Pawn Endgame


King on the sixth rank

In the Pawn’s square rule lesson you have learned that one pawn more may be enough to win the game. But if the pawn in itself can’t make it to the other side the king has to assist.

In this lesson you will see that if the assisting King is able to reach the sixth rank in front of it’s pawn the game will be won.

Let’s have a look at the next diagram.



The next lesson will be about the Italian Game.




The Knight Pawn

Endgame with Knight pawn

In the King on the sixth rank we have seen that this kind of endgame with a central or Bishop pawn ahead was won. now we will look at the Knight pawn and later on we will look at the Rook pawn.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “????.??.??”]
[Round “?”]
[White “?”]
[Black “?”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[SetUp “1”]
[FEN “6k1/8/6K1/6P1/8/8/8/8 w – – 0 1”]

1. Kh6 Kh8 2. g6 Kg8 3. g7 Kf7 4. Kh7 Kf6 5. g8=Q 1/2-1/2

If the pawn is a b- or g-pawn (a Knight pawn) we have to pay special attention to avoid Stalemate.


1.Kh6 is the right move.

( After 1.Kf6 nothing is lost yet, but we have to pay attention because the number of attempts may be limited and a wrong move will result in a Stalemate. 1…Kh7 2.Kf7

( 2.g6+? results in a Stalemate: 2…Kh8 3.g7+ ( 3.Kf7 Stalemate ) 3… Kg8 4.Kg6 Stalemate )

2… Kh8 3.Kg6 Kg8 4.Kh6 Kh8 5.g6 Kg8 6.g7 Nothing can stop the pawn now and White will win the game. )

1… Kh8 2.g6 Kg8 3.g7 Kf7 4.Kh7 Kf6 5.g8=Q 1-0


Remember that the white King has to move to the edge of the board to help the Knight pawn.

This series of chess lessons continues with the Rook pawn.

The Rook Pawn

Endgame with Rook pawn

We have seen that we had to be careful in the endgame with the Knight game, but the endgame in itself was almost the same. For the Rook pawn, which means a Pawn on the a-file or the h-file, however the endgame is very different. The side of the board provides a natural barrier which nearly always results in exceptional endgame positions.



Note that this endgame was in fact about which King was able to reach the important squares b7 of b8. This kind of squares are called key squares. More about them in one of the next lessons.

I assume that you already have seen the lesson about the Knight pawn. The next chess lesson will probably make it easier to understand this kind of endgames by teaching something about Key squares.

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