# Queen first, lose (or draw) later 6

What is the most economical pawn endgame position where Black queens first but White wins, White pawns no higher than 4th rank on time of Black queening?

(FYI, Ke6 + 8 pawns on the 5th seem to win against Qd1+Ke1, but Ke5 + 8 on the 4th lose, trusting Stockfish)

(added so Noam can move his answer here, where it fits better. And I can post my rank 2 solution)

4th rank, 4+1 pawns:

``````[Title "White plays and wins"]
[FEN "8/8/8/8/kPP5/2P5/1P5p/K7 w - - 0 0"]

1. Ka2 h1=Q 2. b3#
``````

(Also works with 3+2 pawns, removing wPb4 or wPc4 and adding bPa5 or bPb5 respectively. All of these are drawn with bPh2 moved to c2, when Black answers 1 Ka2 with c1=N+!)

• [copied from my answer to chess.stackexchange.com/questions/40655 as requested] Sep 26, 2022 at 2:32
• THX for moving! BTW, since I defined "less white pawns" for record judging purposes, your alternatives "score" better. Sep 26, 2022 at 9:03
• In the 4+1 version with bPc2, I am not sure Black can save the game after 1.Ka2 c1N+! 2.Kb1 and 3.Kc2... Sep 27, 2022 at 7:12
• I wasn't sure either but Syzygy says it's a draw, noting the resource 1 Ka2 c1N+! 2 Kb1 Nd3! 3 Kc2 Nxb2! (other moves lose). Sep 27, 2022 at 13:51

Not a record but even all-on-base-rank pawns can mate:

``````[FEN "8/8/8/4ppp1/1K2kpp1/8/p2PPP2/8 w - - 0 1"]
``````

1.Kc4! and queening is immediate mate, f3 only delays a move.

• We immediately save two bP's by shifting the diagram two squares to the right. (Then 1 Ke4(Ke5) threatens two different mates, but you asked only for a forced win, not a sound problem.) Sep 25, 2022 at 21:46
• @NoamD.Elkies: Yup. Shame on me I saw it only five seconds after posting :-) Sep 26, 2022 at 20:45