In the 5th round of the Turkish National Chess Championship 2013 I managed to win a really interesting pawn ending. You can find below some of my annotations.
My opponent had thought it would be an easy draw by tranposing to pawn ending so he played 39. Bxg7?? , that was already a decisive mistake. White should have gone for 39.Re4 with an equal game. The game continued : 39…Rxg4 40.hxg4 Kxg7 ( see diagram)
How is that possible that White has a better pawn structure, move to play, but still his position is already lost? There a few important nuances :
- Black has oppportunity to create the passed pawn on h-file, which will have more value than White’s passed pawn on f-file. If that position arises, the white king after winning the black’s h-pawn will have a longer road to the queenside, than his black’s colleague. Therefore, we can say that Black should aim to exchange his f-pawn for White’s g-pawn. This can be achieved after playing f7-f5.
- Black has a reserve tempo on queenside. For example, White can make just one move with his pawn : a2-a3, while Black can make two moves : a6-a5 and then a5-a4.
So, Black’s plan is to improve his position by maximum on kingside and to put White in zugzwang after using a reserve tempo on queenside. The game continued : 41. Kg2 Kf6 42. Kf3 Kg5 43. Kg3 f5 ( see diagram)
Black has significantly improved his position. Now 44.f4+ loses immediately, as it just helps Black to create a passed pawn on h-file. For example : 44…Kg6 45.Kh4 fxg4 46.Kxg4 h5+ 47.Kh4 Kf5 48.Kxh5 Kxf4 and black’s king is quicker to win the opponent’s pawns on queenside.
In diagram above White must continue 44.f3, making the Black’s task harder. We can see that neither Black nor White can improve his position on kingside, so it is a mutual zugzwang. So, it is time to promote the second part of our plan : 44…a5! 45.a3 a4 ( see diagram)
White has to give up square-f4, as 46.f4+ loses for same reason that before. The game continued : 46.Kh3 Kf4 47.Kh4 fxg4 48.fxg4 Kf3 49.Kh3 ( see diagram)
I had less than on minute on the clock, so I decided to repeat a position one time, before playing the winning idea : 49…Kf4 ( 49…Ke3!) 50. Kh4 Kf3 51. Kh3 and we have same position than on a diagram above. Black wins by making a «triangulation», one of the most important principles for all types of endgame. 51…Ke3! 52. Kh4 (52.Kg3 Kd2! and Black wins by one tempo) Kf2! 53.Kh3 Kf3! we got same position that on a diagram above, but now is White to move. In the game White resigned, but it could have ended like that : 54.Kh4 Kg2! 55.Kh5 Kg3 56.Kxh6 Kxg4 57.Kg6 Kf4 58.Kf6 Ke4 59.Ke6 Kd3 60.Kd5 Kc2 61.Kc5 Kxb2 62.Kxb5 Kb3 -+