Pawn Endings


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Kb5 The rule of the square can form a basis for tactics. In the position on the right, Black to move played Kb4 , entering the square of White's f-pawn. He thought that this would be good enough for a draw, but White played 2. After Now White simply promotes the pawn and wins. Black had no other choice but to take White's d-pawn on his second move as otherwise it would have queened.

Please note that 2. Kb2 Kd7 5. Kc3 Ke8 6. Kd4 Kf7 7. Ke5 wins as well. When the two Kings stand next to each other so that there is one square between them, they are said to oppose each other or to be in opposition. Because the rules of chess say that the King can't step to a square next to the opposite King, there is an invisible wall between the Kings that makes it impossible for them to advance forwards.

The player who is not to move in such situation is said to have the opposition. Since his opponent can't move his King forwards, he has to move it sideways or backwards, and after that the other player gets to advance his King forward, which is usually advantageous for him. If Black is to move, White has the opposition.

Black can't move his King forwards, so he might play Kd6 Kf6 is the same in mirror image. Now the f5-square becomes available for the white King, so White's next move is 2. If Black now moves his King to e7, White responds by moving his King to e5, when a position similar to the starting position has arisen, with the exception that the white King has advanced one square forwards and thus forced the black King to retreat one square.

Now you might wonder what is the advantage of having the opposition. Let's add a Pawn to the previous position, and we get an example of how to queen the Pawn with the aid of the opposition see diagram on right :. Now Black plays Kd6, as in the previous example. White's first move is also the same, 2. Kf5, advancing his King forwards. The play might go on Kd7 3. Kf6 Kd6. Now it seems that Black has the opposition, but we shouldn't forget that White doesn't have to move his King.

Therefore the right move is 4. Now White wins after Kd7 5. Ke6 Kd8 7. Kf7 Kd7 8. This position might look like a simple win with White to move as well. However, in this case, the game is drawn.

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Black has the opposition, and he can use it to block the Pawn if he is careful and doesn't blunder the opposition away. Play could begin with 1. Kf4 Kf6 2.

This is the only move that holds the draw. In this kind of position, when the defending King can't oppose the enemy King, he must never move backwards. Instead he always has to move sideways, and always to the file on which the opponent's Pawn stands. If Black had now played Ke5, and won the game as in the previous example.

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Pawn Endings

Ke6 White has no way to force the Pawn through as long as Black carefully keeps the opposition. The play could continue 3. Kf5 Kf7 5. Kf6 Kf8 7. Ke6 stalemate. You need more than just a pawn and the opposition to win though. Take the position at right. Unlike the previous one, White's king is behind the pawn, and this is enough to ensure black a draw.

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Assuming black to move so white has the opposition the game might continue 1. Kd7 2. Kc5 Kc7 3. Kd5 Kd8 5.

Endings - The Secrets of Rook and Pawn Endings - TheQuietMove

Kc6 Kc8 6. Kd6 stalemate.


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Even if one side has a pawn advantage, his king is in front of the pawn, and he has the opposition, it may not be enough to win. A notable example is shown at right, namely the rook pawn. Unlike the previous case, there is nothing white can do to force black out of the corner - thus his pawn can never queen.

The position at right is a good example of an outside passed pawn.

78. Rook Endgames Part 4 - Simple ideas with many pawns

It is not that the pawn is at the edge of the board - it is the fact that this pawn is far away from the other pawns, and acts as a decoy. It is often the case that in positions with an equal number of pawns that an outside passed pawn is sufficient advantage to win. Take the position at right as an example. A Gambit re-issue of the definitive modern work on pawn endings, written by the same authors as the award-winning Fundamental Chess Endings.

This book provides a thorough course in endings with just kings and pawns, from the simple to the highly complex. Armed with this knowledge, the reader will also be able to tackle other types of endgame with greater confidence and certainty. Many interesting and beautiful positions are included, and there are test positions for the reader to solve. The authors follow the rigorously logical conventions introduced by John Nunn in his famous series of endgame manuals.

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This has necessitated a phenomenal amount of new analysis of theoretical positions to assess precisely the merits of each and every move. He finished third in the German Championship in , and was runner-up in He is a noted authority on both practical and theoretical endgames. Frank Lamprecht is also from Germany, and is an international master. He has been a chess trainer since

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