# Knight and 2 Pawn vs 3 Pawn Endgame

I got into this endgame as black (thinking that its a draw) and finally managed a draw by repetition:

``````8/5p2/4p1k1/7p/4N2K/6P1/7P/8 b - - 0 45
``````

(8th rank is at bottom) But the Lichess gives this position a +4.9. So, how to win such endgame as white ?

• Wosw, 5 passed pawns on the queenside! Or assuming your diagram is upside down, maybe something like 1.Ng5 e5 2. Nxf7 does that work?
– bof
Feb 14, 2021 at 4:33
• @bof Yes the diagram is upside down, will edit the question. Feb 14, 2021 at 7:15
• @bof: Yes, that wins (Syzygy), but I prefer my plan because I don't see a reason to rush things and perhaps miscalculate. Feb 14, 2021 at 10:06
• And a final comment: Even g4 wins (and that even after White calls himself an idiot, being unable to recapture because of f5+ :-), but Nf6/c5/g5 still is a tablebase win) but even without the fork, I wouldn't waste a second on it. Feb 14, 2021 at 10:15

Zugzwang.

OK, one word is a bit short for an answer. :-) Still, I would win that one for White probably on blitz time. Note that Black has only one passer and your knight easily can put a cork to that. Thus, with still one minute on the clock:

1. Play the N to f4 to kill Ph5.
2. Black of course will object to that, playing Pe5 in time.
3. Fine, then play the N to d3. The Pe5 now hangs.
4. Either he goes to e4, now you can catch the Ph5 and easily be back in time, or Kf6, same result.
5. Assume Black is lucky and manages to play Pe5, Pf4 without getting massacred. OK, same as before, the N gangs up on Pf4, he must go to f3, the K can capture it.
6. After that, back to the Ph5.
7. Finally, queen the remaining Ph2 and mate.

A final warning. As Black I will try to let you play the N to f4, and when you capture h5, I have the K on g6, play e5 and YOU are in zugzwang. With one minute on the clock, I won't ponder if g4 still is won after f4 (it most surely is, but panic on the streets of London), but rather play the cool Nd3 instead of Nxh5 and we're at point 6 of the plan again.

To learn:

• No swapping of pawns if you are up a figure.
• No rushing in endgame. (As I commented above, bof's plan Ng5, Nxf7 also wins but do that only if you trust yourself, and Black can also foil it with Pf6.)
• No allowing of muddling the waters when you have a technical win.
• Make a decent plan.
• Make it in easily executable parts.
• Good general advice as well as the specific points Feb 14, 2021 at 10:04
• You're being a bit inconsistent with what letters you are using to indicate the pieces, e.g. sometime N for Knight, sometimes S. I personally don't really care which language you use, but being consistent throughout the answer will help comprehensibility. Feb 14, 2021 at 10:44
• I'm German AND a problemist :-) Happens all the time if I don't concentrate, edited the S away. Feb 14, 2021 at 12:08

Ng5 looks simple and should be game over. Then Nxf7 (sac) or Nxe6. If e5, Nxf7 Kxf7 Kxh5, and white is either going to stop the black e pawn with his king and maintain connected passers or promote first with his b (or a) pawn.