Opposition and Critical Squares

Opposition and Critical Squares

Jan 27, 2015, 9:37 AM |

The following exercises are for the students of KLA Chess Club, a title I, charter public school located in San Diego, CA. Chess is offered as an everyday class

We will be practicing some basic end game positions. By practicing the endgame, this will help:

1. Your overall chess knowledge and realize that the King isn't useless afterall.

2. Help develop a plan during your opening and middle game; If you are up material, it is often a good strategy to keep trading off pieces  till eventually you can promote a pawn for an easy win.

In order for a pawn to promote, the King must reach certain critial squares to ensure a win. 

Set-up the following position:

In the above diagram, White must have his King reach any of the critical squares: b6, c6 or d6. Whoever moves next determines who will reach the critical square.
If white were to move...
If black to move...
Play the position below with your partner. Take turns with both white and black moving first. When white moves first, black should be able to force a draw. When black moves first, white should be able to promote.