Secrets of the Super Pawn

Secrets of the Super Pawn

| 28 | Tactics

Many folks see the endgame as the most boring part of the game, where it is all about the technique. Even though some endgames require a decent amount of technique and sometimes can look boring for inexperienced chess players, they can still feature really exciting ideas and combinations.

Today we'll discuss a typical tactical pattern that happens mostly in endgames.

The next diagram shows the main idea of the pattern:

As you can see, a rook pawn on the 6th rank (3rd rank for Black) is unstoppable when it attacks the knight.  

Many years ago this simple combination brought me an important win and my first IM norm:


Simple, right? Now try to solve the next puzzles yourself:

The pattern is so well-known that experienced chess players are not going to miss it even in a simul game!

In the following endgame, Garry Kasparov gives a master class on promoting a pawn!

Just like with any combination, please don't assume that whenever you see the familiar pattern, a win is in the bag.

The next classical game is given in some text books on tactics with the verdict after 30...h3: "and the pawn promotes".  

Meanwhile, in the real game, White managed to stop the pawn and was actually very close to a draw:

Finally, let me present a funny endgame which was played quite recently and was featured in GM Baburin's excellent newspaper "Chess Today." 

Both opponents knew the "super pawn" pattern very well. Maybe too well, since they both assumed that this magical combination always wins in any situation!

As you can see, the endgames are not that boring after all!

Hopefully, you'll be able to execute this cute little combo in your own games!


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