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Pawn and King Endgame

by Vipin.R (India)
The Pawn and King Endgame irritated me a lot…please give a solution.

Hi R.Vipin,

You are right. It is not easy to understand this endgame as a beginner in chess.

I will explain it straightforward in simple words now and I am sure you will understand it quickly.

You are White

Just get this position below as White and make sure it is not your move. That’s it!

pawn and king endgame

1. Your pawn is BEHIND your king
2. Kings are OPPOSING each other

If Black must move you (White) win
If you (White) must move it is a draw.

That’s it!

This is a Draw because the Pawn is BESIDE the king
This position below ends in a STALEMATE, which is a draw.

pawn and king endgame

You are White
Look at the following chess positions to learn what to move next as White.
pawn and king endgame
Above: Get the OPPOSITION
After this Black must move away from the OPPOSITION and you move your king SIDEWAYS and win!

pawn and king endgame
This makes room for the pawn to move ahead.

pawn and king endgame
Above: Get the OPPOSITION
If you push the pawn forward (1.d4??) Black will get the OPPOSITION! (1…Ke7 Draw)
So after 1. d4?? Black plays 1…Ke7 and gets OPPOSITiON, and then you must move your king away from the opposition and Black keeps moving into OPPOSITION all the time endlessly.

Example: 1.d4?? Ke7! 2.Kd5 Kd7 3.Kc5 Kc7 and so on forever …
Remember! In this case you can’t push the pawn because then the pawn would be BESIDE the king which is a draw (position ends in a stalemate).

White moves
pawn endgame
Above: KEEP the OPPOSITION 1.d4
If you move away from the OPPOSITION then Black keeps moving into OPPOSITION endlessly. This brings nothing.
Example: 1. Kc5 Kc7 2.Kd5 Kd7 2.Ke5 Ke7 etc.
After 1.d4! the black king must move away from the OPPOSITION as Black must make a legal move and after that you win moving your king SIDEWAYS.

pawn endgame

pawn endgame
White gains control over the promotion square d8 and then pushes his pawn ahead.

Edge Pawns are a Draw

If you have an Edge pawn on the a or h-file you can’t win.
See below

pawn endgame
White plays 1. Kg5 and gets the OPPOSITION, but the game will still be a draw because the king can’t move sideways on the edge.

I hope this helps.

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