Planning in the endgame, Korchnoi – Karpov, 1978 World Ch., Rd. 31· Endgame Strategy 3

Endgames are about planning, thinking schematically, and looking far ahead often without calculating precise lines. Finding a plan is a must in any endgame. Even if the plan may not be winning with perfect play from your opponent, it may be enough to cause enough pressure to force mistakes.

You win an endgame either by mating or by promoting, there’s no other way, and managing to combine both threats is often a key strategy which makes your opponent crack. Korchnoi did that against Karpov in this endgame. It was a complex rook endgame with equal pawns, and he found a forcing plan which put Karpov on the back foot and mistakes followed shortly. Even though the engine says the endgame should have ended in a draw, the correct aggressive plan made the world champion crumble.

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