Here are a few puzzles to illustrate how the Chess 99 endgame differs from that of standard chess. In each of those puzzles, the objective is for white to mate the black king. Do note that a simple mate, where the opponent is not in check but cannot make a move without being in check, will usually require less moves and be easier to accomplish than an actual checkmate. (Click on side arrows to watch the plays unfold.)

Puzzle #1 – Endgame with two bishops on opposite color squares.

White to play and mate.

Puzzle #2  Endgame with two bishops on same color squares.

White to play and mate.

Puzzle #3  Endgame with a bishop and a knight. White to play and mate.

Puzzle #4 – Endgame with two knights. White to play and mate.

Puzzle #5  Another endgame with two knights. White to play and mate.

Puzzle #6 Endgame with a lone knight. White to play and mate.

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Although it is not possible for a single knight to force the opponent king into a corner, a single knight can actually mate a king that is cornered!

Puzzle #7 – Endgame with a lone paladin. White to play and mate.

Puzzle #8 – White to play and mate.

Black appears mate after 3.Rf9 but white could still commit a blunder following the double-check 3...Bf4!+. If white plays 4.Kxf4 (capturing the bishop), black follows up with 4...Rf8!+ for a second double-check and no matter what white does now, the black king will escape.

(Puzzle inspired by a chess problem from the 9th century “Book of Chess” by al-Adli.)

Puzzle #9 – White to play and mate.

Black resigns after white plays 5.Kh2+ although technically, they are not mate yet. They could still play 5...Qg1!+ for a second double-check but it is rather pointless since white captures the queen and black is definitely mate this time.

Do note the importance of the e4 pawn or black plays 5...Qxh7 (capturing the knight) and the game continues with 6.Rxh7 (capturing the queen) and 6...Rxf7 (capturing the other knight). Players are now down to one rook each! (Black’s double-check would have saved the game if not for a simple pawn.)

(Puzzle adapted from a game between J.Van der Wiel and Z.Peng, Wijk aan Zee, 2007.)