lesson. By the completion of this course, you will be well on the path to endgame mastery and should see improved play in all aspects of your game.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for beginner level players up to 1200-rated tournament players
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 21 Lectures Collapse All 21 Lectures 01:26:21
1 Lecture 02:00

Intro video walking you through the course structure, how best to take advantage of the material, and how you should approach the course differently depending on your chess rating

Preview 02:00
Section 1: What material is required to checkmate?
6 Lectures 29:03

This lesson covers the king and two rooks vs. king mate, and shows how checkmate can be delivered both horizontally and vertically

Preview 05:21

This lesson covers the king and queen vs. king checkmate

Lesson 2: King + queen mate

This lesson goes over the king and rook vs. king checkmate, and covers over the very important concept of "the opposition"

Lesson 3: King + rook mate

This lesson covers the king and two bishops vs. king checkmate, also known as the "two bishops mate"

Lesson 4: King + 2 bishops mate

This lesson goes over when checkmate is not possible, either because you have an insufficient amount of material, or because there is no way for either side to make progress

Lesson 5: When mate is not possible

This video sums up the first section, going over what rules and guidelines one should follow to checkmate most effectively in the positions we reviewed (e.g. king and two rooks mate, king and queen mate, etc.). It also goes over some of the key terms and concepts we defined in section one, such as what is meant when we say, "no progress is possible"

Lesson 6: Section review

Review Quiz - Section 1
3 questions
Section 2: The key king and pawn positions
4 Lectures 16:29

This lesson covers the king and rook pawn vs. king endgame, showing how this position is an easy draw for the defending side, and how even with an extra bishop, this position may still be a draw

Preview 04:32

This lesson expands on the topic of "the opposition" and covers what is necessary to win a king and pawn vs. king endgame  

Lesson 8: King + non-rook pawn (the opposition)

This lesson further expands on the topic of "the opposition" and explores how "the opposition" doesn't only apply to cases in which the kings are facing each other vertically and horizontally, but cases in which they are facing each other diagonally as well

Lesson 9: Advanced opposition

This video sums up the key points from section two, reviewing how we expanded on the topic of "the opposition", how to win king and pawn vs. king endgames, and when this position can't be won (e.g. if you just have an extra rook pawn, an extra rook pawn and the wrong color bishop, etc.)

Lesson 10: Section review

Review Quiz - Section 2
4 questions
Section 3: Game changing pawn tricks and traps
3 Lectures 16:20

This lesson covers three key pawn positions that are essential to have in your arsenal

Preview 08:05

This lesson goes over three additional pawn positions that are important to understand and know how to apply

Lesson 12: Pawn tricks 4, 5, 6

This video reviews the key points we went over in section three, revisiting the six pawn positions we went over and the key lessons that can be extracted from each 

Lesson 13: Section review

Review Quiz - Section 3
3 questions
Section 4: David and Goliath: queen vs. pawn
3 Lectures 08:10

This lesson goes over the king and queen vs. king rook pawn or bishop pawn endgames and covers some neat defensive tricks

Preview 02:20

This lesson goes over the king and queen vs. king and knight pawn, king pawn, or queen pawn endgames and shows how to kill the defensive side's drawing chances. Also covered is how the pawn being on the 6th rank (as opposed to the 7th rank) affects the outcome of the game

Lesson 15: Queen vs. b, d, and e pawns

This video covers the key positions we reviewed in this section, going over what outcomes can be expected when the pawn is on the 7th rank vs. 6th rank and how the type of pawn (e.g. a-pawn, b-pawn, c-pawn, etc.) affects the game's outcome

Lesson 16: Section review

Review Quiz - Section 4
3 questions
Section 5: The 3 essential rook endgames
4 Lectures 14:19

This lesson covers the lucena position, one of the most important endgames to know how to win in chess. It goes over how to "build the bridge", shield your king from checks, and create a safe haven to promote your pawn to a queen

Lesson 17: The lucena position

This lesson covers the philidor position, one of the most important endgames to know how to draw in chess. It goes over the initial defensive strategy of keeping the rook on the 6th rank, waiting for the pawn to promote to the 6th rank, then moving your rook to the back rank to deliver checks

Lesson 18: The philidor position

This lesson covers the vancura position, which is of near equal importance with the philidor position as one of the most important chess endgames to know how to draw. This lesson covers the defensive technique in depth, showing how to maneuver your rook to the side of the pawn and deliver lateral checks ensuring the draw. It also shows how having the pawn on the 7th rank as opposed to the 6th rank alters the correct defensive strategy

Lesson 19: The vancura position

This video covers the key rook and pawn endgames that we covered in this section including the lucena position, the philidor position, and the vancura position. It reviews the outcomes of each endgame and the key winning or drawing strategies

Lesson 20: Section review

Review Quiz - Section 5
4 questions
About the Instructor
3.5 Average rating
1 Review
11 Students
1 Course
Chess Master, Former #1-Ranked Player, 5+ Years Coaching

I am a chess master, 2-time national scholastic champion, and former #1-ranked U.S. player ages 13-17

I have 5+ years of coaching experience, working with a number of students and class sizes from adults to kids and group classes to private lessons. I look forward to utilizing Udemy to share my knowledge and help others to improve their game

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