Chess lesson # 29: King and pawn VS King endgame | Practice drill at the end | Learn the right way

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This Chess endgame is one of the simplest, but at the same time, it is one of the most important ones you need to learn in your career. We already learned how to win positions where our opponent’s king is outside of the pawn’s square. In this class, national master Robert Ramirez teaches you how to win even if your opponent’s king is close by. There are two main concepts we have to understand: the opposition and the key squares.

01:45 The Opposition is taken when you move your king in a way that it faces your opponent’s king with only one square in between them. We can take frontal, lateral or diagonal opposition. Taking the opposition allows you to take control and consequently gain more space to help your pawn reach its promotion square.
06:38 The Key Squares are the three squares in front of the pawn with an intervening square. This concept allows you to know where your king has to be in order to be able to help the pawn promote and win the game.
07:50 The steps I keep in mind as I play this endgame are the following:

1) Keep my king ahead of my pawn right away with one rank in between them.
2) Take the opposition
3) Penetrate/gain space

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First tactics book:
Mixed tactics book:
Advanced tactics book:
Advanced tactics book (II):
Carlsen’s book (excellent):
Kramnik’s book (excellent):
Pirc Defense book:
Endgames book:

Learn how to play Chess the right way from beginner to master level. National Master Robert Ramirez will take you up the pyramid by following a proven Chess training program he has been improving and implementing for over 10 years.

Benefits of Playing Chess:
​- Promotes brain growth
– Increases problem-solving skills
– It exercises both sides of the brain
– Raises your IQ
– Sparks your creativity
– Teaches planning and foresight
– Teaches patience and concentration
– Optimizes memory improvement
– Improves recovery from stroke or disability
– Helps treat ADHD
Chess is an intellectual battle where players are exposed to numerous mental processes such as analysis, attention to detail, synthesis, concentration, planning and foresight. Psychological factors are also present on and off the board; playing Chess stimulates our imagination and creativity. Every single move a player makes is the result of a deep analysis based on the elements presented on the battle field.

Chess in its essence teaches us psychological, sociological and even moral values. In a Chess game, both players start with the same amount of material and time. The fact that the white pieces move first is considered to be practically irrelevant —especially because a player typically plays one game as white and one game as black. Consequently, the final result of the battle solely depends on each player. It doesn’t matter if you win by taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes or by simply avoiding mistakes yourself. Truth is that Chess is an extremely individual sport and our defeats can only be blamed on ourselves and no one else. And this, in the end, only benefits us because we learn to be and feel responsible for our actions and never come up with excuses to justify ourselves.

We also learn that when it comes to our victories on the board, our opponent’s mistakes play a more significant role than our own skills. Let’s not forget that a Chess game without any mistakes would be a draw. This way, Chess provides us with another valuable life lesson: be humble at all times.

About National Master Robert Ramirez:

With an outstanding background as a professional Chess player and over 8 years of teaching experience, Robert Ramirez brings both his passion and his expertise to the board, helping you believe & achieve!

Robert Ramirez was introduced to the fascinating world of Chess when he was 5 years old and has participated in prestigious tournaments such as the World Open Chess Tournament and the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championships. Thanks to his performance, he has earned his National Master title from the United States Chess Federation.

75 Comments

  1. In my opinion, this is the absolute best chess channel! Out of all the King and pawn vs King tutorials, this is the only one that helped me understand it! 👍

  2. Hello, Robert. I want to start off by saying, " thank you." These lessons have been a great deal of help to me, and I'm very thankful you've posted them to YouTube for free so we can all watch them and improve at the game! So thanks a lot!!

    I did have a question about this video, though. At 8:10 in the video, when you start pushing the King towards the key squares, it works great as long as it's White's turn first. But what if it's Black's turn before and they get to move to e7 BEFORE you get to move to d2. Then, they'll get to take the opposition (like at 4:12 in the video) before White's King can reach the key squares , and I can't seem to find a way to make it work unless White has the first move in the sequence. Maybe I'm missing something….. How do you make it work if Black gets to move first?

    Thanks again for all your effort and dedication to produce this awesome content!! Have a great day!!

  3. I was never so confident against this end game than today

  4. Whats the best site to go on for practising my end games?

  5. Hey do you have to have a paid subscription to access the drills? I can't get more than a couple of puzzles per day.

  6. You know how to simplify stuff. It was hard to understand opposition from a book but your explanation + person practice has made it so much easy

  7. Pretty important concept, thank you for the lessons

  8. not the best instruction at all , too slow and clumsy .

  9. The website moved Puzzles->drills. It's now under Learn->Practice->Drills (Endgame Fundamentals for this video).

  10. Thanks. I have learned so much from your videos.

  11. Coach robert how do we do that when the pawn is in the side for example my last game that I played I had my pawn in h5 I was playing black and kings were on f4 and f2 my king was on f4 it was his turn enemy king moved to g2

  12. Another helpful video, thank you very much. Another quick question: do I understand correctly that in your example (at the beginning of the video), if it's black to play, white can never win, because black can immediately take the distant opposition?
    I've done my drills, so on to the next video, see you there 😉

  13. Now i found out why do i always loss endgames

  14. I knew some of this endgame already but I learned some new things too. First of all it's good to know that you can just keep using opposition to gain space all the way to the final key squares on the 6th rank, and you really don't need to worry. Just push the pawn when it's really safe or you need to spend a waiting move, then continue making opposition.
    Also I didn't know about diagonal opposition. I see now that it forces the opponent to allow you front or lateral opposition on the next move, which allows you to gain space on the move after that. Using this to promote and then using the queen "knight move" pattern to control the enemy king, hopefully I will never draw this king and pawn endgame again. Great video!

  15. Out of countless hours of chess videos, I find your teaching method is super easy to follow and very thorough. Thanks for your hard work.

  16. Thank you so much coach, I'm learning a lot from these videos. If you can just tell me if i can win the following endgame (white king e1) (never moved white pawn d2) (black king e7) (white to move) I spent hours trying to win. I mean I can't be the first who get in opposition, its always black.

  17. Today I again saw this video and gained a lot

  18. But if the white has only a pawn wouldn't it be a draw

  19. Hey robert I have a doubt, what if the pawn was in the A or H row? I tried to use ur method but it doesn't work for me.

  20. When i first tried to read How To Reassess Your Chess i couldn't understand opp and outflanking, now everything is much clear thanks to this gentleman

  21. After 20+ attempts…I finall got it.

  22. I'm not sure, but probably this is the first time I subscribe to a channel for the pleasure of doing it. Many many thanks Robert! Great explanations at a great pace. Probably the best course in youtube at the moment… saludos!

  23. Hello dear teacher i want to say that your link is paid nowadays isn't there a way to get free puzzles and games…😢😢😢

  24. This really improved my rating in Lichess thank you for your guidance

  25. Very informative. Thank you very much

  26. Hello, I have a question. Is it possible to do this on every instance? For example, I'm in a case where all 3 pieces are in file "e" but the black king is already in rank 7 and it seems impossible for my king to move to the key squares in rank 4 without the black king always winning the opposition. I tried other instances and I crown my pawn easily but in this particular case I cannot find a way. Am I doing something wrong or is it just not possible on some cases?

  27. Your master im chess hope one day i be like you🙏

  28. So if the opponent's king can do the opposition we can't win the game , right ?

  29. Amazing video series. It's really a complete free chess course.

  30. Thank you very much, very good video 🙂

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