Pawn Endgame

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Home * Evaluation * Game Phases * Endgame * Pawn Endgame

Pawns threaten the King [1]

The Pawn Endgame is an endgame actually without any pieces but only pawns and kings. Pawn endings somehow remind on a completely different game domain, requiring special evaluation routines, as well as conditions inside the search, i. e. switching of null move pruning. Specially in "closed" or blocked pawn endgames with rammed and backward pawns with only very few reasonable moves due to extremely low mobility, zugzwang, stalemate, triangulation, tempo issues, the concepts of opposition or more general corresponding squares, and king path puzzles start to dominate. Otherwise, in open pawn endings, naturally with a bigger branching factor than the closed, all kinds of passed pawn issues are taken into account.

Using the transposition table is essential in pawn endings, as demonstrated in positions like the Lasker-Reichhelm Position (Fine 70) or the Réti Endgame Study with astonishing search depths. Certainly, many programs extend a lot, if the last piece was captured with the transition into an "unclear" pawn endgame. Ed Schröder for instance, extends by three plies in Rebel considering bounds [2] .


Pawn Endgame Programs

Pawn Endgame Positions

See also



Paris-Brussels 1932, German Edition 2001 Opposition und Schwesterfelder, ISBN 3-932170-35-0

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External Links


  1. Chess Paintings by Elke Rehder
  2. Quote by Ed Schröder from his Programmer Corner: The Search is extended with 3 plies when the search transits to a pawn-ending. An extra window check of 3 pawns is done on I_SCORE before the extension is rewarded
  3. Steven Edwards (1995). Comments on Barth’s Article “Combining Knowledge and Search to Yield Infallible Endgame Programs.” ICCA Journal, Vol. 18, No. 4

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