Weekly Endgame Column #15

45. White to move and win.

The page with 50 exercises has been finalized, and with it my initial 4-step treatment of the endgame 2N vs. pawn. Thus, in addition to last week’s Endgame Column, you will find solutions to the exercises 39-50.

Out of the first 15 Endgame Columns so far, a good deal of space has been devoted to the endgame 2N vs. pawn. There are a couple of reasons for that.

Firstly, the endgame fascinates me, and I also believe that a lot can be learned from it: the basic maneuvering, the cooperation between 3 relatively weak and slow pieces (K+2N) and the sudden release of the reserve knight to deliver mate. In fact, these 50 exercises easily qualify as Sharp Endgames, and you can set up the positions and play them out against a chess engine.

Secondly, I have worked a lot of the endgame, and writing a book about the subject was never really an option, so instead I decided to post my findings on the blog. One idea of such a book (which no great chance of getting published) would be to give a more lively and down-to-earth treatment of the endgame, compared to that of Troitzky. His original treatment is only 60 pages long, with a very scientific approach. In fact, I have read it 3 times without being completely sure about all details, in part because my English translation at times was not accurate – I had the feeling that the translator didn’t fully understand what he was translating!

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy the 50 exercises. The next step in the process would be to examine the marches: positions where K+N forces the opponent’s king around the board, trying to trap it in the right corner. If I am to work more on this endgame on the blog, I will wait for positive reader feedback that convinces me that other chess players find the endgame fascinating too!