Former World Champion and legendary chess teacher Mikhail Botvinnik was the originator of the “Every Russian schoolboy knows” chess aphorism, which alluded to the fact that thousands of unknown schoolboys back in Russia - due to the intense training methods they received from a young age - likely knew more about the game than most professionals did in the West.
One player who came through that legendary Soviet training camp is former U.S. Champion GM Alexander Yermolinsky. And each Sunday in his hit show, “Every Russian Schoolboy Knows”, Alex will explain and expand on all the top tips and tricks gleaned from those famed training methods.
Today's show is: Queen Endgames - Part 1
Many players, from club level to 2600+ Grandmasters have an irrational fear of queen endgames. No, they won't run away from the board as soon as such an ending appears, but they don't trust queen endgames as a path to convert advantage into a victory. Too many checks, too much uncertainty, and, yes, a higher probability of a game-changing blunder. The purpose of this series is to restore faith in queen endgames.
Video One deals with a common type of advantage, an extra pawn located on the other side of the board. Some may be pleasantly surprised to see how easy it is for a queen to shepherd the passer all the way through. NO KING HELP REQUIRED is the sign posted over the board. However, it all depends on how safe the king's residence is. One little move with the f-pawn, and it becomes too drafty. It is still possible to use the power of the queen to stop the checks by blocking with check or pin, but for that, the defender's king has to be open - see Wang Yue-Adams for a clear-cut application of that technique.