The endgame, where only a queen, a king, and the opponent’s king are left on the board, is one of the fundamentals situations that every player, regardless the skill level, should be familiar with. Even a weak player can eventually find the way to victory, given enough time to think. But what if you have only several seconds left due to the strict time control?
Blitz chess is a fast-paced version of chess in which each player has a limited amount of time to make their moves. In the scenario of a queen and a king against a king in blitz chess, players must be even more mindful of time and make quick, decisive moves to win the game.
It is also important to be mindful of time management. In the scenario of a queen and a king against a king, the side with the queen and king has a significant advantage, but time can still be a factor. Players should aim to make their moves quickly and efficiently, while avoiding unnecessary risks that could cost them the game.
Let’s see a typical starting position:
The basic strategy for winning with a queen and king against a lone king is to use the queen to control key squares and cut off the opposing king’s escape routes. This allows the king to move in and check the opposing king, forcing it to move to a square where it can be captured.
The queen is the only piece that the enemy king cannot approach directly, as it would be put in a check at any adjacent square. Thanks to that, the most straightforward strategy has only two phases.
1) Use the “bridge” technique to chase the king away to the corner:
Click through the moves on the diagram above, until you reach this position:
Careful now! The typical mistake beginners usually do here is move the queen one square closer to the black king. But such a move would cut off all escape routes, so the game would finish as a draw – stalemate. See the position after 9. ♛f7??:
2) Bring your king to the opposition:
Good job! This is the position after 13. … ♚g8:
Finish the game by moving your queen to the yellow-marked square. 14. ♛e8#
It would be possible to play 14. ♛d8# or 14. ♛g7# as well.
Congratulations! You have finished the first endgame lesson. Make sure you train this strategy over and over, until you master it.