Corresponding squares


Hello all,

I want to learn a little bit more about corresponding squares - especially how to build maps in games.

I checked: Dvoretsky, Pandolfini, Muller, Speelman and of course Averbakh but material presented there is too complex and I cant get it. Maybe I can understand an example, but I dont know how to get from these articles skills to build my own maps.

If you have any good source (document, video, article, whatever) which could help me understand this topic and what is more important for me - help me how to create maps in endgame I would be grateful.

I am keen to learn more about squares.

Thanks in advance



How far did you get? Can you give an example you understood and an example you failed to understand? This will help to discuss it.


Maybe try lesson 21 of Pandolfini's Endgame Workshop.


Just having looked into Awerbach, 1988, Kapitel 10, it is astonishing how a professional teacher has written a text like this. My personal theory: People writing this way don't want anyone to understand their text.

Müller/Lamprecht, Secret of Pawn Endings, is a much better text. He uses examples you find in Dworetzki too. Maybe the Awerbach text is very good. But atm I don't get it. So I start with Müller/Lamprecht and maybe some discussion arises to help a better understanding of the topic.

 This study of N. Grigoriev is a good start. White to move wins, Black to move draws.

1. Step: Determine the key squares.

To do this a little calculation is necessary at the beginning. The white king would win on e2 or f2. Black cannot prevent him reaching e3, playing d4 - Kd3 - Kxc3.

So two key squares are known: f2 and e2.

Are there more key squares?

Again has to be calculated. First let's have a look if white can circumvent the black king via f1 - g1, etc. 1... Kf3 2.Kf1 Ke3 3.Kg2 Kd2 and we have a pawn race. 4.d4 Kxc2 5.d5 Kb2 6.d6 c2 7.d7 c1Q 8.d8Q and its white drawing. So there aren't any more key squares on the kingside.

How about the queenside? 1... Kf3 2.Kd1 Ke3 3.Kc1 Kd4 4.Kb1 Kc5 5.Ka2 Kb4. Now white would win if he could reach b3. White standing on a3 black could not prevent the step to b3.

So two further key squares are found: a3 and b3. The diagram with the key squares marked looks now



Step 2: Finding the corresponding Squares

Again a little calculation is needed. Taking the opposition is something normal, if we have made our first learning attempts in pawn endings. But we see: 1... Ke3 2.Kd1 Kd4 3.Ke2 is lost and 2... Kf3 3.Kc1 Ke3 4.Kb1 Ke2 5.d4 or 4... Kd4 5.Ka2 Kc5 6.Kb3 and black is lost again. So 1... Ke3??


This leads us back to the line from the first step:



Step 3: Summarizing

Now we can add step 1 and 2. In this case the corresponding squares are named by the move numbers of the line in the last diagram and we get this new one



So three steps lead to a complete picture in this case:

  1. Identifying the critical squares.
  2. Calculating the king moves.
  3. Summarizing both steps.

This is the simple case.