In an all-parent encounter last week, the players stumbled upon this position, known as the Trebuchet. A trebuchet is a big wooden catapult, and its connection with this position is not known, except that it may catapult a player from joy to despair...
My young colleague Leif enjoys endgames, and has an endless curiosity about unbalanced endgames. So he asks:
can you win with three pawns against a Bishop?
how about a Knight?
what about two Knights?
A pattern we kept running into was:
united pawns on their start squares don't win against a piece (a)
united and *advanced* pawns win against a piece (b)
there are some special cases where the side with the piece can set up a blockade or fortressagainst advanced pawns (c)
We lost on board count to old rivals Teignmouth in the Peter Rooke Cup
at the end of January. One of the last games to finish involved a
simple-looking Rook endgame. Just as it was getting crucial, White,
short of time, found a time-saving blunder:
Endgames are worth taking seriously - you can get extra points and
half-points by improving your endgame play.
Some endgames turn up rather often, certainly more often than some
of the odd bits of opening theory we end up looking at sometimes.
There are bits of theory to know, but as always the thing is to test
your understanding and practise.
The things you need to know are widely available, not least from our
website, so I won't trot through it all, just give some examples.
Tim came to the club buzzing with these a few weeks ago.
A Zugzwang (German: forced move) is a chess position where, if it's your turn to move, you lose, and if your opponent has the move, you might be OK.
Here's an example from one of my own games: anything White does loses. We say, White is in Zugzwang.