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King and pawn endings - King Triangulation

In this article we will look at a classic king and pawn endgame, where a bit of tactical sense is needed for white to win the game. Have a look at the figure below, where white is in the move.



The problem for white is, that he will not be able to promote either of his pawns, as advancing a pawn to c6 will only lead to a capture by blacks pawn, leading to a draw.

What white needs to do to win the game is using king triangulation to loose tempo. That is, by moving the king in a triangle, both parties will end up in similar initial positions, but black will be in the move, which makes it a win for white. Have a look at this figure, showing the triangulartion leading to a win.



Thus, the moves for white are:
1. Ke5!
2. Kd4
3. Kd5
Now black will need to step away from the action (Ke7), leaving enough room for white to advance his c6-pawn as shown here.



White will easily win the game from here!

One variation of this game can be seen, when black instead tries to move around the pawns on c6. This is still a win for white. The variation is shown in the below figure.



Do not advance your c5 pawn yet. Go remove black's pawn on b7 first using your king.

You will see this sort of endgame quite often, so make sure you study the triangulation method.

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