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Reuben Fine's 15 Endgame Rules

1. Doubled, isolated and blockaded Pawns are weak: Avoid them!
2. Passed Pawns should be advanced as rapidly as possible.
3. If you are one or two Pawns ahead, exchange pieces but not Pawns.
4. If you are one or two Pawns behind, exchange Pawns but not pieces.
5. If you have an advantage, do not leave all the Pawns on one side.
6. If you are one Pawn ahead, in 99 cases out of 100 the game is drawn if there are Pawns on only one side of the board.
7. The easiest endings to win are pure Pawn endings.
8. The easiest endings to draw are those with Bishops of opposite colors.
9. The King is a strong piece: Use it!
10. Do not place your Pawns on the color of your Bishop.
11. Bishops are better than Knights in all except blocked Pawn positions.
12. Two Bishops vs. Bishop and Knight constitute a tangible advantage.
13. Passed Pawns should be blockaded by the King; the only piece which is not harmed by watching a Pawn is the Knight.
14. A rook on the seventh rank is sufficient compensation for a Pawn.
15. Rooks belong behind passed Pawns.

Last modified: 28 September 03
David Hayes