Daily Chess Improvement: A Bonus Endgame!


White to move. How should White proceed? No computer analysis please.

8/8/1p2K3/8/2P5/5k2/1N1p4/8 w - - 0 4

Comments (7)
No. 1-7



hard to understand


I will just tell you this- the main line is over 50 moves long, but a lot of the puzzle is a kind of repetition motif. As one final hint until you show me what you have to this point is this- I was reminded of this amazing puzzle because of a the K +2N vs K+P puzzle Susan posted here a couple of days ago.


There is a win in there, but it is a <i>long</i> puzzle with at least 3 important variations. Show me what you have so far and I can tell you whether or not you are in the right zip code of a solution.


Yancey, you know you gave me a very tough puzzle. I know how to get a draw so far.


There are two potential ways for black to draw this- put the king on e2, play d1 followed by Kxd1 when white captures with the knight, then play Kd2 and Kc3 to attack the c-pawn, but this takes too long (black has made five moves to set this up) since white can capture at b6 in 4 moves and has the first move in hand. It is the second route- to d4 for the black king that matters here, so Alena is correct- the key is to prevent the black king from reaching d4 and then sacrificing the d-pawn in order to lure away the knight from guarding c4. This is most easily seen in studying the wrong lines- in particular, white's most direct path to the black b-pawn:

  1. Kd5? Ke3! (the only draw- keeping d4 in sight)
  2. Kc6

Here it will do white no good to play 2.Nd1 since both 2. ....Kd3 and 2. ....Ke2 both draw. Continuing:

  1. .......Kd4!
  2. Kb5

Of course, as I wrote above, 3.Kxb6 allows 3. ...d1(Q) followed by 4. ...Kxc4. However, white is out of winning options now since...

  1. ......Kc3!
  2. Nd1 Kd4 (draws also with Kd4 and Kc2)
  3. Kb4 Kd3 (should draw with Ke5, too)

And it should be clear that white can make no progress here.


Ke5 is the only move to win. White needs to protect c-pawn.

  1. Ke5 Ke2
  2. Kd6 Ke3
  3. Kd5 Kf4
  4. Kc6 Ke4
  5. Kxb6 Kd4
  6. c5 Kc3
  7. Nd1+ Kc2
  8. Nf2 d1=Q
  9. Nxd1