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tugger 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Q vs 8xP

me and a friend occasionally play this position, and we've always found the queen wins... anyone reckon the pawns should win...?

and would anybody up for a forum game from this position...? i don't mind what side i take, i'll let the challenger call... pawns start...

ganstaman 37 ( +1 | -1 )
While I'd like to think the pawns could win, I think it's just too easy for the queen to break in (really can't prevent that from happening in just a few moves). And then the queen can just keep giving check and sniping pawns, not?

I haven't actually tried to play from this position, but that's what I'd think would end up happening.
tugger 56 ( +1 | -1 )
to be honest, i'm better than my friend who i play this against, and he can beat me with the queen... i was shown this position when i learned to play, i'm not really sure what the use is... but it is a challenge trying to win with the pawns... i did have a look at a tablebase to see if 3xP could be a win for the pawns, but when all three are on the third rank it's win for the queen...

it's inevitable that pawns will be lost, but if you immediately abandon the two wings and try to keep five or six linked and supported, they could cause problems if advanced... once you're down to three it's lost, that i'm sure of...
arichallan 46 ( +1 | -1 )
The real problem is that black can quickly centralise the queen and control the long diagonals, keeping the pawns from queening. The king can't really support them with the queen roving freely around the board. It just takes too many moves to get the pawns mobilized, whereas black only has one piece to mobilize, which is already fairly well placed in the given position. I would just say it's a forced win for black.
far1ey 19 ( +1 | -1 )
The queen should win everytime with the kings on the board. However try it without the kings and just have a queen vs 8 pawns. This should make it harder for the black queen.
ccmcacollister 3 ( +1 | -1 )
How about 2 Rooks vs the Pawns ?! 3 pieces ?
tugger 71 ( +1 | -1 )
2 rooks i would imagine to be an even easier win for black, one attacking helpless pawns and the other defending, but three pieces could be interesting, especially if we give black three knights... that would make the win harder for black... once he's lost one knight, then it would very likely be a draw at the least for the pawns, unless he's really unlucky in the position...

perhaps if we form a v with the pawns, then maybe it will be harder for the queen to win... for example...



now there are no stricken pawns for the queen to pick off while white mobilises... i would imagine this to be more of a fight...
ionadowman 111 ( +1 | -1 )
Something of interest... ... recall that, assuming the kings are irrelevant, 2 pawns on the 6th rank will beat a rook, even if the rook moves first (unless, of course, the rook has an immediate capture: To illustrate:
b
Even if the rook has the move, White wins: 1...Re3 2.d7 (or 2.e7 also works)
Add a pawn and move them back a rank:
b
Yes, white wins again. E.g. 1...Rh5 2.e6 Rxf5 3.d6 and we're back to the R vs 2P on the 6th (3...Re5 4.d7 etc).
Now, the question is, will 4 pawns on the 4th rank beat the rook?
b
If so, how? If not, why not? Assume the kings are irrelevant (take them from the board if neceassary). It might also be interesting if we do include the kings, positioned as they are, say, to see if they do make a difference.

As for the parent problem, I read somewhere that it is pretty well established that the k+Q will beat K+8P fairly easily. It seems likely that with kings off, it would still be a comfortable win. The pawns' only chance is in a combined advance, which will take time.
Cheers,
Ion
ccmcacollister 95 ( +1 | -1 )
Great point Ionadowman ! ... I'd never seen a hard and fast rule for it,or even notice anyone mention it actually, but did notice from my own corr. games that adding a pawn allows them to start back a square. It is good to see it well put into black and white; & well worth going into the notebook of anyone in study of Rook and Pawn endings!
[And of course knowing of the 2 pawns on the 6th as well ... has won Many games for me, and for others I've seen. This is very practical stuff. Definately.]
* * * * *
I did have a corr game once go that way; where minus the rook ...
[Can't recall with certainty, but assume it likely got expended to be rid of a single promotable pawn]
... I had pawns left on b5/c5/d6 to promote vs his lonely Rook-defender. Yet in the worst tradition of LAZY Chess play ... never looked to see if they could ALL start on the 5th rank and still win. Now I know
}8-)
PS// Admittedly the 3 pawn situation does not appear nearly so commonly as the 6th rank pawn-duo.
ionadowman 127 ( +1 | -1 )
The 2P on 6th rank vs rook ... ... has cropped up in my thinking during one or two of my GK games (let alone past OTB games), but only interms of whether to adopt this or that course of action. Since in general my opponent would have got the pawns, you can safely say those lines didn't appear in the actual games!
I think the 3P on 5th rank vs rook cropped up as a possibility in a very distant past OTB game (either in my thinking, or in the post-mortem, not sure).
Given the progression, it seemed reasonable to suppose that 4P on the 4th could beat a rook. Is this correct?
In the position given in the previous posting, suppose Black tries;
1...Rh4 2.c5 Rxf4 3.c6 Rxe4 4.c7 ... the pawns win.
But what about...
1...Re3 2.e5! Re4 3.d5 Rxf4 4.c5... which gives us our 3P on 5th rank situation, which we reckon the pawns win.
This position has never been a consideration in any of my games, but, well, you never know. I find it interesting from a mathematical point of view...

The parent 8P vs Q "problem" is equally interesting from this perspective. I like tugger's notion, which effectively gives the pawns an 11 tempi start(!). Black can pull one back maybe with a Q check, so maybe White ought to consider beginning with 1.Kd1. For Black, I rather like the response 1...Qb6. Very difficult to find a continuation for White after this!
H'mmm
ionadowman 272 ( +1 | -1 )
Back to Q vs 8P... ... Has anyone noticed that from the basic starting position, White must lose a pawn immediately? Whatever White plays, Black has 1...Qa8, 1...Qb8, 1...Qc7 or even 1...Qd5 that forks two pawns. Some of these forks can be prevented, but not all of them. I don't give Black much chance even against moderate opposition.

But tugger's starting position presents much more of a challenge. I've had a bit of a go at it as Black, and though successful, I'm not sure it provides a definitive answer.
w

1.Kd2 Qd4 2.e4 Qf2+ 3.Kc3 Qe1+ 4.Kd4 Qd2 ... at this point it's not easy to find a good continuation for White. Maybe 5.e5 fills the bill, but suppose instead White tries a diversion:
5.h6 Qxh6 6.c5 Qf6+ 7.Kc4 Qxf3! 8.b6 Qxg4! 9.a7 ... The Trojans are almost at the ships. Can the Greeks save the fleet?
9...Qe6+ 10.Kb5 Qd7+ 11.Kc4 ...
The question here is whether to sac the centre pawns and pin one's hopes on the Q-side phalanx, or maintain as much material as possible whilst keeping that sword of Damocles hanging at a7... e.g. 11.c6 Qxd3+ 12.Kc5 Qa6 13.Kd6 Kd8 14.e5 Qa3+ 15.Ke6 Ke8 16.Kd5 Ke7 17.c7 Qa6 18.Kc6 Ke6! and Black picks up the e-pawn, then rounds up the Q-side pawns: 19.Kc5 Kxe5 20.Kc6 Ke6 21.Kc5 Kd7 22.Kd5 Qb7+ 23.Kc5 Kc8 24.Kb5 Qd5+ 25.Ka6 Qc4+ 26.Ka5 Kb7 whereupon the pawns soon vanish.
Back to the main line after
11.Kc4 Qc6 12.e5 Kd7 13.d4 Ke6 14.Kd3 Kd5 This is looking good for Black
15.Kc3 Qa4 16.e6 Qxd4+ 17.Kb3 Qc4+ 18.Kb2 Qb4+ 19.Ka2 Qa4+ 20.Kb2 Qc6
21.e7 Kxc5 22.e8=Q Qxe8 23.b7 Qb5+ (-+)

It turns out that at move 4, White has a trickier continuation that seems to force Black to use his King earlier. The result is quite exciting:
1.Kd2 Qd4 2.e4 Qf2+ 3.Kc3 Qe1+ 4.Kc2! Kd7! The idea here is to defend the Q-side with the King, thus reducing the amount of territory the Q has to cover. I haven't been able to find a useful Q move for Black here.
5.h6 Kc7 6.h7 Qh4 7.a7 Kb7 It's Rorke's Drift, this time...
8.b6 Qxh7 9.c5 Qh8 10.f4 Qd4 11.c6+ Ka8 12.c7 ... 2 of White's pawns are on the 7th, and he's lost just the one so far! Black's outlook is desperate ... but not hopeless! All the same, Black's life hangs by a thread, as whilst he repulses White's Q-side, the pawns are storming down the other flank!
12... Qc5+ 13.Kd2 Kb7 14.f5 Qc6 15.g5 Kxb6
16.g6 Kxa7 17.g7 Qe8 18.c8=Q ...
Paradoxically, this seems best. The alternative, 18.f6 is met adequately by 18...Kb7 19.e5 Kxc7 20.d4 Kc6 21.Kd3 Kd5 and White is finally stopped.
Ennobling himself with this act of selfsacrifice, he keeps the Jacquerie alive...
18.c8=Q Qxc8 19.f6 Qe6 20.d4 Kb6 21.Ke3 Kc7 22.Kd2 (What else? 22.d5 Qg4 23.Kd4 Kd6 24.Kd3 Ke5 looks curtains for White...)
22...Kd7 23.Kc3 Kd6 24.Kd2 Qg4 25.Kd3 Ke6 26.e5 Kd5 27.Ke3 Qg3+ And now the counterattack, going after the ringleader...
28.Ke2 Kxd4! 29.e6 Qg2+ 30.Kd1 Kd3 31.e7 Qg1#

OK these "gamelets" are by no means conclusive, however entertaining. I'm inclined to think, though, that, objectively speaking, White can achieve no more than a draw with this particular starting constellation. The dark-square complex allows the Queen easy ingress, so that, if things get desperate, Black can just about always bale out with a perpetual.

Speaking of a Jacquerie, isn't there a "Peasant Revolt" game in which White gets 16 pawns against Black's no pawns but all the pieces? Or something similar? Has anyone tried it?

Cheers,
Ion
bloedeter 3 ( +1 | -1 )
what would happen if white plays h6? Qe2? b6. Qb4+ Kd1 Qxb6 h7 Qh6 a7
ionadowman 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Try 1...Qh4+ I presume you are looking at "tugger's position" move 1.
1.h6 Qh4+ 2.Kd1 Qxh6 3.a7! Qh1+! 4.Kc2 (or Kd2) Qa1 5.b6 Kd7 and it's game on.
Or Black can try 1.h6 Kf7 ...