Reading the first chapters of Jeremy Silman’s endgame book I breezed through the exercises, as I expected. It starts with KRR vs K and KQ vs. R – even half-asleep I can do this reliably against a computer. The next step in the book is mating with a queen against a minor piece and I found KQ vs. KB similarly easy.
However, right after comes KQ vs. KN and here I run into trouble: the computer defends so accurately that I cannot see how to make progress.
Silman’s description leads me to believe it is supposed to be quite easy ("Queen versus Knight is a fairly simple win”) and the topics before and after are very easy, yet against the computer I can often not win within 50 moves (sometimes I am lucky). Sometimes I can break through the wall of checks given by the knight briefly, only to have the opponent’s king escape back to the middle a few moves later.
According to Silman a player rated below 1200 is supposed to be able to do this. What am I missing?