Queen vs Pawn Stalemates & Victories

The Decorah Chess Club is gathering again at The Landing on Wednesday, 02/09/2022, beginning at 6pm. Last week we closed the place down and enjoyed meeting and playing with 3 new-comers! If you have any interest, please come out and meet some chess enthusiasts from around the area and dive into a game or two or three!

Queen v. Pawn

I was unable to solve the daily puzzle on Chess.com last Saturday, because I was deficient in recognizing a few stalemates that I did not know about. It turns out there are situations in which if black (or white) has avanced a pawn all the way to the 2nd rank (or 7th rank) with the king nearby along either the rook or the bishop files, then you can force a stalemate to the opposing white’s queen.

Black can force a stalemate with white first to move

In this first position, although black can force a stalemate, it depends on the white king being as far away as it is. If the white king resides anywhere legal within the square defined by corners a1, a5, e5 and e1 with the exception of e5, then white can win.

White to move: Black can force the stalemate

In this second position, with the advanced pawn along the bishop file, black is even stronger than before only in the sense that the white king would have to be even closer in this situation to ensure a win. White’s king would need to be as close as a4, b4, c4, d3, e3, e2, or e1 (or closer) to be able to win. White’s king in either d4 or e4 is not good enough!

Learning what to do as white when you are just within range as well as learning what to do as black when white’s king is just out of range is good study material for the player wanting to develop their endgame.

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