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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Critical Squares.

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Critical Squares

In the endgame, especially the pawn endgame, the aim is to promote the pawn to a Queen.  To take the pawn to the queening position the two conditions are necessary,
1. Pawn should be a passed pawn
2. The opponent king should not be able to stop the pawn or hit the pawn.

One of the way we have seen how and when the opponent king blocks the passed pawn using the ‘Rule of Pawn Square’
To understand when the opponent king hits the pawn depends on the occupation of the critical square. In order that pawn should promote a Queen, it is sufficient to occupy one of its key squares. Whereas, the opponent king occupies one of the critical square then it hits the pawn. To hit the pawn opponent king should attack from the front or from the side. If there is no obstacle in the pawn’s path, the attack from the rear would be senseless, since the pawn will simply run away from its attacker. Thus king can attack pawn from three surrounding squares as shown in the diagram.

 See the example for better understanding 

White’s king has already occupied one of the critical squares of the enemy pawn. In this position the critical squares are e6, e7, c6, c7 and d7 squares. If its blacks turn then he will immediately lose his pawn. While it is Whites turn he will be able to maintain zugzwang situation by playing 1 Ke7. 

See another example which most important to know to every chess player.

 In the position White’s king is threatening to attack the opponents pawn, but its opposite number is intending to do exactly the same. What then should happen here? If you observe the position you will find that direct attack on the pawn will be a grave mistake. 1 Ke6 ?  Kc5 we reach the position of mutual zugzwang, in which the side to paly first loses. It is correct first to step onto the other critical square – e7. After 1 Ke7  Kc5  2 Kc6 it is Black who ends up in zugswang. But if Black has move Black will have to maintain the same rule.

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