Ultimate King Hunt

This is a popular whole class game. White tries to get checkmate with the complete army whilst Black tries to get stalemate.

Using a chess display board, each class member in turn calls out White’s move with the proper co-ordinates. There should be no conferring. The teacher plays Black. The teacher, or an assistant, makes the moves on the display board.

In principle, White should win from this position without any difficulty. However, because the piece moves are selected by different individuals, there is an inevitable lack of co-ordination. Some moves called out will be in harmony with previous moves but quite often not. Sometimes class members will confidently suggest dubious moves.

Stalemate, which is not infrequent, shows the need to be careful in exercising overwhelming power. One strategy for the lone king is to wander into the White position where there is a greater chance that an erroneous move by White will lead to stalemate (see diagram below).

Black is in stalemate

Stalemate means that there are no legal moves available. The black king is supposed to move but any square it can go to is attacked.

Don’t forget that, under the rules of this particular game, stalemate means that the teacher has won!