Connected passed pawns are just a kind of King and pawn endgames. And, as you know, King and pawn endings are hard !
That is what we will discover together through this next series of articles. You will encounter winning positions that look completely lost, you will discover hidden possibilities below dull-looking positions. This is going to be a fascinating journey.
The scope of the next few articles is definitely huge: endgames involving several pawns, without other pieces. Little by little, the complexity of the positions will increase, starting with “easy” topics (connected passed pawns, doubled passed pawns), to more complex ones (remote passed pawn, pawn breaks, opposition), to finish with really tricky ones (Trebuchet, Triangulation, and critical squares). This is actually so wide that this review of King and pawn endings will be split into many articles ! This is the first one.
Let’s talk a little bit about the prerequisites for this lesson.
to really make the most out of this lesson, you must already be familiar with the King and pawn endgame with only one pawn. In particular I am talking about:
- The method to win, moving your King in front
- The method to draw the endgame when possible
- The method to win when you King is on the sixth rank
These points are detailed in the King+pawn articles that I encourage you to check first if the previous principles were not ringing a bell to you.
Now it is time to start talking about Chess ! The first setup I want to introduce you to is the case of connected passed pawns. This is a highly favorable configuration, almost always winning (the “almost” begin due to a few isolated stalemate positions you must remain careful of).
Showing How Strong Connected Passed Pawns Are
I hope you are ready to become an expert of King and pawn endings. Let’s look at our first position now !
White wins because the black King was not in the square of the white pawn. This is a consequence of the rule of the square.
As you have seen, the connected passed pawns are a huge asset for the player who has them. Our next example complexifies the picture by adding a passed pawn to the opposing side. Will that change the evaluation of the position ?
As we have just seen, connected passed pawns are enough for a win, even if your opponent has a passed pawn, as long as you can block the pawn, of course ! However, if we make one of the pawns a rook-pawn, your advantage is much harder to convert.