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  • Playing chess well is not just one
  • skill but a collection of many
  • different skills.  It is possible
  • to know some aspects of the game
  • extremely well while knowing nothing
  • at all about some other areas of the
  • game.

  • One of the most neglected areas of
  • chess study is the endgame.  Many
  • players consider endgame study to be
  • too boring or too much work to be
  • worth the time.  But in the long
  • run endgame study can really pay off.
  •  In many games it can make the
  • difference between a win and a draw
  • or make the difference between a draw
  • and a loss.

  • Since most endgame books already
  • cover elementary checkmates, this
  • book is going to cover king and pawn
  • endgames, which is by far the most
  • common kind of endgame.

  • If you study this lesson carefully
  • then you will have a good mastery of
  • king and pawn endgames.

  • #1
  • There is a saying that passed pawns
  • should be pushed, and it couldn't be
  • more true than in this case.

  • In order to stop the pawn the Black
  • king has to be able to reach the
  • queening square within 4 moves.
  •  He is clearly too far away to
  • stop the pawn.  

  • One quick way to determine this is to
  • use the "square of the pawn" rule.
  •  Imagine a box where the diagonal
  • extends from the pawn on a4 to square
  • e8.  The complete box has the
  • corners a4, e4, a8, and e8.

  • If the Black king can reach this box
  • immediately then he can stop the
  • pawn.  Since he cannot reach this
  • box on this move then he is lost.

  • #2
  • Sometimes players mis-estimate how
  • long it takes a pawn to queen.
  •  In the above example the pawn on
  • the left takes 5 moves to queen.
  •  The next pawn on the b file also
  • takes 5 moves to queen.  The pawn
  • to the right of that takes 4.  
  • The next 3 pawns take 3, 2, and 1
  • respectively.  Learn this and it
  • will come in handy.
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