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LCB, Issue #015 -- When Fortune Pits Peasants Against Royalty
August 01, 2012

Peasants Against Royalty

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #015 -- Peasants Against Royalty

learn and play online chess
Last month we did some work on bishop and pawn endgames. We knew that a defending bishop could hold out for a draw from one or even two pawns down in a bishop of opposite colors endgame. We looked into the same endgame except with same color bishops. Would the same hold true if the bishops could attack each other directly? Could the weaker bishop hold on in an endgame where he is a pawn or two behind? Well as it turned out, no. The same color bishops endgame was usually won for the side with the pawns although as always there were exceptions.

This month we will be rolling the sleeves up and working on queen and pawn endgames. The first port of call is to go over Philidor's Study on Queen vs Rook and Pawn conducted in 1777. Then we will move into some action with some queen vs seventh rank pawn endgames. Some precise maneuvering is needed to succeed in those.

When Queens and Pawns Square Up

Philidor's Study

In this first piece the pawn will have some assistance from it's rook. It will need that assistance too as our pawn is back on it's starting spot. This endgame is a king and queen against a king, rook and pawn.

The defending side, that's the side with the rook and pawn, is playing for the draw. The three set up a fortress or an island with the rook using the two outposts provided by the pawn to prevent the king from making any progress. The defending king protects the pawn and the queen on her own is unable to threaten.

You can look at this defensive fortress and how it is set up. Then you can see an example based on it in a game. Queen vs Rook and Pawn.

Queen vs Seventh Rank Pawns

You may think that a queen should be able to blow a single pawn out of the water and mostly this is true. But if you end up in an endgame where you have a king and queen and your opponent has a king and seventh rank pawn, things can be tricky.

You want to get that pawn without giving up your queen for it. The file the pawn happens to be on can throw all kinds of spanners into the works as well. Rook pawns and bishop pawns can be especially troublesome owing to the shortage of room on the board around them.

You'll be pleased to hear there are some nice little tricks and stunts you can pull on your opponent if you need to put manners on a seventh rank pawn. The following endgame positions should be entertaining and useful to you. Queen vs Seventh Rank Pawn.

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See you next month.


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