Endgame series, issue 23 – Knight’s versatility in the endgame
In this issue of Endgame series, we will talk about the special role of the most unpredictable chess piece, the knight, in the endgame.
The specific geometry of movement of the knight, unlike any other piece on the board, gives rise to many unique possibilities in the endgame. It is this knight’s versatility that inspired many chess composers to compose beautiful and instructive endgame studies, some of which we will see in this article, as well.
While being quite short-legged when it comes to covering large areas of the board, knight is a very tricky piece on a smaller area since it can cover a lot of important squares and ‘shape-shift’ its routes in many different ways. I am sure that every chess player had a situation in their career when he/she missed some unexpected knight jump that changed the situation on the board sharply. It is not without a reason that knights are more coveted pieces than bishops when in time scramble or in a blitz game.
I think that the following practical example illustrates quite well how tricky the knight can be, even in a very simple-looking position: