Chess Endgame Fundamentals: Opposition Exercise

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This exercise comes from Jonathan Hawkins’s excellent book “Amateur to IM.”

Rules: White to move; White can only move the rook one time. Try to checkmate Black!


  1. this problem is a lot easier with the availability to move to rook but still helpful

  2. Hi John, I think you can reduce your criteria for "taking the opposition" by eliminating the odd number of squares component; because, when the Kings are on the same color square on the same file, the Kings will always be an odd number of squares apart. And so, a simple definition of "taking the opposition" is: (1) same file, (2) same color squares, (3) your opponent's move. P.S., love the videos, please keep them coming.

  3. Just saw someone else made the same point as me – sorry to pile on ; ) terrific video anyhow.

  4. John, I Love your Endgame Videos. Helping me to learn and review. Thank you.

  5. Underrated video. Just like every other end game video.
    I guess you have to lose couple of winning endgames to understand the value of these videos.

    Thanks John for the endgame videos.
    Also for the real board.

  6. U teach well John. I need to know something about different threats in castling at wrong time and some defence o it.

  7. I'm Amrutha I'm having a tournament on Saturday.I don't have a coach . Feeling worried . Pls help ya..

  8. Simple, but one of the best chess videos. I've won many games because my opponent didn't understand opposition.

  9. What an excellent video… the beautiful lesson complimented by that beautiful chess board! The only confusion that I seem to be having is with the 'Rectangular Opposition' theme that I've seen elsewhere (square with all corners the same colour), and the fact that… well… (for a lack of better words)… the opponent seems to be having the opposition at times. Still, Sir, it was a wonderful experience… this video. Thanks for that! 🙂

  10. Just a slight suggestion. Try and maintain the correct white balance in your videos. Great content though. Thanks

  11. I think your endgame solution is not the simplest one because you are giving the black king a chance to escape or finding optional moves. You should have considered the simplest move to confine the black king along the 8th file and that is : Rc7. Should the BK move near the R, the R can just slide farther away (h7) along the 7th file, while moving the WK nearer to the 6th file for the coup d'grace. Should the BK come near the R, it can always slide farther away to the opposite side (a7) and continue moving the WK towards the 6th file.This way, you need not think about the possibility of the BK escaping to delay the inevitable mate.

  12. Great excercise to practice oposition, but not practical use for king+rook vs king endgames.

  13. What a fantastic exercise. Can't believe I've never seen it before, after all my years in chess.

  14. John's channel is almost like having a coach jeez

  15. please explain the different moves done by the engines which is like a useless moves
    but there r very useful at last.

    how can we find these moves…??and think like chess engine..?

  16. this stuff's really helpful for me since i've neglected studying this so long cuz i thought it to be boring, but i'm pretty sure my neglect of it is destroying my rating

  17. Just to say, around 9:00 Kb6 is actually still winning for white as black has been forced to the edge… 2…..Kb8 3. Ka6 ,Ka8 forced and Rc8 with mate. However, it is a bit of an unprincipled move so of course Kc6 is a cleaner mental habit to avoid mistakes.
    P.s. thank you so very much for these videos, currently studying from an endgame book and it is nice to give a bit of variety.

  18. thank you very much for this vid. it is very helpful

  19. a move like rook to c7 takes the position already and if the king moves to b2 then simply rh7 and just move the king up afterwards lol…a simple situation does not need to be so elaborated if you already know what you are doing😂

  20. when the kings are across each other in the same color square, the number of squares in between will always be odd and the one that moves will loses the opposition.

  21. Wow Amazing. You are a great teacher. John. Bravo !

  22. Thanks to the concepts in this video (I watched it a few days ago), I was able to come away with a win in a match tonight!! Cheers John

  23. REALLY GREAT 👏👏well done Joan

  24. sir I have studied this and it has helped me to understand and improve my playing, thank you

  25. Your lessons are the most informative and complete that I can find. Other lessons show what moves to make don't explain why.

  26. I just did this test, when he said "stop the video" and easily did it in 7 moves. Tried it again a few times, 8 moves, 11 moves., 7 moves…

  27. Great tip! Just one question. What if Black to move first – a7, what should be White’s reply? Or this is exercise just White to move first?

  28. 5:11 is still winning for white, no? After Kb6 what is wrong with Rc4?

  29. i know this is an opposition exercise but can't you just do Rc7 in the first place?

  30. Best teacher and most instructive videos!

  31. Wow I never got the time I was asking for you.

  32. Here is how I got… I'm only 900 rating player. Took me some time to solve.

    [Event "?"]
    [Site "?"]
    [Date "2020.08.26"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "Player"]
    [Black "Player"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [FEN "k7/8/8/8/8/8/8/K1R5 w – – 0 1"]
    [SetUp "1"]

    1. Kb2 Kb7 2. Kb3 Ka6 3. Kb4 Kb6 4. Kc4 Ka6 5. Kc5 Ka5 6. Ra1# 1-0

  33. I love 3d chess board instruction. Tactics need to be learn on physical board. Love the series…

  34. You have done a wonderful job of explaining opposition and outflanking as clear as possible. No need to look any further than this.

  35. if they're on the same colour square, there's always an odd number of squares in between, so the second rule is redundant? I found it very instructuve though!

  36. Wow..
    Would would think that a king vs. king and pawn endings could be this complicated.
    Chess is such a deep game.

  37. This is so irrelevant. Weather you just seeing if you can maybe with one rook move it not it doesn't have to be this hard. Make you rook mobil . Use king to control squares to fore the king to one of the four sides. So much more fun.

  38. Can you add a link for the opposition to the description? Thanks.

  39. "It's so neat how that works. How the lone king can push around the Black king and kinda force it where white wants it to go to"


  40. not sure about these days, but I believe this exercise was taught in all USSR primary schools

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