ENDGAME TUTORIAL : PART ONE B - PAWN ENDGAMES
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In this part we will see another aspect of opposition, using it to Queen a pawn.
This concept plays a crucial part in deciding whether or not a king and pawn can defeat an enemy king if it opposing the pawn. Here there are 2 exceptions where even if you have the opposition advantage, you can only stalemate the king, those are when the pawns are either a-pawn or h-pawn.
we shall consider the postion, with white to move and then black to move and see what happens and also realize how much difference this opposition causes in the game.
White to move.
Here what black needs to make sure he has oppostion when white king comes forward and especially in the last rank when it is very crucial. As a result white cant do much, and if white pushes pawn, game will be stalemated.
Now same postion but this time its turn of black to play.
Here white can easily go forward with king as he has the opposition and also can push the pawn from behind. Black cant do much other than hoping that white makes a mistake and gives back the opposition.
In this position, the two kings are face to face in opposition. But white has a decisive advantage not only because his king is further up the board but also because he has more waiting pawn moves in reserve to gain the opposition.
In this move b3 is very critical, at that time if white plays b4 instead of b3 then after black captures that pawn, white wont get the opposition. So white plays a waiting move to make sure that he gets opposition and forces black pawn to exchange on b4 at the right moment.
This is a great example, one from game of Smyslov way back in 1987. Smyslov is playing white and is a pawn down but with opposition advantage he manages to hold onto a draw.
After Ka4, white is threatening to wins both pawns after Kb5, so only way to prevent that is Bd7+.
Another important move played by white is g4, that rules out 2 important moves for black f5 and h5. thereby forcing it to lose opposition later when it will run out of moves.
The move a3 from white is also crucial as that allows white to keep opposition.
Hope these examples showed you various ways of converting the opposition advantage.