Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Flear on Pawn Endings

White to move.

"We have to move the king, and at present Black queens his a-pawn with check, so not Kf6 or Kd4 then. If we imagine a situation with a white queen on c8, a black queen on a1 and the black king on b3, where should we place our king so that with the move it's most useful?

Okay, if it were on f5 we could surely win the h5-pawn with a check or two but queen and h-pawn versus queen is pleasant but probably not winning. It would be great to exchange queens and then his king would be too far away. Let's look... oh yes, on d5 the king enables Qc4+. So let's go!

So playing a race is obviously more than a combination of counting and some frantic analysis on the lines of 'if he goes here, me there, he pushes, me too, and he does so again, oh, where are we... I'll start again'.

The experienced player uses counting to help him get a better picture of what is to come. The GM will anticipate a future key position either during the race or perhaps in the resulting queen ending, create a mental picture and start analyzing from there."

Excerpt from "Starting out: pawn endgames" by GM Glenn Flear

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