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White to Play

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Summer chess school lesson 15. This one is a toughie if you don't know a key defensive concept. Even your chess engine will be wrong! White has to figure out how to draw this against a passed pawn and active king. The first move decides the game!

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White to Play

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Summer chess school lesson 14. This one may look easy. You just put the rook behind the a-pawn and push, then bring the king over to free the rook, BUT Black isn't going to cooperate! He's going to bring his king over to help the rook. Again, the question, can you see a definite plan?

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White to Play

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Welcome to our 13th lesson of chess summer school as we move from king and pawn endings to rook and pawn endings. Someone once said all rook and pawn endings are drawn mainly because people play the badly. I haven't started with really basic positions because we did that in a previous summer school. These are very practical positions and you ...

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 12. We’re going to close our key king and pawn endings lessons with a tragedy that befell Edward Lasker years ago. What would be your move here?

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 11. I wish I knew who composed this or even played this. It’s a great breakthrough position, not obvious by any means since Black has two connected pawns on the other side.

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Black to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 10. One of the most important aspects of pawn play is the idea of the breakthrough. Most players learn early on how to break through with White pawns lined up at a5,b5 and c5 and Black pawns at a7,b7 and c7 when White breaks through by 1.b6 and ends up queening a pawn. Real games can be a bit trickier. In this position, ...

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 9. A very practical position with a valuable lesson. There is a right way and there are two wrong ways to win this. It’s the wrong ways that can turn a win into a draw.

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 8. Our guest teacher today is former world champ Mikhail Botvinnik, who composed this. If I were Black in this position, I’d offer a draw in the hopes that my opponent didn’t see the win.

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 7. OK, let’s say you got the first six positions and are feeling really good about yourself and your king and pawn ending skills. In many, you were a pawn up. How about if the material is even and all on the same side of the board? How would you win for White here?

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 6. Being alert is one of the key ingredients to being a good chess player. This position tests your alertness skills. Yes, it is composed (don’t know by who), because the likelihood of the black king being where it is seems remote. Since Black is threatening to win, how do you as White escape to draw it?

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White to Play

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Chess Summer School Day 5. This is one of my all-time favorite king and pawn endings. Grandmaster Lev Alburt showed this to a group of us in New York many years ago. It showed up again in this Chess Training Pocket Book II. It shows again, in a different "environment," that concepts like understanding when you have to be "in the square" and ...

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White to Play

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Day 4 of chess summer school. Many of you may be familiar with "the rule of the square" just to determine whether a king can catch a pawn on its way to queen. In our diagram, the white king has to stay in the "square" defined by the point d4,g4, g1 and d1. So how does White win this? The white pawns can't go up the board on their own.

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White to Play

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Day 3 of chess summer school. Here's a two pawns vs. one pawn position, but instead of the rook pawn, we have Black with the knight pawn.

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White to Play

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Day 2 of chess summer school is a basic ending of King and Two Pawns vs. King and One Pawn. You have to learn how to count!

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White to Play

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Since summer is so close, I decided to start something I haven’t done in a while—start chess summer school. This summer’s theme is the great weakness of all chess players: endgames. We’ll start off with some basics of king and pawn endgame play and work our way up.

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White to Play

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This is a great instructional position by Horwitz and Kling from the 19th century. Well-schooled chess players know that Black can head for a8 and let White take both pawns because it would be a draw as the bishop is of the opposite color of the queening square from the rook pawn (it only works with rook pawns). So, how do you win this as White ...

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White to Play

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White is completely set up for the final assault. He picks a spectacular way to start the fireworks.

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White to Play

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Back rank possibilities abound here.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Milton Hanauer won this games decades ago. What’s interesting about this game is that there is no one solution. There are at least three! They are all distinct in their own way. It’s a good lesson on attacking ideas against a broken up castled position.

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White to Play

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By now, you must know your first move here! There are many roads to victory, but I’ve picked my favorite one. Find yours.

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