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In this issue, I'm going to cover the backbone of all endgames: Opposition. Part of this series are for the friends of mine who are new to chess or have never study endgames... the other motive is reinforcement for myself! You can never study the basics too much.
What is Opposition?
In chess, opposition (or direct opposition) is the situation occurring when two kings face each other on a rank or file, with only one square in between them. In such a situation, the player not having to move is said to "have the opposition" (Flear 2004:12). It is a special type of zugzwang and most often occurs in endgames with only kings and pawns (Flear 2000:36). The side with the move may have to move the king away, potentially allowing the opposing king access to important squares. Taking the opposition is a means to an end (normally forcing the opponent's king to move to a weaker position) and is not always the best thing to do.
There are extensions of direct opposition, such as diagonal opposition and distant opposition, which can be conducive to reaching direct opposition. All three types may be referred to simply as opposition if the type is unambiguous in context.
In this diagram, white to move draws and black to move wins for white. When the kings are facing each other like this, you want to opponent to have the move.
Quick Points to Remember:
Distant Opposition is just like the regular opposition except you are farther away. The rule is whoever moves with an odd number of squares between them loses the opposition.
Of course, white or black isn't going to just walk straight into a loss if they know the odd/even square rule. There is another way to calculate opposition or long-distance opposition.
Is simply the king making forward progress and giving up the opposition in order to achieve another goal. Defensively it could be used to try to gain the opposition.
Quick Point to Remember:
Is a dressed up word for getting a tempo or the opposition by seemingly drawing a "triangle." This would should really be called "side-step."
Quick Points to Remember
FOR SOME ALTERNATIVE MOVES CLICK "MOVE LIST" ON THE PUZZLE.
Here is a link to Part I
Last Puzzle: 4.. Kc6 draw.
agreed. also in the fourth puzzle, 11. Kg7 wins quicker
But overall, fantastic article! I'm terrible with endgames :(
No. 4...Kc6 loses. after white gets to c3 and trades off the pawn. Click the "move list" on the diagram to see the alternatives.
Thanks. Which diagram?
Despite the last puzzle being flawed, it's a good primer on opposition :)
Guys thanks but again.. the puzzle is not flawed.
If 4. Kc6 it seems that black can draw but white still wins. I made alternative moves if you click "move list" on the puzzle and you will see that that black's 4....Kc6 loses too after
5. Kd3 Kb6
6. Kc3 Kc6 (or Ka6)
7. b4 winning.
In order to see that Kc6 losing you must know the "Diversion Technique" (distracting the king with the passed pawn to get to other pawns) and "Trebuchet" (in close proximity, whoever touches the pawn first generally will win) situations which will be explained in the next Parts.
After 6....Ka5 (instead of 6.....Kc6 or 6....Ka6) I believe White still wins with 7.b4+ cxb4 8.Kb3 Zugzwang 8....K-any 9.Kxb4 wins
Yep! Sure does!
Nah man it's all good. Chess players should be naturally skeptical about advice... It's a good thing.
Thanks for the nice tutorial. Wouldn't it be better though to have the first two puzzles be positioned slightly differently. One should be white to move and win. The other should be black to move and draw. As it is, you play the losing side in both, so there really isn't a "correct" move.
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