Would you like a draw? Most of the time, I wouldn’t. Sure, if a draw gets me a grandmaster norm or first prize in a tournament I’ll probably take it. It’s hard to risk risk your prize-money just for that extra half-point. On the other hand I like to play. Agree to a draw just because the position is even? I don’t think so.

That’s a very hard concept to have your students understand. Having the mental toughness to play on and risk losing is something you need to be a strong player. In Australia IM Stephen Solomon is the perfect example of that. He is confident that he can outplay most opponents in the ending and he is notorious for playing on in even (or worse) positions yet still managing to win.
I well remember one of my students agreeing to a draw in the Australian Junior because “he couldn’t see how to win”. “Why do you need to see how to win?” I berated him. “Just play!” He missed out on the title by half a point. A painful lesson in not accepting draws.

Perhaps the hardest sort of endgame in which to avoid a draw is queen endings. There are just so many checks available to your opponent it becomes virtually impossible to analyse accurately. In such situations I tell my students to just place your queen on a good square in the middle of the board then run around with your King and hope that he can find shelter from the checks.
This is the situation facing White in today’s puzzle. Can his King find shelter from the checks or should he just try to run over to his passed “c” pawn and hope for the best? White must choose between Kh2, Kh4 or Kg4. How would you advise him?

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