[FEN "8/6pk/p4b1p/2B5/P3q2P/6P1/5P2/3Q2K1 w - - 0 1"]

1. Ba7 (1. h5)

This position happened in TCEC Season 15 Superfinal Stockfish vs Leela. In the game Stockfish played Ba7 and the game steered toward a draw , though in the end Stockfish won because a late Leela blunder. Can Stockfish win by force this ending? Crystal (7 man tablebases Stockfish , albeit with a slightly lesser depth) suggested h5. I am unable to analyze it with the modest instrument I have. May someone telling me if it is winnable by White , and , in case , with what move, please?

  • @BrianTowers there are some beautiful community rules available to anyone interested in reading them. We are glad to welcome new contributors, but only those willing to make the effort
    – David
    Aug 8, 2020 at 10:47
  • As far as I know, Queen endgames tend to be hard to not draw, consider that except famous examples such as the Lucena, even rook Vs rook and pawn tend to be drawn.
    – A.Shetye
    Aug 8, 2020 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Queen endings are among the most difficult.

We usually say "win by force" when there's a definite winning line. You're asking if White is certain to win, not at all certain.

A human player would look first to winning the queenside pawn and then with an advantage on both wings, many chances to win. But while that pawn sits on a black square White can't coordinate force against it.

And I don't think White can try for a kingside initiative while the a-pawn has to be tended to. White doesn't want to move it to a5, where it's fixed and can be coordinated against, and it's always exposed to threats on a4.

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