Base: Queen first, lose (or draw) later

What is the most economical pawn endgame position where Black queens first but White draws, White pawns on rank 3 or 4 on time of Black queening?

(added because well-known stalemate tricks are specific to rank 2, and rank 5 suffices as already shown in the Zinar study)

  • 1
    Stalemate tricks don't require a wP on the second rank. Ka3,Pb3,Pb4/Ka1,Pb5,Ph2. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 2:36
  • 1. Stalemate tricks don't require a wP at all (Ka3/Kb5,Pb3,Pb2). 2. Stalemate tricks seem irrelevant for this question which requires White to win (unless Black uses stalemate tricks in some lines, but then why exclude them ? 3. As a consequence I see no strong reason for forbidding wP on the 2d rank in this question.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 6:30
  • @Evargalo (and else): Oh bother! Could you delete the answer? (Noams comment seems already to be the right answer.) Of course this was supposed to be the "White draws" part... ("White wins" is #6.) This happens when one splits (and it's one of these days where the Internet connection crashes all the time and one is in a hurry). Question edited. Apologies! Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 9:09
  • @NoamD.Elkies: you can "upgrade" your comment, sorry for the initial misprint. Draw, not win. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 9:11
  • I could, but it's 2+2 pawns and @Evargalo is correct that this question is answered by the 0+2 position he already posted for another variation of this task. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


A super heavy construction, that certainly can be refined.

From Black's point of view:

[Title "Black to play -- lose"]
[FEN "8/8/6pp/6pk/5P1P/5PPK/p7/8 b - - 0 1"]

1...a1=Q 2.g4#

We can even have all wP on the third rank only:

White to play and win:

[Title "White to play -- win"]
[FEN "8/8/5pp1/3K1kp1/6p1/4PP1P/2p3P1/8 w - - 0 1"]

1.g3! b1Q 2.e4#

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