1

I would like to learn more tricks and ideas behind these complicated endgames. For example, here is a game I played where I got into one (I was playing white).

[fen ""]
[Startply "83"]

1. e4  e6 2. d4  d5 3. Nd2  Nc6 4. Ngf3  Bb4 5. c3  Ba5 6. exd5  exd5 7. Bd3  Nf6 8. O-O  O-O 9. Nb3  Bb6 10. Bg5  Qd6 11. Re1  h6 12. Bh4  Bd7 13. Bc2  Bg4 14. Qd3  Bxf3 15. Qxf3  Rae8 16. Qf5  Ne4 17. f3  g6 18. Qh3  Nf6 19. Bg3  Qd7 20. Qxh6  Ne7 21. Qg5  Nh7 22. Qd2  c6 23. Bf4  Nf5 24. a4  Ng7 25. a5  Bc7 26. Bxc7  Qxc7 27. Nc5  Ne6 28. Nxe6  Rxe6 29. Rxe6  fxe6 30. Bxg6  Qg7 31. Bxh7+  Kxh7 32. Re1  Qg6 33. Re2  Rxf3 34. Qc2  Qxc2 35. Rxc2  Re3 36. Kf2  Re4 37. Re2  Rf4+ 38. Kg3  Rf6 39. b4  b6 40. axb6  axb6 41. Rf2  Rxf2 42. Kxf2  Kg6 43. Kf3  Kf5 44. h4  e5 45. g4+  Kf6 46. Ke3  e4 47. Kf4  Kg6 48. Ke3  Kf6 49. Kd2  Kg6 50. c4  Kf6 51. b5  cxb5 52. g5+  Ke6 53. c5  bxc5 54. dxc5  d4 55. g6  e3+ 56. Kd1  b4 57. c6  b3 58. c7  Kd7 59. c8=Q+  Kxc8 60. g7  Kc7 61. g8=Q  b2 62. Qc4+  Kb6 63. Kc2   1-0

Was this king and pawn truly won for white or did my opponent miss something? How could I have played better in the endgame?

  • 3
    A simpler win for you would be 46. dxe5 after which there is no black passed pawn. – Dag Oskar Madsen Dec 22 '15 at 20:03
5

There were a lot of inaccuracies by both players, I don't think you were ever losing, but you certainly threw away the win occasionally. I think three concepts might be helpful to you:

  • A protected passed pawn is very strong in a pawn endgame because it forces the enemy king to keep an eye on it at all times. Therefore allowing 46…e4 was a big mistake that turned an easy win into a draw. Instead take on e5, play h5 and h6 and then round up the black pawns.

  • Two connected passers are even stronger, because basically that's a dynamic duo of protected passers: The enemy king can never take the more backward one, because the other one will queen. And whenever possible, they will advance. See again move 46. If you take on e5 and black retakes with his king, you can fearlessly advance because as soon as the black king returns to g6 to attack the h6-pawn, you just protect it with g5.

  • The king is often curiously helpless against two pawns that aren't even connected and just one square apart: That's why 50.c4 was another big mistake. If black takes this pawn, there is no way for you to get at either the e- or the c-pawn. So 50…dxc4 51.Ke3 c3 and you cannot take on e4 because the c-pawn will queen. (Edit: Dag points out that after dxc4 b5 might still win for white, so maybe it wasn't a mistake, but the concept is still useful. Instead of dxc4, b5 should draw for black.)

  • After 50. c4 dxc4, the move 51. b5!?(?!) needs to be analysed, but for sure white has made a complicated mess out of what was a simple win. – Dag Oskar Madsen Dec 22 '15 at 20:19
  • True, that might still win. Of course black can just play b5 instead of taking on c4, that should seal the draw. – BlindKungFuMaster Dec 22 '15 at 20:24
  • Are you sure 50. c4 b5 51. cxb5 cxb5 is a draw? Connected passed pawns are often surprisingly strong. – Dag Oskar Madsen Dec 22 '15 at 20:33
  • 50. c4 b5 51. cxb5 cxb5 is a draw. Black shuffles his king between g5 and h5. If white plays g5, then black shuffles between g6 and h5, and if h5, then g5 and h6. – limits Dec 22 '15 at 21:36
  • Agree with almost all of this. The key is to not allow Black's e4 -- 46.dxe5+ -- and then to "see" that Black's king will never be able to deal with both your e5 pawn and your h4 pawn without giving up all 3 remaining black pawns to your king. E.g. 46...Kxe5 47.h5 Kf6 48.h6 Kg6 49.h7 Kxh7 50.Kf4 Kg6 51.Ke5 Kg5 52.b5 winning d5 and the game. – Jeff Y Dec 22 '15 at 21:45
3

You made this endgame too exiting, when it should have been a simple win for white. The simple way to win was 46. dxe5, as have already been mentioned. After 50. c4?! chaos started, and I think you were even lost for a moment after the bad move 53. c5??, when the alternative 53. cxd5+! seems to be winning! Black returned the favor with the time-wasting move 54... d4?, when instead 54... b4! would have lead to big trouble for you. (Or maybe not. Perhaps you can run with the h-pawn and secure a draw.)

The move 46. dxe5 has already been covered, so I will instead focus on the position after 47... Kg6.

[fen ""]
[Startply "94"]

1. e4  e6 2. d4  d5 3. Nd2  Nc6 4. Ngf3  Bb4 5. c3  Ba5 6. exd5  exd5 7. Bd3  Nf6 8. O-O  O-O 9. Nb3  Bb6 10. Bg5  Qd6 11. Re1  h6 12. Bh4  Bd7 13. Bc2  Bg4 14. Qd3  Bxf3 15. Qxf3  Rae8 16. Qf5  Ne4 17. f3  g6 18. Qh3  Nf6 19. Bg3  Qd7 20. Qxh6  Ne7 21. Qg5  Nh7 22. Qd2  c6 23. Bf4  Nf5 24. a4  Ng7 25. a5  Bc7 26. Bxc7  Qxc7 27. Nc5  Ne6 28. Nxe6  Rxe6 29. Rxe6  fxe6 30. Bxg6  Qg7 31. Bxh7+  Kxh7 32. Re1  Qg6 33. Re2  Rxf3 34. Qc2  Qxc2 35. Rxc2  Re3 36. Kf2  Re4 37. Re2  Rf4+ 38. Kg3  Rf6 39. b4  b6 40. axb6  axb6 41. Rf2  Rxf2 42. Kxf2  Kg6 43. Kf3  Kf5 44. h4  e5 45. g4+  Kf6 46. Ke3  e4 47. Kf4  Kg6 48. Ke3 (48. g5 Kh5 49. Kg3 (49... b5 50. Kf4 Kg6 51. Kg4) Kg6 50. Kg4 b5 51. h5+ Kg7 52. g6 Kh6 53. Kh4 (52... Kf6 53. Kf4) Kg7 54. Kg5! e3 55. h6+ Kg8 56. Kf6! e2 57. h7+ Kh8 58. Kf7 e1=Q 59. g7+ Kxh7 60. g8=Q+ Kh6 61. Qg6#) Kf6 49. Kd2  Kg6 50. c4  Kf6 51. b5  cxb5 52. g5+  Ke6 53. c5  bxc5 54. dxc5  d4 55. g6  e3+ 56. Kd1  b4 57. c6  b3 58. c7  Kd7 59. c8=Q+  Kxc8 60. g7  Kc7 61. g8=Q  b2 62. Qc4+  Kb6 63. Kc2   1-0

In this position there is nothing going on, which means you can improve the position of your pieces before doing anything drastic. So why not start with 48. g5 Kh5 49. Kg3 Kg6 50. Kg4 b5 51. h5+ bringing the pawns one step closer to the goal line.

After 51... Kg7 it's perhaps not immediately clear how white can make further progress, but at least you can play 52. g6 Kh6 53. Kh4 without risking anything. (Except you have ruined the perfect pawn formation with the connected passed pawns standing side by side.)

The big decision comes after 53... Kg7. Can white play 54. Kg5 and let the black pawn run? It turns out they can, see the variation in the player window, where 56. Kf6! is another key move. White wins.

This by the way is often the outcome in the battle between two connected passed pawns and a single protected passed pawn of the opponent. There's nothing particular about the position we are analyzing.

  • Nice find. It is true that the connected passers often beat a protected passer, but it's always surprising to me. – BlindKungFuMaster Dec 23 '15 at 9:32
2

My favorite book for studying endgame = Dvoretsky's endgame manual.

1

Another good book on the subject is "Comprehensive Chess Endings: Pawn Endings" (original title: "Шахматные окончания: Пешечные") by Yuri Averbakh and Ilia Maizelis.

This book contains (among other things) thorough analyses of the following endings: pawn vs bare King, 2 pawns vs bare King, pawn vs pawn, two pawns vs one, 3 connected pawns (unsupported) vs King.

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