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The "Simplest" Thing in Chess (Part Five)

  • GM Gserper
  • | May 6, 2013
  • | 12791 views
  • | 23 comments

No discussion about King and Pawn endgames can be complete without mention of a pawn breakthrough.  The following endgame is well known and yet extremely delightful no matter how many times you've seen it.  I remember it was one of the first King and Pawn endgames I learned as a kid.

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Even though the majority of chess players know the position above by heart, one of the best World chess players Viktor 'the Terrible' Korchnoi forgot about this idea in one of his games. As a result, the winning position turned into a loss!
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Another typical tool of a King and Pawn endgame is a triangulation. The following iconic example is probably the best example of triangulation.  If you never seen it before, then solving it quite tricky.  The most important part is to notice that if it was Black's move in the initial position, then a win would be straightforward.  Therefore, White needs to lose a tempo and achieve the same position when it is Black's turn to move!
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An amusing but very powerful technical idea which is very common for King and Pawn endgames is so-called 'shouldering'. If you are ever asked if there is any similarity between chess and ice hockey, the answer is shouldering! You can literary see how one King uses all his power to push away his counter part.  Here is a classical and probably one of the first well known games where the 'shouldering' should have decided the game:
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In the final game that we will analyze today a super GM Alexey Shirov forgot about 'shouldering' and it cost him the game. The position looks pretty simple and after a reasonable sequence of moves should end in a draw like this:
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This was probably the line GM Shirov calculated when he decided to go for this position.  Try to find what he missed and how White can win this endgame.
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to be continued....

Comments


  • 15 months ago

    Ricardoruben

    Wow I am really enjoying all these ideas!! Thank you for the article!! :)

  • 15 months ago

    inmansc

    i ejoyed this article alot even though I know all tis stuff its easy to forget!!!

  • 15 months ago

    GM_rudy

    TQ SIR

  • 16 months ago

    showkat

    Very nice!!!!!!!! I always follow GM Gserper article

  • 16 months ago

    piyushbothra25

    great

  • 16 months ago

    GM Gserper

    Dear Bab3s,

    It looks like your analysis is correct. Of course even if Black couldn't win in that position, a draw was still better than a loss :)

  • 16 months ago

    dulaned

    Great article

  • 16 months ago

    Spartan_Elite

    Thank you a lot for this great, insightful article. You are too kind putting time into these small chess lessons, helping everyone for only the fee of reading them.

    -Spartan Out 

  • 16 months ago

    Gehirntiger

    great information, thank you Smile

  • 16 months ago

    OuazriAnass

    very helpful thanks

  • 16 months ago

    jayaaguse

    very helpful and useful for every chess learner. thanks a lot Cool

  • 16 months ago

    Dan2xxx

    wow what a nice end game i learned a lot  perhaps a can reach 2000 rating because of that thanks to the concern one .

  • 16 months ago

    wbport

    In the triangulation problem when the WK moves to c5, the BK must move to c7.  Also,  WK to d6 is answered by BK d8.  From d5 (can reach either square), the BK must defend from c8 (reaches c7 and d8).  By moving to c4 and d4 (the order doesn't matter), Black can't play to c7 and is stuck in a to-and-fro groove.  When forced to play .. Kc8, it is answered by the killer Kd5 and Black's only choice is how to lose.

  • 16 months ago

    van-riz

    i learn that the power of pass pawn takes more time and it is very important in playing chess that you should create a pass pawn to make advantage

  • 16 months ago

    Pinger123

    I often forget how to triangulate... 

  • 16 months ago

    akkodori

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 16 months ago

    Prathapiitm

    Triagulation is a new tool for me now..first time seeing such tecnique...Just saw that Spasky had used this trick for one of his world title match...

  • 16 months ago

    mashanator

    Rook endgames are the most common, Shyam.

  • 16 months ago

    NM Bab3s

    I recall that according to Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual White wasn't losing in Wade-Korchnoi had Black played ...b5 followed by ...b6. In your variation, 38. h3 looks like a losing move for White. Instead, isn't 38. Ke3 with the idea of f4 a draw? For instance, 38...Kg5 39. f4+ exf4+? (39...Kf6 40. fxe5+ Kxe5 41. h3 is a draw) 40. Kf3 and Black is even losing. Also, 38...Kg4 39. f3+ Kh3 40. f4 and now both 40...exf4+ 41. Kxf4 Kxh2 42. e5 Kg2 43. e6 h3 44. e7 h2 45. e8=Q h1=Q 46. Qe4+ and 40...Kxh2 41. fxe5 h3 42. e6 Kg1 43. e7 h2 44. e8=Q h1=Q 45. Qxg6+ are both losing for Black. Please correct me if I've made an error in my analysis. Ultimately this is a minor nitpick anyway.

  • 16 months ago

    ShyamGopal

    Actually out of all theoretical endgames,K+Pawn endgames are the most frequent,I myslef have won games by using techniques mentiones in ur series sir

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