A remote passed pawn is one of the strongest assets you can get in a King and pawn endgame. Even if the situation elsewhere is balanced, this pawn is usually enough to secure a win.
Even when the defending King is in the square of the pawn, the passed pawn creates so many issues that Black cannot defend this pawn endgame properly.
Winning this kind of position with White is relatively easy, once you know the generic strategy. However, just make sure that you are familiar with the basics of King and pawn endgames beforehand:
- Using Key squares to promote pawns.
- Using the opposition in the endgame.
- How to win with a King in front of the pawn and the opposition.
- How to win the pawn endgame when your King is on the sixth rank.
That being said, we are ready to jump into the topic, and see the steps to win with a remote passed pawn !
Winning With The Remote Passed Pawn: A Generic Method
Knowing how to take advantage of an outside passed pawn is certainly on the top of your list of endgames to know by heart. The method is generic enough to be applied in various situations and it will certainly help you in your own games.
Therefore the correct strategy for White is to use that passed pawn as a decoy, and capture all the remaining pawns while Black is busy capturing it.
Now White has two connected passed pawns, a case in which the win is trivial !
The previous position is the textbook example of the remote passed pawn situation and how to handle it: abandon your passed pawn at the right time and rush to capture the opponent’s pawns.
Let’s take a moment to look at the race between the two Kings to wonder how quick you King must be to capture the opposing pawns and win the game.
The previous example is interesting as it shows that even the smallest time advantage is often enough to win the game. Of course, this generic statement can be proven wrong in some particular situations.
The last example did teach us that even if a remote passed pawn is strong, a protected passed pawn is even stronger ! We are now increasing the complexity of the positions: in the next position, each player has an outside passed pawn. Which one will prevail ?…
When Both Players Have A Remote Passed Pawn
If we try to summarize the rule we have just learnt, when both sides have a passed pawn, the “most remote” passed pawn wins.
In the last example, the ingredients are the same, but the pawn structure becomes more complex. Will it be enough to change the position’s evaluation ?
The previous example is a great example of pawn break, a theme we will see in details later on.
- The side with the remote passed pawn usually wins.
- In case each player has a outside passed pawn, the “most remote” one wins the game.
- A passed pawn is however not always enough for a win, especially if the opponent has a protected passed pawn, that is even stronger.
- Always be aware of unexpected defensive resources, like Black’s breakthrough in the last example.
That being said, the method to win with a remote passed pawn is easy to lear and can be applied to many situations. The next level is to be able to identify such configurations from the middlegame and ensure a winning middlegame to endgame transition.