What is a dead end in chess (and how to avoid it)?

Deadlock is a draw condition in a game of chess that can confuse new players. Unlike checkmate, where the enemy king is in check and cannot be parried, stalemate occurs when the king is not actually in check, but the player in question has no moves. legal to do. The game ends in a draw with all king squares cut but not in check.

Stalemate can also occur with several other pieces on the board if they cannot move for one reason or another. Deadlock traps are a useful resource in wayward endgames, especially in faster time checks, as amateur players can sometimes completely lose winning positions by accidentally pinning their opponent.

What is an impasse position?

The stalemate is where it is your turn, but you have no legal move to make. However, since your king is not in check, you are not mate and you have not lost the game! Deadlocks are a null position. Consider this simple ending with the king and pawn:

Image via lichess.org

Here, the game is over if it is Black’s turn to play. The black king cannot go to any of the d7, d8, f7 or f8 squares (nor can it take the pawn on e7), but it is not in check either! This means that the game ends in a draw. (In fact, this is exactly the setup Black is aiming for when trying to pull off an endgame with a king and pawn when the opponent is trying to promote on an otherwise empty board.)

Standoffs are also possible when there are other pieces on the board as they can be blocked or pinned, rendering them immobile.

Image via lichess.org

Look at this completely absurd position: here it’s also a draw if it’s black’s move. The pawns cannot advance, the rook on a4 is completely trapped, the c6 knight is pinned to the king, and the king has no legal moves.

How to Avoid Blocking Your Opponent

Sounds easy, but it’s anything but: always check to see if your opponent has a legal follow move relative to yours, especially in positions where you’re chasing a lone king.

In general, it’s a big step forward in improving chess once you consider your opponent’s possible responses at all times. Doing a quick check of their possible threats, counters and ideas is very important in all aspects of the game: this way you won’t fall head first into a trap. It’s also a great way to turn off draw chances like deadlock traps. If you recognize that your opponent has no moves, you can adjust your plans before you roll for victory.

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