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King and Fawn Endings

The presence of a protected

passed pawn does not guarantee
necessarily the win.
Shirov - Timman
Wijk aan Zee 1996
Following l.g5, Black termi-
nated his resistance, obviously
considering that the protected
passed f6-pawn is a very serious
argument. Naturally, that deci-
sion was a little bit too emotion-
al and the subsequent analyses
proved that it was never too late
to resign ...
1 .. 2.h4
It is also a draw after 2.fS gxfS
3.h4 <.!teS 4.<.!tf3 f4 S.hS <.!tfS 6.g6
hxg6 7.h6<.!tf6 8.<.!txf4 gS (Shirov).
2 ... 'it>xc6 3.f5 'it>d6
But not 3 ... gxfS? 4.hS<.!td6 S.g6
4.f6 'it>d7
It is not good for Black to play
the move 4 ... c6, as it was recom-
mended in some sources, be-
cause of S.<.!tg3! 'it>d7 (or S ... <.!te6
6.<.!tf4 <.!td6 7.hS! gxhS 8.g6 hxg6
9.'it>gS - analogously to the pre-
vious example) 6.hS gxhS 7.'it>h4
cS 8.'it>xhS c4 9.<.!th6 c3 10.0 c2
<.!tbS 14.<.!txh7, and his defence is
tremendously difficult.
5.'it>f3 'it>e6 6.'it>f4 'it>f7 7.'it>e5
Black must play very accurate-
ly. In particular, he should watch
about the possibility h4-hS on the
kingside. For example 7.'it>g4<.!te6
8.hS <.!tf7! (After the indifferent
move 8 ... <.!td6, White would fol-
low with 9.hxg6 hxg6, and then
he goes with his king to the c6-
square, countering 'it>d8 with the
move f6-0, winning the game.)
9.hxg6+ <.!txg6!
7 .. 'it>e8 8.'it>d5 'it>d7 9.'it>c5
'it>e8 with a draw (Shirov).
The protected passed pawn
is also quite useful for defensive
purposes. In that case, it can com-
pensate the material advantage
of the opponent, since it is not
always possible to win the game
without the participation of the
king. The simplest example on
that theme can be seen in the fol-
lowing diagram.
Black's king cannot leave the
square a8-a5-d5-d8.
It is also worth mentioning
that there are some construc-
tions, which are practically
as effective as having a pro-
tected passed pawn. They are
sufficient to restrict the mobility
of the enemy king. See an exam-
ple of that kind - we can call that
construction as having "a poten-
tial passed pawn".
Kovalevskaya - Demina
Moscow 1999
Human desire to enter a king
and pawn ending with an extra
pawn is quite understandable;
nevertheless, this is a mistake. It
is amazing, but the majority of
computer programs suggest that
move, at least at first sight.
1 .. \WxfJ+ bS! 3.@e3
This is the key moment. White
fails to compromise his oppo-
nent's queenside with the move
3.a4, because of 3 ... bxa4 and his
king cannot enter the square of
Black's a-pawn.
3 ... aS!
White was threatening here
4.a4! b4 5.a5!, winning.
Black has completed his de-
fensive construction. He cannot
create a passed pawn indeed, but
White cannot clarify the situation
on the queenside. Black has a po-
tential threat to create a passed
pawn and White's king is restrict-
ed in its mobility, so he cannot
promote his passed pawns on the
kingside without it.
4.@d3 f5 5.@d2 @f6 6.a3
@g6 7.@e3 @f6 8.@d2 and the
opponents agreed to a draw. In
case of 8.f3, Black can even play
8 .. .f4+ 9.gxf4 (But not 9.@xf4 b4
and White suddenly gets check-
mated: 1O.axb4 a4 1l.b5 a3 12.b6
a2 13.b7 9 ...
@f5 1O.h5 @f6.
There is also another construc-
tion - we can call it a permanent
threat of a breakthrough.