To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact

Sports & Gaming

Endgames - Part 1

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 21:35 min

In Garry’s experience, the endgame never means the end of excitement. He shows the purity and creativity of the endgame—including drama, shouldering, and zugzwang.

Garry Kasparov
Teaches Chess
Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.
Get Started


Let's talk about the endgame. But before we talk about the endgame, we should probably agree on definition. For many amateurs, beginners, even average or strong club players, endgame is the phase of the game when queens are off the board. I would say it's very primitive. For instance, this famous line of Berlin Defense-- many call it middlegame without queens. Because queens disappear very quickly. But it's still, it's the middlegame. It's even the opening. So in modern chess, the line between openings, middlegame, and endgames sometimes is blurry. Of course, we can divide these phases. And we have to do it just to simplify the studies and just to make sure that we can learn the patterns. But again, we should remember that endgame is the end of the game where you have to know a lot of things, just like two plus two equals four, and many other things a bit more complicated. But what is very important is that you don't have a sense of rejection. Because for many chess players, even strong players, endgame means the end of excitement. Nothing could be further from the truth. So many great things can happen there in different ways. One of the things that makes endgames different from openings and middlegame, it could be pure geometry. Because the board sometimes is empty. There are fewer pieces left. And we already saw from the tactical lessons, the purity of the geometry in the endgame, with deflections, with attractions, so many things that are so pure, because the board doesn't have so many pieces. And your attention is not divided between different segments of the board. Now to understand how beautiful could be endgame and sometimes miraculous, we should start with one of the most famous positions in the endgame. And it has what? King and a pawn versus king and a pawn-- that's it. Are you going to tell me that it's not exciting? It's elementary? Let's try. So let's start with this famous Reti position. King and king, pawn and pawn-- black pawn on h5. He's advancing. And white pawn on c6-- he's just too close to Black's king. If you just look from the pure geometrical point of view, the game is over. Because white king is too far behind the pawn. But the trick is that in the game of chess, geometry could help you to save the game if you literally shooting two birds with one board. So you king comes after this pawn but also keep an eye on this pawn. So we go Kg7. Black pawn advances. Kf6. And if pawn keeps advancing, then our king-- forget about this pawn. It's already on h3. It's too close. But we go on e6. And our pawn now is protected. And our pawn will advance as well. Of course, Black can try to win this pawn first-- king B6. But then our king continues his journey, keeping an eye on two directions. King E5-- and now if Black takes this pawn, then our king is in ...

Elevate your game

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I am a non rated player by learning with garry kasprov I deafeted a rated player [1109] and draw with a rated player[1106] this class is much helpful.

Ive learned to feel comfortable durring my game. I wish more oppenings.

Fantastic course! I was looking for a class on Chess, but this was much more! Thank you.

My game has improved dramatically along with my enjoyment of chess study. The consumption of this quantity of information, in a short span of time, is so much more effective, for a beginner, than trying to study chess move-by-move in a text. Now, I can go back to books and clearly understand the terminology, opinions, and thought-process of the authors. Thank-you, Garry!



"I trust you know how to win this position" Thanks for your trust.. but I don't really know. Also, what's the principle behind the "square" he talks about?

A fellow student

I really wish that they would have flipped the on-screen chess board to show the side that Kasparov is playing. It would make so much more sense then.


Fullscreen mode is messed up! Image gets cropped and we can't see the whole board.

Lawrence R.

Does anyone know where the solutions are for the workbook practice positions?

Rowan S.

Advanced players might know all this, but I'd never seen most of it. Great lessons here for a player at my level. Thank you!

Alberto O.

ok got it! The White King diagonal moving in the black squares save everything!!! Great!!

Alberto O.

Hi from Alberto. I'm a chess beginner player and don't understand the first Reti example. First move White King g7 and if Black move King b6 how can the White not loose the game? Thanks.

Gary P.

Openings & middle-games are in a constant state of flux but endgames are constant. This is where we make our biggest improvement studying Philidor, Lucena &Vancuro positions are a must. I get more satisfaction from out playing someone in the endgame than check mating them and for good reason.

Thomas M.

I'll definitely watch this one again, I learned about End Games first, but only about mating tricks.


Judging by his examples, Kasparov must have won every single game he ever played! More humility, and less arrogance, would serve his teaching style better.