A little end-game strategy

A little end-game strategy

Mar 12, 2014, 5:02 AM |

 Peter & Lola, snapped by Ann.

Last Saturday, Branko and I played a game which see-sawed a bit, then reached the following position:

This position has advantages and problems for both sides.
  • White has a passed pawn
  • Black has a q-side pawn-majority with fire-power to begin the exchanges which will gain a q-side passed pawn.
  • Black has two bishops
  • Black has a king in better position, with a move to spare.
Strategy for black?
Since white is confined to back ranks, and black has the powerful bishops, black can hope to do the following:
  •      1.  restrict white's movement and development  
  •      2.   push q-side pawns to gain a passed pawn and force white to defend
  •      3.   take control of centre of board with black king.


However, the playing-relationship which Branko & I have negotiated does not include any discussion, or teaching from me.  As a result, we ended the game in the following position:

Up until white's move, above, the position now favours white quite considerably. 
  • black's white-squared bishop is very badly placed
  • white now has two passed pawns, connected and advancing.
This shift in advantage has come about because of black's neglect of strategic weaknesses and strengths.  This is mostly a matter of knowledge, not aptitude.  
But my move, 1.Kf4, is a fatal mistake.  Branko jumped on it, saying "Check! Mate!", in the tone of a boy who knows he has received an early Xmas present and isn't confident he will be allowed to keep it.  He had; he was allowed; he did. 

Can you see Branko's winning move?

Lola & Peter, snapped by Judy