The Queen and Pawns Game

Pitching queen and pawns against each other without kings provides plenty of practice in thinking ahead. The objective is to win by capturing the opponent’s queen or by getting a pawn to the other end safely i.e. without being immediately captured.

The pieces move and capture as in chess. The best play is to keep the queen central and active i.e. where she is attacking the opponent’s pawns. Try and tempt the other side to put their queen into a passive position i.e. defending pawns.

The most effective tactic is the fork. In the diagram below, the white queen can move to e5 attacking two pawns on c7 and h5. Black cannot defend both and so White will be a pawn ahead.

The main plan is to create a passed pawn i.e. a pawn which the opponent’s pawns are not able to stop. This will force the opposing queen to play defensively to stop its advance. You can then move up your queen to support your pawn. This is illustrated in the diagram below. The pawn on f5 is a passed pawn.

You can also sacrifice to win the game. In the diagram below, White has energetically pushed the pawn the d7. Black can now capture the pawn with the queen. Note: Black is coming down the board. The black marker on the side of the board means it is Black to play.

When White recaptures with the queen, Black will advance the b pawn to be alongside its comrade. Together the two pawns cannot be stopped. One must reach the end safely.