How to Win a Won Game

Ciao, ChessKids!

Have you ever been winning, then not known how to proceed? It's definitely happened to me! Don't throw away a good game, especially if your position is better. There is so much more to lose when you are winning.

Here are three good strategies to try when you are better, certified by me, Mrs. Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl).

Winning can mean you have a better position, or it could mean you are up in material.

Here are three things you can do to finish it off:

1. Trade!

2. Attack the king!

3. Sac back!


Let's look at some examples. White is up by two pieces, so your job is to trade! When the position is simplified, you'll be able to promote a pawn much more easily.

White's next plan will be Na4-c5 to eliminate Black's pawns. Then the a-pawn can make a run for it!
In the following position, we've given White an extra queen, instead of the bishop on g5. Here you are up so much material, you can go for a mate! (Rd8 is also good, but not fastest!)
Sometimes you could be down in material, but still winning! How? Well, if you are ahead in development, or if you have the initiative, or if your attack is super powerful, then your position is winning!
What is Black's threat here? Even though Black is down a ton of material, this threat is more important, and winning!
OK, if it's White's turn, there are a few things to try to stop the threat. Unfortunately, none of them work. Let's say White tries b4, stopping the bishop from going to c5.

You have two ways to win. You can sac your queen (!) or you can STILL play Bc5! Wink
Click on the "?" to see all the possible mating moves! OK -- now White is up by 20 points! And LOST!
So remember these three key ideas when you are winning: trade down to an endgame, attack the king quickly, and, if necessary, sac back some material for an even better position!
Let me know how it goes here.