Game: https://lichess.org/broadcast/world-chess-championship-2021/game-10/RwhGwnPX

I assume that the players agreed for a draw because they are GMs and both are capable of playing perfect game. But I am learning and can't understand the perfect way to play so that it ends up in draw. Can someone please play it out?

  • 5
    They drew the game because they both had 5 pawns on the same side of the board with equal material in pieces.
    – Miss Mulan
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 10:18
  • 5
    I think I could hold this endgame against an engine by doing nothing. The only thing Black should not do is offering a knight exchange, because the white king is more active, and even that probably doesn't throw the draw. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 20:51
  • 5
    As usual in most drawn endgames, the side who tries to win will lose it. Hence neither side will try to win, and no progress will be made.
    – Arlen
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 23:39
  • 1
    It's really hard to get a win when all the pawns are on one side of the board. For example, two pawns against three on the same side with rooks is a draw. Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 1:16
  • 1
    It doesn't require "perfect" play to make a draw. The draw was agreed because even if one of the players did a few inaccurate moves, there would be no way for his opponent to capitalize
    – David
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


As has been mentionned already, it's a draw because with the symetrical pawn structure and only a knight and king left on the board, there is simply no way that either side can create a threat which the other side cannot counter with accurate play. There are simply no deep ideas left in the position which a grandmaster at Ian and Magnus' levels wouldn't imediately see through and guard against.

As far as playing out the game, here's a link to one of Stockfish's suggested move patterns (depth=20).

[FEN "8/pp6/2pk1n2/3pN3/3P4/2P1K3/PP6/8 b - - 0 1"]

1... Ke6 {0.00} 2. a3 {0.00} 2... Ne4 3. c4 {0.00} 3... Kd6 4. Kd3 {0.00} 4... Ke6 5. b4 {0.00} 5... a6 6. c5 a5 {0.00} 7. bxa5 Nxc5+ {0.00} 8. Kc3 Ne4+ 9. Kb4 c5+ {0.00} 10. dxc5 Kxe5 11. c6 Kd6 12. cxb7 Kc7 {0.00} 13. a6 Nd6 14. Kc5 Nxb7+ 15. axb7 Kxb7 {0.00} 16. a4 Ka6 17. Kxd5 Ka5 18. Kc5 Kxa4 19. Kd4 Kb4 {0.00} 20. Ke5 {0.00} 20... Ka3 {0.00} 1/2-1/2

Hope it helps!

  • 1
    Small addendum: I also tried to play out, but fifth-best (Lichess/Stockfish) of Black against best of White instead (well, no moves that outright hang material). Even with outright idiotic play (fixing a weakness on a6 and ending up with a stranded Ng8) I managed only +0.5. Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 8:42

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