E-book: Knight Endgames Important Endings N+P vs N


With the king behind the pawn Black has realistic chances of drawing! But he should know that the knight is much safer on c5 than on a5! Critical positions are those in which the black knight is placed on the same side as the enemy king, the reason being that by attacking the knight White ties down the enemy king. Since the king’s mobility is limited, a zugzwang motif appears. When the black knight is on the rim of the chess-board, its manoeuvring capability is vitally reduced. If in addition to this the white king is beside it, the possibility of losing is quite serious. In endings with the pawn near the rim of the chess-board and the “wrongly” placed knight, the following rule holds good: Black to move always loses when his king is on a square of the same colour as that of the enemy knight unless he can transfer own knight to the “right” side, in this case the square c5. By the set-up Ka6-Na5, Kb4, out of 24 free dark squares on the board, as many as 18 squares favour the white knight. White cannot win only in those cases when his knight in the initial position is placed diagonally with respect to the critical square c5, i.e. when it is on a7, e7 or e3, as well as on g1 or on the h-file since then it takes more than two moves to reach the square c5.


GM Vlatko Kovacevic

Vlado Kovacevic is a chess grandmaster and an endgame expert. He very successfully competed on the national team. From 2000 – 2004, he acted as selector of the Croatian Men’s national team. He is also a well-known chess author.