59

In this game Kasparov is showing a perfect demonstration of the triangulation technique in order to Zugzwang the white king. To be in a Zugzwang means, any move loses or more generally, worsens your position, and one cannot simply pass the turn and maintain the position. In the diagrammed position, the key idea to spot is that white would be in Zugzwang ...


21

There is a very easy way to detect whether King and Pawn endgames are drawn or not. This method I use is a very easy to understand one from Karsten Mueller and Frank Lamprecht's excellent book Secrets of Pawn Endings It concerns key squares and opposition The rule states that if pawn has not reached or crossed the central line (5th rank for White and 4th ...


18

This position is a draw with White to move. However, the same position would lead you to win if it was black to move (Zugzwang). The basic theory for you to promote the pawn when the opponent king is having the opposition is you need to have your king in front of your pawn 2 ranks ahead of the pawn, (i.e. if pawn's on e3 King needs to be on e5) (opposition ...


18

Generally speaking, the side with the most pawns will win. The tempo provided by the extra pawn is usually enough to gain opposition and access to the key squares. Doubled pawns don't matter for this, unless they're blocked. The extra pawn can also limit the movement of the opponent's king, resulting in the possibility of a triangulation maneuver. Another ...


15

While there are general rules, these rules have many exceptions and nuances. In the following position with White to move, both sides have a passed pawn, but the fact that Black's passed pawn is so much better means White is dead lost: [FEN "6k1/8/6p1/2p5/1pPpP3/pP6/2P3P1/2K5 w - - 0 1"] But it's precarious. Remove Black's A-pawn from the starting ...


12

If you want to evaluate this ending with general rules, the rule of key squares is a good way to deal with it. However, this rule doesn't say "whoever reaches a key square first will get the result he is aiming for", it says "if the offensive king (here, Black) reaches one of the key squares, he will win." Here after 1.Kc3 Ke4 2.Kd2 Kd4 you cannot prevent ...


10

The two previous answers both suggested that this position is a draw, but I believe it's a win for White. Stockfish 5 evaluates the position at more than +10 if left to run for long enough (e.g., to depth 40), which sounds pretty decisive, but of course Stockfish isn't infallible. I generated a FinalGen tablebase for the position, but unfortunately it wasn'...


9

I used to think the following draw by repetition looked optimal for complicated reasons (detailed below), but now I doubt it. White may well have a winning strategy, involving putting Black in zugzwang on both sides. See Stephen's answer. [FEN "8/pppk4/8/8/8/8/4KPPP/8 w - - 0 1 "] 1. h4 a5 2. h5 Ke7 3. h6 Kf6 4. g4 a4 5. Kd2 Kg6 6. g5 a3 7. Kc2 b5 8. Kb3 ...


9

I setup the position using this FEN String 4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w - - 0 1 Using a grid engine cluster with 24 nodes, each node having 16 cores at 3.2 Ghz with 60gb of ram The engine used was Houdini 4 pro (allowing multiple cores) After analyzing for several days ( 4 days 12 hours 2 minutes and 15 seconds to be precise) the engine scored the ...


9

Some of the corresponding squares are quite easy to work out, especially if you write things down (not allowed in a real game). First of all, it is clear that a5 corresponds to c6. Black can move from c6 to g4 in 4 moves. The only square that stops black's invasion and is 4 moves away from a5 is e2, so e2 corresponds to g4. The squares on the paths in ...


9

If the king is on the sixth and the pawn is on the fifth (and it's not a rook pawn), then it's a win for the side with the pawn, no matter who has the move: [FEN "4k3/8/4K3/4P3/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Kd6 Kd8 2. e6 Ke8 3. e7 Kf7 4. Kd7 Kf6 5. e8=Q * With Black to move: [FEN "4k3/8/4K3/4P3/8/8/8/8 b - - 0 1"] 1... Kd8 2. Kf7 Kd7 3. e6+ Kd8 4. e7+ ...


8

This is a stunning endgame. It is impressive how Kasparov perfectly used reserve tempi to reach the winning position in the diagram where triangulation is all that remains after Seirawan's 40. e4?? which was the last move of time-control. After this Seirawan is lost. Seirawan annotates this game in his book full of stories "Chess Duels : My Games with the ...


7

There is no way to promote the pawn here. The position is drawn if it is white to move. With black to move it would be won. You may want to read up on key squares and the opposition to get a better understanding of such situations in general.


7

EDIT: Now that I look closely, I have solved a different variant than what was asked. Probably this is interesting anyway :) The variant's rules are described here: http://www.chesscorner.com/tutorial/basic/pawngame/pawngame.htm I have written a piece of software to solve this. Contrary to my and other people's expectations, and barring bugs, it shows that ...


6

Any chess-playing computer program that allows you to set up positions can be used. And yes, Fritz is especially suited for this. You have several options: Set up the position yourself (using board/position set up). Choose any position that you want to get better at. Save that position and play against the computer. 1a. I used to do this for simple pawn ...


6

It's clear that Black has the following advantages: 1) His king is better centralized. 2) He has two connected passed pawns. 3) White has no passed pawns because one Black pawn holds up two White ones on both the queen and king sides. White's main advantage is that he has two rook pawns, which could lead to "outside" passed pawns. Even so, it might take ...


6

The reason why you lose the winning edge is, as it almost always is, because of tempi: [fen "8/4Kp2/4p3/4k1p1/8/8/5PP1/8 b - - 0 1"] 1...f5? 2.Kf7, g4 3.g3!, Kd6 4. Kg6! (4.Kf6?, Kd5 5. Kg6, Ke4! 6.Kf6, e5 7.Kg5, Kf3 {and black picks up the f2 pawn.}) 4...Kd5 5. Kf6 {and black cannot advance without giving up a vital pawn.} Let's look at what happens ...


6

To solve this you need to ask yourself 2 questions: 1) How could the position change so that Black can draw? White must try and avoid this. 2) How could the position change so that Black can no longer protect his pawn(s)? 1) Suppose White just pushes g5. Then Black can never be forced away from the defence of f7. Either the white king will move between e7 ...


6

The point of all this is to be able to evaluate this basic position only by applying rules, not having to calculate the concrete variations. Well, the basic rule of (single) pawn endings is that if the side with the pawn manages to get their king on one of the key squares (and the pawn can't be taken on the next move), it's a win. I'm able to get first ...


6

There is no general rule for multi-pawn endgames as they are much too complex. However I believe that most of the pawn only endgames that appear in regular games are readily assessed correctly by grandmasters (or even just masters). Sure there are pawn endgame studies that might be tricky, but on average assessing a pawn endgame is much easier than an ...


6

I figured winning a pawn up in a pawn endgame is a useful skill to know It is a useful skill to know and an even more important skill to know is when a pawn-up endgame is a win and when it is a draw and when it could be either depending on who is to move first. This is a vital skill because it stops you from swapping off into a drawn king and pawn endgame ...


6

As far as I can tell, in your proposed variant a player could always force a draw by placing the king in a reasonably centralized position, regardless of what the other side chooses. Even if he allows the opponent a seemingly superior king position, it still winds up as a draw with correct play. Let's say Black chooses the king on the D file and the pawn on ...


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 ...


5

I think considering an intermediate position first helps clarify what is going on. Consider the following position with Black to move. The white king is on d4, poised to head for infiltration on either the queenside or the kingside. The only drawing move for Black is to play 1...Kd8!, not committing to one side or the other. (For instance, 1...Ke7? reaches a ...


5

In your diagram, White wins if the Black king is on e8, with White to move. Then the winning move is e7, and the king has to move "out of the way" to d7, you play Kf7, and the pawn queens. But if it is your move in the diagram, it's only a draw, because Black has what is called the "opposition," meaning that you have to move out of the way when the kings ...


5

Komodo 9.3 evaluates the position after 1.Kd5 (after searching to 31 ply) as +2.32 for White. Playing out a few lines, White usually ended up with Q+2P vs Q+P. It's not necessarily winning (Q+P endings have lots of resources for the defender due to all the checks) but I am comfortable asserting that the position is more pleasant for White. For what it's ...


5

You can do this (the space is, after all, finite) but it ends up being tedious, and is probably inferior to just looking it up in a tablebase. Let's start with one of the most basic concepts in king and pawn endgames: the pawn square. White generally wins if Black is too far away to enter the square. We just need to convert this rule into simpler rules, ...


4

For the sake of a quick evaluation, the fastest and safest method in my opinion is the rule of the two plusses. First, let's get rid of the cases where it doesn't apply. White has the pawn. If the bK is not in the square of the pawn, White wins. If the bK can take the pawn, it is a draw. Pawns on the edge of the board (the a- and h- files) have their own ...


4

Here's an example between players rated 2565 and 2498. I haven't checked this against a tablebase due to the number of pawns, but the move Kb5 changes the Stockfish 6 evaluation from below -100 (at depth 60) to above +11 (at depth 43), which is pretty convincing. Black has a straightforward win here by first pushing his a-pawn to distract the White king, ...


4

If the white king reaches one of the green key squares, then white will win. There is no rule determining those squares, just concrete analysis. However, once we have the key squares in place, we can systematically search for pairs of corresponding squares. If the white king is on d8, then the black king must move to f8. If the white king is on d7, then the ...


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