Winning in the Endgame

Since creating my Youtube Channel, I haven’t written too many formal blog posts, so here we go.

For today’s post, I wanted to share three different endgame positions from my games. In each position, it is your job to decide how to carry out your plan.

Al-Hariri–Steincamp (Continental Class Championships, 2013)

Black to Move and Win

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 13.30.56



1… f4+! Hopefully you found this one. By sacrificing the f-pawn, you create a passed g-pawn. White has no hope to defend. 2.gxf4+ Kf5 -+ White must give up the pawn on f4  because the g-pawn covers f3.


Steincamp–Wu (Northern Virginia Open, 2013)

White to Move and Win

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 13.32.28



There are several ways to win, but the point of the puzzle is to create a plan. Black’s only hope is his isolated e-pawn, so its critical to keep the king in close proximity. Meanwhile, White has a kingside majority. In this position, I decided to fix my opponent’s h-pawn.  1. g5 Kd6 2. h5 Ke6 3. h6 This move threatens g5-g6, with the idea of creating a passed pawn on the h-file. 3… Ke7 Black must give up his e-pawn and the game is over. 4. Kxe5 Kf7 5. Kf5 Kg8 6. Ke6 Kf8 7. Kf6  I didn’t want too calculate too much in such an easy position, so I just found the easiest way to make the position the most inconvenient for my opponent. 7…Kg8 8. Ke7 Kh8 9. Kd6 Kg8 10. Kc5 I could never win the h-pawn, but I could win the b-pawn. Once I pushed my opponent to the corner of the board, I just waltzed my way to b4. 1-0

The key with this position was not so much to calculate each and every line, but determine a clear plan, and execute it with the fewest amount of complications.

Steincamp–Baumgartner (Eastern Open, 2012)

Black to Move and Win

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 13.34.50


This one is the hardest of the three puzzles. Black, up a pawn, must not be materialistic and find the aggressive 1… Ke5! sacrificing the pawn. With my king defending the kingside, I have no hope to stop the passed b-pawn. 2. Rxg6 Kd4 3. Kf1 Kc3 4. Ke2 b4 5. Rd6 b3 6. Rd3+ Kc2 covering both b2 and b1, the pawn is unstoppable. 7. Rd2+ Kb1 8. Rd1+ Ka2 9. Rd8 b2 10. Ra8+ Kb3 11. Rb8+ Kc2 0-1

My opponent played this endgame very well. If he had opted to not play 1… Ke5!, he might have only earned a half point. Again, the key is not to be materialistic, but to find resources for activity and counterplay… Especially in a rook endgame.

Feel like I missed something? Feel free to comment below!


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