King and Pawn Ending 1

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I have concluded that most king and pawn endings boil down to concrete analysis and that there are very few general principles that really help you become better at this phase of a chess game. Don’t get me wrong. Terms like opposition and triangulation are important and their proper comprehension can avoid a loss or failing to hold a draw. However, concrete analysis of the chess position trumps superficial understanding of chess lexicon.

The following ending played at the internet chess club serves to illustrate.

King and pawn chess ending. Four pawns per side.
King and pawn chess ending. Four pawns per side.

Both sides have 4 pawns. Black’s d5 pawn restrains the motion of the connected white c3 and d4 pawns. White is in zugzwang which means that any move he makes loses contrasted with Robert Brieger’s term squeeze which I never really understood. Not sure he did either. I vividly remember Brieger arguing with Jude Acers in the French Quarter about the difference between a squeeze and Zugzwang. Two massive chess egos going after it with Acers interjecting that Janis Joplin wrote a song or poem about him.

Perhaps a general truth is that it is an advantage if a single pawn in the center is holding up the advance of two pawns.

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