Base: Queen first, lose (or draw) later

  1. What is the most economical pawn endgame position where Black queens first but White draws, White pawns no higher than 4th rank on time of Black queening?
  • I doubt there's a position like that without involving some stalemate tactic
    – David
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


Edit: Saving two pawns for an optimal solution

Black queens first but cannot win, no white pawn higher than the 4th rank, 1+1 pawns :

[FEN "8/8/8/6k1/8/7K/6pP/8 w - - 0 1"]

1...g1Q is stalemate and any other move draws as well

Funnily it is also possible with 0+2 pawns:

[FEN "8/8/8/6k1/8/6pK/6p1/8 w - - 0 1"]

1...g1Q/R stalemate

1...g1N/B 2.Kxg3=

1...Kf4 2.Kxg2=

Previous answer

An attempt with 2 pawns each:

[FEN "k7/8/8/7p/7P/7K/6pP/8 w - - 0 1"]

1...g1Q is an immediate stalemate. Other Black moves wouldn't win either:

1...Kb7 2.Kxg2=

1...g1R stalemate

1...g1B 2.Kg3 and the Ph5 will be captured

1...g1N 2.Kg2 Ne2 3.Kf3 Nd4 4.Kf4 and White is better !

  • 1
    Ah, yes. David was right. Now that you posted it, I remember it as a well know study motif...and how to shave off another pawn :-) Feel free to find it yourself and edit the answer (which incidentally saves me from posting the other 4 similar draw questions, THX!) Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 7:32

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