In my last article, I have stated that calculation and formulation of plan are the core skills in chess. There are different ways to getting better at calculation and studying king and pawn endgame is one of them.
Why king and pawn endgames? Because the result usually hinges on precise calculation. Let’s consider the following example from one of my games. I am playing Black and in a losing position.
White to move
In this position White played 1.f4 with the hope that after gxf4 then Kxf4 followed by g4 he would have a protected passed pawn. I really feel bad for him but now it is draw after 1…g4! and the game ended in a draw after some more moves when White discovered he could not break through.
Here is another example from game of my students who has White.
White to move
Of course White is winning but in the game he played 32. Ke3 and went on win as his opponent didn’t resist much. But the natural Ke3 is, in fact a bad move and game could be draw after Black’s 32…c4!
The winning move for White is actually really instructive and interesting. White can play 32. Kg3. I just don’t want to jump into variations but I would like to just emphasize that king and pawn endgames can be very tricky.
How should someone study king and pawn endgames? Well first one should look for theoretical positions in king and pawn endgames as they are building blocks. After that you can move forward to solve endgame studies.
Do you remember when you last spent enough time studying endgames? If not then this is a good time to start!