Some Thoughts On Presenting Endgame Concepts To Kids

I do not directly teach endgame concepts like key square, opposition etc to my students but I pay more attention to general rules that are very useful while playing endgames. If your student is of intermediate level, you can use Endgame Strategy by Shereshevsky (I am a big fan of this book).

While explaining general endgame concepts to kids, the presentation becomes much more important. For example, if you are explaining the examples from Grandmaster’s games related to the topic for adult or advanced players it is OK but kids won’t get it.

You need to set very simple examples which can be understood by just seeing them and without needing much explanation. Some of them are as follows:

1. Centralization of The King :
We all know that in the endgame it is important to use the King actively but they don’t know. Here I always show them the example below and ask them few questions.

Q – Who will win irrespective of who is to move?
A- by students: White will win.

Q – Why will white win?
A – Because white’s king is nearer to opponent pawns.

Q – What happen if Black’s king is also there?
A – The game might go to draw.

And now if you advise them that you should bring your king in the center in endgame no further explanation is needed. Not only they will grasp the concept but also get more confidence.

2. Two Weaknesses :
Here I use following simple example and ask the same questions to my students

Q – Who will win irrespective of who it is to move?
A- by students: White will win.

Q – Why will White win?
A – Because of the two passed pawns.

Now I explain them that those two passed pawns are two different weaknesses for Black and it is quiet difficult to handle two weaknesses in chess.

The way of presenting a concept is much more important for kids as compared to adult players because their abilities to comprehend are less well developed.

Ashvin Chauhan