Chess. the final stage of a game, usually following the exchange of queens and the serious reduction of forces.
the late or final stages of any activity:
the end game of the negotiations.
The final stage of some process, as in The book discussed the diplomatic end game resulting in the treaty. This term, dating from about 1880, comes from chess, where it denotes the stage of a game when most of the pieces have been removed from the board. In the mid-1900s it began to be transferred to other activities.


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