When a player has NO legal moves with any of the pieces on board and his king is NOT in check, we say that he is stalemated. Unlike western chess, statemate is not a draw. If you stalemate your opponent, you win.
Though stalemates are relative rare in practice, there are some basic endgames, for examples lone Pawn or lone Horse versus lone King, when victory can only be claimed by stalemate.
1. P2=3 K6-1
Now, if Red checks again with P3+1, the Pawn becomes an “old soldier” and will no longer do any harm to the King.
But a waiting move K5+1 here will stalemate Black.
Likewise, you get nothing here if you keep checking with the Horse. Red’s winning approach is stalemate-in-2:
1. H1+2 K6+1
2. K5+1 wins.
C2+6 stalemate at once.
Not C2=6? Black A4-5 and draw.
Obviously not C8+7 check, but C8=5 stalemate.
While a Pawn at the bottom line can never check the enemy King, there are rare cases the “o;d sodier” can give stalemate.
In this diagram, Red P2=3 and wins.
A subtle winning variation in the lone Horse vs lone Adviser endgame:
1. H4+6 K6-1
2. K5=4 stalemate.
Now try to solve the 6 endgame puzzles mentally. You may pause the slide by moving the mouse over it.
Click play the video to check the answers.