King and pawn endgame

Arcangelo01
I struggle to understand this kind of positions:

At move 3, in which way should I evaluate the position in order to be secure that this position is a draw, and that 3. Ke7 is the only right move? 

Certainly, I can calculate that 3. h3 is losing; but the correct choise at moves 3, 4 and 5 for white all look to me "unnatural", and I would never find them in real game; indeed, I am not even able to see at move 1 that white can secure a draw. 

Is it all matter of deep calculation, or are there general rules that we can use to asses this kind of positions? 

Kolya_Zimin
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aggressivesociopath

The lodestone for your calculation should be that White is aiming for the f2 square and alternatively must be able to catch the pawn if Black refuses to push it to h3. 3. Kg7 moves away from the f2 square because you can't walk through Black's king.

The good news is that once you calculate 3...Kg4 4. Kf6 h3 (4...Kh3 5. Kg5) 5. Ke5 Kf3 6. Kd4 Kg2 7. Ke4 Kxh2 8. Kf2, you only have to calculate it once. But isn't that the point of the exercise anyway?

kindaspongey

 

Trexler3241

This is why 3.Kg7?? doesn’t make sense.

aggressivesociopath

Why the hell did I have to log back in to read this nonsense? 3...Kg4 4. Kg6 Kh3 5. Kg5 Kxh2 6. Kxh3 is a draw.

I preferred the 3.Kg7 h3 4. Kh6 Kg4 5. Kg6 Kf3 6. Kg5 Kg2 7. Kg4 Kxh2 8. Kf3 Kg1 a queens line myself.

@Trexler did you really enter this line into a board and not realize that you hung a pawn? I have had a couple of drinks, and it is late, but I still think this crap can only be an impediment to learning.

Trexler3241

I realize that I hung a pawn. I was just showing why one of the two moves, 3.Ke7 and 3.Kg7, doesn’t make sense.

aggressivesociopath

Yeah, yeah, nonsense to prove nonsense. What's your drink of choice?

kindaspongey

 

Wolf183

The final position in the study is a basic endgame where as already mentioned white draws if he can put his king on f2. White's movement away from the pawns is a common idea to obtain a diagonal path to the key squares free from black interference. Another theme is the maneuver to corral the pawn if black tries to save the tempo on h4-h3, which I show in the diagram below. 

Nidhish02

draw

kindaspongey
Arcangelo01 wrote:
I struggle to understand this kind of positions ...

At move 3, in which way should I evaluate the position in order to be secure that this position is a draw, and that 3. Ke7 is the only right move?
Certainly, I can calculate that 3. h3 is losing; but the correct choise at moves 3, 4 and 5 for white all look to me "unnatural", and I would never find them in real game; indeed, I am not even able to see at move 1 that white can secure a draw. 
Is it all matter of deep calculation, or are there general rules that we can use to asses this kind of positions? 

Perhaps one helpful not-too-difficult observation is that, after 3 Ke7, Black can attack the h2 pawn in two moves and White can react by attacking the h4 pawn in two moves. Helpful, if one is already familiar with that sort of position. Also helpful if one is already familiar with the position after 10 Kf2.

Laskersnephew

The key to solving this kind of problem is to realize that you are hopelessly lost unless you can end up trapping black's king in front of the h-pawn. Once you recognize that, the moves aren't that hard to find

Trexler3241

A better proof 3.Kg7 sucks

kindaspongey
Laskersnephew wrote:
The key to solving this kind of problem is to realize that you are hopelessly lost unless you can end up trapping black's king in front of the h-pawn. ...

Also helpful to be aware of: