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Daily Chess Improvement: Must-Know Endgame

This is a game between IM Raven Sturt vs Francesco Rambaldi at the 2017 SPICE Cup

White to move. How should white proceed?

Ke6! (Kg6 looses later to potentially Qa1 pinning) h3, f5 h2, f6 h1=Q, f7 (and now a stalemate may be set up for a defense) Qh8, Ke7 and eventually because of the queening threat the white King will be able to swing over h8 (or fight for perpetual) with the black King no time to get over there and the black Queen can not take or must stalemate the black King.

  1. Ke6!!! h3, 2. f5 h2, 3. f6 h1=Q, 4. f7 Qe1+, 5. Kf6! Qc3+, 6. Ke7! Qe5+, 7. Kf8 Qh8+, 8. Ke7 Qe5+, 9. Kf8 Qb8+, 10. Kg7 Qb7, 11. Kh8! Qc8+, 12. Kg7 Qc3+ 13. Kg8 (White draws!!!)

IM Raven Sturt made a bad move - 1. Kg6?? - he missed the only move for a draw - 1. Ke6!!!

1.Kg6 loses because white can do nothing after black plays the new queen to h8 then to f8 blocking the pawn altogether until the black king arrives to help kill it. From e6, the white king can go to e7 threatening to queen the pawn, forcing the black queen to either give way, or getting a new queen himself. I would guess the IM probably was under extreme time pressure- he surely would have figured this out with maybe as few as 20 seconds of thought.

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