Another lesson about PAWN ENDINGS.

But this time you'll see a few more pawns on the board.

If you don't remember the last two lessons on Kings and Pawns you might like to go back and do them again before you start this one.

For your first question, perhaps you'd like to tell me what's happening in this position?

White's winning
Black's winning
It's a draw
I haven't got a clue

Sorry, that was one of my trick questions!!

The correct answer is that you don't know - because I didn't tell you whose move it is.

OK, let's say that it's WHITE's move.

White's winning
Black's winning
It's a draw
I haven't got a clue

In fact this position is ZUGZWANG!!

Whoever moves first loses!!

If it's White's move, he must move away from the pawn. Black then captures and White is unable to take the OPPOSITION by reaching f2.

Black will then win easily - if you don't believe me go away and play it out, and don't come back until you're convinced!!

In this position White has TWO moves that draw - everything else loses.

Remembering what you've just seen, can you find one of the DRAWING moves?

We'll start by looking at some of the losing moves.

If White plays Kd4-e5, Black has ONE WINNING MOVE, no drawing moves and three losing moves.

You learned about two minutes ago that Kh4-g4 is WINNING FOR BLACK - ZUGZWANG!!

If White moves his King to d5, Black has one way to win, one way to draw and two ways to lose. Can you find his WINNING move?

Kh4-g4 Kh4-g3
Kh4-h5 Kh4-h3

Kh4-g3 is the winning move. Now if White plays Kd5-e5, Black has Kg3-g4, winning. And if White plays anything else, Black will just win by capturing the White pawn.

Kh4-h5 is a draw, but the other two moves both lose.
After Kh4-g4, White wins with Kd5-e5.

But after Kh4-h3, if White plays Kd5-e5 he LOSES, but he can win by playing Kd5-e6.

It's a bit confusing, isn't it?

Now let's go back and look at one of the drawing moves from our original position: Kd4-e3, giving this position.

(Kd4-d3 also draws in similar fashion.)

Now suppose Black plays Kh5-g4, giving this position. What should White do now?

If you remember the previous lesson you'll understand that White must be able to take THE OPPOSITION by moving two squares in front of the Black King.

So he doesn't mind too much losing the pawn as long as he can reply by moving his King to f2.

The only move that lets him do that is Ke3-e2. That move draws, everything else loses.

Again, if you're not certain why do away and try it out for yourself.

The same principle applies over and over again in King and Pawn endings.

This time White has two pawns against one. What should he play here?

Yet again, White must TAKE THE OPPOSITION by playing Kd3-d4.

Believe me, it's the only move that wins.

As always, play it through yourself to make sure you understand why.

For instance, if White plays Kd3-e4, Black will TAKE THE OPPOSITION himself by playing Kd6-e6.

In this position I'd like you to consider the moves f4-f5+ and g4-g5.

Only f4-f5+ wins
Only g4-g5 wins
Both moves win
Neither move wins

The answer is that g4-g5 wins - White TAKES THE OPPOSITION and forces Black to give way.

f4-f5+ is only a draw, though, after the exchange of pawns.

You should have recognized this as a draw from your Class 6 lesson.

Here's another important position.

You can mess about with your King all day but - as long as Black geos to the right square you won't make any progress.

The only way to win is to SACRIFICE your c-pawn.

It doesn't matter when, but now is as good a time as any. Let's play it out.

White plays c6-c7 and Black takes the pawn (if he doesn't, White promotes and forces him to take next move).

We've now reached this position. White COMES ROUND THE SIDE with Kd5-e6 and gradually forces Black into the corner.

In a couple of moves you'll reach a position like this - Black has to move away.

You should remember from Class 6 that White will then win regardless of whether Black goes to a8 or b8 here.

Note that the White King can attack the Black Pawn from two squares, but the Black King can only defend it from one square.

Time for something a bit different - and another question.

What would you suggest White played in this position?

I hope you found the winning move - White SACRIFICES a pawn with c4-c5.

If Black captures this pawn, White will Queen first (and with check).

If Black plays Kf4-e5 instead, White will play c5-c6, with a PROTECTED PASSED PAWN.

He will eventually win as in the previous example.

The idea of SACRIFICING to get an unstoppable PASSED PAWN is very important in King and Pawn endings.

Here's a more complicated example. It's White's move. You might need to go away and try out some ideas first.

The winning move is indeed g5-g6, but the clever stuff happens next move.

It's a PAWN FORK (of f7 and h7) so Black has to take.

If he plays f7xg6 we reach this position. How can White force a PAWN PROMOTION?

If you found h5-h6 you're doing well!! White's prepared to SACRIFICE TWO PAWNS to get a Queen.

Now White's THREATENING h6xg7, so Black probably plays g7xh6.

Now of course we play f5-f6 and get a new Queen in two moves time.

And, just for the sake of completion, tell me what White would play if Black took with the h-pawn instead after g5-g6.

It was easy that time, wasn't it?

The same thing again, but on the other side.

This time White forces home a Pawn by playing f5-f6 first, and, if Black takes, then h5-h6.

Now we'll give White another pawn. What difference does this make?

What do you think's going on here?

White's winning
It's a draw
Don't know
Don't care

Yes, if White plays his King to b6 it's STALEMATE. And if he does anything else he loses his Pawn on c7.

But it's a very easy win. Do you see what's going to happen if White moves his King to, say, d6?

He'll get over to the other side of the board, kill off some Black pawns and queen some White ones.

Set the position up and play it out yourself.

In this position White can win in the same way.

But it's quicker to play Kc6-b6. It's NOT STALEMATE this time: Black can - and must - play g6-g5. White takes it (it doesn't matter which way) and then promotes to a Queen (or Rook) with checkmate in four moves time while Black is playing pawn move.

Just be careful not to take the second pawn when it WILL be STALEMATE.

Here, don't think you can win quickly by playing h2-h4!

If you play that move you'll LOSE quickly - Black will capture EN PASSANT and queen HIS pawn!

You have to be very careful not to forget the EN PASSANT rule - even in the endgame.

Instead White can still win easily by playing something like Kc7-d6.

The best way to learn to win with an extra pawn or two is to practise some positions yourself.

In our first position you have TWO extra pawns so it should be easy as long as you remember the first rule of endings:


Start by advancing your King into the middle of the board, then advance your pawns so that you get a PASSED PAWN or two.

This one's a bit harder, with only ONE extra pawn.

LIke last time, you start by moving your King to the center - in this case d4.

Then you advance on the Queen side. Always start with the pawn which doesn't have an opposite number - in this case your c-pawn.

You aim to create a PASSED PAWN by playing c2-c4, b2-b4, c4-c5, b4-b5, c5-c6, gradually forcing back the enemy king.

When you've got a PASSED PAWN, move your King over to the King side to eat your opponent's pawns.

With pawns on only one side of the board it's a lot harder.

With best play you can win it every time, but you'll only do it if you really understand about THE OPPOSITION.

Just as before, USE YOUR KING, and make sure you don't advance your pawns too soon.

If you want to practise these positions against a computer, drop in at the GYMNASIUM sometime. You'll be able to try them out there.

Once you've worked out how to win them all you'll really understand how just one extra pawn can win you the game.

If you're ahead by a pawn or two in the middle game - try to exchange off all the pieces and win the KING AND PAWN ending.

On the other hand, if you're behind by a pawn or two, do everything you can to keep as many pieces as possible on the board and avoid reaching a King and Pawn ending.

You've now reached the end of your assignment.

Click on the FINISH button to find out how you got on!

Watch out for a movie accompanying this lesson: coming to a movie theater near you shortly!