The basis of all King and Pawn endgames is King and Pawn versus the sole King. This ending will be what all the more complex ones, with more pawns or pieces on the board are going to build on.
For an introduction to King and Pawn endgames, watch the video on opposition:
If you would like to support my quest to chess improvement and receive extra content, in depth information on each daily video, as well as exercises and problems to solve, consider becoming a patron. For more information, visit:
The basic principles of opposition and critical squares are what makes king and pawn endings easy to understand. By using those two techniques, you are able to deduce what sort of position you are going to get without having to do crude calculation over the board. Make sure you understand them well. Once you do, the positions in the video will be easy to understand and build on!
06:07 Position 1. Pawn on the sixth rank – this is one of the most basic positions in chess. It is directly or indirectly (it doesn’t get to it) featured in a huge number of games and it is highly likely to occur in a real game. It will be determined by opposition. Depending on the positioning of the kings, it will take a different number of moves to reach this critical point. And whoever has to move, will have an unfavorable result! This position is also what you will be aiming for in all other King and Pawn vs King endgames. By knowing this position, you will be able to play the more complex ones out until you reach it!
11:29 Position 2. When it comes to the H and A files, the situation is simple. It’s a draw if black can control the queening square. If not, white wins.
13:51 Position 3. King in front of the pawn on the 6th rank – this position is always winning! White, even when he doesn’t have the opposition, is able to force black away from the critical squares by playing a waiting pawn move and thus gaining the opposition.
15:26 Position 4. The same position on the G and B files requires some technique. The same principles apply, but it’s important to know that your king has to go towards the edge of the board, and not towards the center, because that’s the only way to drive the opponent’s king away.
18:37 Position 5. King in front of the pawn on the 5th rank or lower is the next step in King and Pawn endgames. This one is probably the most valuable because it can be applied over and over again in real games. By using opposition, either side can achieve a favorable result depending whose turn it is! That is true unless white has a “reserve” pawn move, which would enable him to spend a move and gain the opposition.
24:45 Position 6. Distant opposition is a great technique using which you can achieve full opposition and the positions above. The rule is that kings have to be on the same file with 3 squares between them. Whoever has to move doesn’t have the opposition.
29:21 Position 7. Pawns on the H and A files – the only way white can win is by controlling the critical square on the adjacent files. That means that if the opponent’s king manages to reach the queening corner, it’s a draw! He can also draw by controlling g7 or g8 (if it’s the h pawn) and simply not allow your king to progress by keeping opposition.