Now there is a situation where it is very
much harder with a king and a pawn, against a king, to actually be able to queen the pawn
than in the example we just saw. In all of the other files, the opposition piece, the
opposition king, can be forced back and eventually out of the way. But it’s much more difficult
when the pawn that is racing to queen, happens to be in the rook’s file, and let me show
you why in this example. White to move, king supports the pawn, black comes out to block
the queening, pawn moves, probably come to here, comes to here, has to give ground, can’t
come here, can’t come here, got to move back, stays in the same file to try and block the
queening, white comes here. Black king can’t come out again to here, he has to go back
or to here, obviously the better move is to go here to block the pawn, king moves here.
Now the black king has only one place where it can move without going into check and that
is there. Pawn moves, black king goes back. Now, this is where it gets difficult for white,
because white has to continue to protect the pawn, so he comes here, if he does come there,
notice that the game is now stalemate. The black king cannot move without going into
check. The black king cannot take the pawn, he cannot come here because he’s a king, and
he cannot come here because he’d be in check with the pawn, therefore the game is stalemated.
So, is there another way that this can be played? Really, there isn’t. If white tries
something else, he can’t abandon the pawn. Going over here somewhere would be no good,
because he would just lose the pawn. If he comes back to one of these two squares, then
the same situation occurs. And so, in this situation, on the rank of the rook’s file,
if black plays properly, the truth is, you cannot queen.