This is one of the very common Endgames in Chess. It usally occurs when someone has gained a one pawn advantage and simplified (exchanged equall peices) down to the single pawn. The king shepherds the pawn across, see The Opposition, King vs King and single pawn, and gets to turn the pawn into a queen.

There is a slight danger of stalemate in this ending but it can be easily avoided if you follow this simple system.

In this endgame the first step is to get your opponents king to any of the four edges of the board. The key to this is to move your king and queen in unison as to slowly push the opponents king to one side. Once the opponents king is on the edge station your queen on the rank or file that is right beside the edge. Your king must be be two ranks or files away. Your opponent can only move back and forth on the one lane. As soon as the your opponents king is in line with your king move your queen between the two of them for checkmate.

 --- --- --- --- 
|   | BK|   |   |
 --- --- --- ---
|   | WQ|   |   |
 --- --- --- ---
|   | WK|   |   |
 --- --- --- ---

Endgames in Chess
Chess Openings

Queen and King vs. King - A chess endgame

Queen and King vs. King is probably the most common endgame in chess. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest to master. It does, however, present a greater risk for stalemate than most other endgames; but, as long as you always look and make sure the opponent's king can move, you will be fine. Now, before I go into an example, I'm going to cover the techniques.

First and foremost, you must take advantage of the queens ability to simultaneously cover a rank (horizontal line) and a file (vertical line). This ability allows the queen to create a "coffin" which confines the king to a certain number of spaces. As the game progresses this space must get smaller and smaller.

You will notice later in the game, while the queen is making the opponent's coffin smaller, that there will be instances in which the movement of the queen will result in the escape of the king or the actual capture of the queen. This is where the king comes in. If you can't make the coffin smaller, then you must bring up your king in support.

In order to checkmate your opponent, he/she must be trapped against the side of the board (it doesn't matter which). If you execute the coffin method correctly, the king will be trapped against a side of the board. Also, remember that there are two possible checkmate positions.

Make sure, and I can't stress this enough, to watch for stalemate! During the last stages of the game, the presence of stalemate begins to louden. ALWAYS make sure that the opponent's king will be able to move after you move.

Example

Let's start out with the example we had in the first diagram:
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |BK |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |WQ |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |WK |   |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H
As you can see, the black king is trapped in a coffin which consists of 30 squares. It is now our job to make it smaller.

1 Qd5 Kf6 - The queen just cut the coffin in half and has now confined the king to 12 squares. It doesn't really matter where black moves, the method is just the same.
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |BK |   |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |WQ |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |WK |   |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H
What now? Can we make the rectangle smaller without the queen being in danger or the king escaping? No. If we gave check with Qd6+, the black king could escape. Just as if we moved with Qe5+, the queen would be lost. So, we must bring the king up.

2 Kd2 Kg6 - A long journey ahead for the king. No worries, you have 50 moves before a draw.
3 Qe5 Kf7 - The opponent's movement allowed us to make the coffin smaller.
4 Ke3 Kg6
5 Kf4 Kf7 - Our king is chugging along.
6 Kg5 Kg8 - At this point, black had only two choices, both of which would force him to the corner.
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |BK |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |WQ |   |WK |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H
It is important at this stage to be on the lookout for stalemate. It's only a matter of looking one move ahead.

7 Qe7 Kh8 - Black is now trapped in a coffin that consists of two spaces.
8 Kg6 Kg8 - Bring that king up to seal the coffin.
9 Qg7++ or Qe8++ - Bickity Bam!
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |BK |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |WQ |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |WK |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H


OR


+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |WQ |   |BK |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |WK |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H

So, Remember:

  • Use your queen to create a "coffin" for the king. If you can make the rectangle smaller without causing stalemate or putting your queen in danger, then do so.
  • If you can't make the rectangle smaller, bring your king up in support.
  • You must trap the opposing king against the side of the board to checkmate.
  • Beware of stalemate!

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