Wednesday 26 February 2020

A trick you shouldn't miss (but I did)

It has been said that Knight and Pawn endings are juts pawn endings with an extra piece. The rules for winning (or drawing) are basically the same (create outside passed pawns, centralise your king etc), with there are a couple of tactical components that pure pawn endings don't have.
In a game I played at the (new) Gungahlin Chess Club last night, I failed to spot one of this tactical tricks, although I was able to spot another.
I had simplified into a minor piece ending a pawn up, and had then won a second pawn on move 47 (Knight fork!). On move 50 my opponent played Nf5 and I thought my h pawn was dropping (NB we were both in time trouble at this stage). I chose to exchange bishops, figuring that one extra pawn should be enough to win (which it was). What I missed was 50 ... h5!. If 51.gxh5 the Knight goes, while if 51.Bxg5 hxg4+ 52.Kxg4 Nf2+ wins a piece. While I am not certain, I think I've either seen or had this trick played against me before, so it is something I should have found.
By the way, there was one last tactic in the ending that I had planned to play, but in the end chose not to. On move 64 I had planned to win by 64 ... b4 65.Kb5 Nc6! when the knight is safe as 66.Kxc6 g4 67.Nd2 Ke5! results in one or other of the pawns queening.

Radisich,Matt - Press,Shaun [C22]
Rama Memorial, 25.02.2020

1 comment:

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