New Content Update: Master Knight vs. Pawn Endgames and More in Puzzle Academy

Learn how to master Knight vs. Pawn endgames and more with a variety of challenging skills and levels. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, this update has something for everyone. Check it out now!

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Watch a video with examples of the Knight vs Pawn endgame and other levels:

Endgames: Knight versus Pawn

The "Endgames" course now includes the endgame of knight versus pawn. I've added three skills with one level for each skill, covering the most important situations that can occur in this endgame.

There is one exceptional situation where the knight can actually deliver checkmate in the corner, but it occurs almost never in practice. Otherwise the knight has to fight for a draw, which is easier against center and bishop pawns. Therefore the endgame includes the following skills:

  • Drawing against a knight pawn
  • Drawing against a rook pawn
  • Winning with the pawn

Here is a typical example of drawing against the rook pawn:

Click the diagram to play this endgame.

And here is an example of winning with the pawn:

Click the diagram to play this endgame.

Defence: Defend a piece and avoid checkmate

In the "Defence" course, I've added a new skill where one of your pieces is attacked. You have to defend that piece and also avoid a possible checkmate. Here is an example:

The rook on h4 is attacking Black's queen on h6. The queen has two safe squares: g6, and f6. 1...Qf6 would allow 2.Qxh7#. Therefore, Black has to defend with 1...Qg6.

On the solution page of these puzzles, you can always see the threat, the line to be avoided, and the correct solution.

Tactics: Intermediate move to avoid checkmate

In the "Tactics" course, I've published a related new skill where you also have to avoid a checkmate. There are already "Intermediate check" and "Intermediate move" skills with five levels each. Last month "Intermediate check to avoid checkmate" was added. And now we also have "Intermediate move to avoid checkmate". Here is a typical example:

Black could win a piece with 1...fxe3, however that would come at a high price, because 2.Qxf7# would be checkmate. Instead, Black can win with the intermediate move 1...Nb6!, attacking the unprotected bishop on c4, and opening the line from c7 to f7, so Black's queen is now protecting f7.
Now Black is attacking two pieces, and White will lose one of them, for example 2.Bb3 fxe3.

Combinations: Decoy into discovered check, level 2

In the "Combinations" course, the "Decoy into discovered check" now has a 2nd level. These are puzzles with four moves, where you can play a decoy sacrifice to set up a discovered attack. For example:

Black is down a piece, but can now sacrifice the queen with 1...Qxg2+!! White has to recapture with 2.Kxg2, and Black has lured the king onto the diagonal b7-g2. 2...dxc4+ attacks the queen on b3, and discovers a check from the bishop on b7. After 3.Bf3, Black must be precise and exchange the bishops first with the intermediate check 3...Bxf3+, and only after 4.Rxf3 take the queen with 4...cxb3. Black is now an exchange up and has a winning material advantage.

Checkmate patterns: Swallow's tail mate in four moves

In the "Checkmate patterns" course, the "Swallow's tail mate" now has level 4.

Click the diagram to solve this puzzle.

Checkmate combinations: Difficult checkmates

In the checkmate combinations, there is already a skill with forced checkmates, with five levels. I've designed the skills so they can have a maximum of five levels, so I hadn't added a sixth level yet. Many users have asked for a sixth level, so now I've added a new skill "Difficult checkmates", and level 1, "Checkmate in six moves". Here is a beautiful example:

Click the diagram to solve this puzzle.

Attacking: Attacking the uncastled king, level 3

In the "Attacking" course, the "Attacking the uncastled king" skill started last month now has a third level. These can already be quite tricky, for example:

White has sacrificed an entire rook in the opening, but Black's king cannot castle. In the game, White continued with 1.Bxe7 regaining a knight, because Black cannot recapture in view of 1...Nxe7 2.Qd8#. White eventually won the game, but there was a much stronger continuation. Click the diagram to solve the puzzle.

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Future development and your feedback

Work has already started on additional endgames and levels, stay tuned for the next update.
As always your feedback is important and welcome, please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Martin Bennedik

Founder of, International Correspondence Chess Master

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