Pawn Endgames - Easy, Yet Difficult

Pawn Endgames - Easy, Yet Difficult‎

GM TheGadfly1897
8 | Endgames

During my game against James Tarjan at the US Open last week, I swore that I would write an article on pawn endgames. The entire game was crazy and lasted six hours, two of which we spent on figuring out how to play the pawn endgame. Although there were no other pieces on the board except kings and pawns, we shifted the evaluation from "=" to "-+" and then to "+-".  Of course, it can be partially explained by the mutual time trouble that we were in once we got into the endgame. Once we passed the time control and got an extra hour each, we played fairly decently, although we were still not sure about the exact evaluation of the endgame and spent almost all of our time on figuring out how to play a seemingly simple pawn endgame. So, yes, even pawn endgames can be complicated! 

For this article, I've annotated two of my games, including the one against Tarjan, and found few more games played by world-class players who misplayed their respective pawn endgames! So, I can't agree more with Capablanca who suggested beginning one's journey by learning endgames first.

Here is the game that made me write this article:

(C) John Hartmann

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