Understanding before Moving 54: Pawn vs knight

by ChessBase
11/21/2021 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 54th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman shows a fascinating study, in which White wins a position that on first glance seems to be impossible to win. | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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Recently I came across an endgame study that brought back memories of rapid tournament in Nijmegen (Netherlands) in which I had played years ago, as a young player. Besides the open tournament, there was invitational tournament with top players such as Jan Timman, Robert Hübner, Vlastimil Hort and others.

During the breaks Timman liked to entertain his colleagues by showing them endgame  studies. One of these studies was so difficult that the gentlemen, who belonged to the best players of their time, to Timman's could not solve it.

The Grandmasters were close to the right solution but again and again rejected the crucial line because they did not believe that White had a win in the final position of this variation.

I have no idea what study Timman had shown but I remember very well how I followed the analysis as a spectator and watched in disbelief when the Dutch Grandmaster finally showed the  solution. A position that seemed impossible to win, was actually won!

I already talked about this anecdote in which "the impossible becomes possible" in the past in a column for the Dutch website schaaksite.nl but now invite you to try your luck with the position below! Of course, the theme of the study has appeared in a number of games. And in one them Timman himself was the victim...


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