Karsten Müller's Endgame Dictionary: The "Knight Check Shadow"

by Karsten Müller
1/14/2022 – There are so many endgame terms that Karsten Müller decided to gather them in a slowly growing "Endgame Dictionary", in which he explains these terms with short videos and practical examples. This time, Karsten explains what a "Knight Check Shadow" is. Admittedly, at first glance this is an unusual and somewhat unwieldy term, but it helps to explain and to remember an important endgame motif.

ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2022 ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2022

Your key to fresh ideas, precise analyses and targeted training!
Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


"Knight Check Shadow" (in German "Springerschachschatten") is a term that describes the situation when a king and a knight are on the same diagonal and the king is two squares away from the knight. This is a good position for the king who dominates the knight - after all, the knight needs at least three moves to give a check.

In the following video Karstens shows how useful it is to know this concept.


Karsten Müller's Endgame Dictionary: The Umbrella

Karsten Müller is considered to be one of the greatest endgame experts in the world. His books on the endgame - among them "Fundamentals of Chess Endings", co-authored with Frank Lamprecht, that helped to improve Magnus Carlsen's endgame knowledge - and his endgame columns for the ChessCafe website and the ChessBase Magazine helped to establish and to confirm this reputation. Karsten's Fritztrainer DVDs on the endgame are bestsellers. The mathematician with a PhD lives in Hamburg, and for more than 25 years he has been scoring points for the Hamburger Schachklub (HSK) in the Bundesliga.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

Gardendwarf Gardendwarf 1/14/2022 10:06
Dear Karsten, Many thanks for taking your time to reply to my little post. I appreciate this very much. I do love this project of yours, the setting up of a dictionary of endgame terms. All the best to you!
genem genem 1/14/2022 08:14
The game is from the year 1988.
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 1/14/2022 07:55
Malfa: In Italian "Springerschachschatten" might be called (translated) "third diagonal". I do not know this. The German term sounds even better than "knight check shadow".
Gardendwarf: I have used Karpov distance for another K vs N domination. Of course it would be very good to have general terms, which are more or less the same in as many languages as possible...
malfa malfa 1/14/2022 02:27
I have always known this piece setup by a term that in English sounds like "third diagonal", with an obvious hint at the relative placement between the two pieces, but the proposed definition, though less transparent, is admittedly more suggestive.
Gardendwarf Gardendwarf 1/14/2022 12:47
I have always known this Knight Check shadow motif as "Karpow Distance". In the video, Karsten Müller uses the latter term, however, for yet another K vs N domination technique. Does anyone happen to know who first used said concept? If in doubt, it ought to have been Dworetzki, but what do I know...