Daily Chess Improvement: Must Know Endgame!

SusanPolgar

White to move! Is this a win or draw? How should white proceed? No one-two move solution please.

Comments (2)
Surpriselover
Surpriselover

Nice! Kb8 is brilliant!!

No. 1-2
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

The key thing you have to realize in this ending is that if it is winnable, it is winnable because the white king can either drive the black king back along the 6th-8th ranks to get to the black pawn, or white can drive the black king down to the 5th and 4th ranks and flank around on the 7th and 6th ranks to get to the pawn. Of course, white can err here and allow black to win the two white pawns and lose. In any case, on first principles, you take the opposition and get off the a-file, and you keep taking the opposition until the critical juncture:

1.Kb8 Kd7
2.Kb7 Kd6
3.Kb6 Kd5

Here, if black had tried 3...Kd7, then white gets around on the 5th rank with 4.Kc5, and above the black pawns control of e4. Black's 3....Kd5 allows white the chance to err with the robotic 4.Kb5 which loses both pawns and the game to 4....Ke4. What white wants here is to neutralize 4....Ke4 by getting to e5 after black captures at e3, so the move you want here is...

4.Kc7!

The key juncture. Now, if black plays 4...Ke4, white just follows with 5.Kd6 and will play 6.Ke5 after 5....Kxe3 to win the f5 pawn and the game. Additionally, black can't take the diagonal opposition with his 4th move because the white pawn controls e5, and taking the direct opposition with 4....Kc5 is worthless because the white king will play to d7 and e7 at which point the white pawn's control of e5 will prevent the black king from taking the opposition. The rest is pretty easy.


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