You've now learned quite a lot about PAWN ENDINGS.

Now we're going to look at some QUEEN ENDINGS.

Sometimes Queen endings arise because all the big guys except the QUEENS get exchanged off.

But Queen endings also come from PAWN ENDINGS - because in PAWN ENDINGS we're trying to turn our PAWNS into QUEENS.

Maybe something like this has happened to you.

You each have a King and a Pawn.

You get your Pawn to the end of the board while the enemy Pawn reaches the seventh rank.

Can you win the game, or is it a draw?

Let's have a look.

Here's a typical position.

It's White's move.

His plan is to get his queen nearer the Black Pawn.

To do this he will use a zigzag series of CHECKS and THREATS.

Set up this position on your chessboard and we'll play through the moves together.

1.Qe8-f7+ Kf2-g2
2.Qf7-e6 Kg2-f2
3.Qe6-f5+ Kf2-g2
4.Qf5-e4+ Kg2-f2

You've now reached the position on your left.

White's made some progress but still needs to get in a bit closer.

5.Qe4-f4+ Kf2-g2
6.Qf4-e3 Kg2-f1

This is the key position.

Black now has to move in front of the pawn.


And here we are.

Once the Black King is blocking the pawn's advance he has no threat.

So White is free to move his King towards the action.

Then White will continue with a PIN, then play another series of CHECKS and THREATS until the Black King is forced in front of the King again.

8.Kb7-c6 Ke1-d2
9.Qf3-f2 Kd2-d1
10.Qf2-d4+ Kd1-c2
11.Qd4-e3 Kc2-d1
12.Qe3-d3+ Kd1-e1

Black's King has been forced in front of the Pawn, so White has time for another King move.

White repeats the same maneuver again: 13.Kc6-d5 Ke1-f2
14.Qd3-d2 Kf2-f1
15.Qd2-f4+ Kf1-g2
16.Qf4-e3 Kg2-f1
17.Qe3-f3+ Kf1-e1

And again the White King can approach.

The end is near.

18.Kd5-e4 Ke1-d2
19.Qf3-d3+ Kd2-e1
20.Ke4-f3 Ke1-f1
21.Qd3xe2+ Kf1-g1

and it's CHECKMATE!!


So a Queen beats a pawn on the seventh rank supported by a King.

Or does it?

Let's move everything one file to the right and try again.

Go away and play out this position on your chessboard and see what happens!

You'll eventually reach a position looking something like this.

What action should Black take here?

Play Kg1-f1 Play Kg1-h1
Play checkers Resign

Yes, indeed!!

The King takes shelter in the corner.

Now if White takes the pawn it's STALEMATE.

White can keep on checking but as long as Black remembers to move into the corner in this sort of position White can make no progress.

So, with the King a long way away, a Queen can beat a supported d-pawn or e-pawn on the 7th rank.

But it CANNOT beat a supported c-pawn or f-pawn on the 7th rank.

If you try with a supported b-pawn or g-pawn (for instance the position on your left) you can win the same way as against a center pawn.

Go away and play out the position now to make sure you know how to do it.

Next, see what happens with a Rook's Pawn.

You'll eventually reach something like this. What should Black do here?

Play Kg1-f1 Play Kg1-h1
Play tic-tac-toe Resign

Again with an a-pawn or h-pawn there's a STALEMATE defense.

Here, Black can draw by moving his King into the corner and White's King is too far away for him to make progress.

So: the Queen wins against a b-, d-, e- or g-pawn.

And it's a draw (as long as the King is too far away) with an a-, c-, f- or h-pawn.

Interesting, isn't it?

But if your King is near enough you can win even against a Bishop's or Rook's Pawn.

What's White's quickest way to win here?

Yes, the quickest way to win is to move in with your King.

Black queens his pawn - and now what?

Correct! White brings his King in again, reaching this position.

Now, if you look closely you'll see that there's no way for Black to avoid checkmate in a few moves.

So sometimes you can win even with King and Queen against King and Queen.

Here's an example with a Bishop's Pawn.

How can White win quickly here?

Yes, again you bring the King in, because if Black promotes to a Queen you play, of course...

And if Black plays instead Ke1-e2, reaching this position, one way to win is to play Kc3-d4, and if Ke2-e1 then Kd4-33, when, if he promotes to a Queen, Qg2-d2 will be CHECKMATE.

One other thing: most of the DRAWN positions where the defender has a Rook's Pawn or Bishop's Pawn are WON if the defender has another pawn somewhere because there is no longer a STALEMATE defense.

Endings where both players have queens are VERY difficult to work out - because one or both players may have long sequences of checks which need to be calculated.

Even something as simple as Queen and Pawn against Queen can be almost impossible to work out without the aid of a computer.

Two general rules:

1. If you're trying to win make sure that your King is safe from checks - PERPETUAL CHECKS are very sommon in Queen endings.

2. PASSED PAWNS are very strong in Queen endings.

Moving on to specific positions, tell me what you'd play for Black in this position.

If you solved that one, congratulations!

The correct move is Kb1-a1, so that if White takes the Queen it's STALEMATE.

The Queen cannot defend the Pawn because it's PINNED.

So White's only winning try is to push his Pawn.

Here's the position - how can Black draw at once?

Surprise! It's a QUEEN FORK!!

Black wins the White Pawn and forces a draw.

But Qg3-e3+ wouldn't work because Qb5-c5 defends the White Pawn.

Look out for these STALEMATE defenses in Queen and Pawn endings!

Here's another example. This time it's White to move.

He's a pawn down, but can he save the game?

White can draw at once by playing Qa2-f2!

It's yet another QUEEN FORK so Black has no choice but to take.

But then - guess what? - it's STALEMATE!!

As well as STALEMATES you have to look out for CHECKMATES in Queen endings.

Even if you're winning!

In this position Black, with two extra pawns, was looking forward to an easy victory.

He's just pushed his g-pawn to g4 - which seemed like a good idea at the time.

Can you see what happened next? White's next move, please.

White played Qg1-h2+, giving Black no choice: Kh4-g5.

And now...

Again Black has no choice: the King, reluctantly, has to go to f5. Now it's all over.

Yes, it's CHECKMATE in the middle of the board!

This sort of checkmate is called an EPAULETTE MATE.

Just imagine how Black must have felt!

You really have to VERY CAREFUL every time you make a move, no matter how easy the position might appear.

Here's another one. Black, thinking nothing could possibly go wrong, has just moved his Pawn to e2. What had he missed?

Of course! Qg6-g1+ and it's exactly the same thing rotated by 90 degrees!

You can work out for yourself that's it's MATE in two more moves.

The mistakes are all there, waiting to be made!

There's just one final example coming up.

White's a pawn ahead here? Do you think he can win, or is it a draw?

In fact he's losing - can you show me how? Black to move.

Black can win by checking with the Queen on h8. White then moves his King to g5 (going to g4 loses one move more quickly), giving this position.

It's Black's move again!

Another check, this time on g6, forces the White King exactly where he least wants to go.

And, for your final question in this lesson, how does Black demonstrate the error of White's ways?

Yes, another Queen check - and this time it's a SKEWER!!

White is suddenly losing his Queen.

Queen endings, even more than most positions, demand accurate calculation. You must always be aware of what your opponent could do next.

It's very easy to throw away a drawn, or even won, position with just one careless mistake.

You've now reached the end of your assignment.

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

You can practise what you've learned in this lesson by setting up some Queen endings yourself and playing them out.