I'm trying to get the hang of the KNpKN endgame. It's not an endgame you see very frequently, but it might help me to improve my knight vision. In the beginning I thought there were hundreds of fighting methods or manoeuvers. But after more investigation only about six manoeuvers remain. When you look at such endgame, you become goal oriented. The main goal of the KNpKN endgame is ofcourse to guard your pawn safely towards promotion. That leads to two goals for the opponent: sac the knight for the pawn or blockade the pawn permanently. That again leads to goals for the attacker: decoying the enemy knight away by a knight sacrifice, avoid a knight fork King and pawn. Avoid the enemy king to reach the promotion square.
In fact the methods are very common: fork, decoy, sac, blockade. But for
some reason these are difficult to spot in this situation. The reason
for that is that you need to be aware of the squares. Whether they are
empty or not. Say you want to play h7. For that you must ask yourself
("see") which squares must I dominate? Which squares does the enemy
knight need to be able to sac his knight on h7? That are f8, f6 and g5. The blue squares in the diagram connect the black knight with the h7 square. The immediate h7 leads to the fork Nf8+. The white knight must protect g5 and f6, while the white king guards f8 and f6. So 1.Ne4 prepares that situation. The subgoals for both sides can be derived from the main goal, while the squares which you must dominate can be derived from the subgoals. The moves in turn can be derived from the squares.
The Curse of the Top Seed
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