The king and queen versus king and pawn endgame is a classic example of how having an extra piece can make all the difference in a game of chess. In this endgame, one player has a queen and a king, and the other has a king and a pawn. The player with the queen has a considerable material advantage, which can be used to win the game.
The key to success for the player with the queen is to keep the opposing king in check and prevent the pawn from advancing. If the opposing king can escape the queen’s influence and support the pawn’s advance, the game can quickly turn in their favor. However, if the player with the queen can keep the opposing king in check and control the board, victory is almost assured.
There is, however, a certain situation where the defending player can enforce a draw by a move repetition or a stalemate. It can happen when the pawn stands on a bishop or a rook file (a, c, f, h) and is just one square away from the promotion rank:
In the position above, Black is in check, so the king must make a move. The right way to ensure a draw is to move away from the pawn, to the corner! Why is that? White cannot capture the pawn because the queen would put the black king to a stalemate:
So, to keep the draw, Black can just move the king to the corner and back, endlessly. For instance:
A similar situation occurs with a rook pawn:
The king and queen versus king and pawn endgame highlights the importance of controlling the board and preventing the opposing king from escaping the queen’s influence. Make sure you remember these specific situations, as to know the defending strategy can help achieve at least a draw in a seemingly hopeless position.