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This article deals with the generic case where you already have a passed pawn that needs to be promoted. It has been created earlier, for instance from a pawn majority.

When you have an extra passed pawn, there are are 2 cases:

  • The pawn can get promoted by himself
  • The support of the King is needed to promote the pawn

For the second case, we will need to study together Key Squares, Opposition, and the generic method to win a King and Pawn endgame.

This article is about the first case, when the pawn needs no help from the King to get promoted. First I will introduce you to a paramount rule: the rule of the square.

In the previous example, the black King is simply too far to be able to catch the pawn. Let’s have a look to another example.

In one case, the King was too far to catch the pawn, in the other case, Black was just in time. Can we draw a generic rule to know immediately if the pawn can be promoted ?

The rule of the square is simple, but some positions involving this rule can be tricky.

To sum up what we have learnt in this article:

  • If you are defending, always try to keep your King inside the square.
  • If you are attacking, check if your pawn can be promoted thanks to the rule of the square.

Then after checking the rule of the square:

  • If it can be promoted, then push you pawn and promote it.
  • If it cannot be promoted alone, then you will need the help of your King.

In case you need the help of the King, this will be more complex, you will have to learn how to support the pawn push with your King. This will involve staying in front of the pawn, keeping the opposition, and trying to get to the sixth rank.

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