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


When the king is behind the pawn, Black should know right from the start that the knight’s position on the square d5 is much safer than on the square b5! As in the case with the b-pawn, critical are those positions where the black knight is placed on the same side as the white king since by attacking the knight White ties down the enemy king. Due to the black king’s reduced mobility a zugzwang motif appears. This position is very similar to diagram 352; it is interesting that the same general conclusion applies to it as well! When the knight is near the rim of the chess-board together with the enemy king, Black to play always loses if his king is on the square of the same colour as that of the enemy knight and the transfer of the knight to the “right” side i.e. the square d5 is not possible. Let us summarize: by the piece-setup Kb6-Nb5 Kc4 as many as 20 out of a total of 26 available light squares on the chess-board favour the white knight. White cannot win only in those cases where his knight takes more than two moves to reach the square d5, i.e. when the knight in the initial position is placed diagonally with respect to the critical square d5 ( b7, f7 or f3 ) , as well as when it is placed on a6, a8 or h1! As in the position we are considering the white knight is capable of reaching d5 in two moves, this is a position of mutual zugzwang.


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