An interesting endgame position

Here's an interesting endgame that resulted from the SWFCC April Swiss G/60 tournament.   It's White's turn to play.
How can he win here?

White's plan is to exploit the slow but steady trickle of pawns along the a-file towards promotion, while holding off the Black pawn avalanche with his Knight-King duo.    Black can either go after the Knight with his King, or he can pull back and try to catch up with the a-file pawns and take them down, hoping to force White's h-file pawn to be exchanged ... and get a draw that way.   

If he goes after the Knight and pushes his advanced e-file pawn straight away, he loses outright to 1.a4 Kd4  2.a5 Kxc3   3.a6 e3  
4.a7 e2   5.a8=Q e1=Q   6.Qa5+ !!! (wins the Queen & game over)"

But what if Black pulls back with the idea of eliminating the a-file passers, play might continue as follows....



  • 4 years ago


    Greg, it's good to see you posting an interesting position from SWFLCC Swiss!

  • 4 years ago


    NimzoRoy, you are correct it is a complex position and there are other lines.

    However, all lines favor White.  The line you give with 9... g5 10.hxg5 is incorrect White would play 10.h5! keeping the h-pawn.  I give this variation to your 3...Kc6 idea.

    3... Kc6  4.Kf2 Kc5  5.Ke3 h6  6.a6 Kb6  7.Nd5+ Kxa6  8.Ne7 g5  9.h5! and now all lines favor White, as 9... f4+  10.Kxe4  or 9... g4  10.Nxf5.  Black must always watch the a-pawn, while White's Knight and King duo eliminate Black's K-side pawns, when one of White's pawns will Queen.

  • 4 years ago


    3...Kc6 not Kd6

    9...g5 10.hg5 hg5 11.Ka6

    This endgame is considerably more complex than the one line given, which seems to be error-ridden, to put it mildly. I'm sure there are more improvements than the 2 I suggested.

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