Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pawn Game Debacle

(FICS Nov. 2005)
(Eyesofblue vs. NN)
(White to move and win)

I like pawn endgames because they are conceptually easy . . . relatively of course! Indeed, often times pawn endings are extremely difficult.

The following position (See Diagram One, left) is hardly a Class A endgame problem, but it is deceiving. Black has just played f3. The winning move is, of course, 1. h5! The move is unbeatable. 51... gxh5 allows 52. g6 and easy promotion. 51... fxg5 allows 52. hxg6 and once again an easy promotion.

The conceptually difficult part is that white must "sacrifice" a pawn, but it hardly matters as the other king-side pawn will easily queen. I played the awful 1. gxf6?. This throws the entire game away. After 1... Kxg6 the game is hopelessly drawn.


At 2:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's still a draw, but a complicated one at that. If it were a time scramble I bet white could win.

1.gxf6 Kxf6 2.Kh7 (only move) Kf7 (2...g5 3.hxg5+ Kxg5 4.Kg7 +-, or 2...Kf5 3.Kg7 +-) 3.Kh8 Kf8 (3...Kf6 4.Kg8 +-) 4.b4 axb4 5.a5 b3 6.a6 b2 7.a7 b1=Q (7...Ke7 8.a8=Q b1=Q draw) 8.a8=Q+ Ke7 draw


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