Thursday, July 2, 2009

Winning a R vs. Knight's-Pawn Endgame

I recently had another of my obtain-crushing-advantage-then-screwing-up games. However, I managed to draw instead of lose because my opponent couldn't find the win in a R vs. P endgame. The analysis was interesting, because it showcases an interesting resource that is peculiar to knight pawns.


61...Rb2?= 62. g7 Rb7 63. Kh8 Rxg7 64. Kxg7 1/2-1/2

Instead, both 61...Kg5 and 61...Rh2 win for black. I find the former move the clearest, so I will use that move order.

61... Kg5 62. g7 (else 62. Kg7 Rf6) 62... Rh2! prevents promotion of the pawn 63. Kg8 Kg6 64. Kf8 threatens again to promote Rf2+! 65. Kg8:


65...Rf1

This is the key finesse: Black must capture the pawn via ...Rh7, not ...Rf7, to avoid stalemate: 65...Rf7?? 66.Kh8 Rxg7 is stalemate.

66. Kh8 Rh1+! 67. Kg8 Rh7 and the pawn falls.

After analyzing this game I found this same type of endgame covered in Muller and Lamprecht's Fundamental Chess Endings (Vaulin-Gashimov, Swidnica 1999 on p. 162). In that game, the attacker also missed the best sequence of moves and ended up drawing.

1 comment:

chesstiger said...

Thanks for showing that one has to go via h7!