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stendhar ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Endgame position I was browsing through my database and in one game the following position could have been reached: W: Kg2, pp a2,e6,g3,h2; B: Ke4, pp a7,b6,e7,h5.
The White player avoided going in this endgame and tried to play a pawn-down rook endgame, which he lost. Is there any way for White to draw he?
ionadowman ♡ 118 ( +1 | -1 )
I think White is lost... ...even assuming it is White to play. Black's K is mush closer to White's K-side majority, than White's is to Black's Q-side majority. Further, The e-pawn is a goner: Black can pick it up at any time, assuring himself of a central passed pawn.
It's actually quite hard to think of a sensible move for White. 1.Kh3, to attack, takes the WK even further away from the Q-wing. Black can afford to respond passively, for example: 1.Kh3 Kf5 2.Kh4 Kg6 3.h3 b5 4.g4 b4 5.gxh5+ Kh6 6.Kg4 a5 7.Kf5 a4 8.Ke4 b3 9.axb3 a3 wins for Black. White might be able to improve his prospects by an immediate advance of the g-pawn: 3.g4 hxg4 4.Kxg4 Kf6 5.h4 (5.Kh5 Kf5) 5...Kxe6 6.Kg5 Kf7 7.Kf5 b5 ... Black's plan is to advance his q-side majority, whilst holding the h-pawn with the K, and advance the e-pawn once the WK is committed to the q-side. Something like this: 8.Ke5 b4 9.Kd4 a5 10. Kc4 e5 11.Kb5 e4 12.Kc4 e3 13.Kd3 a4 14.Kxe3 b3 15.axb3 a3 (-+).
The original position is not quite a "gimme" as I first thought, and White may be able to improve somewhere. Probably 1.Kh3 offers the best hope for White, though. On the other hand, Black might be better to respond more actively at the outset. In which case, White is certainly lost. If there are better resources for either side, it would be instructive to see them!
stendhar ♡ 4 ( +1 | -1 )
here's another W: Kd2, Rg8, pp a5,b4,d4,f4,g3
B: Ka7, Rf3, pp a6,b7,c6,d5,h5.
It's Black's turn. Would you play 1...h5? And if not, why?
mattdw ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Just glancing at it I would say that 1...h5 is bad since Ke2 forces the Rook away and allows white to capture, leaving white with 2 passed pawns one of which should be easily promotable, the Black king will have difficulty coming to the defense.
ionadowman ♡ 72 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree with mattdw... ...that 2.Ke2 looks a strong response to 1...h4. Exchanging on g3 is no good: 1...h4 2.Ke2 Rxg3? 3.Rxg3 hxg3 4.f5 wins for White. Otherwise, 1...h4 2.Ke2 Rb3 3.gxh4 Rxb4(?!) 4.h5 looks fairly straightforward for White [4...Rxd4? 5.h6 Rxf4 6.h7 ...]. Probably 3...Rh3 is indicated, to place the rook behind at least one of the passed pawns, but Black is left a P down, his Q-side majority will take a long time to realise, and after 4.Rh8, it's going to be devilish hard to stop to f-pawn!
In the 'diagram' position, possibly Black is already in a bad way. 1...Rb3 seems to be the only alternative to 1...h4. It doesn't look promising, for example: 1...Rb3 2.Ke2 Rxb4 (say) 3.f5 and how is the f-pawn to be stopped? White can even hope for: 3...h4 4.f6 h3 5.f7 h2 6.f8=Q h1=Q 7.Qa8#
Now you are going to tell me this is an endgame study and there is an exquisitely subtle win for Black, yes? :-)
ccmcacollister ♡ 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Personally ... I kept running into draws by a tempo the first few times I ran thru it. Which surprised me a lot since it looks easy for wt. I thought that g pawn moves to start for WT. Will be fun to look at later if get the chance.
ccmcacollister ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
oops I meant easy for BL, of course ...
ionadowman ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Easy mistake to make... ...I kept having to correct myself in my last posting in this thread. Not sure which of the 2 endings you are referring to, though, Craig...
stendhar ♡ 53 ( +1 | -1 )
Some more... W: Kd3, Bd4, pp b3,c3,g3,h3
B: Kd6, Bc6, pp a6,f5,h5
Here White played 1.h4 and directed his King towards the Queens Wing and the game ended in a draw shotly thereafter. I think that if White would have played 1.Ke3 he would have had excellent winning chances.
W: Kg3, Re5, pp d6,f3
B: Kf7, Ra4, pp f5,g5
It's Black to move and he proposed draw which was accepted. Could he have played for a win by playing his King to h5 and forcing the White King to retreat to the first rank?
W: Kb3,Bc1, pp a2,c3,d4,f3,g4,h5
B: Kb5,Nc4, pp a5,b7,d5,f4,g5,h6
White played 1.a4 and lost rather swiftly. Do you think Black can force a win if White plays a better move?
ionadowman ♡ 161 ( +1 | -1 )
Taking these in turn... Ending 1: Maybe 1.Ke3 offers better chances, but it still looks drawn, to me. Capablanca asserts you ought to place your pawns on squares opposite colour to your own bishop's square (assuming you have just the one). Here Black's pawns all occupy white squares, as does the B. But this (in my view) is good for the defence (on this occasion). White will have the devil's own job attacking Black's pawns, since Black's B can defend them, and, it seems, the B can switch to defend other pawns faster than White can redirect his attack. White's best chances seem to reside in his q-side pawn majority. Maybe a regrouping in this sector is called for? Something like: 1.c4... 2.b4... 3.Bc3... 4.Kd4... Probably h4 will have to be played at some point, but why not wait until it is forced? Still, it isn't easy finding a winning plan even after such a regrouping...
Ending 2: Looks like another draw. Not sure how to realise the plan you suggest, stenhar... 1...Kg6 2.Rd5 Ra8 3.d7 Rd8
Ending 3: 1.a4? is too weakening (tho' it is an understandable move!). After 1...b5, Black has a strong attack in prospect. The only other choice seems to be 1.Kc2! ready to transfer to d3. Despite Black's dominating position, it's actually quite hard for him to break through (e.g. 1.Kc2 Kb5 2.Kd3 Ka4 3.Kc2, and then what?). If Black overpresses and allows the Bishop to escape via a3 to f8, things could get very dangerous for him. But White's K dare not stray too far to the Q flank on account of ...Ne3 maybe threatening ...Nxg4. Kc2 seems to hold, for mine.
Admittedly, my comments are fairly superficial. A more detailed analysis might reveal more resources in each of these endings...