King OppositionAn important concept in chess is opposition. Opposition refers to the situation when two kings face each other on a row, with only one square in between them. The player not having the move is said to have the opposition. It often happens in endgames with only pawns and kings.
Not having the opposition can be a huge advantage and can mean the difference between winning and a agree to a draw. Take a look at this figure:
It all comes down to who is in the move. If it is white's turn to move (black has the opposition) then all white can hope for is a draw. All black needs to do is keep the opposition. So if white goes Ke5 or Kg5, black would reply with Ke7 or Kg7 respectively. If however white steps back with either Ke4 or Kg4, opposition is kept with black's king going to Ke6 or Kg6 respectively.
If however, black is to move (white has the opposition), things will look at little brighter for white. There are several ways for white to win. Here is one, as shown in the diagram
The starting moves are:
- 1. .. Ke7
- 2. Kg6
- 3. .. Kf8
- 4. Kf6
White will finish the game by showing the way for his pawn.
- 5. .. Ke8
- 6. Kg7
You don't want to lose a good game of chess not knowing about opposition. So study hard, and go win that next game.
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