The Beginning of the End

My esteemed colleague Simon Waters is leading on King and Pawn endgames next week, so I will attempt a warm-up for him this week. 

There are, in my mind, two types of chess theory: general and specific.  In the opening, for example, we say that in general it's a good idea to develop all your pieces once before moving any of them twice.  Equally, we might offer that the sternest test of the Two Knights' Defence is the move 4.Ng5, a view reinforced when Kasparov used it to duff up Timman.  Simon, I believe, intends to do some specific theory, and so my intention is to impart a few general principles.  The point of this, as above, is that specific analytic discoveries can contradict general principles, and indeed some conclusions of K+P endgame theory are distinctly against what you might expect.  Although I don't know what you expect...

I propose to go through an old introductory handout about endgames, starting with the idea of a passed pawn...

... and to recommend everyone play over as many games from 'Capablanca's 60 Best Endgames' as they have time for (I'll show you a couple in the session, too). 

But suggestions are welcome.

Chess Quotes

"What distinguishes a Grandmaster from a master? Chess-lovers often ask questions like that. To many people it seems that Grandmasters simply calculate variations a little deeper. Or that they know their opening theory slightly better. But in fact the real difference is something else. You can pick out two essential qualities in which those with higher titles are superior to others: the ability to sense the critical moment in a game, and a finer understanding of various positional problems."
— Yusupov, in Opening Preparation