In this post, we’ll look at a common pattern in a Knight endgame, but first, we should quickly recall a common pattern in King and Pawn endgames, which will be comparable to the Knight position.
In King and Pawn endgames, if you are able to create protected passed pawns, you are almost assured a victory, unless your opponent can do the same or has some other imminent winning idea that is faster than yours. If you take a look at the picture below, you will see the idea is that the pawns protect each other. The opponent’s King can never take either pawn–if he takes the backward pawn, than the other pawn promotes.
In Knight endgames, you can set up a similar situation. When both sides have a Knight on the board, things can be a bit trickier, so, for the sake of demonstrating the pattern, we’ll take a look at an endgame where one side has the Knight and the other side is defending.
You might think that, with one side being up a Knight, the game is immediately lost. Although this is usually the case, you do always have to be careful in Knight endgames because Knights are notoriously bad at stopping pawns, especially Rook pawns. The Knight often cannot get back quickly enough to stop a pawn from promoting, and even if it can get within the vicinity of the pawn, it sometimes can’t get to the correct square to defend.
So the pattern shown in the video below will help you set up a situation where your Knight and pawn protect each other, and then you are playing with an extra piece (your King will be active, whereas the opponent’s King will forever have to sit by your Knight and Pawn, until he is booted away). This came up in my game last night, so I will just use that game. Also, I quickly show the opening because we got the Danish Gambit, which I covered in a previous video.