Monday, September 10, 2007

Knight vs Pawn, by request.

"My nephew and I were looking over this position and wondering if it was a draw. It seems like it to me. If it is, I wonder if with a little variation it would be winable by white?"

White to move. wizzifnab, 2007.

It's a draw. Black's knight blockades the a-pawn, while Black's king protects his f-pawns and prevents infilitration by the enemy king.

White's king can't penetrate along the h-file because 1.Kg3 Kh6 2.Kh4 Kg6 and Black's king can shuttle back and forth between g6 and h6, but White only has the one h4-square. White king also can't cross over to the queenside for a couple reasons:  (a) The knight will then find a way to fork the king and a-pawn (b) Black's king will have time to reach h4 and thus win White's f-pawn if the White king wanders too far away.

1. a5 Nc5 2. Kg3 Kh6 3. Kh4 Kg6 4. Kg3 Kh5 5. Kh3 Kg6 =

Remove either of Black's pawns and it's still drawn, but remove both and it's a win.


Loomis said...

I almost forgot about a knight ending that I analyzed over a year ago. There is a trick in that ending that doesn't show up in your current rules. You mention that a knight should defend a passed pawn from behind. The example I gave shows how a knight can sometimes defend a blocked pawn from in front.

By the way, great analysis of these positions. I love all the forking motifs.

transformation said...

replied your comment at my blog now, thus. thank you.

very, very beautiful blog here that you have, likeForests!

warmly, dk

likesforests said...

Thanks loomis, your position was very interesting and instructive. I wrote it off as a draw at first, so I learned something when I solved it.

likesforests said...

thanks, dk. I figure the next time I take a break from chess, this blog will make for an easy review. ;)