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The last pawn: king behind the pawn

We have just seen again when mating with the rook that the king is an important contributor. Without the help of our own king we cannot get the job done. In the endgame with king and pawn against king the king also plays a crucial role. From the Promotionmonster lessons you may remember the techniques of shouldering and support. With 'shouldering' we place our own king in such a way that the opponent's king cannot reach the promotion square (see example 1). With 'supporting' we cover our own pawn and, if possible, make sure that the opponent's king cannot occupy the promotion square (see example 2). In both cases we succeed in getting the pawn promoted.

But what if the other player's king can occupy the promotion square? We will talk about that in the coming lessons. In this lesson we will look at positions in which our king is next to or just behind our own pawn and the opponent's king is just in front of it.

In examples 3 and 4 we see an important endgame theme emerge that we also saw in the checkmate with the rook: zugzwang! Here we see that the result depends on whose move it is. Example 3 and 4 are the same BUT: if it is black's move, white wins and if it is white's move, black holds a draw.

In examples 5 and 6 we use the knowledge from examples 3 and 4 and learn a new concept: opposition!

In Example 7 we see that if the king stands on or next to the promotion square, the defender always holds a draw in case of an edge pawn.

What do you have to do?

Is it your turn and you only have a king? Then make a draw. Is it your turn and you have a pawn? Then go for the win. In either case, try to use opposition.

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