Importance of Pawn Endgames in Chess!



Same tournament. Same round. Two adjacent boards. A pawn endgame! Were the Grandmasters up to the task? Let us check it out.



Hello Friends!


Let me start this article with a harsh truth. Most of us find endgames boring!

How about Pawn endgames? Ugh! Gimme a break.

There are simply no pieces remaining on the board!

How will I checkmate my opponent with a swift attack?


Pawn endgames occur rarely in our tournament games. But, when they occur, they demand accuracy from us!

Sometimes even Grandmasters are not up to the task. I cannot stress the importance of studying Pawn endgames enough.


Let me share an example with you. On the same day, in the 5th round of the Max Liberty Chess tournament, the adjacent boards witnessed Pawn endgames!


As it often happens, one side has a slight advantage and was pressing for a win. Though with accurate play, the defending sides could have steered away from defeat.


 

Our first game is between GM Luke McShane [2674] vs. GM Mircea-Emilian Parligras [2583]





Now we reach a critical position. If you find the correct idea for Black, you can still save the game!


Pawn Endgame Puzzle
Black to Play! Can you find the best move?

The Correct Solution with analysis is as follows -



In the game, Black missed the drawing chance and the game continued with 38...Ke6??. This was a losing mistake. Can you find the winning move for White now?


Pawn Endgame Puzzle
Can you find the Winning move for White?

The game ended as follows -



 

Our second game is between IM Balazs Csonka [2486] vs. GM Kacper Piorun [2638]





Time to solve the problem!


Pawn Ending Puzzle
Black to play. Find the best move!



Can you find the winning move for Black?


Pawn Endgame Puzzle
Black to Play and Win!


The game ended as follows -




 

Conclusion -


In this article, we studied two games and we learnt -

1. The importance of an outside passed Pawn in Pawn endings. 2. An active King provides massive chances to win the game in Pawn endgames. 3. Every tempo counts! Games are won and lost because of an extra tempo!


I hope you found the above examples valuable and I am sure that you learnt something from the above games.


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