The "Simplest" Thing in Chess (Part Six)

The "Simplest" Thing in Chess (Part Six)

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I hope the previous five parts of this article managed to convince you that the King and Pawn endgames are very complicated.  Therefore, a decision to go for such an endgame is a major commitment and shouldn't be taken lightly. In the final part of this series, I want to show very instructive examples where extremely strong chess players made the same grave error of trading the last pair of pieces and going straight to the lost King and Pawn endgame!

The first example is the most amazing. I cannot explain how GM Spielmann, who was definitely one of the leading players of his time, could go for a basic pawn endgame which was completely lost for him. My only guess is he was extremely tired after a very long game:

In the next game another famous chess player made a similar mistake that cost him half a point. GM Tartakower thought that going for a King and Pawn endgame was the fastest and surest way to convert his enormous advantage into a win. Unfortunately, he underestimated how tricky simple looking pawn endgame can be...
In the next game a very strong GM (and the inventor of the Sveshnikov variation in the Sicilian) makes the same basic mistake....
Grandmasters Flohr and Taimanov belonged to the World Elite at their prime time, but both of them made the same basic mistake against Michail Botvinnik.  Did the Patriarch hypnotize them? Laughing
Finally, let me present you a recent game played by two modern Super Grandmasters:
I hope my dear readers you will avoid the common mistakes we discussed in this article and all the King and Pawn endgames in your games will be winning for you!

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