Pawn Play in the Endgame

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by John Grefe

  • Category: Endgames
  • Avg. Rating: 1520

Pawns play important roles in all phases of the game, but it's in the ending that it becomes obvious they are the stars of the show. The reason? Full-blown mating attacks and complex tactical battles are rare - the dominant theme is the creation and promotion of passed pawns. The puzzles in this course can be approached individually and in any order by players who are just looking for some challenging fun. For those with a more systematic approach, the puzzles are mostly ordered from the easiest to the hardest, with similar ideas grouped together. Many concepts crucial to successful pawn play are covered. The main ones are: 1) Types of passed pawns; 2) Good and bad pawn structures; 3) Pawns in concert with various pieces; 4) The opposition; 5) Rule of the square; 6) Zugzwang; 7) Stalemate and other drawing methods. In some puzzles you'll practice being the attacker, in others, the defender. This means that, with best play, if you're the attacker, you can hope to win or at least draw; as the defender a draw is your aim. (In actual play things are not always so clear, but, if you can spell out what you're aiming for, it becomes easier to zero in on the correct ideas). The types of positions you'll see here are sure to arise in your own games. If you remember how to handle them you'll enjoy chess more and score more victories. Good Luck, IM John Grefe, 1973 U.S. Champion


#LessonCategoryRatingMy Score
XYZ001 A Cool Rule: "The Square" Endgames 1000 -
XYZ002 The "Opposition": An "Odd" Proposition Endgames 1200 -
XYZ003 Last-Minute Save Endgames 1400 -
XYZ004 Tricks of the Trade Endgames 1400 -
XYZ005 Who Queens First? Endgames 1200 -
XYZ006 A Stunning Finish Worthy of the X-Files Tactics 1400 -
XYZ007 A Passed Pawn's Best Friend Endgames 1400 -
XYZ008 Creating & Preventing Passers Endgames 1400 -
XYZ009 "Special One-Time Promotion Offer" Tactics 1600 -
XYZ010 Multiple Promotions Equal Fireworks Tactics 1800 -
XYZ011 "Our Majority Is Better Than Your Majority" Endgames 1800 -
XYZ012 Worst Knightmare Endgames 1400 -
XYZ013 When Good Bishops Go Wrong Endgames 1600 -
XYZ014 How Many Queens Are Too Many? Endgames 1800 -
XYZ015 How To Develop X-Ray Vision Endgames 1600 -
XYZ016 Reykjavik Rattlers The Culprits? Endgames 1400 -
XYZ017 Thundering Herd Endgames 1800 -
XYZ018 Lassoing A Rook Endgames 1800 -
XYZ019 Doing It The Old-Fashioned Way Endgames 1800 -
XYZ020 Lockdown! Endgames 1600 -