King and Pawn Endings II


In a previous blog post (K&P Endings I) I looked at trading to a King and Pawn ending where the winning side had an extra pawn and bringing it home to promotion didn't pose a big challenge. Sometimes we can trade pieces into a materially even King and Pawn ending where it is the pawn structure and placement of the kings that will determine who, if either side can get a promotion. I'll show some examples from my games


In the first example material is even as we head to a Queen and Pawn endgame, but black mistakenly trades the queens. This leaves his pawns fractured (a weak pawn structure) and his king too far from the action. The resulting King and Pawn endgame was winning for white with even material. The game as played is given as the main variation, the more interesting variation with 3. ... Kf8 is given in the move list.


In the second example, white has a two pawn advantage but is concerned about his opponents active rook. There is probably a straightforward winning variation in the two pawns up rook ending, instead I noticed I could trade the rook by giving the pawns back and result in a winning King and Pawn ending.


These two examples show us a few of the important things in king and pawn endings.

  • The ability to attack weak pawns with the king. In the first example, black's c-pawn was weak and this forced black's king to babysit. In the second example, the pawn structure and position of the kings allows white to attack the f-pawn
  •  The more advanced king position. In the first example, white's more forward position allows him to win a pawn race in some variations. In the second example, white's forward king is able to get behind black's pawn chain.
Sometimes the advanced king position can be achieved using Opposition or Outflanking. If you're not familiar with these king maneuver techniques, you should look them up and make use of them!