“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
A quick reminder about how to do it:
- Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
- Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
- Verify it in your mind the best you can
- Compare it with the solution
Are you ready? Here it is: which of the three possible king moves wins the game for White?
This is a very difficult endgame; if you are able to figure out the guiding ideas and guess the correct move, consider yourself a strong player. My take on it:
- Material is equal
- White has a chance to win because of the better position of its king
- It is easy to see White could win the a-pawn, bringing the position into a basic king and pawn versus king endgame
- If White captures Black’s pawn with its own pawn, key is to hold control of the critical b7-square: if White has it, it is a win; however if Black has it, it is a draw (lesson 19, level 2 of our chess app)
- If White captures Black’s pawn with its king, it has to place the king in front of the b-pawn in order to win (lesson 19, level 2 of our chess app)
- On the Black side of it its king should either consider taking control of the b7-square (see above) or attack and capture White’s b-pawn to reach a draw
With the above in mind, we have to choose a move. Which one did you pick? Have a look at the solution and go over it with care to understand all the twists and turns.
The highlight: white uses the opposition to force the black King all the way to the h2-square. That saves the b-pawn, allows white to capture the a-pawn and reach a won endgame. It is kind of amazing how two simple concepts combined together can create such a complicated puzzle, isn’t it? Enjoy!
Valer Eugen Demian