06 December 2012

Endgames with Equivalent Piece (and Pawns)

Contrary to the old saying, not all Rook endgames are drawn. So says the chart shown below, which is drawn from A Database for ICCF Finals. The statistics are from ICCF World Championships, where the players are top-notch, motivated, and have ample time to explore the subtleties of every position that arises during a game. Games were counted if the material was present for at least six half-moves.

The numbers show the count of endgames with different pieces in contest with a piece of the same value, both sides having Pawns. For example, from a total of 2704 games in the database, there were 16 Queen and Pawn (Q+P) endgames with the same number of Pawns on both sides (=0). There were 17 Q+P endgames with an advantage of a single extra Pawn for White (+1), and 9 with an extra Pawn for Black (-1). The rest of the numbers should explain themselves.

What does this table show? Not much, I'm afraid. The counts are too small to draw any real conclusions, but they give a few directions for further investigation.

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