Chess Trick #1: Quickly Calculating King vs. Pawn Movements

Chess Trick #1: Quickly Calculating King vs. Pawn Movements


Hello everybody, itís Jrobi. This is a re-do
of a video that I had earlier that had some problems with it and I did make a response
video to the original video and Iíd like to thank Pesslet and Escpade for pointing
out the problems with that one. But this last week here Iíve had actually more views on
the original video than the re-do video so I figured probably it would be best to take
those two videos down and make this one fully updated and fully correct for people to view,
especially as I get new subscribers they might not catch the response video to the original
video that had a problem. And I donít know how many times I can say video in this video
but weíre getting up there. So anyway, this chess trick has to deal with quickly calculating
king and pawn endgames. So in other words, letís say you were playing white in this
position, it was white to move. You might try to think of a couple strategies here,
for example, you might try to factor what would happen if you took your bishop and took
this pawn, king takes pawn and then you take the black bishop. Because the way the way
the black bishop is currently positioned if it gets away itís going to stop the white
pawn or at least probably force a draw if it gets anywhere along the diagonal to hit
the G7 square, which this pawn has to cross. So in a chess match if you donít know this
chess trick what youíre going to end up doing is youíre going to end up calculating how
many moves itís going to take and then youíre also going to end up calculating will my pawn
make it to the end of the board before the enemy king does? So youíd probably go okay
one move here, black takes, white takes, black moves king here and then you would count the
squares in your head. And Iím sure if youíre really good at doing this it probably wouldnít
take you too long, but thereís definitely a shorter way to do it. And I came across
this strategy when I was watching Josh Waitzkinís video that he has on the Chessmaster Series
and basically what it is, is to calculate it: You can do it a lot quicker by drawing
the diagonal from the pawn up to the eighth rank, so whether youíre white or black and
then you create a square. So you just kind of go like this in your head and you create
a square all the way to the eighth rank and if the enemy king is outside this square,
either on the side away from the pawn or below the pawn, there is no chance that that enemy
king is going to be able to capture your pawn. So your pawn will be able to freely march
up and promote. Now obviously if the enemy king would be on the right hand side of the
box in this example or anywhere, as you can see in the highlighted squares, itís going
to be able to capture your pawn. Weíll go through a couple more examples but I just
want to show you this one first. But it is important to know that if the enemy king on
the next move can get into the highlighted area, it will be able to capture that pawn.
So letís go through with the line here and see what happens. So bishop takes pawn, king
takes bishop, king takes bishop, black king moves, and now letís draw the square again.
So according to the square here the black king is outside the highlighted square so
it shouldnít be able to capture the pawn. So white pawn moves, black moves, pawn, king,
pawn, king and itís going to promote and white is going to have the victory here. So
letís take a look at a couple more examples and weíll go from there. In this example
here we have an almost identical setup. The king, however, instead of being on the A file
itís now on the B file and so weíll go through a line here and so weíll go bishop takes,
king recaptures, king takes bishop and now king moves up to C4. So letís draw the square
now and see if the king is inside the highlighted area. So as you can see, the king is in the
highlighted area so it should be able to catch the enemy pawn here. Now this would be, of
course, assuming that white would just try to pawn race it and not get its king into
a better position. So letís go ahead, itís white to move, white pushes pawn up, king
moves and as you can see, the black king now is going to be able to stop promotion and
if it was just straight, if it was just a straight pawn race to the end. So in this
example here, if we go back, since it was black to move and it was able to move into
the highlighted square, whether it would have been on the left hand side here or on the
bottom, if it can get into this square, the white pawn will not be able to make it to
the end on its own and it will need the help of the white king. Now in this example we
have the white king here on A1, we have the black king on C1 and a white pawn on H3, so
the black king will be able to maintain basically a buffer between the white king and reach
this pawn. Now if you were in a chess match and under time controls, you might actually
take the time and calculate each move to see how the pawn is going to do. Now letís assume
for this example itís black to move. So letís draw our square now, so we draw a diagonal
up to the eighth rank and now we create the box and we take it to the pawn and as you
can see here itís a larger box than the last example. And currently the black king, even
though itís black to move, will not be able to get into the highlighted area so the white
pawn should be able to make it to the end on its own. So letís go through it now and
see. So black king moves here, white pawn, king, pawn, king, pawn, king and as you can
see, thereís nothing this black king is going to be able to do to stop promotion. So letís
switch things around here a little bit. Letís move the white king up to A2 and the black
king up to C2 and itís still black to move. Now as a white player if you draw the square
in your head and create the square to the pawn, youíll be able to see in this position
that the black king on his next move will be able to infiltrate the highlighted square
and should therefore be able to catch the pawn. So letís go through it. Black king
moves, white pawn and as you can see, the black king is going to be able to stop the
pawn and force the draw on this position. So letís take a look at one more example
if a few more pieces on the board here so in this example letís say itís white to
move. Now as a white player the first thing that should be crossing your mind right now
is a sacrifice to get the bishop off the table to prevent the bishop from at any time hitting
the G7 square. And so now in a normal match if you werenít aware of this chess trick
youíd probably just calculate everything out. But we can see here white can take the
bishop, king recaptures, so the king is going to be on D2 and you can very quickly draw
a square in your head while youíre playing the match and youíll be able to see that
thereís no way that the black king is going to be able to stop this promotion. In fact,
if we were to place the pawn on G3, like so, the same thing will be hold true. So we can
mentally think okay, queen takes bishop, king takes bishop and then draw the square all
the way up to the eighth rank and you can see here that the king will be outside the
highlighted area when that queen is recaptured so the king shouldnít be able to do anything
about it. So letís go through it here. White queen takes, black king captures and here
goes the pawn racing to the end and as you can see, the pawn is going to get to the end
and promote and thereís nothing black is going to be able to do about it. So itís
an interesting chess trick and it really does cut down on a lot of time when youíre factoring
in your pawn, king races at the end of the match. And you might have one, two, three
pieces of material left. If you see a kind of a trade line, sacrifice line to clear the
material right off the board you can quickly calculate will your remaining pawn or whichever
side of the board your pawn is on, you always draw-, and actually Iím glad I thought about
that. You always draw the diagonal the longest diagonal. So if I, for example in this last
position that we looked at, if this pawn were to be on B3 instead I would draw my diagonal
up to the eighth rank that way. So you always pick the longest diagonal. But it doesnít
matter where your pawn is positioned. This will always hold true so itís a great chess
trick providing, just as a reminder, providing that the black king or white king if youíre
playing black, canít get into that highlighted area underneath the pawn or to the far side
of the pawn. Once again, if itís on the right hand side of this pawn or anywhere on the
top rank here, the black king is going to be able to capture unless itís way over here
on A8. So it was an interesting trick and, you know, I really wanted to keep this video
up, but I wanted to clear things up from my previous videos because I was drawing the
boxes a little incorrectly before I was going to the seventh rank. So take care, hope you
enjoy the new video and weíll see you next time.

29 thoughts on “Chess Trick #1: Quickly Calculating King vs. Pawn Movements

  1. What if black's king was on A7 and white's pawn was on G4? Once the pawn promotes to a queen and checks the king, the king takes the queen as there is nothing to protect it.

  2. The first example is just lame. White has to capture the bishop, otherwise it is drawn. Not bishop takes pawn nonsense and black will be able to draw just by retreating his bishop.

  3. hmm the line you gave is quite inaccurate. the black king does not have to capture the bishop he can just move his bishop and exchange the pawn for the bishop and make an easy draw.

  4. You are absolutely correct, the bishop can just move to e5 and capture the pawn once it moves to the dark square (g7) with the king protecting it from the dark square and there's nothing that White can do. The game is easily drawn.

    BUT, that is not the point of this video. He may have made a mistake on the variation, but his illustration of the "box" is useful and accurate.

  5. 1. KxB wins both example 1 and 2 for white. In the QxB example instead of chasing the pawn black should play a5, then both sides promote into a drawn position so QxB is a blunder.

  6. … no need to let the blackk pawn promote jus sac the bishop when the pawn reaches a2.. much cleaner. the black queen doesnt have to play to a7.. instead of applying pressure, it cud stay to defend the black king and block checks.. white cant afford a queen trade else its a draw.. so bishop sac is the way to go.

  7. the last example is wrong, after the pawn starts running up, black can run his A pawn at the same time and white cant catch, both sides would have a queen with a theoretical draw

  8. 6:51– Shouldn't you just be concerned with taking the pawn and winning? You don't need your pawn to win- a queen can win against a bishop by itself.

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