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I played this game on ICC, and ended up in this position as white:
I took the draw in mild time trouble, but I can't help thinking that there might be a win for me somewhere.
It's probably a draw because white can't force a way through without black coming through first.
The only way you get winning chances in this position is if Black blunders.
First Black can always establish the opposition (White and Black King one square apart facing each other, and it is your turn to move.) You lose the opposition battle. Therefore you can never penetrate Black's position through the only squares available to you (c5,d5 and h5.) You can see a proof of this is in action by going to the Namilov endgame tablebase. It is easy to use and the clickable website is:
There are more than 6 pieces on the board right now.
And see, that's the thing. If my king can enter the squares c5, d5, or g6, I can win. Furthermore, if my king reaches e4, black's king has to go to d6 to stop me from entering d5 (if it is on c6, it is too far to stop me from going to g6). And I can use opposition to achieve this, e.g. 1. Kd1 Kd7 2. Ke1 Ke7 3. Kd2 Kd8 4. Ke2 Ke8 5. Kd3 Kd7 6. Ke3 Kd6 7. Ke4 Kc6
But I am not absolutely certain.
If you want me to, I will let my King v3.23 engine analize it for the best potential out come.
You did the right thing in accepting a draw because there's no way of breaking the impasse. White can force his way to d4 without any trouble but black simply blocks at c6/d6 & it's the same on the h-file.
White just can't break through & what limited pawn moves are available don't help either player as far as I can see.
Perhaps somebody with a chess engine like nameno1had can find something but I'd be very surprised. Why not accept his offer ?
According to Houdini, white wins after 1. Kd1.
I can't really explain why, though. OTB I would have taken the draw.
Sorry, I am having a bad day. Everybody misses things from time to time.
Just gave the position a quick perusal and missed the tempo move a5. Actually White wins because of the tempo move a5 when it is his turn in the right position. That forces Black to play ...Kc6 while the White King is on e4. In this way the White King wins the race to h5
It is a draw.There is no way that white can get through the center. Black just moves back and fourth between c6 and d6 no matter who has the opposition. And similar black can not get through the center either.
It would be fatal for either player to go away from the center, because then the other player goes through the center. Thus transpo's idea in his latest post regarding moving the white king to h5 would allow black to get through the center and be fatal for white. It would leave the white pawns on the f-file unprotected.
Like I said I am having a bad day like everybody else in the world has from time to time.
What a relief, I'm not perfect.lol
I think white can take the f pawn without giving up his own pawns on that side of the board. he may have to push the a pawn while black's king is on e4. Then if the king goes to e3, white can move forward and only lose 1 pawn there. to avoid moving the a pawn earlier, he selects either the square d4 or e4 based on black's king position.
Initially I thought White has an easy win, but as long as Black answers Kd4 with Kc6! (and not Kd6, which loses to Ke4) I can't see how white can break through.
No need for Houdinis here, it's just plain schematic thinking and a couple of correlated squares.
Is letting the black king through the center really fatal? White's pawns are, after all, much closer to the finish line.
pfren: I have thought about this, and compared the squares which the black king needs to be on in order to stop white from entering from either c5/d5, or g6. By working backwards, e4-d6d4-c6d3-c7e3-d7f3-e7d2-c8e2-d8f2-e8or am I totally off tangent here?
I would add to blacks responses:
Kd4 Kc6 (already mentioned)
Ke4 Kd6 If white moves K(d,e)3, black responds with K(c,d)7
In general, black needs to respond to white with a move to the file to the left of white. For example, white Kh4 black should be meet with black Kg8, so that, Kh5 can be met with Kg7. As in white's K(c,d)3, backing off of opposition requires proper response by black.
This prevents white from obtaining Kd5 and Kc5 as they race from right to left (that is from file "h" toward file "a"). Kc5 and PxP leads to GG.
But starting with Kd1, there is the option of picking between d2 and c2, depending on what move black makes.
As long as black responds K(c,d)6 to white's K(d,e)4, no worries. At two spaces each from opposition, black has plenty of options.
Okay, I think I see what you are getting at. Staying to the left of white is only important in the center of board when white gets to the 4th rank, that is, d4 and e4. Note symmetry, however, once proper position obtained
K(c,d)6 to white's K(d,e)4
K(c,d,e,f)7 to white's K(d,e,f,g)3
K(c,d,e,f)8 to white's K(d,e,f,g)2
K(c,d,e,f)7 to white's K(d,e,f,g)1 (lol)
I've been studying this position for a few hours, and I found some interesting stuff.
In the same position with black to move, black draws easily with 1...Kb7! and then mimicking the movement of white's king (i.e. 2. Kd1 Kc7 or 2. Kd2 Kc8).
With white to move, black is in zugzwang - after 1. Kd1, black would prefer to skip a move and keep his King on c7. White wins by maintaining the zugzwang after each move. Funnily enough, you can do that by mimicking the movement of black's king (i.e. 2. Kd8 Ke2 or 2. Kd7 Ke1). Black must eventually decide whether to let white's king enter through the center or through the h-file.
This is a really good endgame to look over. I need to find more endgames like this...
@BlackWaive - Really interesting concept, that is, white maintaining the zugzwang advantage. I'm not sure how that would be done exactly. For example, if black stays on the 7th rank, how does white get to the second rank ? If white goes to the second rank, doesn't he lose the advantage since black can then jump to the 8th rank and start mimicking white?
1. Kd1 Kd7
2. Ke1 Ke7 or black going right back to c7
3. Kf1 Kf7
4. Kg1 Kg7
5. Kh1 Kf7
@DKof: 2.Ke1 Ke7 3.Kd2
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