Modern practical endings

Table of contents :
Contents 3......Page 3
Introduction 5......Page 5
Fundamentals 7......Page 7
Chapter 1: K+P Vs K 9......Page 9
Chapter 2: K+2P Vs K 16......Page 16
Chapter 3: K+P Vs K+P 25......Page 25
Chapter 4: An Active King Vs a Passive King 38......Page 38
Chapter 5: Forcing a Breakthrough 44......Page 44

Citation preview

Modern Practical Endings

International Grandmaster Julian Hodgson Published by TOURNAMENT CHESS

Contents Introductlon




Chapter One

ICiDc and Pawn v lOng


Chapter Two

IClug and Two Pawns v lOng


Chapter Three

lOne and Pawn v lOng and Pawn


Chapter Four

An Actlve lOng versus a Passive lOng


Chapter Five

Forcing a Pawn Breakthrough


(C) Tournament Chess Publication A



August 1993



Last year I decided to do something about my dreadful lack of knowledge and understanding of basic chess endings. I had realised for a long time that my endings were simply not up to scratch. Indeed, I would often avoid exchanging into simplified endgames in case I had missed something or there was something I did not know about. With that end in mind I systematically plodded through the entire Encyclopaedia of King and Pawn Endings - all 1610 positions! Perhaps not the most exciting of ways to spend an evening but it certainly taught me about king and pawn endings! You might ask why I

started with king and pawn endings which, supposedly, hardly ever occur, as opposed to the much more 'relevant' Encyclopaedia of Rook and Pawn Endings? The reason is simple - often to make progress in an ending, you have to offer an exchange of pieces. If, however, you do not have a clue whether the ensuing king and pawn ending is a win or a draw, how can you ever make the right decision? A booklet, such as this, is far ·too small to give every relevant piece of information that you might need to know, but what I have tried to do is to give as many important guidelines that will be relevant in a practical game. julian Hodgson, London, August 1993.

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Modern Practical Endings

International Master Byron Jacobs Published by TOURNAMENT CHESS

Modern Practical Endings

International Master Chris Ward Published by TOURNAMENT CHESS


The reader will see in this booklet various references to opposition and triangulation.

Part 1 Opposition Opposition is a term that is often used in king and pawris endings but to actually define it in simple language is not as easy as it sounds! Let's take the most basic position with just the two kings on the board.

The kings are directly opposite each other with just one square separating them. Now in this position whoever is not on the move has the opposition.

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Thus if it were Black to play he would be forced to give way and allow White's king to advance, e.g. 1 ... filtf6 would allow 2 ~dS or 1 ... ~d6 allow 2~fS. The next example should help to clarify the situation somewhat.

In this position if it were White to move he could now play 1 filte4! and gain the opposition. Black would now like to say "pass" and let his opponent have another turn but sadly in chess this is not allowed! Black's king is forced to give way, e.g. 1 ... ~d6 allows 2 ~fS followed by 3 filtxgS winning or 1 .. . filtf6

allowing 2 '\ftdS and 3 '\ftxcS winning. By grurung the opposition White's king has forced a decisive breakthrough into the enemy position. If, however, it were Black to move in the initial position he could play 1 . . . ~eS!

grumng the opposition and thus also winning. A further example can be found on page 27.

Part2 Triangulation As many of you have probably heard the term at one stage or another, I thought I

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would give one example of its use - it is, however, required in king and pawn endings much less than people think.

I have taken this position from Reuben Fine's excellent manual Basic Chess Endings. The direct 1 '\fte3? would fail to 1 . .. '\fteS. Therefore White triangulates with his king.



Now Black is in zugzwang. Both 1 ... fitjlc6 and 1 ... '\fteS are met by 2 (jfte3 when White picks up the e4-pawn and with it the game - White wins because he had more squares available for his king than his opponent.

Chapter One King and Pawn v .King

My first real vivid experience of a king and pawn endgame occurred when I was only 8 years old. I was playing in the London U-12 Championships. My opponent was Simon Brown who is currently England's International Director of chess. It was a crunch game to decide the winner of the tournament. Mter a very hard struggle (for those of you who are interested, the opening was a Morra Gambit - I had Black!) we ended up in the following position

S Brown- J Hodgson London U-12 Ch 1972

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At the time all I knew about the position was that it was supposedly an 'easy' draw but I could not for the life of me work out how to draw it. First I analysed 1 .. . 'ifle8? 2 'ifle6 'iflf8 3 f7 'iflg7 4 'ifle7 and White wins. Secondly I analysed 1 ... ~f8! 2 ~e6 ~e8 3 f7+ ~f8 and again I thought we reached the same position but forgetting that this time it was White's turn to move so that after 4 'iflf6 (the only move to defend the f7-pawn) the position is in fact drawn due to stalemate. So you might ask - which of the above did I plump for? Well, sadly I chose 1 ... 'ifle8 here was my logic: i) it is an easy draw; ii) 1 ... 'ifle8 and 1 .. ~g8 are, in fact, the same; iii) So, as there are two backward diagonal king moves and only one straight back, the correct choice must be the more common move, i.e. one of the diagonal moves - in some ways logical, but in this

case wrong. As a postscript, while I had been thinking about which move to make a huge crowd had gathered round to watch. After I had made the wrong decision and had lost, I promptly burst into tears! - not all stories have a happy ending! The above position is of fundamental importance to king and pawn endings. If, however, we were to take a very different position the result could so easily change. Let's take a look at the following position.

Pg Japar - Maree A Manila 011992.

62 IIxh2?? After the correct 62 nas! the rook and pawn ending is a relatively easy draw. 62 ... gxh2+ 63f3}xh2 White has won a pawn but has transposed into a lost king and pawn endgame. 63 ... f3)h4?! This move does not throw away the win but clearly shows that Black is on the wrong track. 64 f3)g2 gS?? A terrible blunder after which Black can no longer win. 65 f3)h2! g4 65 ... f3}g4 does not help as after 66 f3}g2! White keeps the opposition and prevents Black from making progress. 66 f3)g2 g3 67 f3)g1! Not 67 f3)h1?? f3}h3 68 f3}g1 g2 and Black wins. 67 f3)h3 68 ~h1 g2+ 69 ~g1 ~g3 ~~

This is a classic case of whether White should exchange rooks and go into a king and pawn ending or keep them on and remain in a rook and pawn ending. The game continued:

If we now take the position after 64 rJtg2 we find that Black should play 64 ... f3}g4! taking the opposition. White's king is now forced to give way, e.g. 65 ~h2 ~f3! 66 ~h3 g5! 67 f3)h2 g4 68 f3}g1 ~g3 69

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(jftfl (jfth2! and there is now nothing to prevent the g-pawn from queening. It is also worth noting that if it were still Black to move in the position after 68 ... (jftg3 White would still lose even though he has the opposition.

this exercise is that if Black can get his king to the third rank (or in White's case, the sixth) it is a win regardless of whose turn it is to move. I suggest you try to digest the above information as thoroughly as possible without knowing it future king and pawn endings will be almost impossible to work out. There is, however, one important exception to the above rules and that applies to rook's pawns. In this case the defender's chances of drawing are significantly increased. Let's take a look at the following position.

Black would simply win by playing 69 ~h3l g3 70 ~h1 g2 71 ~g1




and the pawn promotes. It is, however, worth pointing out that the natural 69 ... ~f3?l is not so good after 70 ~h21 g3+?? 71 ~h1l ~f2 Stalemate! Instead, Black has to play 70 ... ~f2 71 ~hl ~g3! 72 ~gl ~h3! etc - an important trick to watch out for. The point of

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In this case it does not matter one jot whose move it is - the position is a stone cold draw, e.g. 1 ~g3 h3 2 ~g1 h2 3 ~h1

stalemate or 1 \t>g1 \t>g3 The move that Black needs to be able to play here in order to win is t ... Ki2, but that is sadly not legal. 2 \t>h1 White could even play the cheeky 2 \tift and still draw as after 2 ... \t>h2 3 \t>f2 followed by 4 \tift Black cannot make any progress. 2 h3 h2+ 3 \t>g1 \t>h3= 4 \t>h1 There are some positions where the side with the pawn has his king miles from the action. Then the question is: Can the pawn outrun the enemy king? Take a look at the following position.

White to move it is a win, e.g. 1 h4t \t>c3 2 h5 \t>d4 3 h6 \tieS 4 h7 \t>f6 5 h~+ and wins. With Black to move, however, it is a draw: 1 \t>c31 2 h4 \t>d4 3 h5 \tieS 4 h6 \t>f6 5 h7 \t>g7 and Black catches the pawn just in time. I shall now select five positions from the first chapter of the Encyclopaedia of King and Pawn Endings which in their turn are highly instructive. l)

Nenarokov - Grigoriev Moscow1924

It now depends on whose turn it is to move as to the result of the ending. With

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It does not matter whose turn it is to move, the position is a win, e.g. 1 ~cl ~ell Not 1 ... ~d3?? 2 ~d1! and White draws.


~dt ~e1




Or2 h6~g8! 2 ~f7 followed by ... ~f8 when White can make no progress.


Gllgoric - Fischer

e2 3 and wins. Or with Black to move: 1 ~d4.1 2 ~cl 2 ~d1 ~d3! and wins 2 and wins.



It now depends on whose move it is as to the result of the game. With White to move it is a win, e.g. 1 ~g7 Or 1 h6 ~f8 2 h7 followed by promoting the h-pawn. Black, to move, however, draws. 1 ~fBI

It is Black to move and the great Bobby Fischer has let you take over his position confident in your ability to draw it for him. Well, can you? I suggest you spend a couple of minutes thinking it over. The answer is not immediately obvious. So what did you play? There is only one move to draw and that is 1 ~b81 I hope you found it for Bobby's sake. The point is that the seemingly natural forward king moves all lose, e.g. 1 ... ~b7? 2 ~bS! and White secures the opposition and wins or 1 ... ~c7? 2 ~cS!

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(Not 2 fitjlbS? fitjlb7 when Black gains the opposition and draws) 2 ... fitjlb7 3 fitjlbS! winning. After the text move the position is a draw as 2 fitjlcS can be met by 2 ... fitjlc7! or 2 fitjlbS fitjlb7. In each case it is Black who gains the opposition and as a result holds the draw. Well done if you found it! However, if we took the initial position and changed it ever so slightly by placing White's pawn on b3 rather than b4 ...

... it is a win regardless of whose turn it is to move. The point is that after 1 fitjlb8 2 fitjlbS ~b7 White now has the tempo move 3 b4! gaining the opposition. The last two positions I

have selected are slightly more complicated - if you can work them out, you are well on the way to mastering king and pawn v king.


At first glance the position might seem like a fairly simple draw after 1 fitjle2? fitjld6 2 fitjlf3 fitjleS 3 fitjle3 fitjlf6 4 fitjlf4 fitjlg6 S gS fitjlg7 6 fitjlfS fitjlf7 7 g6+ fitjlg8! and Black draws. Can you spot the win? 1 fitjlf2!! fitjld6 2 fitjlg3! fitjleS 3 fitjlh4! fitjlf6 4 fitjlhS! and now Black is doomed to lose, e.g. 4 ... fitjlg7 S fitjlgS! (Not S gS?? ~h7) and wins, or 4 ... fitjlf7 S fitjlh6! (Not 5 gS?? fitjlg7 or S fitjlgS ~g7! drawing) and White again wins. The final position I have selected is worth spending a

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little time over.

There are two questions to be asked. i) Can Black win if it is his turn to move? ii) Can Black win if it is White's turn to move? The answer to the first question is yes, e.g.

3 lifJe3 lifJeS! Gaining the opposition and winning, as after 4 lifJd3 llfJf41 Black can gradually shepherd the pawn home, e.g. 5 lifJe2 ~e4 6 lifJd2 litJf3 7 lifJd1 lifJe3 followed by the advance of the pawn. If, however, it is White to move he can draw, e.g. 1 ~e2! ~d7 2 lifJe3 lifJd6 2 ... lifJe6 31ifJe4! =. 3 lifJd41 Not 3 lifJe4?? lifJe6! and Black wins. 3 ~e6 4 ~e4 ~f6 5 llfJf4=

1 lifJd71 Or 1 ... lifJf7, but note that a pawn move immediately throws away the win. 2 lifJe2 ~e6!

If you have mastered all the points in this chapter then you are well on the way to being completely able to play this stage of the game.


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Chapter Two ICing and Two Pawns Y

Once you have a good understanding of king and pawn vs king, it is then essential to know when king and two pawns win against king. Normally if the pawns are supported by the king they will win - there are virtually no exceptions. What is more interesting is how two pawns will fare against the enemy king when their own king is far from the action. 1) The attacking side's pawns are connected. Firstly two united pawns will always win against a lone king regardless of whether their own king is in the immediate vicinity. Look at the following diagram. see following diagram From this position we see why two united passed pawns always win; Black cannot play 1 ... ~xe4 as after 2 d6! the pawn cannot be caught. If he

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instead plays ~d6


then the game might continue 2 ~cJI White calmly brings the king to support the pawns note the pawns cannot win on their own. ~eS

2 3 4 5 6 7 B 9

~d3 ~d4

eS ~cS


d6 ~c6

10 e7+



and wins.

~d6 ~e7 ~d7 ~c7 ~dB ~cB ~dB ~eB

There is one example where a little care is required to win.

As White has a rook's pawn life is a little more difficult. For example after 1 ... ~h8 2 ~f6?? or 2 ~h6?? Black is stalemated. Mter



White must play 2 ~f5 Or 2~h5 2 ~g7 And now there is a very pretty move 3 h~+U White boldly gives up one pawn to promote the other. 3 ~xh8 4 ~f6 ~g8 5 g7 ~h7



and wins. Finally, let's take a slightly more complicated example that occurred in a

recent game.

Karim - Forbes NoYi Sad ol1990

This position might seem completely irrelevant to what I have just been writing about but knowing the above information meant that White could sacrifice the exchange in the knowledge that the united a- and b-pawns will win the game. Let's see what happened. 54 ~xg21 Perhaps not the only way to win but as the ensuing king and pawn ending is a win it is by far the simplest. 54 ... hxg2 55 ~xg2? This natural move should, in fact, throw away the win. White should play 55 a4!, e.g. 55 ... 'i:\>e4 (Or 55 ... e4 56 aS e3+ 57 ~xg2 e2 58 'i:\>f2 and wins) 56 aS! ~dS and Black's .-::-_ ~__}(JJ( ~ ------..

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king is just inside the square to stop the a-pawn but as the a- and b-pawns mutually defend each other, White's king can calmly mop up Black's g- and e-pawns and then help the a- and b-pawns advance up the board, e.g. 57 a6 'lt1c6 58 b4! (Not 58 a7?? 'lt1b7 drawing) followed by 59 bS and 60 'lt1xg2 winning easily. After the text move Black can brilliantly draw as follows: 55 ... 'lt1e311 56 a4 Not 56 'lt1f1?? 'lt1d2! followed by . . . e4, .. . e3 and . . . e2 when Black actually wins! 56 ... 'lt1d3UI This is the star move that draws. The more natural 56 ... 'lt1d2? loses in instructive fashion as follows 57 aS e4 58 a6 e3 59 a7 e2 60 astW e~. At first glance it might look as if Black has good drawing chances in the queen and pawn ending but his illusions are quickly shattered by the following move: 61 ~aS+! 'lt1d1 62 ~xe1+ 'lt1xe1 63 b4! and the pawn decides. 57 aS Not 57 'lt1f1? 'lt1d2! winninJ. \, 1_,.) for Black. 57 e4 58a6 e3

59 a7 e2 60 ~ e~ Now we see the difference! White no longer has 61 ~aS+ exchanging queens. The position is now a draw as Black's king is so close to the b-pawn. One possible line might be 61 ~d5+ 'lt1c21 62 ~c4+ ~c31 followed by 63 ... 'lt1b2 and 64 ... ~xb3 drawing. The actual game continuation saw something rather different. Black played the feeble 55 .. . e4?? and soon lost after 56 'lt1f2 'lt1eS 57 'lt1e3 'lt1dS 58 a4 'lt1cS 59 'lt1xe4 'lt1b4 60 ~s 'lt1xb3 61 aS 'lt1b4 62 a6 'lt1aS 63 a7 'lt1b6 64 astW 1-0. I hope that you could now play the above ending rather better then the two participants involved!

2) The attacking side's pawns are one file apart Two pawns on the same rank but split by one file also win (unless the king can immediately capture one of the pawns!). Look at the following example.

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having the above knowledge at one's fingertips would have made the win relatively simple.

Brown - Frick Novi Sad ol1990

Black now plays 1 t31dS Or 1 ... t31fS 2 dS and wins. 2 fS! And now Black loses, e.g. 2 ~d6 Or 2 ... ~xd4 3 f6! and the pawn promotes. 3 t31c2! As Black has no immediate threats to capture the pawns White takes the opportunity to move his king closer to the aid of the pawns. 3 t31e7 4 dS! The easiest way to win although 4 t31d3 also wins. 4 t31f6 S ~d3 t31xfS 6 ~c4! ~e6 7 t31cS ~d7 8 t31dS! and wins. Let's now take an example from an actual game where

Black has just played SS ... gS. White is a pawn up - the position is winning, but let's see how White managed to botch it up. 56 bS This wins, although after 56 aS! t31e6 57 ~xf4 gxf4 58 bS! the win is very trivial. 56 ... axbS 57 axb5 Not 57 aS b4! with a probable draw. 57 ... ~e6 58 ~xf4! Now that the black queen has become unpinned it is necessary to exchange. 58 ... exf4 After 58 ... gxf4 it is ob-

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vious that Black's king would have to work miracles to halt the advance of both the band h-pawns!

59 d41 In the game White played 59 b6?? which allowed Black to draw as follows: 59 ... ~d6 60 ~g2 ~c6 61 b7 ~xb7 62 ~f3 ~6 63 h4 gxh4 64~xf4 ~d5Draw! ~d5


With Black to move, he can draw! 1 ~aS 2 dS 2 ~b2 does not win either after 2 ... ~xa4 3 ~c3 ~b5 4

60 ~f2 ~d6 61 ~f3 ~dS Or 61 ... ~c7 62 d5! 62 ~g4 ~d6

63 h41 An important move to undermine Black's pawn chain. 63 ... gxh4



followed by 65 ~g4xh4 and then the gradual advance of the b- and d-pawns. If White had known that the band d-pawns defend each other then the win would have been very easy to find.

3) When the pawns are on the same rank but two files apart Sometimes the defending side can draw these positions! Look at the following example.

~d3~c6 5~e4~d6!=. 2 ~b6U

Not 2 ... ~xa4 3 d6 and wins. Now Black can catch both pawns. 3 d6 Or 3 ~b2 ~c5 4 ~c3 ~xd5 5~b4~c6=. ~c6



aS a6 a7


5 ~c6 6 ~b7 7 ~· ~xa8 and the black king has truly performed miracles.

If we were to take the same position but move it one rank up the board then Black's task is hopeless.

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1 2 3

d6 d7!

\tta6 \ttb7


\ttxd7 a6 a7 And this time the pawn queens before Black's king can catch it. Let's now see this last example in an actual game.


S Arkell - C Forbes Blackpool Zonal1990

after 44 I!b 7 h3 there is nothing to prevent the h-pawn from queening. 4.4 l:Ixf8+ \ttxf8 4.5 bS \tte7! Not 45 ... h3? 46 b6! with advantage to White. 4.6 a4. This is much too slow but White's task is hopeless anyway. After 46 \tte3 h3 4 7 \ttf2 e3+! one of the pawns is sure to queen. 4.6 h3 4.7 \ttf2 e3+ 4.8 \ttxe3 h2 o-1

4) The attacking side's pawns are more than two files apart When the pawns are more than two files apart then the defending side has not got a prayer! One example should suffice to demonstrate this.

Black has just played 43 ... I!fB to block the check. Now White exchanges rooks as

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2 aS '3ic5 Or 2 ... '3ixe4 3 a6 and wins. 3 eS '3ic6

Or 4' e6 a6 and wins.



5 e6and wins There is one additional point that is worth making. In this case the pawns win by themselves- they do not need the support of their king. Thus in the above diagram we could even give Black an additional two pawns on gS and hS and he would still be dead lost!

S) The attacking side pawns are doubled Obviously doubled pawns are not generally as good as pawns that are adjacent to each other but when you have two more pawns than your opponent (even if they are doubled), who's complaining! There are two cases where the doubled pawns are especially helpful. The first is when the second doubled pawn provides that all important 'tempo' move. Take the following position.

Without the g2-pawn the position is, of course, a stone cold draw, but with it on the board, the position is an easy win. 1 '3ig8 2 '3if6 ~fB 3 g7+ ~g8 g31 ~h7 5 '3tf7 and wins.


Another property of doubled pawns that the attacking side can often use to his advantage is the fact that together they control more vital squares. Take a look at the following example which is taken from a recent French League game. We reach the ending from an unusual variation of the Sicilian

Santo Roman - Belkhodja French League 1992 1 e4 cS 2 4Jf3 4Jc6 3 d4 cxd4 4

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4)xd4 eS 5 ~bS a6 6 ~d6+ .Q.xd6 7 thxd6 thf6 8 the? ~ge7 9 ~c3 o-o 10 thb6 the6 11 .Q.d3 dS

12 0-0 ~d4 13 thxe6 .Q.xe6 14 f4 exf4 15 .Q.xf4 nfd8 16 nadt ~dc6 17 exdS ~dS 18 ~xdS nxdS 19 .Q.e4 ndd8 20 a3 h6 21 h3 nac8 22 .Q.d6 nd7 23 .Q.cS ncd8 24 nxd7 nxd7 25 net g6 26 .Q.xg6 .Q.xh3 27 neB+ 'l;g7 28 .Q.d3 .Q.e6 29 .Q.f8+ 'l;f6 30 .Q.xh6 .Q.fS 31 .Qg7+ 'l;g6 32 .Q.xfS+ 'l;xfS 33 .Q.c3 ne7 34 ~8 'l;e4 35 'l;f2 fS 36 nfs ne6 37 nf7 bS 38 nd7 aS 39 nb7 b4 40 axb4 axb4 41.Q.xb4 ~d4 42 nc7 f4

43 nc4 'l;dS 44 ncs+ 'l;e4 45 nc4 'lidS 46 ncs+ 'l;e4 4 7 .Q.d2 nd6 48 nc4 'lidS 49 b3 na6 SO na4 t'tc6 51 c4+ 'l;e4 52 na3 f3 53 gxf3+ ~xf3 54 .Q.c3 ~d4 55 .Q.xd4 'l;xd4 56 nas nb6

Black has just played 56 ... nb6 attacking White's backward b3-pawn. It is obvious that after both 57 nbs? nxbS 58 cxbS 'l;cS! or 57 na3 'l;cS! followed by 58 ... 'l;b4 Black will hold the draw. White found a third, much stronger, move in

57 ndS+n Brilliant! - Black's king is forced to an inferior square.

57 ...


Or 57 ... 'l;c3 58 nbS! and wins. 58 nbSt This is the point - White has gained a vital tempo for the king and pawn ending. 58 nxbS

59 cxbS 60 b4t!

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This is where the doubled pawns come into their own they control all the crucial squares, forcing Black's king to go the long way round in order to capture them. 60 ... ~d6 Or 60 ... ~c4 61 b6 and wins. 61 ~e31 The white king rushes to the defence of its pawns. 61 ~c7 62 ~d4 ~b6 63 ~c4 and White's king makes it just in time. However, this is no time to relax! There are still a couple of pitfalls for White to avoid falling into.



M ~cS ~b7 65 b6 ~a61 A good attempt to swindle White. There is only one move to win- can you spot it? 66 b711 After the natural 66 ~6?? Black is stalemated; the other natural move 66 bS+ also fails to 66 ... ~b7 when White is forced to relinquish support of the b6-pawn. 66 ... ~xb7 Or 66 ... ~a? 67 b~+! 'iftxb8 68 ~b6 and wins. 67 ~bSI Gaining the opposition and, as a result, winning.




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Chapter Three King and Pawn v King and Pawn

In this chapter we shall look at position where the generic position that is finally reached revolves around king and pawn v king and pawn. In these endings zugzwang often plays a vital role in determining the outcome of the game. Firstly let's take a look at a case of mutual zugzwang.

In this position it all depends on who has the move as to the result of the game. If White moves he wins as follows: 1 '3tc7! But not 1 '3ic6?? '3ieS! when

White is the one who is in zugzwang. 1 '3ie5 2 ~c6! and wins as Black has to move and relinquish the defence of the d6-pawn. Unfortunately in chess, you cannot say "pass", or "I do not want to move this time, you can have another go". If this were the case many, many more king and pawn endgames would result in draws. If, however, it is Black to move he would win! 1 '3te41 Not 1 ... '3ieS?? 2 '3ic6! winning for White. 2 '3ic6 '3ie5 And wins as White is the one who finds himself in zugzwang. Let's now take an example of mutual zugzwang in a slightly more complicated setting that occurred in an actual game.

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BurijoYich - VujoseYic NoYI Sad ol1990

White has just played 41 'if}ld2 with the idea of playing 42 'if}lc3 and 43 'if}lxc4. Black now decided to prevent this plan with .. . 41 ... 4Jd5?? ... without properly taking into account the consequences of the king and pawn ending. After the correct 41 . .. hS! I doubt it would have been possible for White to win the ending. Now with some accurate calculation White can work out that exchanging the bishop for knight will lead to a winning king and pawn ending. 42 .Q.xdS! 'if}lxdS 43 'if}lc3! Now we have a position of mutual zugzwang. Whoever's king has to move first will lose. The position now re-

volved around the tempo moves with the kingside pawns. If White were to move first he would win immediately with 44 g4! and Black is in zugzwang - with Black to move first the situation is a little more complicated. 43 ... hS 44 g3! The only move to win, but one move is enough! Note that 44 g4?? would be a terrible blunder on account of 44 ... h4! 44 ... g4 44 ... h4 45 g4! would be no improvement for Black. 45 h4! The last important move White needs to find - now Black is in zugzwang. Note that after 45 hxg4?? hxg4 it would be White who was in zugzwang! 45 ... 'if}le4 Black decides to make a fight of it. After 45 ... 'if}ld6 White wins easily as follows: 46 'if}lxc4 'if1c6 4 7 dS+ 'if}ld6 48 'if}ld4 'if}ld7 49 'if}leS 'if}le7 SO 'if}lfS! (This is the point- White can round up the kingside pawns while Black is dealing with the dS-pawn) SO ... 'if}ld6 51 'if}lgS 'if}lxdS 52 'if}lxhS 'if}le4 53 'if}lxg4 and wins. 46 C(ftxc4 'if1f3

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47 d5 48 d6

cifixg3 cifih3

48 ... cifixh4 is equally hopeless as White would queen with check. 49 d7 g3 sod~


51 thg5 52 cifid41


Another good move White has again calculated well - the king and pawn ending is again winning. 52


53 thxg1+ cifixg1 54 cifie4 cifig2 54 ... cifif2 would have been a slightly better defence as White would have to be accurate to the end: 55 cifif4! (Not 55 cifif5?? cifie3! 56 cifig5 cifie4! 57 cifixh5 cifif5! and Black draws!) 55 ... cifie2 56 cifig5 cifie3 57 cifixh5 cifif4 58 cifig6 and wins. 55 cifif4 cifih3 ~ ~-148"3 57 ~xhS ~f4 58 cifig6 t-o

An instructive endgame with many important themes that was well played by White. Some of the very observant amongst you might be wondering why Black did not play 48 ... cifih2

rather than litlh3 - well, he should have done - the position is still winning but requires a little more effort. The game might then continue 49 d7 g3




51 thd6+1

Not 51 thg5? 52 thxg1+ cifixg1 53 cifid4 cifig2 54 cifie3 cifig3 and White must take a draw with 55 cifie2 cifixh4 56 cifif1. 51 !itlh1 52 thdSI cifih2 53 the5+ ~ht 54 the4 !itlh2 55 thf4+ !itlh1 56 thf3 You should be getting the hang of this by now! 56 litlh2 57 thf2 !itlh1 58 litld41 And wins as above.

- 27 -


lltf7 lltxc6 9 lfth61 And wins. 7

Let's now take an example where one side uses opposition to win the opponent's pawn and as a result the game.


lfth8 lltcB

If it were, however, Black to move, he could draw by 1 lfte6

White to play would win as follows:

1 lftd51 With this move White gains the diagonal opposition. Note that after 1 lfteS? Black would draw immediately with 1 ... lfte7! gaining the opposition when there is no way for White to make progress. 1 lfte7 2 lfte5 Now White gets the opposition and the Black king must give way. 2 lltf7 3 lftd61 lltcB 4 lfte6 lftc7 5 lfte7 lltcB 6 lftf6 lfth7

Indeed he would even win White's g-pawn by force but this would not prove to be enough to win, e.g.



3 ~c4 4 ~h4 5 lfth31 Not S lftg3?? Black wins. 5



lfte4 lftf5 lftxgS and lftxc5


And draws, as White gets the opposition. - the reason why White wins when he captures Black's g-pawn, but Black only draws when he captures White's is as follows: After 8 ~xg6 White's

- 28 -

king is already on the 6th rank which, as we already know, is a win regardless of whose turn it is to move. Saaiflclng Material to reach a Wbm1ng ICing + Pawn v ICing

A tricky move that gives Black the chance to go wrong. 53 .•. rJixbS! Not 53 ... cxb5?? 54 rJic2! gaining the opposition and, as a result, drawing. 54 rJic3 rJicS! and wins.

and Pawn Ending Firstly I will start by showing a relatively simple example.

Chlllgirova- Qin Manila ol1992

The next example in which White sacrifices material to reach a winning king and pawn endgame is a little more complicated. Here both pawns promote but White wins the ensuing king and queen versus king and queen ending due to the much superior placing of his pieces.

IGrlakov - Rogozenko Alma Ata 1990

White has just played 51 rJid2 threatening the knight on c2. Black now played ... 51 ... ci)xb4 . . . to reach a winning king and pawn v king and pawn ending. 51 ... ci)a3 would also have won, but the text is quicker. 52 cxb4 rJic4 53 bS!

Black has just played his bishop from g7-b2. White now decides to sacrifice the exchange having calculated that the ensuing king and queen

- 29 -

ending is a win. 52 l::txb2+11 After the natural 52 g6 a3 53 g7 .Q.xg7 54 l::txg7 l\lb2! I cannot see a way for White to

creased dramatically. Let's start with a relatively easy example.

Munoz - Goundar Novi Sad 1990


54 g7

l\lxb2 a3 a2



52 53 g6

At first glance it is very hard to believe that White is winning. That he is, is due to the very poor placing of Black's pieces. 56 ~bB+ l\la3 56 .. . l\lc1 does not help Black's cause, e.g. 57 ~c7+! l\lb2 (Or 57 ... l\lb1 58 ~c2 mate; 57 ... l\ld1 58 ~c2+ l\le1 59 ~e2 mate) 58 ~b6+ l\lc1 59 ~c5+ l\lb2 60 ~b4+ l\lc1 (Or 60 . . . l\la2 61 l\lc2! and wins) 61 ~d2+ l\lb1 62 ~c2 mate. 57 ~a7+ l\lb2 58 ~b6+ l\la2 59 l\lc2 t-o Black cannot prevent mate. This is an idea well worth remembering as it crops up quite regularly. ICing + Pawn v ICing + Pawn

When Rook's Involved



In this case the defender's chances of drawing are in-

White has just played 44 l\lf3. Black now has a tricky decision to make - to capture on c8 and enter a king and pawn ending or keep the minor pieces on the board. At first glance it might look like suicide to exchange minor pieces as it appears that White's king will gobble Black's kingside pawns after which White's extra g-pawn will decide the issue. Can you spot the hidden point? Let's see what happened. 44 c[)xc81 45 bx~+ l\lxc8 46 l\lf4 ~dB 47 l\lgS l\le7 48 ~xg6 So far so good - now we

- 30 -

see Black's idea.

48 ...


The point although Black's h-pawn is doomed, it will not die in vain - after 48 ... 'iltf8? 49 'iltxhS 'iltg7 SO 'iltgS! White wins easily. 49 \TigS h3U By giving up a pawn in this way Black has made White's g-pawn a useless rook's pawn - the position is now a simple draw. so gxh3 \Tif8=

17 b3 4Jd6 18 .Q.a3 !IfS 19 c4 .Q.f6 20 !Ie2 !IeS 21 !IxeS .Q.xeS 22 4:)d2 !Id8 23 4jf3 .Q.f6 24 !Id1 4:)f5 25 !Ixd8+ 'iltxd8 26 g4 4:)d4 27 4:)xd4 .Q.xd4 28 'iltf1 eS 29 f3 'ltd? 30 'ilte2 'ilte6 31 'iltd3 b6 32 \Tie4 .Q.g1 33 h3 .Q.f2 34 !l,b2 .Q.g3 35 cS !l,h2 36 .Q.c3 .Q.g3 37 !l,a1 !l,h2 38 !l,b2 .Q.g3 39 !l,c3 !l,h2 40 .Q.e1 .Q.g1 41 cxb6 cxb6 42 .Q.g3 .Q.d4 43 .Q.h2 gS 44 .Q.g3 h6 45 .Q.e1 .Q.cS 46 h4 .Q.e7 47 hxgS hxgS 48 .Q.c3 .Q.f6 49 b4 axb4 SO .Q.xb4 .Q.d8 51.Q.e1.Q.e7 52 .Q.f2

Outalde Passed Pawn An outside passed pawn is invariably a big advantage in a king and pawn endgame. The reason for this is clear: the pawn acts as a decoy- it takes the opponent's king far away from the main scene of the action leaving your own king the opportunity to wreak havoc. Let's take an example from a recent game.

van der Wlel - Santo Roman Cannea1992 1 e4 4Jf6 2 eS 4:)dS 3 d4 d6 4 4:)f3 g6 S .Q.c4 4:)b6 6 .Q.b3 .Q.g7 7 a4 aS 8 ~e2 4:)c6 9 0-0 dxeS 10 dxeS 4:)d4 11 4:)xd4 ~xd4 12 e6 .Q.xe6 13 !l,xe6 fxe6 14 ~xe6 ~c4 15 ~xc4 4:)xc4 16 !Ia2 !If8

White has just played 52 .Q.f2 attacking Black's vulnerable b6-pawn. Black now played ... 52 ... .Q.cS ... entering a hopeless king and pawn ending. The alternative 52 ... .Q.d8 was no better after 53 .Q.e3! and Black is in zugzwang. 53 .Q.xcS bxcS Now White's a-pawn will decide the issue.

- 31 -

54a5 ~d6 55 ~d3 ~d5 56 ~c3 ~d6 57 ~c4 ~c6 58 a61 White's a-pawn sacrifices itself in a good cause - it gives White's king the opportunity to mop up the rest of Black's army. 58 ~b6 59 a71 lftxa7 60 ~xeS Black resigned. There is nothing to prevent 61lftd5 x eS - fS x gS etc.

Outalde Passed Pawn TrlumOver Mus of Enemy Pawns

The next example that I have selected from a practical game provides a very good demonstration of just how effective an outside passed pawn can be.

Mueller - Szabol.scl Budapest 1991 In this rather bizarre position it looks as if Black should be winning easily as he is no less than four(!) pawns up but White's outside passed pawn provides excellent counter-chances. Black should probably grab the perpetual

check and play SO ... ~f3+ . Instead he blundered with

SO •••


After which he is actually lost. 51 ~etl Now Black has no checks and as a result the a-pawn will decide. 51 ... h4 Or 51 ... cS 52 ~xh7+! ~xh7 53 .Q.xh7 ~xh7 54 aS c4 55 a6 c3 56 a7 c2 57 ~d2! e3+ 58 ~xc2 e2 59 ~d2 and wins. 52 ~xh7+1 ~xh7 53 .Q.xh7 ~xh7 54 aSI And there is no stopping the a-pawn - Black played on for a few moves before finally admitting the horrible truth his six pawns are no match for White's two! 54 g5 55 a6 g4 56 a7 g3 57 hxg3 h3

- 32 -



After 58 a8t11? h2! the h-pawn cannot be stopped from queening!


Black resigned as after 58 ... e3 59 a8t11 e2+ 60 ~xe2 h2 61 tha1! he is lost- perhaps this is what Black missed when making his fiftieth move? The Threat of an Outside Passed. Pawn

21 . .. dxe4 22 nxd6 !!xd6 23 thxd6 24 4Jxe4 thd1 + 25 !J..fl ~xd6

The threat of creating a passed pawn can often be as effective as a passed pawn itself. The following complicated example demonstrates this point well. However we might as well see all of the game as there as some interesting tactics as well.

Vaganlan - Vranealc Toronto 1990 1 4Jf3 4Jf6 2 c4 e6 3 4Jc3 c5 4 g3 4Jc6 5 .Qg2 d5 6 cxd5 exd5 7 d4 !J..e7 8 0-0 0-0 9 .Qg5 cxd4 10 4Jxd4 h6 11 !J..e3 !J..e6 12 tha4 ~d7 13 4Jxe6 fxe6 14 ~ad1 !J..d6 15 !J..f4 !J..xf4 16 thxf4 the? 17 ~h4 ~ad8 18 e3 a6 19 ~d2 ~d6 20 nfd1 nfd8 21 e4

25 ... thd4 26 4Jxf6+ thxf6 27 thxf6 gxf6 28 .Qg2 4Jd8 29 ~f1 ~f7 30 ~e2 b6 31 ~e3 ~e7 32 b4 ~d6 33 f 4 4Jc6 In this difficult position Vaganian decided to exchange minor pieces, rightly believing that the threat of a potential outside passed pawn with g4, h4 and g5 would provide good winning chances.

- 33 -

34. .!l,xc61 ~xc6 35 ~e4.1 King centralisation is also of crucial importance in king and pawn endings. The immediate 35 g4?! would not have been so strong as after 35 . .. ~dS! Black grabs the opportunity to improve the position of his king, e.g. 36 h4 eS 37 a3 bS 38 ~f3 ~d4! (Not 38 ... exf4 39 ~xf4 ~e6 40 ~e4 ~e7 41 ~fS ~f7 42 hS! and White wins) 39 gS fxgS 40 hxgS hxgS 41 fxgS ~d3! 42 g6 e4+ 43~f4 e3 44 g7 e2 45 g~ e1~ with a draw. 35 hS

36 h3 37 g4. 38 hxg4.



see following diagram 38 ... aS? A panicky reaction that throws away the draw -

Black's queenside pawn structure now becomes seriously weakened. Black should remain calm and play 38 ... ~e7! after which his pawns prevent White's king from breaking through. 39 a3 axb4. 4.0 axb4. ~e7 4.1 ~e3 A clever move that leaves Black in zugzwang. The direct 41 ~d4? fails to 41 ... ~d6! 42 ~4 eS! and Black draws. 4.1 ... ~f7 4.2 ~d31 ~g7 42 ... ~e7 loses to 43 ~c4 ~d6 44 ~bS! eS 45 fxeS+ fxeS 46 ~c4! and the outside passed pawn finally tells. 4.3 ~c4. ~g6 4.4. ~bS fS? This final error makes White's task easy. After the correct 44 ... eS! 45 fxeS fxeS 46lftc4 ~gS 47 ~dS 'iftf4! 48 gS e4 49 g6 e3 SO g7 e2 51 g~

- 34 -

e1th 52 thbB+ and 53 thxb6 the win is still a long way off. 45 gxfS+ 'l;xfS 46 'l;xb6 'l;xf4 47 'l;cS eS 48 b5 e4 49 b6 t-o White's pawn queens with check! - A well-played endgame by Vaganian.

The Protected Passed Pawn The protrected passed pawn is in some ways even more effective than the outside passed pawn. It is immune from capture and helps to tie down the opponent's king. Let's see how effective it is in a practical game. However why not see the whole game from the two superstars.

.Q.d2 .Q.xd2+ 13 thxd2 c[jf6 14 c[jc3 c[jfS 15 0-0-0 'l;fB 16 .Q.d3 .Q.d7 17 c[je5 .Q.eB 1B c[je2 ~h7 19 .Q.xfS exf5 20 c[Jg3 c[je4 21 c[Jxe4 fxe4 22 thf4 'l;gB 23 thxe4 the? 24 thf4 ~dB 25 ~e1 thd6 26 d5

Shlrov - Akoplan Oakham 1992 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 c[jc3 c6 4 e3 c[jf6 5 c[jf3 c[jbd7 6 thc2 .Q.d6 7 g4 see

following diagram

Clearly Shirov was not aiming for a King and Pawn endgame at this stage. 7 ... c[Jxg4 B ~g1 h5 9 h3 c[jh6 10 e4 dxe4 11 c[Jxe4 .Q.b4+ 12

26 . . . thh6 27 thxh6 ~xh6 2B dxc6 ~xd1+ 29 ~xd1 .Q.xc6 30 ~dB+ 'l;h7 31 ~fB ~f6 32 ~xf7 .Q.g2 33 h4 ~xf7 34 c[jxf7 'l;g6 35 c[jd6 'l;f6 36 'l;d2 gS 37 hxgS+ 'l;xgS 3B 'l;e3 'l;g4 39 c[jf7 h4 40 c[je5+ 'l;f5 41 c[jf3 'l;g4 42 c[jd4 'l;gS 43 b4 h3 44 c[jf3+ 'l;f5 45 b5 b6 46 c[jh2 'l;e5 47 f3 'l;f5 4B a3 ~e5 49 a4 .Q.h1

- 35 -

so ~4+ ~d6 51 4jf2 ,O,g2 52 4Je4+ ~eS 53 ~f2

In this position White has just played 53 ~f2. Now Black commits a serious inaccuracy. 53 ... .a_:xf3? A spectacular move that fails - 53 ... ~e6! was a better try. 54~xf3 h2


move after which Black is powerless to prevent the a-pawn from queening, e.g. 58 ... c4 59 b6 ~c6 60 bxa7 and queens. 57 c6 And now we have the classic case of the protected passed pawn versus the outside passed pawn - there is no contest - the former wins hands down. 57 ... ~d6 58~xh2

Black can only shuffle his king up and down waiting for the arrival of White's king.

58 59 60 61


Not 55 4Jg3 ~d4 when it would be White who was struggling to draw.

55 ...


At first glance it might look as if White is the one in trouble - Black has the more centralised king while White's is miles away from the action, but ... 56 c5U ~d5 Black would like to play 56 bxcS but after 57 aS ~dS (Or 57 ... c4 58 b6 axb6 59 a6 and wins as White queens with check) 58 a6!! (The star

~g3 ~f4



~c7 ~d6 ~e6 ~d6

One possible continuation might be 62 ~d4 a6 (Or 62 ... ~c7 63 ~dS ~c8 64 ~d6 ~d8 65 c7+ ~c8 66 ~c6 aS 67 bxa6 bS 68 a7 and mate next move) 63 ~c4 ~c7 64 ~dS axbS 65 axbS ~c8 66 ~d6 ~d8 67 c7+ ~c8 68 ~e6! (Not 68 ~c6?? stalemate - it is very instructive that White actually has to give up the c-pawn to make any progress!) 68 ... ~xc7 69 ~e 7 and wins. There is, however, one exception where a protected

- 36 -

passed pawn on the sixth rank does not always win. Take a look at the following example. Bellon - Vehi Barcelona 1991

r3;d5 r3;f6 57 r3;e4 r3;g7 58 r3;f5 r3;g8 59 \f;f6 r3;f8 there is no way to make progress. If however we were to take the above position and move it one rank backwards, then White would win.

Black has just played 49 ... r3;f7 in the knowledge that the ensuing king and pawn endgame is drawn. 50 .Q.xe6+ r3;xe6 51 g5 r3;xe5 Not 51 ... hxg5?? 52 h6 and White wins. 52 g6 52 gxh6 ~f6 and 53 ... r3;f7. 52 r3;f6 53 r3;c3 r3;g7 54 \f;xb3 And a draw was agreed as after 54 ... r3;f6 55 r3;c4 r3;g7 56

1 r3;e4! r3;f7 2 r3;e5! Not 2 r3;f5 r3;g7 3 g6?? r3;h6 4 lf}f6 stalemate - a trap to watch out for. 2 lf]g6 3 r3;e6 r3;g7 Or 3 . . . r3;h 7 4 r3;f7 r3;h8 5 \f;g6! and 6 r3;xh5. 4 r3;f5 lf}f7 Or 4 ... r3;h7 5 r3;f6! etc. 5 g6+ r3;g7 6 lf]g5 And wins.

- 37 -

Chapter Four

An Active

IOnc veraua a Paaalve K1ng

Having an active king is of fundamental importance. It is your only remaining piece so it is essential to make the most of it! lJ,yaal. -


NoYI Sad ol 1990

A terrible blunder, allowing White to draw. Mter the correct 49 ... ltilf4 (Or 49 ... ltiJe3) Black wins easily, e.g. SO ltild4 ltiJg3 51 ltiJeS ltiJxg2 52 ltilf6 ltilxh3 53 ltilxf7 hS 54 ltiJg6 ltiJg 4 and the pawn queens. 50 ltiJd2! Now its a draw. 50 ltilf4 51 ltile2 ltiJg3 52 ltilf1 f5 53 ltJgt f4 54 ltilf1 f3 55gxf3 ltilxf3 56 h4


In this position White decided to head for the king and pawn ending and played 47 4Jxb2 axb2 48 ltilxb2 This position should now be winning for Black as his king is much nearer to the kingside, but let's see what happened. 48 ltile4! h5?? 49 ~cJ

How an Actlve King can even Outweigh an Outside Passed Pawn Mal..lahauaka - Ivanov Val Thorena 1991 White has just captured a pawn on b4. Now Black has a tricky decision. To exchange or not to exchange knights on bS- that is the question. With all things being equal it would be absolute madness for Black to enter a king and pawn

- 38 -

ending when White has a passed pawn on a2 but here all things are not equal! Black has a much more active king. Let's see what happened.

45 aS f3 46 a6 f2 47 a7 f1~ 48 (The point) 49 cit}a3 ~at+ and wins White's queen -this idea is well worth remembering! It is important to try to calculate for a few moves even after both sides have promoted their pawns to queens. a~ ~b1+!

Position where Better ICing meaD8 that two Connected Passed PaWIUI win qalnat Opponent's two Connected Passed PaWIUI 4.0 ••• 4:)xb5t 41 cit}xbS cit}dSU An excellent move that centralises the king and at the same time prevents White's king from returning to stop the f-pawn. Note that the natural 41 ... f4?? would actually lose after 42 gxf4 gxf4 43 cit}c4! and the outside a-pawn will decide the issue. 42 cit}b4 Or 42 a4 f4 43 aS f3 44 a6 f2 4S a7 f~ CHECK and wins. 42 ... cit}d4t Not 42 ... f4? 43 cit}c3! and White is okay. 43 cit}b3 cit}d31 And White resigned after seeing the following variation 44 a4 (Or 44 cit}b2 f4 45 cit}ct f3 46 cit}dt f2 and wins) 44 ... f4

Benjamin - Rohde USACh1989

In this position Benjamin decides to exchange down into a king and pawn ending having accurately calculated that his more active king will give him a winning advantage. 4.0 ~xf7+1 cit}xf7 41 !,lxfS gxfS 42 cit}xfS

- 39 -

Normally this type of position is a stand off and tends to lead to a draw but here, due to his much better placed king, the position is a win for White. Black is helpless against the oncoming advance of White's pawns. 42 Cl;g7 43 g4 Cl;h6 44 a4 There is no rush! 44 Cl;g7 4S gS Cl;f7 46 h4 Cl;g7 47 hS Cl;h7 (.8 h6 Cl;h8 49 g6 Cl;g8 so Cl;f6t Having advanced his pawns to the sixth rank White can now bring in the king to add the finishing touches- Black's e-pawn is now much too slow to cause any problems. SO ...

Good PoaltJon of ICing Out-

weighs Pawn Defldt

Rogers - Smyslov Gronlngen 1989 1 e4 d6 2 d4 g6 3 cijc3 ~7 4 cijf3 cijf6 S .Q.e2 0-0 6 0-0 c6 7 .Q.f4 cijbd7 8 ~d2 bS 9 a3 .Q.b7 10 lladt cS 11 dxcS cijxcS 12 eS dxeS 13 .Q.xeS thxd2 14 llxd2 a6 15 b4 cijcd7 16 .Q.d4 llac8 17 lld3 llfe8 18 cijeS cijxeS 19 .Q.xeS cije4 20 .Q.xg7 r3;xg7 21 .Q.f3 cijxc3 22 .Q.xb7 llc7 23 lle1 llb8 24 .Q.f3 cija4 25 h3 Cl;f6 26 .Q.dS llc3 27 llee3 llxd3 28 llxd3 e6 29 .Q.b3 cijb6 30 llc3 llc8 31 llxc8 cijxc8 32 c4 Cl;eS 33 cS Cl;d4 34 .Q.d1 cija7 35 .Q.f3 r3;c4 36 c6 aS 37 Cl;ft axb4 38 axb4 Cl;xb4 39 c7 Cl;c3 40 Cl;e2 b4 41 Cl;dt Cl;b2 42 .Q.b7 b3 43 c~ cijxc8 44 .Q.xc8 Cl;a1 45 .Q.a6 b2 46 .Q.d3 bt~+ 4 7 .Q.xb1 Cl;xb1


51 h7+ Or 51 g7 e3 52 Cl;g6 e2 53 h7 mate. t-o As after 51 ... Cl;h8 52 Cl;f7 e3 53 g7+ Cl;xh7 54 g~+ l!}h6 SS ~g6 is mate. In this position White is a pawn down and normally that would mean an eventual loss

- 40 -

but here due to his betterplaced king he can draw. If Black's king stood on a normal square such as g7 then White would have no chance to save the game. Let's see what happened. 48 g41 A good move threatening 49 g5 which would actually give White winning chances Black has to be careful! 48 g51 49 ~d2 ~b2 50 ~d3 ~ct 51 ~e4 ~d2 52 f4! h6 53 f5! exf5+ Or 53 ... ~e2 54 f6!! ~f2 55 ~e5 ~g3 56 ~d6 ~xh3 57 ~e7 e5 58 ~xf7 e4 59 ~g6 e3 60 f7 e2 61 f~ e1~ 62 ~xh6+ and ~xg5 drawing. 54 gxf5 f6

55 56

~d5 ~e6

White's king is stalemated! All in all a very finely conducted defence by White against one of the all time great endgame players, Vassily Smyslov. A more active king is often enough to win even when the pawns are completely symmetrical.

Salov - Short llnares 1992 1 d4 4Jf6 2 c4 e6 3 4Jc3 d5 4 cxd5 exd5 5 -'lg5 fle7 6 e3 0-0 7 fld3 4Jbd7 8 4Jge2 !1e8 9 ~c2 4jf8 10 a3 c6 11 o-o 4Jg4 12 flxe7 t/Jxe7 13 h3 4jh6 14 4jg3 4Jg6 15 !lae1 t/Jh4 16 4jf5 4Jxf5 17 flxf5 flxf5 18 ~xf5 !lad8 19 g3 ~h6 20 h4 4Je7 21 ~g5 ~e6 22 e4 h6 23 ~h5 dxe4 24 !lxe4 t/Jd7 25 !1fe1

h5 g4 hxg4

57 hxg4 58 ~xf6 g3 59 ~e7 g2 60 f6 g~ And a draw was agreed as after 61 f7 Black's queen cannot win against an f-pawn on the 7th rank, with his own king so far away, e.g. 61 ... ~e3+ 62 ~f8 ~e2 63 ~g8 ~g5+ 64 ~h7 ~f6 65 ~g8 ~g6+ 66 ~h8! and after 66 ... ~xf7,

- 41 -

In this position White has a miniscule advantage due to the pressure down the e-file.

Short decides to alleviate the pressure by entering a king and pawn ending which looks like a stone cold draw, but ... 25 ... c[)dS?? After 25 ... c[)c8! Black should be able to hold the draw. 26 l:Ixe8+1 Rightly heading for the king and pawn ending. 26 l:Ixe8 27 l:Ixe8+ ~xe8

28 c[)xdS 29 ljf;g2



~et+ ~e4+ ~xdS

30 ... cxdS does not help either. Salov gives the following line in his notes in Informator: 31 ~xe4 dxe4 32 g4 ljf;h7 (Or 32 ... gS 33 hxgS hxgS 34 f3 and wins) 33 hS! g6 34 dS ljf;g7 35 gS!! - a brilliant move that creates a second passed pawn - Black's king cannot stop both. 31 ~xdS cxdS Short must have reached this position in his calculations when playing 25 . . . c[)dS and considered it an easy draw. He was in for a nasty surprise! White's better king proves enough to be a winning advantage. 32 ljf;f3 f6 33 hSI

Another good move that fixes weaknesses in the Black position. 33 ••• ljf;f7 34 ljf;f4 ljf;e6 Salov also analyses a very long line that has a nasty sting in the tail: 34 ... g6 35 a4 aS 36 f3 ljf;g7 37 hxg6 ljf;xg6 38 g4 fS 39 ljf;eS! (Not 39 gxfS+? when Black's h-pawn becomes too dangerous) 39 ... fxg4 40 fxg4 ljf;gS 41 ljf;xdS ljf;xg4 42 ljf;eS hS 43 dS h4 44 d6 h3 45 d7 h2 46 d~ h1~ 47 ~g8+!! (The point- White skewers Black's queen, e.g. 4 7 ... ljf;f3 48 ~dS+, or 47 ... ljf;h4 48 ~h8+). 35 g4 a6 36 a4 aS 37 b3 b6

38 f31 Another important point White has an extra tempo move to force the black king backwards. 38 ... ljf;e7

- 42 -

39 ~fS


40 f41 White uses the same strategy to make further headway. 40 g6+ Desperation! But what else? After 40 ... ~e7 41 gS! fxgS 42 fxgS hxgS 43 ~xgS ~7 (Or 43 ... ~6 44 ~g6 and wins) 44 ~fS and White picks up the dS-pawn. 41 hxg6+ ~g7

42 ~e6 43 fS+ "~f1 45 ~xf6 46 ~eS

And Black resigned on account of the following variation: 46 ... h4 47 f6 h3 48 f7 h2 49 f~ h~ so ~g8+!

~xg6 ~gS ~xg4


and White picks up the Black queen.

- 43 -

Chapter Five Forcing a Pawn Breakthrough Sometimes an endgame is reached where one side manages to queen a pawn through an apparent brick wall. Take perhaps the most famous example of all.

to move he could draw as follows: 1 ... b6! (Not 1 ... a6 2 c6!, or 1 ... c6 2 a6!, both winning) 2 axb6 axb6 3 cxb6 cxb6 4 ~b1 ~b4 5 ~b2 ~xbS 6 ~b3! with a draw. Here is another example on a similar theme.

At first glance it might look as if Black is better as his king is nearer the pawns but White has the move and as a result can force a pawn breakthrough as follows: 1 b6!! cxb6 Or 1 ... axb6 2 c6! and wins.




Or 2 ... bxcS 3 axb7. 3 c6 And wins. Pretty, but mightily effective. Note that if it were Black

It is White to move and again there is a pawn breakthrough.



Or 1 gS. 1 ~b4 Or 1 ... exfS 2 gxfS followed by 3 e6 winning. 2 gSI And wins, e.g. 2 ... exfS 3 g6 or 2 ... hxgS 3 f6!

- 44 -

Black, however, would win if it were his turn to move, e.g. 1 ~b41 2 fS Or 2 g5 ~c5 3 f5 exf5! 4 g6 fxg6 5 e6 ~d6 and wins. 2 exfSI Not 2 ... ~5? 3 f6! gxf6 4 exf6 ~d5 5 g5 ~e5 6 gxh6 ~xf6 7 ~b2! and wins. Black will eventually be forced to move his king, after which h7 will win. 3 gxfS ~cS And wins, as Black's king is inside the square. My next position is taken from a game that occurred a long time ago. Svadna - Muller


pawn breakthrough. 1 g411 2 ~cS f411 But not 2 ... h4?? 3 gxh4 f4 4 g3! and White wins. 3 exf4 Or 3 gxf4 h4 and 4 ... h3. 3 h41 4 gxh4 g3 The third and final pawn sacrifice, forcing the decisive breakthrough. 5 fxg3 e3 And the rest is silence ... My next example is taken from a game between an International Master and an ex-Soviet grandmaster. The ending is a real comedy of errors. Firstly Black converts a slightly better queen and pawn ending into a lost king and pawn ending; then White turns the ensuing king and pawn ending from a win into a loss with one, very careless, move. Let's see the comedy played out ... ('M;>s/1'

By all rights White's king on c6 should mean a win, but Black has a way to force a

Pribyl- Panchenko ~·c.~·~"J Belgorod 1991 In this position Black has a slight advantage due to his more centralised queen and safer king. His next move, however, completely changes

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the assessment of the position. 40 ... f4.?? Perhaps Black was very short of time.



Excellently played; White's two v one queenside pawn majority should prove decisive in the king and pawn ending.



4.2 ~xc2 gS 4.3 hxgS?? This automatic capture converts the win into a loss! White should have played 43 b4 axb3+ 44 ~b3 e4 (There is nothing else as Black's king is too far away to catch the a-pawn)45 ~c2! (Not 45 a4 e3 46 fxe3 fxg3 when Black wins) 45 ... e3 46 ~d3! exf2 4 7 ~e2 fxg3 48 h5!! and wins- White's king easily holds up Black's three pawns while there is

nothing to stop White's apawn.

4.3 ...


And now it is Black who is winning! "~c3 Or 44 b4 axb3+ 45 ~xb3 e4! 46 ~c3 e3 4 7 ~d3 exf2 48 ~2 fxg3 and wins. Now we see the reason why White should not have captured on g5 - Black now has the h-pawn to advance with decisive effect.



4.5 b4.


46 a4.


4.7 aS 4.8 fxe3 4.9 a6

e3 fxe3 e2







As check.

W: Kd2, Qc3, a3, b2, f2, g3, h4 B: Kh7, Qe4, a4, e5, f5, g7, h6 Black to play.

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51 ~xet


XY 8-+-+-+-+( 7+-+-+-zpk' 6-+-+-+-zp& 5+-+-zpp+-% 4p+-+q+-zP$ 3zP-wQ-+-zP-# 2-zP-mK-zP-+" 1+-+-+-+-! xabcdefghy Pribyl-Panchenko, after 40.Kd2

Black to Play

Modern Practical Endings ~a•tn P'lA.etleal

baaing• offers specific, practical chess instruction to help you improve your endgame play. The booklets each cover a particular material balance and are designed to deepen your understanding. The topics are discussed in detail and the themes explored with a number of illustrative games.

All authors in this series are Internationally titled players. Relying mainly on modern practice, while also drawing on the classic lessons of the great masters, they will communicate their understanding and experience of the endgame to you. ~a•tn 'j)'IA.etleal Wgam••:

Titles include: .Q. v 4J IM Byron jacobs .Q. v .Q. IM Chris Ward · £4.95 (UK only)