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Queen against pawn.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:33 pm
by Dewi Jones
I'm just working my way through the first book of Yusupov's course, and in Chapter 16 he's testing queen against pawn. Thing is, there isn't much tuition, just a couple of examples then the test. I've been fine woth that so far, and I'm not too bad with Q + P but I'm struggling to understand how he's given his examples. He says of Rook and Bishop pawns....
Hence many endings of this sort finish in a draw. The win only becomes possible if the white king is near enough
Fair enough, but then he gives some diagrams with the "win zone" for the king, with no explanation of how they are drawn up. Is there a simple explanation for drawing up this "win zone" along the lines of the "square of the pawn" in king and pawn endings?

Apologies that there are no pictures with this post, they would explain my question much better and easier, but the ones I took appear to be too large to upload and I don't know enough to resize them.

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:56 pm
by Dewi Jones
Actually, the same "win zone" is here

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_v ... wn_endgame

And I still see no explanation of how it has been worked out, maybe I just have to learn the diagram?
52px-Chess_xxt45.svg.png
52px-Chess_xxt45.svg.png (348 Bytes) Viewed 2218 times

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:01 pm
by Roger de Coverly
Dewi Jones wrote: He says of Rook and Bishop pawns....
Hence many endings of this sort finish in a draw. The win only becomes possible if the white king is near enough
The problem with KQ against KP where the defender has a Rook or Bishop pawn about to queen is that there's a stalemate defence.

Compare this position



to this position



In the example with the c pawn, the King goes to a8, when Qxc7 is stalemate. In the example with the d pawn, the King must go to d8 if the pawn is to be defended, but then the Black King is free to advance to enable the eventual capture of the d pawn.

The a pawn version would be this


(edit) The wiki article goes well beyond what you probably need to know in practice, which is that if the defending pawn as white is on a7 or c7 with the defending King in touch (and the mirrors of course), then it's usually a draw, anything else is usually a win for the Queen with the exceptions highlighted in the studies presented. (/edit)

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:18 pm
by Christopher Kreuzer
One of the things to remember about Q vs rook pawn is that the rook pawn usually needs to be on the seventh rank already to get the draw. If it isn't, then the attacking side can use the lack of room for the defending king to force the pawn to advance, allowing the queen to mate without the king needing to approach. This isn't the case for the bishop pawn, hence needing to know the distances and directions from which the attacking king can approach. Remembering which positions of the attacking king can interfere with the queen checks and pins is difficult. Does anyone know of a simple list of those 'exceptions' to the win with bishop pawn on the sixth rank? Does the Wikipedia article list them all?

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:18 pm
by Paul Dargan
Chris - this is news to me, so interested. I#d always thought that all 'normal' positions (so not with the Q en prise or somehow blocked in the far corner by your own kign) with a bishop pawn on the 6th were lost. Can you giver an example of the draws you are thinking of?

Thanks,

Paul

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:17 am
by Christopher Kreuzer
One example in the Wikipedia article. Another (though a win for White) is the Horowitz study from 1957, which is very instructive.



White to play and win. It took me a while to work out what the problem was with 1.Qc2. :D

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:45 am
by Roger de Coverly
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:It took me a while to work out what the problem was with 1.Qc2.
The general rule of thumb is that the a,c,f and h pawns only draw if they are one square from queening and the King is supporting the pawn. If the position quoted is still a win for white, that doesn't invalidate that general rule, just that technique can be a problem.

But assuming limited time or inclination to study, where best to concentrate your efforts? There are some endings that recur, Rook and Pawn in particular. Otherwise most games are won or lost between move 10 and move 40, so pragmatically that's where to concentrate if in search of better results.

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:04 pm
by Nick Burrows
Roger de Coverly wrote:Otherwise most games are won or lost between move 10 and move 40, so pragmatically that's where to concentrate if in search of better results.
However, aside from points won from reaching specific endings, detailed endgame understanding dramatically improves many middlegame decisions by knowing which piece exchanges/ pawn structures are favourable.
I also think knowing how say a queen outflanks a rook/ how a rook and bishop coordinate to beat a lone rook improves your general positional 'feel'.

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:49 pm
by John Moore
Or knowing how to defend with a lone Rook against your opponent frantically co-ordinating his Rook and Bishop.

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:27 pm
by Dewi Jones
Thanks Roger, of course, improving results is the medium term aim, but the short term aim is to pass the Q and P test in chapter 16 of Yusupov's book, so the info is 100% directly relevant :). The original question was meant to be, is there a simple way of working out how close the attacking king needs to be to win rook or bishop pawn on the 7th. But had I read to the end of the chapter I would have seen
you do not have to memorise the winning zones.....If the king is far away from a rook pawn or a bishop pawn, the win is impossible. If it is close by, you must check out the specific variations
I have studied the wikipedia page, and added it to what I already know, so hopefully when I do the test tonight, I will pass :).

Re: Queen against pawn.

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:06 pm
by Tim Harding
I think Jesus de la Villa's book "100 Endgames You Must Know" is good for learning/teaching these basic endgames.