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  • #1
  • This is a difficult endgame that is
  • found in many endgame books including
  • "Essentail Chess Endings Explained
  • Move by Move" by Silman which I
  • recommend.

  • #1
  • The key to this position is that if
  • White can reach e2 then he will win.
  • But if the white king were to march
  • over toward e2 then the black king
  • has time to get to e3 and stop the
  • white king from getting to e2....

  • #1 continued.
  • But if we go back to the original
  • position....

  • #1
  • And move the black king one square to
  • the left .....

  • #1 variant
  • Now we calculate this position we see
  • that White has time to reach e2 which
  • will allow him to win the game.

  • #1
  • So this means that when the White
  • king in on a2 then the black king
  • must be on b4 (and not a4!)
  • That means the squares a2 for the
  • white king and b4 for the black king
  • are "corresponding."
  • By that we mean that if black wants
  • to draw he has to be able to move to
  • the corresponding square of b4 just after
  • white moves to the corresponding square of
  • a2.
  • (Note that if the White king gets to
  • b3 then he wins. So it is up to the
  • Black king to stop that by going to
  • b4.)

  • #1 Variant
  • But there are more "corresponding" squares
  • than just a2 and b4. Black needs to
  • be able to block the white king on
  • both the a file and the e file.
  • So the Black king must be able to get
  • to the square c5 when the White king
  • is on b1. If the black king is on
  • any other square then
  • he will lose because he cannot get to
  • either the left or the right fast
  • enough to stop white.

  • #1 continued.
  • Likewise the squares d4 is corresponding to
  • c1. If the black king is on any
  • other square he will lose the game.

  • #1 continued.
  • The same can be said for d1 and e3.
  • If black is on any other square he
  • will lose becaue he will either not
  • be able to stop Ke2 or not be able to
  • stop the White king from marching
  • over to b3.

  • #1 continued.
  • This is where the position gets
  • really interesting. White just moved
  • to e1 and has the opposiiton.
  • Where should Black move
  • to?

  • #1 continued.
  • The answer is that f3 is the only
  • square black can now draw from. The
  • reason for this is that black still
  • needs to stop Ke2 while at the same
  • time he needs to be able to go back
  • to e3 after the White king goes back
  • to d1.

  • #1 continued.
  • This funny looking position sort of
  • defies our common sense notions about
  • how king and pawn endgames should
  • work. We can ask ourselves the
  • quesiton .....

  • ... Why can't black draw if his king
  • is on e3 where he has opposition
  • assuming it is white to move?

  • The answer is that certain pawn
  • formations can be like little "black
  • holes" that distort "space." The
  • normal squares of opposition really
  • don't apply here. Black really has
  • opposition when his king is on f3 and
  • not e3.
  • Watch what happens next ....

  • The White king heads back toward b3
  • and black has real delima here. If
  • his king goes to d4 then he will lose
  • because White will be able to play
  • Ke2. So instead he has no choice to
  • play ...

  • ... Kf3. But this will lose because
  • now the black king is too far away to
  • get back to b4 in time to stop the
  • White king from getting to b3 which
  • will win easily.

  • #1
  • If we look again at our original
  • position, we can say that Black draws
  • here if it is white's turn. In
  • effect Black has "opposition" even
  • though the normal rules of opposition
  • squares have been distorted by the
  • pawns. (Our "black hole" on the
  • chess board.)

  • #1
  • If on the other hand it was Black's
  • turn in this posiiton then he would
  • lose the game because he would be
  • forced to move out of his ideal
  • square.
  • So if it were black's turn to move
  • then "white" would have opposition.
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