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A tricky Lucena explained by Prathamesh Mokal

by Sagar Shah - 05/10/2017

The Lucena is a basic yet extremely important endgame position. A lot of players learn it and tend to forget the same. In this instructive article, the experienced and well-known FIDE trainer Prathamesh Mokal not only teaches you this basic endgame, but poses you with a tricky study related to it. It is an excellent way to consolidate your knowledge about this key endgame and at the same time learn something new. Ready for the challenge?

Lucena position and a tricky study!

The Lucena position is always winning for the stronger side. This is well known. Now, what would happen if you add an extra pawn for the stronger side? Should be all the more convincing victory, right? Well, the problem is that the pawn is hindering the white king from coming out. But where there is a will, there is a way! Can you crack this?


Similar to the study by Duras

White to play and win

The problem that White faces is that after Rd2+ Ke7 the normal bridge buiding with Rd4 doesn't work as when the white king comes out from c7, a check down the c-file will force the king back to b8. So how should White win this? Try your best and once you have the answer listen to the explanation by IM Prathamesh Mokal.

Explanation of Lucena and solution to the study:

Study by Duras:

It is always nice to reinforce what you have studied by means of more examples. So here's a little more complicated study, which is not at all easy to solve. But by knowing the solution to the above problem, you should be able to find the answer quite easily:


Composed by O. Duras, 1902

White to play and win

The g-pawn is one step away from becoming a queen. There seems to be no good way to stop it without sacrificing the bishop. How does White win?

About the author of the video:

Prathamesh Mokal is an International Master and FIDE Trainer from India. He won bronze in the Commonwealth Junior Championships 2003 and was joint Asian Junior Champion in the same year. He got his first Grandmaster norm in 2009 and scored an unprecedented 100% in the FIDE Trainer’s exam in 2012. He is a renowned coach based in Pune, India and he is also a Martial Arts enthusiast with a Black Belt 1st Dan in Isshinryu Karate as well as Matayoshi Kobudo.


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