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  • #5
  • It is vital to understand the concept
  • of king opposition to
  • understand king and pawn endgames.
  •  Suppose in this example that it
  • was White's move and that he had a
  • strong desire to reach the 8th rank.
  •  How would he get there?

  • He would have to try to go around the
  • enemy king.

  • But the enemy king can
  • oppose his progress.
  •  He is going to make one more
  • attempt ...

  • ... to get around the enemy king.

  • But the black king can always act as
  • a blockade and no progress can be
  • made.

  • #5
  • When two kings are faced off such as
  • this, whoever doesn't
  • have the move is said to have the
  • opposition. In this
  • position if it is Black's move
  • (giving White the opposition) then
  • the result is quite different.

  • The king must give ground.

  • The White king can advance.

  • The Black king is not in a position
  • where he can immediately grab the
  • opposition.  If instead he could
  • have moved to f4 then he would have
  • the opposition because it would be
  • White's turn.

  • By moving here White has the
  • opposition again because it is now
  • Black's turn to move.  This is a
  • repeat of the starting position
  • except that the kings are now moved
  • one row up.  White only has to
  • repeat this process until he reaches
  • the 8th rank.  (If you are unsure
  • about this concept then I suggest
  • practicing it with a couple of kings
  • on a chess board.)

  • #6
  • Opposition almost always makes a
  • difference in king and pawn endgames.
  •  In this position if White has to
  • move (meaning that Black has the
  • opposition) then his king has no
  • choice but to retreat.  But if it
  • is Black has the move then he will
  • move his king left or right ...

  • ... and ...

  • ... the White king can advance
  • in the other direction. Here
  • he wins a pawn and will win the
  • game.
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