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The Power of Opposition E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 20:29

king-kingIf you want to win more chess games you should spend more time studying chess fundamentals. As Stephan Gerzadowicz said 'openings teach you openings, endgames teach you chess '. In our last week's discussion we studied nuances of the opposite color bishop endgames. Today we will talk about probably the single most important technique in king & pawn endgames: the power of opposition.

If you played chess long enough you probably heard things like 'white won because they had an opposition' or 'opposition led to a draw'.  What does these mean?

Simply speaking, an opposition in chess is a position when the kings are facing each other either horizontally or vertically. There should be an odd number of squares in between the kings for opposition to exist.  The side who possesses the right of move  does not have the opposition in the diagrams below.

                opposition1  opposition vertical                    

Opposition is a technique that can be used to penetrate the opponent's side of the board by forcing the opponent's king to move giving up space. This technique is often used to promote your own pawn or to prevent an opponent from promoting his.

On the diagram below white have the opposition and black needs to give up space:

Our  next example shows  the use of opposition from the practical point of view. Black is a pawn down. But, with a correct use of opposition, the stalemate position can be achieved saving the game.

This example shows the use of opposition for white to promote the pawn and to prevent black from recapturing it or gaining the opposition.

Opposition is a powerful endgame weapon if used correctly. By knowing when and how to use it you can save yourself from losing a game or you can win a game forcing the opponent's king away from your passed pawn.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 14 January 2017 22:42


+1 #3 Mudfire 2014-03-20 23:40
Opposition is a bad thing for whoever has to move first.
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0 #2 Yury 2013-10-20 21:49
Generally speaking, the side that possesses the opposition has an advantage since they can penetrate the opponent's position. Therefore, it is good for the one who has it.
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0 #1 Chesser21 2013-10-19 14:01
So? Is opposition a good or a bad thing?
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