It's a Miracle! Part 3
Stalemate is a vital part of many theoretical endgames. For example the whole defensive mechanism in such a basic position as king and pawn vs. king is based on a stalemate:
Image: Thoughts from the Line
Here is a bunch of important theoretical positions every chess player needs to know. In all of them a huge material advantage is not enough to win and only leads to a stalemate:
This kind of positions happen in real games more frequently than you might think. Try to find the way White saved himself in the following position:
If we talk about a common endgame queen vs. a pawn that has reached the 7th rank, then evaluation of the position depends on the pawn's file. If the pawn is located on the central or knight's vertical, then a win is trivial providing you know the correct method:
So, the method is simple: you force your opponent's king to step in front of the pawn and you gain a tempo to bring your king closer. Rinse and repeat! Unfortunaly, this method doesn't work with a rook or a bishop pawn:
Sometimes a move that leads to a stalemate in a theoretical position is quite obvious, like in the next game:
But in some cases finding the right move even in a well known theoretical position can be very complicated. In the next game a very experienced grandmaster resigned in a theoretically drawn position. Try to find the tricky defense:
The moral of the story is simple: know your endgames!
To be continued...
RELATED STUDY MATERIAL
- Previous articles in the series It's a Miracle! - Part 1, Part 2
- Train your basic pawn endings with John Grefe's Mentor Course Pawn Play in the Endgame
- Train many more basic endings in the Computer Workout
- Stalemate is one of many themes in FM Elliott Liu's video Amazing Games for Beginners: My Childhood Symphony - Part 3