Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Queen versus Knight...TACO-licious

I finally have cracked the KQ versus KN endgame. Much like the two bishop and knight/bishop endgame, there is a cool little way to walk the king to the edge of the board, a prerequisite for grabbing the knight (unless your opponent cooperates).

The following is the key position (white to move and steal the knight):
Getting into a position like this is fairly natural, so if you can solve this, then you have basically mastered the ending. It took me about four hours to get to the point where I could solve it for any starting position with confidence. I'll practice it periodically to make sure I don't forget it. The solution is given below.

As I mentioned before, I'm starting Chess Lessons with IM Jon Schroer . Our first meeting is Thursday. I told him I wanted to work on endgames and he said to bring over all my endgame books so we could put together a plan. It made me happy that he wanted to work with the material I already have. It suggests he is flexible. I have no illusions that a coach is a panacea, but I'm getting pretty excited.

As for the TACO reference, I am psyched because in Raleigh (a short drive for me) they are resuscitating the Triangle Area Chess Open, a monthly four-round swiss tournament with G/75 and G/90 time controls. I'm considering going this Saturday. Luckily my Patriots play Sunday, otherwise chess would have to take a back burner!

Here is one possible solution to the puzzle. 1. Ke5 (now the knight can't harass the king for a while) Ne7 2. Qe5+ (push the king back) Kd7 3. Qf6 (sealing in the king) Nc8 4. Kd5 Ne7 (note we are back at the original pattern, one rank up) 5. Kc5 Ng8 6. Qd6+ Ke8 7. Qc7 Kf8 8. Kd5 (the black king is stuck on the back rank: time to go in and get the knight!) Ne7 9. Ke6 and his knight is toast.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

so youre a pats fan eh??? since you mention the pats, lets stroll down memory lane.. 1982.. ring a bell? you a simpsons fan? "call mister plow, thats my name, that name again its mister plow".. and i remember this as if it were yesterday.. me and my best friend threw a fit.. the freakin miami herald had a picture of "mister plow" but this one wasnt called homer simpson this one is called mark henderson, a con out on work release, sitting on that infernal plow.. you know they ran a blurb in the local news and paper in miami when henderson died? no one who was watching that game in miami will ever forget it.. john smith was the kicker.. hows that for an original name.. people forget who kicked it, but most everyone in miami remember mark hendersons name.. if you ever go to miami, and you say you are a pats fan, you can use an egg timer and before its up you will hear about the snowplow game..

1/03/2007 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Henderson is a hero. A gutsy do-gooder on the wrong side of the law. Like the A-team or Robin Hood.

1/03/2007 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Montse said...

good luck with the lesson and by the way happy New Year.

1/03/2007 03:22:00 PM  

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