Her Majesty and the Rebel

NM coolthing
Jun 18, 2015, 10:40 AM |

Hello there all!

Today's topic is an endgame where a queen faces off against a pawn. The winning process is not actually that easy. But (although there are exceptions; I'll get to those at the end) all you have to do is get one of three pieces in front of the pawn, blocking it from promotion. Since there are only three pieces on the board other than the pawn, it is relatively easy to understand:



In each of the diagrams, a piece was stopping the pawn from promotion. The winning ideas are as follows:

  1. The White queen is in front of the pawn. All he has to do is bring the king over. White wins.
  2. This is the hardest of them. The idea is to force the king in front of the pawn and use that time to slowly bring White's king over. Use forks and pins to make this possible.
  3. Easy peasy. Just check along the rank with the queen and the pawn is lost.


Of course, things aren't all that easy. I mentioned that there were exceptions to these rules. These occur when the pawn is a bishop- or rook- pawn. If the (let's assume the stronger side is White) White King is not close enough, these two endgames are both drawn.


As you saw, Black was able to go to h1 for a stalemate. White only wins if his king is close and the Black king is on the wrong side.


Now about the rook pawns:


Well, that didn't work. Black has the stalemate resource again!

White can only win with the pattern similar to the bishop-pawn win:

The king got a little close on that one. But what if the pawn is only on the sixth rank, but White's king is ridiculously far away?

Have you mastered this stuff yet? I hope so; if you didn't please repeat everything on this page.

For now, though, just wait for my next post!