Inspiration #3: King Walking

Inspiration #3: King Walking

NM SamCopeland
Sep 23, 2014, 8:19 AM |

Everyone loves a king walk Laughing Of course, it's well known that the king's value and efficacy increases in the endgame; thus king walks are more common and effective in the endgame. This is demonstrated beautifully in two recent games that I liked very much. The first game is Topalov-Morozevich from the recently concluded European Club Cup. In many ways, this is a very simple game, but I found Topalov's direct and winning king advance to be both inspiring and instructive.

Game 1: Topalov - Morozevich

Topalov's play reminded me of another recent game I saw. The following game was played at the US Masters in which I competed (writeup). I had the pleasure of seeing the victor, IM John Cox, demonstrate this game briefly after the round. Once again, we see White incorporating his king into play to finish off his opponent. Black (the incredibly talented young Nico Checa) has no counterplay and can only watch as White's king marches up the board to aid in mate. It is an old truism that the best way for an experienced player like IM Cox to beat a young talent like Nico is to pursue positional and strategic play. I am not always convinced that such is the case, but this game makes a strong argument for such an approach. Nico can't seem to find any real play of his own, and he gradually cedes holes in his position which White's pieces later occupy.

Game 2: Cox - Checa