# How to work out if you need your king for support when you try to promote your passed pawn to queen?

Hello guys,

This has happened to many times in end games where both have equal pieces but I have a passed pawn.  I then get the feeling I can promote my passed pawn easily with only the help of my other major pieces but, then other guy puts all his defense on that pawn including his king and I lose my pawn and game too.

For example in a situation like this I feel my pawn and two rooks is more than enough to promote my pawn to a queen, but then I pay dearly. How do I know I need my king also for support, is there some general rule I can follow so I know I need my king also here? Thanks so much.

By the way what is the technique to win this game. Lets say white king was closer and it was white to move, like this.

I'd generally assume that being 1 pawn up in a 4-rook ending is insufficient to win. The standard advice is to first exchange 1 pair of rooks but you need to leave the opposite king in a position where it can't block the pawn.

But there is more to chess than general considerations. An active king and active rooks are meaningful assets in themselves and may give you a chance to win. Nobody knows about your diagrams because I suspect you displayed them upside-down. Such "details" easily outwit 10 pages of expert analysis.

Hey thanks for ur advice but what do u mean no one understands my diagrams, isn't this the standard way to showna diagram. White plays from bottom?

If White's playing from the bottom then the bottom left corner should be a1 and not h8

Generally speaking, if the number of pieces on each side is equal, and only 1 pawn is left, the pawn can't queen without its own king's support.  Remember, the defending side can usually simplify to a king+pawn v. king endgame, and in that case, if your king is behind the passed pawn, the game will almost always be drawn.

@Arisktotle is correct that a single pair of rooks is simpler to calculate.  But in this case, the procedure for winning involves reaching the Lucena position, and there, too, the attacking king has to be in front of the pawn.  Without the king is support of the pawn, the rook is stuck defending the pawn, while the defender can set up an effective blockade with both king & rook.

The king's participation is not optional in near-equal endgames.  If your king is too far away from the action, your opponent will outnumber you where it matters most.  It's a difficult thing, given how dangerous king exposure is in the middlegame, but the player who activates their king first will win about 80% of King+Pawn and King+piece endgames at the amateur level.

sam16231 wrote:

Hey thanks for ur advice but what do u mean no one understands my diagrams, isn't this the standard way to showna diagram. White plays from bottom?

Yes, it's standard but it is also standard not to display coordinates. You did and thereby contradict the standard assumption. Now, nobody knows anymore.

just always do it. its the easiest thing to remember

Dsmith42 wrote:

Generally speaking, if the number of pieces on each side is equal, and only 1 pawn is left, the pawn can't queen without its own king's support.  Remember, the defending side can usually simplify to a king+pawn v. king endgame, and in that case, if your king is behind the passed pawn, the game will almost always be drawn.

@Arisktotle is correct that a single pair of rooks is simpler to calculate.  But in this case, the procedure for winning involves reaching the Lucena position, and there, too, the attacking king has to be in front of the pawn.  Without the king is support of the pawn, the rook is stuck defending the pawn, while the defender can set up an effective blockade with both king & rook.

The king's participation is not optional in near-equal endgames.  If your king is too far away from the action, your opponent will outnumber you where it matters most.  It's a difficult thing, given how dangerous king exposure is in the middlegame, but the player who activates their king first will win about 80% of King+Pawn and King+piece endgames at the amateur level.

Thanks a lot for helping me out. I will keep these advises in mind.

Perfectness of advice