The Pawns Alone

  • Written by Administrator
  • Published: 22 August 2012
  • Last Updated: 10 September 2012

Sometimes, because of events in other parts of the board, pawns are left on their own against the enemy King. When this happens, knowing one single rule will be enough to decide the game.

The Rule Of The Square

How can you tell if the enemy king can catch your pawn? One way is to calculate in your head, from the positions below:

"If I move my pawn to e6, then the king moves to c6, my pawn to e7, the king to d7, my pawn to e8 and I get a queen, but then the king takes my queen."

This works, as you see, but it's long and gives you too many chances to make a mistake. A second way is to count moves:

"Let's see, my pawn on e5 queens in 3 moves, while the king on b5 requires 3 moves to get to the queening square."
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Green Bay Open

  • Written by Don Hwang
  • Published: 16 November 2004
  • Last Updated: 14 April 2009

My first appearance at the Green Bay Open did not begin on a good note. First of all, I arrived 50 minutes late for my first round game having been caught behind a slow moving semi on a "short cut" up to Green Bay. Then I proceeded to blunder a piece away early. Fortunately, my unrated opponent missed two simple tactical maneuvers which would have allowed him to retain the piece and the game. Nevertheless, he ended up with a pawn and I had to play sharply in order to turn the game to my advantage. I managed to win a long endgame with opposite colored bishops. I had two passed pawns on opposite sides of the board, but they were not the same color as my bishop. This game went into triple time control and left me with a bad feeling about the rest of the tournament.

My second game against Kelly Borman went better, but still I was beginning to go crazy because this game also went to triple time control! I ended up in a Rook vs. Bishop ending where I had the exchange, but neither side had any pawns and Kelly's king was not trapped on the back rank. In the end, I set a trap in which one variation loses outright, one traps the king on the back rank and which requires extremely patient handling and good technique to win, and one which draws by maintaining the freedom of both king and bishop. Unfortunately, Kelly chose the first variation and had to resign because he would lose his bishop by force.

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MMCA Summer Open 1996

  • Written by Don Hwang
  • Published: 16 November 2004
  • Last Updated: 14 April 2009

The MMCA Summer Open held on June 22 was quite an enjoyable event for me. The relaxed atmosphere, fast time control and excellent tournament direction by NM Bill Williams helped me to play my best and I ended up undefeated at 3 1/2. I tied for second with my friend, Lawrence Butler. Congratulations to NM Roman Levit on winning the event with a perfect score of 4. Although I was proud of my result, I was overjoyed when my student, Leanne Holm, age 9, won her first two games against much higher rated opponents. She was leading me by half a point! Ms. Holm ended up winning her class and scoring the upset prize! She has annotated her wins below and I have added additional notes.

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