Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A tricky pawn endgame.

While studying possible variations of the game Burmakin-Schmittdiel, Oberwart 2002 I happened across the following pawn endgame:

Black to move. How could he have drawn this position?


Takchess took a stab at it. 1..Kf7 2.h5 h6 3.Ke5 Ke7 4.f5 Kf7 5.f6 Kf8. It's a natural defense seizing the opposition and eliminating White's reserve tempo.

Unfortunately, this is A Tricky Endgame and White can defeat this defense!

The corresponding squares are highlighted. If White plays Kf5, Black must plays Kf7 or White will win the h-pawn. If White plays Ke6, Black must play Ke8 or White will promote his f-pawn. e5/f8 also correspond because they are the only (accessible) squares that border the other corresponding squares.

Now the attack is simple. 6.Kf4 Kg8. White plays a waiting move, threatening both the red and green squares. Black does the same. 7.Ke4 White plays another waiting move, but Black's run out of them--7...Kf8 8.Ke5 Kf7 9. Kf5 Kf8 10.Kg6 +/-.

Any more ideas?


takchess said...

KF7 starts it to get the opposition? then pawn move pawn move and white must move?

likesforests said...

Good try, but no potato! It's quite a tricky position--I've been working on it for a couple hours trying to grasp all its subtleties.

CT said...

Black's only move is Ke7 hich will result in a draw. All the other moves will loose.

likesforests said...

Yes, Ke7 is the drawing move. What troubles me is I can't find any rule, technique, or simple calculation that would help me find that move over the board! ct, how did you figure it out? I had to look it up in Nalimov.

likesforests said...

I think this is the sort of position you can't solve over-the-board unless you are a human calculator or have access to a tablebase.

With the h-pawn on h4, Ke7 is the best defense. With the h-pawn on h5, Kf7 is the best defense.

likesforests said...

I understand and could defend this position now! See my August 08, 2007 post for details. :)