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Smart simplification

Having knowledge about pawn endgames is also useful when there are more pieces on the board. If you know that you can achieve a winning pawn endgame by exchanging pieces, you can steer towards that. The same applies the other way around. If you are not in a good position, but you see that you can reach a drawn pawn endgame, then it is beneficial to exchange pieces.

Exchanging pieces to move to a favorable endgame is called simplification.

In the first example we see that white simplifies into a winning pawn endgame by exchanging rooks.

In example 2, black saves half a point by fleeing into a king and pawn versus king endgame that is a draw.

What do you have to do?

Simplify into a winning pawn endgame.

Are you defending? Then simplify into a pawn endgame that you can draw.

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