Opposition | Chess Endgames

The opposition occurs when the two kings are facing each other either vertically or horizontally with an odd number of squares between them. The side that doesn’t have to move has the opposition.

Chess endgames are exact, precise and have to be the basis of every player’s studies. As opposed to openings or the middlegame, there are specific rules which you simply have to follow in order to win (or draw). If you don’t develop your knight before your bishops in the opening, as the principle demands, nothing is going to happen. There are plenty of openings which neglect classical principles. But, if you fail to keep the opposition in a pawn ending, or misplay the Lucena position, you are in trouble! In fact, you lose immediately! That is why the endgame should be the starting point and and a part of your study which you devote a lot of time to.

The good thing about studying chess endgames is that the lessons are almost finite. That means that there is a set number of main principles, rules and positions which you have to learn, which you can then apply to most endgames which actually happen in your games. This cannot be said of the middlegame, and neither of the opening, since in them your opponent has a say! In the endgame, the rules are set, and often there are only moves which you and your opponent are going to have to find. That means that whoever has the bigger endgame knowledge base in his mind has a huge advantage. Endgames are won at home!

In this series, I will cover all major chess endgame types, and I will include more than enough examples in each chapter. I will be covering pawn, bishop, knight, rook and queen endgames, and all of their combinations. All together the series will be comprised of more than 50 videos.

For the introductory video I chose to cover the opposition, the most important of all chess principles without which you cannot comprehend the more complex types of endgames which happen in real games.

The opposition is what the endgame revolves around, and, no matter which pieces are still left on the board, you can bet that a strong player is considering his king position, the queening squares and whether he can get the opposition or not. Knowing endgame principles such as the opposition or the rule of the square saves you time during a game, and you basically know what to look for in an endgame if you already know what you have to achieve.

To practice the opposition, my advice would be to set up a simple position king and pawn versus king on the board (random squares!) and try to win it with one color and then draw with black. Devote time to it and try to come to a conclusion like: “If it’s white to play it’s drawing.”, or “If it’s black to play, black loses.” After you have concluded and are sure you are correct, put the position on an engine and see what it says. After twenty exercises like that, you will be the master of opposition!

If you would like to support the channel and my quest to chess improvement, you can donate here:

Any support is greatly appreciated! Thank you! The next tournament abroad I plan to play is at the start of July in Slovenia.

Thank you for the support so far!

Eetu H., Mark S., Dan O., Robert C., Richard S., Gregory Y., Jakub S., Francisco R., Simon F., Ken A., Debbie and Brian T., Philip D., Alexandre M., Pascal S., Daniel N.

#chess

144 Comments

  1. you have missed distant opposition and indirect opposition.

  2. Good, clear explanation. I've drawn so many king/pawn end games so hopefully this sinks in soon

  3. 17:18 after Ke8 Ke6 has to be played since in the example you pushed the pawn to e5, black is able to gain opposition drawing the game.

  4. Well explained definition/examples of the opposition

  5. the endgame series is very informative and interesting, thanks a lot for taking your time 🙂

  6. There's a video on yt of Magnus where he says he doesn't understand the opposition logic, he just does it!
    I don't understand it either, but I don't do it either.

  7. Awesome explanation
    Thanks for this!
    It helped me a lot

  8. What is that yellow thing in the background??

  9. Oh my god get on with it. Three minutes of talking but saying nothing.

  10. What a great explanation, but what is unusual oppositioning? and when we use it? could you please explain it?

  11. In the position where the pawn is on the 6th rank, I'm having trouble timing it to get what I want when I play against stockfish. What am I not understanding? When I'm white the black king always gets that stalemate position.

  12. Very nice playlist !!! You followed in particular a book?

  13. theres something wrong with the subs it said porn instead of pawn

  14. You, sir, are an outstanding teacher. Subscribing!

  15. These videos are a godsend! It's crazy that we're getting this for free 🙂

  16. Your channel is one of the best out there, I feel it is severely underrated. Keep up the great work!

  17. This is good in respect to one square separation, but if it is two squares then you are dealing with angles (plural), not opposition (singular). I had this position as black: 8/8/2p5/p1p1kp1p/P1P4P/1P3KP1/8/8 b – – 4 39 (you should not keep opposition, Kf6, but go for an angle, Ke6). I wish people would cover this because when you teach opposition it makes it sound like we should keep the kings in front of each other. I know there is one square in the explanation, but nothing is mentioned about two squares.

  18. Wow !!! Mr Stjepan amazing video. Very helpful and needs a lot of practice to master it

  19. wow very instructive. high level content as usual

  20. please don't waste time blabbering jibber jabber in the beginning.

  21. Excellent tutorial and teaching style!! Keep up the good work ! Would like to know your name and chess background. You provide a wonderful educational service and are a very talented teacher!

  22. Is there a critical square for a wing pawn that's not on the 6th rank? Is there just one?

  23. I didn't know elon musk teaches chess with a Soviet accent… lol

  24. Excelent video! Looking forward to the next series. Thanks for a very comprehensive explanation.

  25. I cant believe i am watching this for free

  26. Awesome explanation of the rule of the square (till now I only got videos of people not knowing how to explain it) +++ simply a great, engaging lesson. I always "improvise" my endings and don't really know how or why I get to win or lose. Thanks to this series that will change. Thank you so much, already learnt a lot with just 1 video!

  27. This guy is a legend. He has a video on practically everything

  28. Great video, I've finally decided to push into learning endgames. Especially because I just had a game where I was winning handily until endgame where me who was up 2 minor pieces in material with both sides having a rook and pawns, lost after having no plan to advance and blundering pieces.

  29. Thank you very much for this class. The videos are very good, although I have noticed that in most of the videos the audio sounds a little strange, like "slightly metallic or like a kind of noise" I do not know if I explain myself well. I imagine that it is due to your microphone. I hope it can be corrected. Thanks again.

  30. Your content is incredibly good. Thank you for sharing all this knowledge

  31. It's tougher than watching magnus play and win 😉

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