Daily Chess Improvement: Important Endgame Improvement!


White to move. Is this a draw or win for white? How should white proceed?

Comments (4)
No. 1-3

Hi. can you put the pgn download of these exercises? thanks


A much more efficient way to find 1.e5 is to simply realize that allowing Black the opportunity to play ...e5 at any point gives Black a way to seize the opposition permanently.



The symmetry makes this one a very straightforward application of long distance opposition- you want the opposition across odd numbers of squares. In the starting position, white has the opposition across an even number of squares. If he moves the king to e2, for example, black takes the opposition across 5 squares by playing e5 immediately leaving white with no waiting pawn moves.

If white tries 1.Kd1 or 1.Kf1, black plays either 1.....Kd7/Kf7 or 1....Kf7/Kd7 taking the opposition across 5 squares, and if white then plays 2.e5, black goes for the pawn on e5 via c6 and g6 respectively forcing 3.e4 which is then met with Kc5/Kg5 leading to a clear draw.

Finally, if white tries 1.Kd2 or 1.Kf2, black replies with 1.....Kd7 or 1.....Kf7 taking the opposition across 4 squares, but holds a waiting move in hand- this forces white to either play 2.e5 which allows, again 2....Kc6 or 2....Kg6 threatening the pawn, or white must play forward to c3 or g3. Here, though, black must play carefully to d6 or f6 - this prevents an immediate e5, and white is stymied in getting the opposition at all- he either had to play back to d3/f3 which is met by black's own e5 move and a draw, or he must allow the black king to win one of the white pawns and get the king out in front of his own pawn for an easy draw.

This leaves only 1.e5! to win. The black king must move, and ith a move in hand, white can easily get the opposition across the odd number any time he wants it- he just has to be careful not to lose it after moving the second pawn move.