Endgame Survival Training #2

“It should be noted that current opening variations come and go, and the evaluation of certain positions change. But the value of knowing how to play endgames well remains constant.”

~ANATOLY KARPOV, Former World Champion~

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Here is a common ending that may look easy, but it has some subtleties. White is a pawn up, but one hasty move and black can hold! Can you find the winning variation for white?

White to play and win!


        1. The problem after 3.h6 is when the white king finally get to f6, he will not be able to penetrate because g6 is guarded. After 3.h6 black simply plays 3…Kf8 and if 4.Ke6 (4.Kf5 Kf7) 4…Ke8. Now if 5.f7+ Kf8 black maintains opposition since 6.Kf6 is stalemate.

  1. 1.g6 h6 2.ke4 now if kf6 then 3.kf4 ke7 4.ke5 if ke8 then 5.ke6 wins if 4….kf8 then 5.kd6 wins if 4….kd8 or kd7 then 5.f6 wins if 2….ke8 then 3.kd5 kf8 4.kd6 ke8 5.ke6 wins if 2….kf8 then 3.kd5 wins if 2….kd8 or kd7 then 3.f6 wins 1.g6 hxg6 2.hxg6 2….kf8 3.kd6 ke8 4.ke6 or 3….kg8 4.ke7 kh8 5.f6 gxf6 6.kxf6 kg8 7.g7 wins 2….ke8 3.ke6 2….kd8 and kd7 lose to f6

    1. Very good Emmanuel!! This is a study by Irving Chernev.

      1.h6 and 1.f6 and black can hold a draw.

      On 1.g6! h6 2.Kd5! is the cleanest line. (There is a stalemating trick to be careful to avoid is 2. f6+? gxf6+ 3. Kf5 Kf8! 4. Kxf6 Kg8 5. g7 Kh7 and Black has a draw.) Black cannot regain opposition because f7-square is not available and on 2…Ke8 3.Ke6! and 2…Kf8 3.Kd6! All other moves for black run into Emmanuel’s f6 break.

      Lastly, if black tries to go forward 2…Kf6 loses to 3.Ke4! Kg5 4. Ke5 Kxh5 5. Ke6 Kg5 6. f6 gxf6 7.g7 1-0

  2. Thanks Dr Shabaaz. I analysed the position with the help of my chess set unlike the unsuccessful attempt i made with the first endgame position which i tried to solve without my chess set. I now think i will never be able to play blindfold lol.

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