By Donny Gray
Take a good look at the following diagram. It is very important in learning about pawn endings.
This position comes up a lot in pawn endings and in your analysis of endings. In this diagram it is good to know that white wins this position no matter whose move it might be.
White to move, white wins with:
4.Kd7 and the pawn queens next move
Black to move, white still wins with:
1. … Kd8
And the pawn is protected all the way in to become a queen
1. … Kb8
And again the pawn is protected all the way in.
There is one other thing you need to know about this position. This only works if the king is on the 6th rank. Move this position back any at all and it is a dead draw. Let’s take a look why.
We have now moved the position back two ranks. Now it does make a difference whose move it is. If it is black’s turn, white still wins. One possible way this could go would be:
1. … Kd6
2. Kb5 Kc7
3. Kc5 Kc8
4. Kc6 Kd8
5. c4 Kc8
We now have reached diagram #1!!! As we saw earlier, white wins this position no matter whose turn it is.
But now for the bad news: If we go back to diagram #2 and it is white’s turn, the best white can do is draw. Let’s see why.
White has been trying to get away from black opposing him to no avail. We now have a draw, due to the three move repetition rule.
The big question here is why in the world doesn’t white try pushing the pawn? The reason is king beside or behind the pawn is a draw. Let’s take a look at what happens when white tries to push the pawn.
The king is beside the pawn. Black draws easily now. Watch.
2. … Kc6
½ – ½
Now let’s take a look at another position where the king of the 6th comes up.
White can win this by forcing our way to the king on the 6th position that we know is a win.
White cannot win unless he gets rid of the c pawn. It is impossible to win without giving up the c pawn.
Let’s take a look and see why.
Sooner or later you will have to push this pawn. Whether you do it now or later the result will be the same
3. … Kc8
4. Kc6 Stalemate
½ – ½
So back to the way to win.
Black tries to avoid taking it.
And we have our 1st diagramed position that we know is a win!
Another try for black ends up just the same.
And once again we arrive at diagram #1!! White wins.