Of Kings and Pawns
Kings and Pawns is my favorite chess exersize "workout" to play with friends at chess club. I started playing this a while back and have noticed many great assets from it.
First, it truly helps you understand how pawns work together. What their inherent strengths and weaknesses are. It will often illustrate the dynamics of Pawn Duo, Pawn Chain, Passed Pawn, Isolated Pawn, Doubled Pawns, Backward Pawns, En Passant, and Pawn Promotion.
Second, it helps remind us the attacking power of the King. Instead of hiding in a castle our king wields the mighty excabilbur as it marches into battle!
Finally it gives opportunity to practice much needed King and Pawn Endgames! Do you know how to promote your pawn? Fight for a draw? What about set ups like "the deep freeze", or "fox in the chicken coop", or simple "opposition" postions? If not, read Jeremy Silman's Endgame Course! And then play Kings and Pawns! It's the only game I will let my two sons play (6 and 8 years old).
Kings and Pawns plays out with a great battle leading to one player hopefully promoting an pawn. Then do you know how to force checkmate while watching out for stalemate pitfalls? All can be practiced in this little game.
You will be shocked by how much your rating wlll improve after you master this mini game!