Careful Calculation

King and Pawn endgames can be much harder than they look. You have to calculate carefully.

In this week’s problem, White has to save the game. His first move is obvious – he plays 1. h4.

Black has no choice. He has to stop the pawn turning into a queen. So Black must play 1… Kg4.

White now has a choice. Does he race back to try to take the Black pawns by playing 2. Kf6? Or perhaps he should try to help his own passed pawn by playing 2. Kg6?

There are no rules to help you. To solve the problem, you must calculate the consequences of each move carefully.

The solution to last Monday’s problem is that Black wins by playing 1… Bxf6 2. Nxf6 Qxf6 3. Qxf6+ Bxf6 4. Rxf6 Nxc2 5. Rb1 and now Black wins with 5…. a3! He will get a pawn to a2 and win the game.

Steven Carr


Author: Steven Carr

I am 57 years old, and I am trying to improve my standard of play. From 1998 to 2012, I had a break from chess, playing very few games in that period. I now play more competitive chess and I currently have a English grading of 184. I hope to get a grading of over 200 one day. I normally play in the Merseyside League and play Board 1 for Wallasey.