Pawn Endgame Worthy of Study

“Pawn endings are to chess what putting is to golf.” — Cecil Purdy

Pure pawn endgames are said to be the simplest of all endings but that doesn’t mean they are always easy to win. A case and point is presented in a recent blog post where I shared a blown opportunity in a King and pawn endgame I witnessed at a Northern California youth chess tournament. As a follow up, I am sharing this Grigoriev endgame study I used to help prepare my students for the same tournament.

White to move and win (by Nikalai Grigoriev, Shakhmaty, 1932).

At the end of the lesson, I challenge my chess students to not only solve this endgame problem but to also explain it to another chess player who was not in our class. After all, every chess coach knows from personal experience that the understanding required to teach an endgame study is the best test for one’s mastery of the key concepts.

The final position of the solution is so beautiful it should be appreciated by itself.

It’s blacks turn and zugzwang!

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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