Opposing Pawn Majorities

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Alexander Hardwick
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 4:45 pm
Location: Surrey

Opposing Pawn Majorities

Post by Alexander Hardwick » Tue May 18, 2010 6:53 pm

Hiya,

Can anyone give me some basic advice/tips for winning opposing pawn majorities endgames? e.g. White has 3 pawns on kingside and 2 on queenside, Black has 2 pawns on kingside and 3 on queenside.

I somehow end up with a lot of this type of endgame in rapid congresses, with and without rooks on. I also seem to have a pretty poor record on them, looking back through my game files. Can anyone help?

Best,

Alex.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18349
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Opposing Pawn Majorities

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue May 18, 2010 7:10 pm

Alexander Hardwick wrote:White has 3 pawns on kingside and 2 on queenside, Black has 2 pawns on kingside and 3 on queenside.
In a King and pawn ending, the assessment will depend on where the kings are. If both kings are on the king side, the player with the queen side pawn majority will usually have an advantage. The winning attempt is to create a distant passed pawn, which lures the enemy king away from defending his majority. You then eat the undefended pawns with your king.

Rook and pawn endings will depend on the relative activity of the rooks as well, since a distant passed pawn can be stopped by a rook without the need to commit the king.

One other practical piece of advice is not to go into a king and pawn ending unless you're absolutely sure it's winning (or drawing) and even then to double check it for subtle tempo gains. The cost of an error is much less serious with the rooks still on.

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