Sunday, March 24, 2013

Endgame improvement

Black to move. How should black proceed?



Yancey Ward said...

Freeze the white king out of g2/g1:

1. .....Ne3!
2. Ke3

Nothing better. The white knight has no way to reach f2/g3 in time to cover h1. If white tries to get to h1 via f2-g1, h2 on the next move will cut off g1 anyway so that the pawn has time to queen. And if white plays g4 to open path through g3, black just pushes h2 and the pawn still can't be caught. Continuing:

2. .....h2 wins.

Oleg Mezjuev said...

1. ... Ne3! followed by 2. ... h2 wins.

Ein Steppenwolf said...

1. … Ne3

and the h3-pawn is unstoppable.

James I. Hymas said...

1 ... Ne3
2 Kf2 h2
and wins

Manglu said...

1.. Ne3
2 g4 h2
The h pawn cannot be prevented from becoming a queen.

Tommy K. said...

Black's goal here is to promote the h-pawn. If the h-pawn moves to h2,it will no longer be covering the g2 square so the white monarch will be able to cover the promotion square by moving to g2, which also threatens to capture the h2 pawn if the knight moves away. This also clears the f3 square for the white knight to come support the effort against the h2 pawn. There is a very nice maneuver at black's disposal. The knight moves to e3! This covers the g2 square which will allow the h pawn to advance. If the king takes the knight, it will put him "outside the square".

For those of you not familiar with this expression, it is a quick way to determine whether your pawn will be able to promote or if the enemy king will be able to prevent the promotion. To determine the dimensions of the square draw an imaginary line from the pawn to the promotion square, in this case the line will go from h3 to h1. Then draw another imaginary line diagonally until you reach the same rank that your pawn is on, in this case from h1 to f3. The square is now easy to see. The square is f1,f2,f3,g1,g2,g3,h1,h2,&h3. All other squares can now be said to be "outside the square"

So, if the king takes the knight on e3 you can see he is now to far away to prevent the pawn from advancing to promotion!

The king might try to get around the g2 blockade by going to f2 then g1, but will never get there because as soon as he moves to f2 the pawn moves to h2 covering the g1 square, blockading the king.

As nice as this sequence is, black must be cautious as there is a trap. After the king goes to f2 and black advances to h2, white could try e5+! If black unthinkingly takes the e-pawn then white can fork the king and h-pawn by moving to f3, resulting in a drawn ending rather than a win for black.

I hope that this was helpful to many of you. After all, we read this blog to learn and improve. Keep up the good work Susn P.

CraigB said...

1...Ne3!! forces the pawn home, black just has to be careful to move his K to a white square after 1. e5+. The idea behind ...Ne3 is to control g2 with the N so the pawn can advance.

Cortex said...

A classic

1...Ne3! cuts the way to reach the pawn square
2.e5+!? (last gasp)
2... K anywhere but NOT Kxe5??

2...Kxe5?? 3.Kxe3 h2?? (3...g4 is sufficient to save half a point!!) 4.Nf3+ and White wins!

A well known tactic, cf e.g. Polgar, Zs.(!!)-Piket, J. Wijk aan Zee, 1986

Anant said...


Anand Gautam said...

Clearly the key is Black's h pawn.
But White king can get to g2, so let us stop that!

1. ... Ne3!!
2. Kxe3?? h2 0-1

1. ... Ne3!!
2. e5+! Kf7!!

(Not 2. ... Kxe5?? 3. Kxe3 h2 4. Nf3+! 1-0)

(Even 2. ... Kg7/Ke7 are weaker as it allows 3. Nf5+ Nxf5 4. Kh2 with a win for Black eventually)

3. e6+ Ke8
4. Kxe3 h2 0-1

Arthur B said...

I would say Ne3 seems to win on the spot.

aam@fics said...

1.... Ne3

white has no defense against the h pawn queening

aside: candidates R8, which games will have a result? vote

who will win the tournament? vote at

Anonymous said...

1. .. Ng4-e3


Anonymous said...

Ne3 and the h-pawn queens.
greets, jan

Bhavesh H Parekh Gondal said...


pht said...

Immediately, the N sack

1. ... Ne3!

looks very good. It prevents Kg2, it plans simply h2 and h1=Q in the next 2 moves, and what can white do against that?
Kxe3 h2 doesn't help, neither does Kf2 h2, nor g4 h2.
And white's own pieces prevent knight from reaching the fields f3 or g3. No good N move available, so it looks like:

2. e5+ (what else?) Kxe5!
3. Kf2 (what else?) Kxd4! (h2?? Nf3+)
4. Kg1 (what else?) g4

Up with N, black wins easily as long as he avoids a stalemate.
Shall play king to f3, then Nf5 and Nxg3.