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Stop Losing Won Games: 7 Tips On How To Prevent Stalemate In Chess

How To Prevent Stalemate In Chess?

You’re sitting on the other side of the chessboard and your eyes are laser-focused on the board. You played the opening perfectly and as you predicted, your opponent makes an inaccurate move which causes his position to quickly deteriorate. Now you’re up a queen and you relax knowing it’s just a matter of time before your opponent resigns.All of a sudden, you hear your opponent say that dreaded word “STALEMATE”. You begin to sweat and hope it’s not true. All your hard work and preparation are destroyed by one inaccurate move. Well, put your head up because this article will make sure you never experience such horror again. 

ALSO SEE: How To Carry Out The Queen And King Checkmate: Understanding Checkmate Patterns

What Is Stalemate?

The term “stalemate” denotes where a player has no legal move and his king is not in “check”That being said, here are 7 tips on how to prevent stalemate in chess.

Learn how to checkmate

The white rook on a1 delivers checkmate

Every chess player aims to checkmate his opponent’s king in a game. As such if you don’t know how to checkmate, you wouldn’t know how to prevent stalemate in chess!. You can learn the art of checkmating or mating by reading books and watching YouTube videos on how to checkmate.

Don’t capture every chess piece

how to prevent stalemate in chess
The black pawn on g4 prevents stalemate as it has a legal move

Stalemate occurs when an opponent has no legal moves with his king or any other piece. So if you have a huge material advantage and your opponent has a few harmless pawns laying around the board, you don’t have to gobble them up. If as the game goes on your opponent doesn’t have any more legal moves in the game, those idle pawns will be your saving grace. So keep in mind that capturing pieces is not always the best move.

Simplify when you’re up in material

 

It would not have been stalemate if white had two queens

You don’t need three queens on the board to deliver checkmate!. This is a mistake that most beginners make. The more pieces you have on the board, the less space your opponent king has. As such if you have an overwhelming material advantage, you can give up one or two disposable pieces to ensure you don’t fall into the stalemate trap.

Always “check” your opponent

The white rook on b7 gives check to the black king

This might sound like a noob move, but it goes in a long way in showing you how to prevent stalemate in chess. Putting your opponent in check ensures that you do not fall into the stalemate trap as a stalemate cannot occur if your opponent’s king is in check. So remember, anytime you’re in a tight position where you’re about to mate your opponent, give a check.

Stay calm when you have a winning position 

Chess is a very tactical game that requires the utmost calmness and efficiency.  A grandmaster once said that,” the hardest game to win is a won game”. This means that the closer you get to winning, the tenser you tend to be. Breathing in and out when you have a winning position will ensure you stay calm, keep your head, and not make unnecessary mistakes. This simple technique will ensure you learn how to prevent stalemate in chess. 

Solve stalemate puzzles

Stalemate puzzles are positions created to educate players on how to deal with stalemate traps. Solving stalemate puzzles is a good way of teaching yourself how to prevent stalemate in chess. Regular practice with stalemate puzzles will sharpen your mind and help you navigate the treacherous waters of stalemate Island.

Get familiar with stalemate patterns 

Knowing what a stalemate is and when a position is stalemate goes a long way in learning how to prevent stalemate in chess. Also, when you’re well-grounded on what a stalemate is, you will be able to develop a “stalemate radar” that alerts you when a position is likely to end in a stalemate.

And there you have it!. Seven valuable tips on how to ensure you do not fall into a stalemate trap.

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