Queen and Pawn vs Queen

The Queen and pawn vs Queen position is a simple endgame with 5 pieces on the board: Q+P+K vs Q+K. It is the most simplified position possible in a Queen ending. It is also a very difficult endgame that has a lot of endgame book theory written about it. Fortunately it doesnít arise often in games. More common is ďQ+2P vs K endgamesĒ which are easier to win!

Different Types of Q+P v Q Endgames

There are a number of different situations for these simple endgames:

  • Pawn on the 7th: Even with the pawn on the 7th, a lot of these positions are drawn (by perpetual check). A win usually requires that the King is up next to the pawn on the 7th.
  • Pawn on 6th or further back: These are even more likely to draw. The enemy Queen impedes the pawn advance either by checking or by pinning the pawn to the King.
  • Defending King blocks queening: If the defensive King is sitting in front of the passed pawn, blocking itís queening square, then a win is unlikely. Usually thatís a draw.

Thatís the theory. In practice, such endgames are definitely worth playing for a win. They are a long excruciating defence and perfect defence is difficult (unless youíre a computer with an endgame database). Wins in these endgames can occur due to:

  • Queen swap combinations
  • Queen skewers
  • Advancing the passed pawn

Even if won, these endgames often take a long time. It can take many, many moves to realize a win in these endings. Even worse, you can try for many moves to win, only to be forced to admit that itís only a draw. Such is chess!

Other Similar Endgames with Queens

There are a number of other similar Queen endings: