Learn my best 5 opening traps right now ! (Click here)

Image of article

As you know, having your King in front of your pawn with the opposition is enough to secure the win in the “King and pawn VS King” endgame.

If your King has reached the sixth rank though, having the opposition is not always needed any more, as long as the King is still in front of your pawn. That is the topic of this article, that will be illustrated with meaningful examples.

King on the sixth rank and in front of the pawn

First, the case where:

  • White’s King is in front of the pawn
  • White’s King is on the sixth rank
  • but black’s King has the opposition

As seen in the generic King and pawn endgame rules, this is winning. This is also a case where the white King is on a Key square, therefore a winning position.

When the White King is on the sixth rank and in front of the pawn, the position is winning. What you have to do is to push the pawn to promote it.

King on the sixth rank, but not in front of the pawn

Now the the last winning case:

  • White’s King is on the sixth rank
  • White has the opposition
  • but the King is not in front of its pawn

The situation looks very much like the previous case: White just has to push the pawn to win.

King on the sixth rank only… is that enough to win ?

Now let’s check if a King on the sixth rank is enough to win, even in the least favorable conditions.

The vertical move of the black King from e7 to e8 is key. This move alone is essential in my article about defending King and pawn endgames.

Before jumping to studying the generic defense strategy , we have a particular case to deal with: how to defend against the rook pawn in King and pawn endgames.

Suggested Articles

Because we like you

Plans in the Ruy Lopez tense center

The so-called "tense center" is really the starting pawn structure of the Ruy Lopez, from there the position can (and probably will !) evolve in other types of structure, such as the closed one or the mobile one that we will tackle in separate articles. The tense center, though, has...

Plans in the Ruy Lopez symmetrical center

The Ruy Lopez symmetrical center is a structure that comes from the Ruy Lopez tense center, after White has played the pawn exchange dxe5 dxe5. Central formations with a symmetrical center are much less complicated than the Ruy Lopez closed center or the Ruy Lopez mobile center.