King and Pawn Endings III

Loomis
Loomis
Apr 23, 2008, 9:22 PM |
1

The previous examples of King and Pawn endings (K&P I, K&P II) have featured fairly straightforward winning positions. In this entry, I'll show some games with a little more subtlety. As a result, there are more mistakes in the game play and more to learn. One of the examples will even feature a draw with oneside having an extra pawn. The drawing technique relies on the idea of the Opposition, a very important king manoever in the endgame. 

 

In the first example, we enter the endgame with a very dynamic position. Black has an outside passed pawn that can either be weak because it is isolated or strong because it is passed and far from the white king and therefore a threat to promote. From where we pick up the game, white has a fine position, but makes an unnecessary weakening pawn move, fails to take advantage of a misplay by black, and eventually trades minor pieces at the wrong moment. Let's have a look:

This was another example of the importance of knowing when it is safe to trade the pieces and enter a king and pawn ending. The pieces played a very "minor" role while the position of the kings and the pawn structure determined the outcome of the game. In particular the move 3. g3? created weakness on the light squares that let the opponent's king waltz in and clean house. 

 

 In the second example we have a rook and pawn ending. I trade into a king and pawn ending with an extra pawn, but it is a draw nonetheless.