The Distant Opposition

by Efstratios Grivas
6/4/2024 – The position shown is taken from a game in the current Dubai Open. White has just captured on d7 with his king, and is playing to win. Black has seven move, all with his king. Only one allows him to hold a draw. Can you tell where the black king must go? Let international trainer Efstratios Grivas explain it all to you and help you understand exactly how this kind of endgame works. You can also register for the interactive training program of the Grivas Chess International Academy, starting June 2024.

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Distant Opposition

The great chess player and theoretician, P. A. Romanovsky, offered a simple definition: ‘Opposition is the placement of the kings opposite each other in such a way, so that a zugzwang is brought about’. German chess term ‘zugzwang’ itself implies the obligation of the weaker side to make a move, even though it doesn't support his interests.

Distant opposition occurs when the kings are separated by three or five squares. This distance is gradually reduced, resulting in a case of close opposition. Effectively, the distant opposition is a tool that allows us to force a favourable close opposition.

In the 6th round of the event I played the following game, which, is quite interesting on the opening theoretical part, but mostly important for its rook ending handling and the distant opposition concept, that occurred – unfortunately for me! The distant opposition lesson begins at move 53 in the game below.

Try to hold the draw by moving the black pieces on the diagram above. A full description of what is the correct solution and what transpired is given in the following deeply annotated game. Go to move 51 to find out.

In the replayer you can adjust the layout to suit your screen. The fan button on the left will start an engine that can assist in your analysis.

The Grivas Chess International Academy is announcing an interactive training program with a monthly schedule, starting June 2024. Ten players of a rating strength of more of 1500 are invited to register monthly. The program is addressed to ambitious chess players, who are aiming to achieve high rating and international titles. All sessions will be conducted by the world-famous coach and author GM Efstratios Grivas.

Program Data

● Monthly, starting June 7th 2024.
● Twice per week, Friday and Sunday, 16 hours of top-training.
● Sessions at 13:00-15:00 (CET Time) - 15:00-17:00 (UAE Time).
● Meetings via Zoom, ten students maximum.
● English Language.
● All sessions will be recorded and access will be given to the students.
● Monthly Program Cost per Student: AED 1.000 or €250 or US $270.
● Payments by Bank Account Transfer or PayPal.

Program Subjects

● Opening Repertory.
● Middlegame Handling.
● Endgame Excellence.
● Planning.
● Tactical Education.


● WhatsApp: 00306936888163.
● Mobile: 00971551880025.
● Email:

Efstratios (30.03.1966) is a highly experienced chess trainer and chess author. He has been awarded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) the titles of International Chess Grandmaster, FIDE Senior Trainer, International Chess Arbiter and International Chess Organiser.
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Kurt Utzinger Kurt Utzinger 6/7/2024 02:39
A very well commented games. It's a pity that White missed some winning moves. But disappointment and frustration is not a good thing during a current game. And making moves without thinking anymore is a sin! What I cannot quite understand ist that Black found the correct distant opposition move 63...Kh7! only to blunder some moves later. Maybe the move 63...Kh7! was made by accident.