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CBM Blog: The Troitzky Line

5/3/2011 – This is not a route on the Moscow Metro but a technique to solve a rare and difficult ending: two knights vs a pawn, which, you may or may not know, is winning if the defending pawn can be blockaded on or behind a certain line on the board. This was proven by the great endgame specialist A.A. Troitzky and is explained to us by GM Karsten Müller in a recent game. Very instructive.
 
Rook endings are always drawn But over the board this is much more difficult than in the analysis:

Note that in the replay windows below you can click on the notation to follow the game.

The Troitzky Line

The endgame two knights vs pawn probably does not belong to the standard mating procedures you need to master. But I found the following example so instructive that I could not resist the temptation to analyse it. Black's pawn has crossed the Troitzky-Line a4-b6-c5-d4-e4-f5-g6-h4, so that drawing and losing zones for the defending king exist. In this case it is imprisoned near the dangerous h8 corner so that White can win:

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