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Zugzwang: capturing a pawn

In the past lessons, one player always had a passed pawn. In this lesson we are dealing with positions in which both players have a pawn. The idea is to conquer the other player's pawn through clever king play and opposition.

Losing a pawn does not necessarily mean losing the game. Again, clever use of opposition can keep the game a draw. Of course it depends on whether the other player's pawn has crossed the center line.

In examples 1 and 2 we see a similar situation, but with an important difference. In both cases black loses his/her pawn. In Example 1, this means the loss of the game. The white king ends up on the 6th row in front of its own pawn and we know from lesson 6 that this is a standard win. Having opposition no longer plays a role. In Example 2, all pieces are one row down and now black can make a draw. If white captures the pawn, black can move his/her king opposite the white one: opposition!

In example 3, black also loses his/her pawn, but he/she can choose where to lose the pawn. By losing the pawn on the 5th row, he/she can make a draw.

In Example 4, we see how white skillfully wins the pawn on the 6th row and thus achieves a winning position. With black to move, the position is a draw because he/she can then keep opposition (Example 5).

What do you have to do?

Capture the pawn and then bring your passed pawn to the other side.

Are you the defending party? Then keep a draw.

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