So far we’ve looked at minigames with 8P v 8P and B v 3P.

You’ll remember the rules: you win by a) getting a pawn to the end SAFELY, b) capturing all your opponent’s pieces, or c) leaving your opponent without a move.

There are also good minigames using other pieces which are suitable for competitive play.


This is probably the best rook game to choose, although you could also use five pawns with younger children.

Games with fewer pawns are probably too trivial and best used for group activities within classrooms.

This is all about planning and thinking ahead. The rook will win with correct play, but in practice the pawns will often triumph.


This queen game is excellent for learning about FORKS, where you create two threats in different directions at the same time. For instance, White might start by playing Qd5, forking the pawns on b7 and f7. White can win this game by using forks to win black pawns while at the same time being careful not to let a pawn reach the end safely.

If you don’t have spare pawns, replace one of the black pawns with a white pawn. Alternatively, you can play the game without the pawn on d7.

These two games are ideal for competitions: each pair of opponents plays two games, one with each colour. So the score could be 2-0, 1-1 or 0-2. Again, you can play team matches between classes.

Email the rules to parents, display posters on classroom walls, and, a couple of weeks later, once children have had the chance to practice the games, run a competition.

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