23 May 2019

Four on Four

While reading Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics, I was inspired to review some of my online games over the past two decades. I searched for games that resulted in a four vs. four pawn endgame, thinking that maybe I would find a breakthrough position similar to those in that section of the book. With a database of nearly 100,000 games, there are many pawn endings. I opted to focus on games that were drawn, reducing the number to 202.

There are plenty of examples where my or my opponent's lack of endgame skill surrendered half a point. These are from the years 1999-2002.

Black to move

I had Black and played 40...f4. The game was drawn at move 55.

White to move

With White, I played 44.Kf4, offering victory to my opponent whose own errors let me back into the game.

White to move

For reasons I can no longer explain, I played 45.Kd7, which my opponent graciously failed to exploit.

White to move

My opponent played the correct 48.Kxb6 and the game was drawn at move 74. Would I have proceeded with competence had he tried 48.h3??

In some games, other pieces were on the board that were exchanged into a drawn or even losing ending.

White to move

I had White. The game continued 49.Rf6?? Rxf6 50.gxf6 Kxf6 51.Kf3 c3?? and was drawn at move 61. White has a win from the diagram, and Black does after 51.Kf3.

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