Play it Out. Part 2: In Search of the Truth.

Play it Out. Part 2: In Search of the Truth.

| 8 | Endgames

We explored in the previous article some of the ideas that white and black can exploit in this complex endgame. After playing the endgame twice, David and I had some ideas of what works and what doesn’t. We came to the conclusion that white has to take the f7-pawn. The second game showed that the black rook on the second rank can be dangerous in two cases. The first case is when black can trade the b pawn for two of white's kingside pawns and use his three pawns there. The second case is when black can get his king to support the b-pawn, which does not work if white can push his e pawn. In both cases, the f7 pawn plays a crucial role in maintaining black’s advantage.  It secures a pawn majority on the kingside for black, while preventing the march of the e-pawn. Thus, eliminating the pawn is a top priority for white.

The next game features a plan for black of keeping the b-pawn, while trying to make another passed pawn on the side. This is the most straight-forward plan and if white played correctly he should have achieved the draw.

The following conclusions can be drawn from the game:

  1. Taking the f7 pawn eliminates many of the plays that black typically has.
  2. White’s main counterplay is to push the e-pawn and not to turn their attention to the opponent’s mini-threats.
  3. Black's king can participate in stopping the e-pawn, white must chase away the king with rook checks.
  4. Black making an outside passed h-pawn is fatal for white.

David found an interesting plan for black that is very hard for white to defend. The last game is an example of how to give white the largest amount of problems, and white would have to come up with some extraordinary solutions. This was the last game as we both got a bit tired and wanted to move on with the day. Therefore, the extraordinary solutions were saved for some other day and I made average moves which resulted in a lower than average result.


  1. Black’s idea of having two passed pawns on the kingside at the expense of giving up the b-pawn is very strong.

Over the course of two articles you got a chance to see how from game to game we improved upon the old ideas and came up with new/stronger moves. The last game features the series of the best moves until white did not find the best defense. We could still have played another four games and discovered more hidden resources but the time is limited and I would rather explore some other positions. Now, it is time to present the real game and the analysis provided by one of the players. In parenthesis I added some of my notes.

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