Friday, 4 May 2007

Friday Chess Puzzle 4

This week, I've spent some time looking at minor piece endings, but am still bamboozled by knights, where painstakingly precise manouevres many moves deep are often required to drive off the defenders and queen a pawn.

Our Friday puzzle(s) today look at some minor piece endings, but without the long manouevres! All the positions are taken from Averbakh's Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge.

Friday chess puzzle 4 Friday chess puzzle 4

In these first two positions, it's White to play and win. Find the winning moves.

The final position (below), it's Black to play. Assess the position: is it lost or drawn? What's best play from here?

Answers to roger AT 21thoughts DOT com. The solutions will be published next Wednesday.


Prashant said...

Mr Roger,
The Solution for King and Knight vs King knight and pawn may go like this....

1.Ng7+! N takes g7
2.h6 ! Nf5
3.h7 and the pawn cannot be stopped.
One other variation is After

1...n takes g7
2.h6 kf8
But that wont work cuz the black knight is on g7 and white's Next move would be 3.h7 hence covering the g8 square and the king cannot stop the promotion.

Prashant said...

Mr Roger,
I think that the third puzzle is drawn...It might go like this,

1...Kf8, forced as the White king must be kept on h8 to prevent promotion.

2.Nc4 Kf7
3.Nd6+ Kf8

and now white has no way except to move the knight, thereby reliquishing control of the f7 square, lets say black plays Ne8, trying to sac the Knight.Black does not have to accept and can just shuttle between f7 and f8.White cannot make progress.1/2-1/2.

Prashant said...

The second puzzle has me baffled.White must control the c4 square to prevent 1...Kc4 and the pawn must fall.
Only way to do this is 1.Bd5 and now after 1...K takes d5, the pawn must still fall...
I give up.

yemon said...

For the second puzzle there is no choice to start with, as far as I can see: 1 Bd5 Kxd5 2 Kb5 and now I guess Black tries 2 ... Kd6 3 c4 Kd7 (... Kc7 4 Kc5 Kb7 5 Kd6 Kb6 c5+ etc.) when White should play to keep the opposition with 4 Kb6 Kd6 5 c5+ Kd7 6 Kb7 Kd8 7 c6 and the pawn rolls through.

I haven't checked all the lines properly though!

Paul D said...


I'm not sure that you've looked deeply enough at some of the problems. You have the right first move for the second problem (forced as you say) but how then to shepherd the pawn home and keep the opposition??

For the third one you say that Kf8 is the only move, but Kf7 also keeps the king in the corner...but only one of these draws...can you see why? it's the reason that many people say that knight endgames are just like K+P endings....

I'm sure Roger will explain all, just trying to nudge you in the right direction.


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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.