Sports & Gaming

Endgames - Part 2

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 15:48 min

Garry continues his endgame lessons with pawn endgames, rook endgames, queen v. pawn—and, of course, the king’s role. While it can seem slow and weak in the middlegame, an active king is vital in the endgame.

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Topics include: Tactical Elements in Pawn Endgames • Rook Endgames • Queen versus Pawn • Role of the King


And before we move to other endgames, let's have another quick look for some important tactical elements in the pawn endgames. Let's start with the very simple. White king is on h1. Black king's on h3. And we have three pawns-- three versus three-- a5, b5, c5 versus a7, b7, c7. I guess many of you are aware about this simple trick, so how White can break through without having a king. So simply with three pawns, it's b6. And no matter what black does, we after axb6, of course we'll go c6, bxc6, and a6. And the same maneuver works. If Black after b6 take with c-pawn, then we just have to make sure that our c-pawn, which has an open file, is advancing after a6, so clearing path for c-pawn. Quick question-- if you play Black, do you know what to do to stop this breakthrough? Because there's only one move that can prevent it and save you from trouble. It's b6. You have just to stop White's b-pawn from advancing. And then everything exchanged. You probably win this pawn. And it will be eventually a draw. And a few other small things-- of course, having passed pawns, connected pawns, is more powerful than having separate pawns. But sometimes, things could be different. And for instance, if we have position with our pawns on f6 and h6 and black king is on g8, and black has three pawns-- they are advancing-- a4, b4, c4. And our king's standing on b2. What is the only move for us to survive? Because it will be eventually mutual Zugzwang. Black cannot move the king. If king moves, one of our pawns is advancing. So can we stop these pawns? And the right move is, you go Kd1. And now you are waiting. This is a good position. You know, king is observing. Which pawn moves? a3. We go Ka2. c3, Kb3-- bingo, pawn is stopped. c3-- you know, Kc2. a3, Kb3, the same result. And of course, if Black goes b3, then Kb2. And pawns are stopped again. The irony is that if white king is on b1, then White is lost. Because of if White goes Kb2 then b3, then we lost. And if White goes Ka2, then c3, and we lost again, since you cannot stop the three pawns. As a matter of fact, if we know this trick, how to work with these pawns, I can tell you that there are many other situations where opponent's king can be cut by one or two passed pawns. For instance, that's another situation we want to remember. It looks that white pawns are too weak. And they are too weak. If black king was on h8, yes. If there was no pawn on f7, yes. But having this pawn on f7, that's the worst case of interference. Because Black, again, has no moves. And it depends whether White can force black pawns to be blocked. So there are many tactical motifs that we're always looking at. So you should remember that your king can be blocked. For instance, here is a situation. So this is the king is blocked by this ...

About the Instructor

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

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Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.

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