
(Editor's Note: The idiom goes that if one doesn't know how to handle a few pieces (in the endgame), how is one to be able to manage 16 (or 32)! This is a very basic principle in endgame play. Here White plays to get the opposition. This will place his King in a dominating position, force Black to retreat, and clear a way for the Pawn to come through.) 1. Ke4 Ke6 White's position is ideal. His King is in front of the Pawn with one square between them. In cases such as this, where he does not have the opposition, he can wrest it from Black by gaining a tempo with a Pawn move. 2. e3! Shows the value of having a square between King and Pawn. The spare move leaves the position of the Kings unchanged  but it is Black's move and he must give way! 2... Kd6 3. Kf5 Ke7 If instead, 3... Kd5 the procedure is 4. e4+ Kd6 5. Kf6 Kd7 6. e5 Ke8 7. Ke6 and White wins. 4. Ke5 Seizes the opposition. Black must retreat or step aside. 4... Kd7 5. Kf6 Ke8 5... Kd6 6. e4 Kd7 7. e5 Kd8 (7... Ke8 8. Ke6) 8. Kf7 6. Ke6 The simplest , as White has a forced win no matter whose move it is, and no matter whether his Pawn stands on e2, e3, e4, or e5. 6... Kf8 7. e4 Ke8 8. e5 Kf8 9. Kd7 Kf7 10. e6+ Kf8 11. e7+ 10 [Chernev I.] 

Dedrle, 1921. 1. Kb1! A curious way to go after the Pawn! The obvious move 1. Kc3 lets Black escape. For example, 1... a3 2. b4 (2. bxa3 Ke6=) 2... Ke5 3. Kb3 Kd5 4. Kxa3 Kc6 5. Ka4 Kb6 6. b5 Kb7 7. Ka5 Ka7 8. b6+ Kb7 9. Kb5 Kb8 10. Kc6 Kc8= 1... a3 1... Ke5 2. Ka2 Kd5 3. Ka3 Kc5 4. Kxa4 Kb6 5. Kb4 and White having the opposition wins (as in the previous example). 2. b3! Ke5 3. Ka2 Kd5 4. Kxa3 Kc6 5. Ka4! Certainly not 5. Kb4? Kb6= 5... Kb6 6. Kb4 10 [Chernev I.] 



SimutoweNsubuga, Philadelphia, 2001. The doubled pawns are seemingly worthless, but actuallly they have an important function: Gaining time for the opposition. 1. b4! Ke7 1... f5 2. g5! (2. gxf5+?? Kf6=) 2. Kf5 Kf7 3. f4! This second tempo earns White the opposition, after which it's clear sailing. 3... Ke7 4. Kg6 Kf8 5. g5 fxg5 6. fxg5 hxg5 7. Kxg5 Kg8 8. Kg6 Kh8 9. Kf5 Kh7 10. Ke5 Kh6 11. Kxd5 Kxh5 12. Ke6 After 12. Ke6 g5 13. d5 g4 14. d6 g3 15. d7 g2 16. d8=Q g1=Q 17. Qh8+ Kg4 18. Qg8+ wins the new Queen. 10 [Benko P.] 





StempinDejkalo, Polska, 1987. 1. a5! bxa5 1... b5 2. Nd3 Nc6 3. Kg6 Kf8 4. Nc5 Nxb4 5. Nxe6+ 2. bxa5 Kf8 2... Kd8 3. Nd3 Nc6 4. Nc5 Ke7 5. Kg6 (5. Nxa6 Kf7!=) 5... Nxa5 6. Nxa6 Kf8 7. Nc5 3. Nd7+ Ke8 4. Nb8! 4. Nc5? Kf7 5. Nxa6 Nc6 6. Nc5 Nxa5= 4... Kf7 5. Kh4 With the idea of Kg3f3e2d3c3b4, Na6. 5... Kf6 6. Kg3 g5 6... Kg6 7. Kf3! (7. Nxa6? Nc6 8. Nc5 Nxa5 9. Nxe6 Nc6 10. Nc7 Ne7!) 7... Kh5 8. Nxa6 Nc6 9. Nc7 Nxa5 10. Nxe6 6... Kf7 7. Kf3 Kf6 8. Ke2 Kg6 9. Kd3 Kh5 10. Nxa6 Nc6 11. Nc5 Nxa5 12. Nxe6 g6 13. Nc7 Kh4 14. Nxd5 Nc6 15. e4 fxe4+ 16. Kxe4 Kxh3 17. Ne3 h5 18. d5 Nd8 19. d6 7. fxg5+ hxg5 8. f4 gxf4+ 9. Kxf4 Ng6+ 10. Kg3 Ne7 11. h4 Kf7 12. Kf4 Ng6+ 13. Kg5 f4 14. exf4 Ne7 15. h5 Nf5 16. Nxa6 Nxd4 17. Nb4 Nb5 18. a6 d4 19. Nc6 10 [Stempin] 



HornerP. Littlewood, British Ch., 1981. 1... Nd6 1... a2?? 2. Nxa2 d2+ 3. Kc2 Ke2 4. Nc1+! 1... d2+ seems to wins as well. 2. Kc2 (2. Kb1 Kd3 3. Nd1 Nb2 4. Nf2+ Ke2 5. Kc2 Nd3!) (2. Kd1 Kd3 and mate next move.) 2... Nb2 3. Kb3 Na4! 2. g5 Ne4 3. Nd5+ 3. Nxe4 Kxe4 4. g6 a2 5. Kb2 d2 6. g7 a1=Q+ 3... Kd4 4. Nb4 Kc3 01 [Speelman; Tisdall; Wade] 

Centurini, 1856. 1... Kh2! To prevent 1.Kg1!, after which White's King could not be evicted. 2. Bb7 Or anywhere else on the long diagonal. 2... Bf5 3. Bd5 Bh3+ 4. Ke1 Bg2 Moving in front of the Pawn, the Bishop drives the adverse Bishop off the long diagonal. 5. Bc4 5. Be6 is refuted by 5... Bb7 followed by 6...g2 winning. 5... Be4 6. Bf1 In accordance with principle, White can now deploy his Bishop to f5, and to h3 alongside the Pawn, but there is a faster win available. 6... Bd3! Black wins. After 6... Bd3 7. Bxd3 g2 is decisive. 01 [Chernev I.] 

ScerbakovH.Odeev, USSR, 1987. 1... Bg5 (Editor's Note: One of a Bishop's nightmares in the ending is pawns on both the a and hfiles. Of course, the Bishop is limited in it's ability to stop both Pawns due to diversionary threats. In this example, Black has to have a nimble King to hold the position. ) 1... Bf6? 2. a7 Kb7 3. Kd5 Bh8 4. Ke6 f4 5. Kf5 Kxa7 6. Kxf4 Kb7 7. Kf5 Kc7 8. Ke6 Kd8 9. Kf7 2. h7 Bf6 3. g3 3. a7 Kb7 4. Kd5 Bh8 5. Ke6 f4 6. Kf5 Kxa7 7. Kxf4 Kb6 8. Kf5 Kc5 9. Ke6 Kd4 10. g4 Ke4 11. g5 Kf4= 3... Bh8 3... Bg7? 4. a7 Kb7 5. Kd5 Kxa7 6. Ke6 Kb6 7. Kxf5 Kc6 8. Kg6 Bh8 9. g4 Kd6 10. Kf7 3... Ba1? 4. a7 Kb7 5. Kd5 Kxa7 6. Ke6 Kb7 7. Kxf5 Kc7 8. Ke6 Kd8 9. Kf7 4. a7 Kb7 5. Kd5 Kxa7 6. Ke6 Kb6 6... f4? 7. gxf4 Kb7 8. f5 Kc7 9. Ke7 7. Kxf5 Kc5 8. Ke6 8. g4 Kd6 9. g5 Ke7= 8... Kd4 9. g4 Ke4 10. g5 Kf4 11. g6 Kg5 12. Kf7 Kh6= 1/21/2 [Odeev A.] 

MestelSpeelman, London, 1986. 1. g4 1. Ke7 Bc6 2. g4 Kg7 1... Kg8 2. h5 Kf8 The Be8 does a remarkable job of pressuring both flanks from its humble post. 3. h6 Removing much dynamic potential of the kingside Pawns but other moves either lose a pawn or allow the Black King to emerge. Also, the tactical possibility of g5g6 keeps some pressure on this flank. 3... Bg6 4. b5 Ke8 5. Ke6 Kd8 6. a4 6. Kd6 a6! and now 7. bxa6 (7. b6 Kc8 8. Kc6 Be8+ wins as in the game.) 7... Kc8 8. Kc6 Kb8 9. Kb6 Ka8 and White will lose both apawns through zugawang. 6... a6! 7. b6 a5 8. Kd6 Kc8 9. Kc5 Be8 10. g5 Kb7 11. g6 Bxg6 12. Kb5 12. Kb5 Bd3+ 13. Kxa5 Kc6 14. Kb4 Kxb6 01 [Speelman; Tisdall; Wade] 

G. GeorgadzeHuzman, USSR, 1987. 1... c3! 1... Bd4 2. Bxd4 Kxd4 3. Kd2= 2. Bxc3 Kc4 3. Bf6 Bb6 4. Be5 Kb3 5. Bf6 Kc2 With the idea of Ba5d2c1. 6. Bc3 Zugwang! 6... Kb3 7. Bf6 Ba5 8. Kd1 Bb6 9. Ke2 Kc2 10. Bc3 Bc7! 11. Ke3 Kd1! 12. Be5 Bb6+ 13. Bd4 Bxd4+ 14. Kxd4 Ke2 15. Ke5 Kf3 16. Kxf5 Kxg3 17. Ke5 Kxh4 18. f5 g3 19. f6 g2 20. f7 g1=Q 21. f8=Q Qg5+! 22. Kd6 22. Ke4 Qg4+ 23. Ke3 Kh3 24. Qf1+ Kh2 25. Qf2+ Kh1 (Editor's Note: The annotators give this as a win for Black. However, Fritz offers 26.Qf4 as roughly equal. If Black trades Queens with 26...Qxf4+, he'll win the Qside pawns, but will get hemmed in and be unable to win. Interesting!) 22... Kg3 23. Kc6 h4 24. Qd6+ Kg2 25. Qd1 Qf6+ 26. Kd7 Qf5+ 27. Kd8 h3 28. Qe2+ Kg3 29. Qe1+ Qf2 30. Qe5+ Qf4 31. Qe1+ Kg4 32. Qe2+ Kg5 33. Qd1 33. Qb5+ Kh4 33... h2 34. Qh1 Qd2+ 35. Kc8 Qc2+ 36. Kb7 Kg4 37. Kb6 Kg3 38. Qe1+ Kg2 (Editor's Note: This turned out to be a combination Bishop and Queen ending in one!) 01 [Huzman; Vajnerman] 

(Editor's Note: This problem is just for show, but there are some instructive lessons therein. Enjoy!) Neiderashvilli, 1949. A Beautiful ending! White toys with his opponent (even forcing him to Queen a Pawn) while evolving a picturesque mate. 1. Be3+ Kb1 2. Bh6 b5 3. Ke7 b4 4. Kf6 b5 5. Kg5 Kc1 6. Kf5+ Kb1 7. Kf4 Kc1 8. Ke4+ Kb1 9. Ke3 Kc1 10. Ke2+ Kb1 11. Bd2 h5 12. Kd1 h4 13. Bxb4 h3 14. Bd5 h2 15. Kd2 h1=Q 16. Bxh1 Ka2 17. Bd5+ Kb1 18. Ba3 b4 19. Bb3 bxa3 20. Bg8 a2 21. Bh7# 10 [Chernev I.] 

MartinovicDumpor, Novi Becej, 1986. 1... g4! With the idea of exf2 and g3. 2. hxg4 h3! 3. gxh3! exf2 4. Rb7+ 4. Kxf2?? Rh1 4... Kf6 5. Rb6+ Ke5 6. Rb5+ Kd4 7. Kxf2 Rh1 8. Kg3 b1=Q 9. Rxb1 Rxb1 10. Kf4 Kd5 11. h4 Rf1+ 12. Kg5 Ke6 13. Kg6 Rf6+ 14. Kg7 Rf7+ 14... Rf4 seems better. 15. Kg8 Ra7! 01 [Dumpor] 

CvetkovicSkare, Bela Crkva, 1987. 1. e6 Ra2+ 2. Ke3 Ra1 3. Kd2! 3. Re5? Re1+ (3... a3 4. Kf2 a2 5. e7 Rf1+ 6. Kxf1 a1=Q+ 7. Re1 Qa6+ 8. Kg2 Qa2+ 9. Kg3) 4. Kd4 Rxe5 5. Kxe5 a3 6. Kd6 a2 7. e7 Kf7! 8. Kd7 a1=Q 9. e8=Q+ Kg7= 3... Ra2+ 4. Kd3 Ra1 5. Re5 Rd1+ 6. Kc4 Rd8 7. e7 Re8 8. Kd5! Kf6 9. Kd6 a3 10. Rf5+ Kg6 11. Ke6 a2 12. Ra5 Rb8 13. Rxa2 Rb6+ 14. Kd7 Rb7+ 15. Kd8 15. Kd8 Rb8+ 16. Kc7 Rh8 17. Kd7 Kf7 18. Re2 Re8 19. Re4 10 [Cvetkovic] 

If Black's King was on e7, Black would be defenseless. The efile is "mined" and the king has nowhere to hide. If 1...Kf7 or 1...Kd7 then 2.Rh8!; and if 1.. .Kd6 or 1...Ke6 then Rook checks and pawn queens. With the King on f7, Black holds with 1... Kg7! or some checks and then Kg7. He must avoid 1..."King to the 3rd rank" which, whilst prevent the skewer, allows an immediate check, i.e., if 1.Ke6?/f6?/g6?/ 2.Re8+/f8+/g8+ wins. After 1...Kg7! White can make no progress. Black waits for the enemy King to reach b6 and then checks it away, returning at once with his rook to the afile, e.g., 1... Kg7 2. Kf3 Ra3+ 3. Ke4 Ra4+ 4. Kd5 Ra5+ 5. Kc6 Ra1 6. Kb6 Rb1+ 7. Kc7 Ra1 8. Kb7 Rb1+ 9. Kc6 Ra1= 1/21/2 [Speelman; Tisdall; Wade] 

KasparovAnand, Wijk aan Zee, 2000. The wellknown defense set up with Black Pawns on f7, g6, and h5 is not possible since the fPawn has moved. Yet I proved more than 50 years ago that this does not mean any specific disadvantage for the defender (LilienthalBenko, Moscow, 1949) You can find this game in my book and in other books on the endgame as well. 41. Rd6 Ra4 Black does not fall for the 41... h5 42. Rd5! trap. 42. Kf3 Ra3+ 43. Ke2 h5 After this move, Anand evaluates the position as equal. 44. Rd3 Ra2+ 45. Ke3 Kg6 46. h3 Ra4 47. f4 Rb4 48. Ra3 Rc4 49. g4 hxg4 50. hxg4 Rb4 51. Ra6 Kf7 52. Ra7+ Kg6 53. f5+ The last chance to infuse life into this position. 53... Kh6 54. g5+ fxg5 55. e5 No better is 55. Kf3 Rb1 55... g4 56. e6 Kg5 There is nothing left after 56... Kg5 57. e7 (57. Rxg7+ Kxf5 58. e7 Re4+) 57... Rb8 1/21/2 [Benko P.] 

IvankaGaprindashvili, Thessaloniki, 1984. If we removed any one Rook from both sides, then this ending would be dead drawn. But here Black has the huge additional advantage that whereas her King is quite safe the White one is in mortal danger. 1... Re8! 2. h4 2. Rg3 Rf1+ 3. Kg4 Re4+ 4. Kh5 Rf3 5. Rxf3 g6# 2. Rf3 g5+ 3. Kf5 Rf8+ 4. Ke4 Re1+ 5. Re3 Re8+ 2. Rcc3 Rf8+ 3. Ke4 Rg6 4. Rf3 Re6+ 5. Kd5 Rfe8 and with the White King cut off so far from the kingside, Black is winning easily. 2... Rf8+ 3. Ke5 Rg4 4. Rh3 Horrible but forced since if 4. h5 Rg5+ 5. Kd4 Rf4+ 6. Ke3 Rxc5 7. Kxf4 Rxh5 4... Re8+ 5. Kd5?! 5. Kf5 h5 5. Kd6 is better and if 5... Rg6+ 6. Kd5 when(6. Kd7 Ra8 and ...Rf6 with a mating threat.) 6... h5 is less good than with the rook on g4. 5... h5! 6. Kd6 Kh6 7. Rc1 Rd8+ 8. Ke5 Rdd4 9. Rch1 Kg6? In her time trouble, Gaprindashvili misses a trick: 9... g6! won at once since the threat 10...Kg7 and 11...Rge4 mate wins the hPawn for nothing. 10. Rg3 Rde4+ 11. Kd5 Kf5 12. Rgh3 On both 12. Rxg4 hxg4 12. Rf3+ Ref4 13. Rxf4+ Rxf4 the endings are lost  the latter has more chances. But perhaps she should ahve tried that anyway since the double Rook ending is obviously hopeless. 12... Ra4 13. Rf3+ Kg6 14. Rfh3 Kh6 15. Ke5 Rad4 Reforming the mating net she let slip on move 9. 16. Ke6 Kg6 16... Kg6 17. Ke7 Rge4+ 18. Kf8 Rd8# 01 [Speelman; Tisdall; Wade] 

I gave this known drawing position to John's (Editor: John Nunn) database and we made some obvious winning attempts. It seems that Black should keep his Bishop on c6 and play ... Ba7b6a7 or if necessary ...Kb7b6. 1. Qe7+ Kc8 2. Kb4 Kb8 3. Qd6+ Kb7 4. Kc4 Ba7 5. Kb4 Bb6 6. Kc4 Ba7 7. Kb3 Bb6 8. Kb4 Ba7 9. Qe7+ Kb6 10. Qf7 Bb8 11. Qf2+ Kb7 12. Qc5 Ba7= 1/21/2 [Speelman N.] 

DandridgeRizzitano, Atlanta, 1980. At the time of this game, (now IM) James Rizzitano was one of America's brightest young stars. In this game, the Boston College student faced a dangerous and underrated expert in Marvin Dandridge of Chicago State University. Understandably, the game attracted a huge crowd. In the diagrammed position, white seems to be in trouble due to the menacing Bishops and the advanced Pawns. Black's threat of Ba3 and c1 (Q) seem hard to meet. Of course b2 appears devastating, but Marvin reels off a gem in 1. h4!! According to Crafty, 1. Qc3 doesn't work. 1... Bd6+ 2. Kf3 Be7 3. axb3 Bxg5 4. Qc6+ and White has to settle for a perpetual check. 1... bxa2 1... b2 2. h5+ Kh7 3. g6+ 2. h5+ Kg7? 2... Kxh5? 3. Kxf5 2... Kf7! 3. g6+ Ke7 and White will struggle to win. 3. Qc3+ Kf7 4. Kxf5 Bg7 5. Qc7+ and Black will not be able to prevent mate. 10 [Shabazz D.] 

Here Black is well enough coordinated to draw. We tried some obvious winning attempts, but White is never able to break Black's dynamic defence since he can neither chain the horses together nor approach with his King: 1... Kh6 2. Qf7 Kg5 3. Qe6 Nh5+ 4. Kf2 Nf6 5. Kg1 Ng4 6. Qd5+ Kf4 7. Qe6 Kg5 8. Qe4 Nf6 9. Qe3+ Kf5 10. Kg2 Nf4+ 11. Kf1 Ng6 12. Ke1 Nf4 13. Kd2 Ne6 14. Kd3 Nf4+ 15. Kc4 Ne6 16. Kb5 Nf4 17. Kc6 Ne4 18. Kd7 Nf6+ 19. Kd8 Ne6+ 20. Kc8 Nf4 21. Qf3 Ne4 22. Kd7= 1/21/2 [Speelman; Nunn] 

(Editor's Note: Complicated ending as are most of those involving only the Queens. One may believe that it is Black fighting for the draw given the big Pawn at g6, but it is White that has to save the day with a brilliant drawing tactic. Enjoy!) LechtynskyMaksimovic, Vrnjacka Banja, 1987. 1. g7 Qb4+ 2. Qe7 Qf4+ 2... Qxe7+?! 3. Kxe7 b2 4. g8=Q b1=Q 3. Ke8 Qa4+ 4. Kf8 b2 5. g8=Q Qa8+! 5... b1=Q 6. Qxc7+!! Kxc7 7. Qh7+!= 6. Qe8 Qa3+ 7. Qe7 Qf3+ 8. Ke8 b1=Q 9. Qxc7+!! Kxc7 10. Qh7+! 1/21/2 [Lechtynsky] 



Van der WielFedorowicz, Student Teams, Graz, 1981. 97... Ke2 A key question for the defence is where best to place the King, i.e., where it does not impede the Queen's ability to check and where it is least susceptible to crosschecks. The answer varies according to the progress of the passed Pawn. When it is at a7, opinions vary between e1, f1, g1, h2, h3 and h4. 98. Qe6+ Kf1 99. Qf5+ Ke1?! Van der Wiel proposed 99...Kg1 to go to h2 as better. 100. Kb6 Qb2+ 101. Kc6 Qc3+ 102. Kd6 Qb4+ 103. Qc5 Qb8+ 104. Ke7 Qb7+ 105. Kf6 Qf3+ 106. Qf5 Qa8 107. Qe6+ Kf1 108. a6 Kg1 109. Qb6+ Possibly critical. In his notes to the game, Van der Wiel considered 109.Kg7!? We have not seen BELLE's reaction. 109... Kh2 110. Qc7+ Kg1 111. Qc5+ Kh2 112. a7 When the Paw n has reached the seventh rank its King has the least shelter and is most likely to be exposed to constant checks. Borth Van der Wiel and the BELLE algorithm regarded the diagrammed position after 112.a7 as tenable (=). 112... Qh8+ 113. Kg5 Qg7+ 114. Kf5 Qh7+ 115. Kf4 Qf7+ 116. Ke3 Qb3+ 117. Ke4 Qb7+! The only move according to BELLE. 118. Kd3 Qa6+ 119. Ke3 Qe6+ 119... Qh6+= BELLE 120. Kd4 Qg4+! Another only move (BELLE). 121. Kc3 Qf3+! Again the only move (BELLE). 122. Kd2 Qg2+ Also 122... Qf4+ despite its dangerous appearance. 123. Ke1 Qe4+! 124. Kd1 Qf3+ 125. Kc1 Qh1+ 126. Kb2 Qb7+! 127. Ka3 Qf3+! 128. Kb4 Qe4+! 129. Kb5 Qe2+ Also 129... Qe8+ 130. Kc6 Qe8+ 131. Kb6 Qe6+! 132. Kb7 Qe4+ 133. Kc7 Qh7+ 134. Kc6 Qe4+! 135. Qd5 Qa4+ 136. Kb7 Qb4+! 137. Kc7 Qe7+ 138. Qd7 Qc5+ 139. Kb8 Qf8+ Also 139... Qb6+ 140. Qc8 Qb4+ 141. Ka8 Kg1 Also 141...Qa3/Qa5/Qd2= (BELLE). 142. Qc1+ Kf2 143. Qb2+!? Qxb2 1/21/2 [Speelman; BELLE Computer] 