Knights and Pawn Ending Challenge

White to move and win. You should compare the different moves white could have made at move 1- only one of them wins.

3n4/8/3P4/3p4/3K4/8/3N4/3k4 w - - 0 1

Comments (8)
No. 1-8
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Well done.

Alena
Alena

In the second variation is a win because the white knight can manoeuvre freely and use distraction when it is needed.

1.Kc8 Nb6
2.Kc7 Nd5+
3.Kc6 Nf6
4.Nf4 Kf3
5.Nh5 Nxh5
6.d7

In the first variation is a draw because the white knight is restricted and it can't use distraction.

1.Ke8 Nf6+
2.Kf7 Nd7
3.Ke6 Nb6
4.Nb4 Kb3
5.Nd5 Na4

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

I pulled these positions above from the Nalimov Tablebase so that we would have a firm understanding of the difference. The positions arise from 1.Nf3 using the most resistant move until the position is reached, then the 1.Nb3 position is derived by choosing the equivalent, symmetrical move from that first line.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Consider these two lines that are the analogs of each other where white has played 1.Nb3 vs 1.Nf3. Why is the first a draw but the other a win?8/3n1K2/3P4/8/8/3N4/2k5/8 w - - 0 1 vs 8/1K1n4/3P4/8/8/3N4/4k3/8 w - - 0 1

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Yes, but where in your lines does this matter, and which knight is affected?

Alena
Alena

I think there is less room for knight maneuvering.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Why does the seemingly symmetrical 1.Nb3 fail to win?

Alena
Alena

V-1
1.Nf3 Nc6+
2.Kc5 Nb8
3.Ne5 d4
4.Kb6 Ke2
5.Kb7 d3
6.Nxd3 Nd7
7.Kc8 Nf6
8.Ne5 Kd2
9.Ng4 Nd5
10.Kb7 Nf4
11.d7 Ne6
12.Kc8 Kd3
13.Ne5+ Kc2
14.Ng6 Kc3
15.Nf8 Nxf8
16.d8=Q
It's a win for white.

V-2
1.Nf3 Nc6+
2.Kc5 Nb8
3.Ne5 Ke2
4.Kb6 d4
5.Kb7 d3
6.Nxd3 Nd7
7.Kc8 Nf8
8.Nf4+ Kf3
9.Ng6 Nxg6
10.d7 Ke4
11.d8=Q
It's a win for white.



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